Sunday, December 22, 2013

Weekend Paintsites Japanese Friendship Garden, Saturday December 21, 2013

The sky was clear and blue as our artists arrived for the Weekend Paintsite at the Japanese Friendship Garden. Many of our group chose to render the bright red traditional arched bridge while others ventured further into the park to find interesting sites. We welcomed guest Cindy Ling, a versatile artist to our plein air outing.

Wildlife inspects the artist

Showing their stuff

Lunch on the green

Brad Santos
The two weeping willows by the Tea House have surprisingly held their spectacular Fall colors so I couldn't resist taking a try at them.    Lots of Mallards, a pair of Mergansers, and a solitary egret provided additional interest but they didn't stay in one place long enough for me to capture their images.    Overall, it was a perfect day and, in the more protected lower pond area, unlike the past few paintouts, I didn't even need my fingerless gloves.     Brad

John Ediger
What fun!

Marilyn Perry
I thought I would paint the red bridge until I saw the beautiful yellow willows reflecting in the lower pool which also had mergansers, egret, mallards, and koi fish.  I had to change my plans. Marilyn

Friday, December 20, 2013

Santa Clara Civic Center Park & 2013 California Statewide Painting Competition at Triton Museum. Thursday, December 19, 2013

What started out as an overcast, cold morning which didn't seem too promising (after 11 straight smoggy, grey, Spare-the-Air days) turned into a clear, sunny, brisk day once Jenny & Sylvia were on site.  (They always bring the sunshine with them!)    We skipped the usual post-painting critique and headed over to the Triton Museum for a no-holds-barred critique of those paintings.  (We felt pretty safe doing this as none of the artists were there to defend themselves.   And the paintings were all so wonderful that we found we didn't have anything critical to say anyway --- what a disappointment.)

For more information about the Santa Clara Civic Center Park, go to:

For information about the Statewide Painting Competition at the Triton, go to:
Note: the exhibition runs through February 2, 2014

Upcoming Watercolor Society events:
  • Saturday, December 21, 2013:  Weekend Paintout at Japanese Friendship Garden, Kelly Park, San Jose
  • Thursday, January 2, 2014:   Palo Alto Baylands Park
  • Saturday, January 18, 2014:   Annual Holiday Party (RSVP by January 13, 2014.   Bring your 2013 plein air paintings and sketchbooks --- they'll be displayed on the big stage.)
Reference the Watercolor Society website for additional information.

What we did:
Marilyn Perry
When I first arrived, I thought the wind was much too cold, but I found a sunny, somewhat protected place to sit, and it turned out to be a very pleasant painting morning.    Marilyn

Brad Santos
Normally, when we're painting in public places, most passers-by like to stop and chat; maybe even wish they could trade places with us.   This time, I was envying them the nice warm offices they were heading for without pausing for even a moment to see what we were doing.     Brad
Jenny Tero
The park area around the City Hall offices provided lots of interesting trees, and benches from which to paint them. Orginally we were going to paint at the front of the park along El Camino, but it was so bitterly cold we retreated to the shelter of the buildings and   trees. Jenny
Jane Saltman

Jane Saltman
The Sculpture Garden hidden in the redwoods behind the Triton Museum was a an ideal spot to sketch. I found a sunny bench (a welcome spot on this cool morning) in front of an unnamed sculpture of a man and women (I named them Adam and Eve) with 2 wolves.   Jane 

Caroline Garbarino

The entrance to the Triton reminded me of an Egyptian promanade. Entering a painting for the blog provides a way for me to discipline myself to finish. I hope to make more time for painting in the New Year. Thanks for a museum adventure. Let's see more shows!

Friday, December 6, 2013

Natural Bridges State Beach, Santa Cruz, Thursday, December 5, 2013

It was cold but not too cold, (more like "brisk" or "bracing"), for our annual "Desserts & Savories"  Pot-luck Paint-out in Santa Cruz.    And in spite of the "briskness" (actually bordering on numbness), it was a beautiful, sunny, clear day with only a mild sea-breeze; we were all inspired to paint the interesting rock formations, the beach, or the wind contorted trees.    And happy to share the bounty of appetizers, desserts, hot soup brought by Dick & Yan, and hot coffee & tea provided by Jenny & Sylvia. 
For additional information about Natural Bridges State Beach, check out:

Upcoming Paintouts and other Watercolor Society events:
  • Thursday, December 19, 2013:  Santa Clara Civic Center Park followed by a visit to the Statewide Painting Competition/Exhibit in the nearby Triton Museum.
  • Saturday, December 21, 2013:  Japanese Friendship Garden, Kelley Park, San Jose
  • Saturday, January 18, 2014: Watercolor Society Annual Holiday Party, Saratoga
See the Watercolor Society website or December Newsletter for complete details

Getting very chilly by lunch time, and too cold to sit down and eat - it was a lovely spread though. 
Artists on the beach:
Laurie Barna

Sylvia Waddell keeping warm

Here are some snapshots taken during the critique --- some are finished (check back for the properly scanned images), others were not yet been completed (check back for the finished work)...

Mike Bailey

Here are some finished paintings:
Dick Zunkel

Sylvia Waddell
Sun, Wind, Waves - an exhilarating day by the sea! There were lots of birds on the rocks, but I left them until last in my painting and by that time most of them had flown away. The lunch was a lovely spread. Thanks to everyone who contributed.  Sylvia
Jenny Tero
It was only 52 degrees all day, but the sun was warm, the ocean crashing against the rocks was magnificent, and the food we all shared was delicious.
Brad Santos
A beautiful wintry day, talented artists and hordes of exuberant school kids enjoying their day at the beach - what's not to like.    Brad