Friday, November 21, 2014

Clos LaChance Winery, San Martin - Thursday, November 20, 2014

Friends, Artists, Vineyards, Hills, Clouds - what more could a plein air artist ask for? (Photo by Mary P.)

All you really need to know about the Paintsites regulars is that there were more of us painting on Clos LaChance's Grand Terrace overlooking the vineyards than there were (supposedly hardy) golfers on the adjacent CordeValle golf course.   This on a cool, grey, drizzly, and eventually rainy day.    Which makes one wonder, if golfers are often considered unhinged to play in inclement weather, what must we be?     But just to prove that we're not insane, we did appreciate the indoor plumbing and readily accepted an invitation by the Tasting Room staff to have lunch in their tasting room.  (We did debate whether plein air painting required alfresco dining as well - but common sense prevailed.)  

For more information about the spectacularly beautiful Clos LaChance Winery, our wonderful Paintsite host, check out their website at:

Upcoming Paintsites:
  • Thursday, December 4, 2014:  Historic S. Murphy Ave., Sunnyvale
  • Thursday,  December 18, 2014:  Lighthouse Field State Beach, Santa Cruz - Paintsites Holiday Pot-Luck
Special Event:
  • Saturday, January 10, 2015:  SCVWS Annual Holiday Party, Saratoga.    RSVP buy January 5, 2015
For complete details see the Watercolor Society website or the December Newsletter.

Special thanks to Marilyn Perry who monitored the weather and handled the "go / no-go"  website and e-mail notifications.

Here we are painting "wet-into-wet-onto-wet" --- whether we wanted to or not:
Jenny, Candy, John, Mitsi, Marilyn & Marion on the Grand Terrace.   The umbrellas helped but by the time they were up it was too late for some paintings - many had distinctive raindrop splatters - a mark of honor on this day.
Jane --- the rain stopped just long enough for her to put down her umbrella.

Lisha, Helen & Iris.   Wasn't there a 1960s movie called "The Umbrellas of Clos LaChance"?

Liz & Melanie found a bit more substantial cover.   But not much more --- no one got too comfortable at this Paintsite.

Sylvia surveys the vineyards. (Photo by Jane S.)

Yan & Dick share an umbrella and a view. (Photo by Jane S.)

Mary and Broncha relied on some trees for shelter.

Cathy & Sylvia share another umbrella.

Left to right: John, Marilyn, Sylvia, Jenny, Yan, Dick, Iris, Candy, Jane, Lisha, Broncha, Helen, Mary, Liz, Cathy, & Marion in the Tasting Room / Banquet Hall where we had a dry lunch and critique.

Our paintings are on the table  --- the oil on the wall is by another artist.   (Some detailed images follow - hopefully we'll post more later.   Check back soon.)

Broncha captured the Autumn colors of the vines and the distant hillside.
Cathy's angry sky  -- no wonder Alwyn stayed in his cozy backpack.

Cathy's view of the vineyards and hills.

John's study in grey of a soggy artist

John's painting of the Grand Terrace and distant vineyards and hills.
Mary's painting #1.
 "Fall Rains in the Vineyards" I had laid down the first washes when rain began to fall. I took refuge under a winery umbrella and continued to paint. Rather than attempt to fix the painting, I decided to embrace the pointillist effect as atmosphere. Mary P.

Mary's painting #2.
"Artists at Work"
I wandered around in the rain and captured this scene of hardy plein air painters at
work with brushes in one hand and umbrellas in another.   Notice how they nicely
wore jackets in the three primary colors.   Mary Paquet 
Marilyn's painting of distant hills and vineyards

Liz went for something small - but beautiful

I was over whelmed with the landscape...too beautiful for words so I painted two grape
 leaves which happened to conveniently fall off the vine.   Liz

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Los Altos History Museum, Thursday, November 6, 2014

The Los Altos Civic Center is a very popular venue for almost everything that people do to stimulate their minds and bodies --- we had to compete with Jazzercisers, Library Friends, and don't know what all else for parking spaces.  But once we were able to find spaces, we had a fine early Autumn day (maybe a bit cool in the shade for some, maybe a bit warm in the sun for others but generally, almost perfect) to study and paint the 1905 J.Gilbert Smith House, some of the outbuildings, an old cart and the History Museum itself.

For information about the Los Altos History Museum, check out:

Upcoming Paintsites:
  • Thursday, November 20, 2014:  Clos LaChance Winery, San Martin
  • Thursday, December 4, 2014:  Historic S. Murphy Ave., Sunnyvale
  • Thursday,  December 18, 2014:  Lighthouse Field State Beach, Santa Cruz - Holiday Pot-Luck
For complete details see the Watercolor Society website or the November Newsletter.

Why are these people smiling and what's that hidden behind them on the steps?

Aha, you probably guessed it --- they're Paintsites artists and they're smiling because they had this to show for a great day's painting....

Our improvised gallery
An old garden cart with iron wheels and a big potted plant was a popular subject for ...

Broncha & Candy
Broncha's painting of cart and adjacent barn
Candy's painting of same
and ...
Cathy's painting of the cart
 and  ...

Leslie's painting of the cart.

The J Gilbert Smith house, a shingled Craftsman, was an interesting subject from every side.
 From the front and side... 
Iris & Lisha
Lisha's take on the front
Iris' view down the side looking toward the barn
and ...
Marilyn's finished work of the front

The back of the house was also interesting and just sitting in the brick patio was a fine experience
Melanie, Nancy & Dick on the back patio

Bonnie's painting of the house and gate leading into the patio

Melanie's painting of same
Dick's painting of brick patio
Today I kept the inking to a minimum and played with wet on wet.  There's virtually no control doing this.   Painting wet on wet on a 140 lb. block guarantees unpredictable results as gravity takes over and rivers of color form in the arroyos.    I have more 300 lb. paper on order.   Dick

Jane's painting of the side of the house.

Helen focused on the gate leading from the back patio to the front of the house
Brad's painting of gate and side of house

  The Tank House and Outhouse were also popular subjects...
Anu's painting of the Tank House

Broncha's painting of the Tank House

Jenny's painting of the Tank House & the Outhouse

Leslie's painting of an outbuilding

Susan's sketch of the Tank House

The History Museum itself, although a newer building, is also a handsome one.  Especially when painted by ...... 
Jane's painting of the Los Altos History Museum