Friday, February 26, 2016

Palace of Fine Arts & 46th Annual National CWA Exhibition, San Francisco. Thursday, February 25, 2016

A simple little mathematical equation sums up our day:
The Palace of Fine Arts  +  a Passel of Fine Artists =  A  great day of painting in San Francisco.

It was sunny and hot (How hot?  I've never had to use my car's air conditioning in February in San Francisco before - that's how hot!).   It was also very bright and calm so, in addition to sharp, complex shadows moving in-and-out of and across the structures, we also had distinct reflections of the buildings in the Lagoon.

The one question we all had was "Why are the Maidens Weeping?"  Marilyn did some research and found the answer.  To find out for yourself about (a) our question and (b) the answer, check out ...
To see the Weeping Maidens, you'll have to visit.  (There is free parking and public restrooms in the Innovation Hangar.)

If painting the Palace of Fine Arts wasn't enough for one day, we had a bonus event:  we visited the California Watercolor Association's 46th National (more accurately International) Exhibition at the Cannery Galleries in Ghiradelli Square.  You've probably heard the expression "like a kid in a candy shop"?   In our case it was "like a watercolor artist in a CWA National Exhibition" --- we were all so jazzed.   Going thru the show with other artists made it even more special.   And seeing the work of some of our friends made it even more so --- a special point of pride in fact as there were three regular members of the Paintsites group who were accepted into this very prestigious show:  Tom Ayers, Cathy Belleville (recipient of the Bronze Award), and Mary Raftery.    Non-Paintsites SCVWS members Nancy Near (award winner) , Doug Greer, Veronica Gross, Sandra MacDiarmid (award winner), and Kathleen Mitchell were also in the show.

Mary R. and her CWA Exhibition artwork
For more information about the CWA's 46th National Exhibition see:
Note: this show closes this coming Sunday, February 28th, so there's still time to see all the wonderful paintings in one place.

Upcoming Paintsites:
  • Thursday, March 3, 2016:   Saratoga Heritage Orchard, Saratoga.
  • Thursday, March 10, 2016:   Calero CP, San Jose.  Hike & Sketch or Sit & Paint.
  • Thursday, March 17, 2016:   Stanford University Quad and Sculptures, Palo Alto.
  • Thursday, March 24, 2016:  Santa Clara Mission, Santa Clara.
  • Thursday, March 31, 2016:   Wunderlich Park, Woodside.
For details, see the SCVWS website or the March Newsletter.    And remember, if the weather looks 'iffy', check your e-mail or the SCVWS website Home Page for cancellation notices.    Also, since we often visit sites where mobile service may be weak and the coordinators unreachable or GPS inaccurate -- best check the instructions sent by Paintsites in the e-notification before heading out.

Your final assignment is to check the "Members Blogs" section as Sylvia, Anna, Mary P. and Dick routinely update their blogs.  And in the "Links" section, we've added a link to John Ediger's new website - it's definitely worth a visit as is Anna Jacke's latest from Oregon.

The central Rotunda was most everybody's focus - it's hard to ignore and hard, once one has started drawing, to put down your pencil and pick up your brush.
Left to right: Liz, John, Jane and Candy (The Weeping Maidens are at the corners of the box like structures atop the columns in the structures to the left of the Rotunda.)

Liz's completed painting of the Rotunda.

John's finished painting of the Rotunda.
Candy's sketch (the figures in her sketch give an accurate sense of the size of the Rotunda  --- it's big!)

Candy's finished painting of the Rotunda across the Lagoon.

Jane's painting of the Rotunda in the background and a fountain in the Lagoon in the foreground.
Elaine worked on sketches of the Lagoon and the Rotunda.
As did Susan.


Nora's painting of the Rotunda across the Lagoon.

Kaaren's painting of the Rotunda and north wing across the Lagoon.   (Altho' the Palace of Fine Arts is a major tourist attraction, it's also a neighborhood park and there were lots of people just spending a normal day in the park: strolling, walking their dogs, laying on the grass, ... however, it's anything but a normal neighborhood park!)

Kaarens' friend Gina joined us for a day of painting.  Gina is an architect, as well as an artist, so she brought unique skill sets to this paintsite.    As you can well see.
Lisha gets Marilyn's attention: "We're going to get our photo taken."

Now we have (left to right) Marilyn's, Lisha's, and Iris' attention.
Marilyn's unfinished painting of the Rotunda.
Iris' painting of the Rotunda with Lagoon in the foreground.

Lisha's unfinished painting of the Rotunda (plus the tip of my thumb and an interesting shadow from my camera strap).
Mary at the south end of the Lagoon.  (The Weeping Maidens can again be seen in the corners of the large boxlike structure at the top of the columns to the left of the Rotunda.)

Mary's unfinished painting of the Rotunda.
Mary's sketch from the north end of the Lagoon.
Left to right: a pigeon and some artist - everybody loves this park.

Left to right: Marilyn, Salinda and Dick.
Salinda's painting
Dick's painting of the Rotunda.   He used elements of a technique he picked up at a recent SCVWS Workshop - with excellent results.
Brad's painting from the Innovation Hangar thru the Rotunda towards the Lagoon and the far shore where we had lunch.... 

Lunch --- Weeping Maidens on the structures, smiling artists under a Weeping Willow on the lawn - it all came together at this Paintsite.


Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Stanford University Quad Weekend paintsites, February 20,2016

Once every year, mostly in winter, we hit the ‘quad’ to do the majestic Memorial Church or MemChu, the distinctive California palms or the Rodin sculptures. The quad is chosen so that we can have shelter from the rains that California has not seen in the past few years, yet the organizers feel the need to be prepared for a sudden downpour. Saturday of Feb 20, the day of our plein air, it was as though the weather wanted us to paint. The clouds parted, letting in just enough amount of sun shine yet keeping some clouds in the sky for good composition. Troves of tourists and their selfie sticks amused us – the 5 devoted weekend painters who went about their practice.

I was firmly against painting the Rodin sculptures yet again and was singing high praises of Boo-Qwilla, a totem pole on campus that she intended to paint.  Uma

Boo Quilla (Totem pole)

Uma's sketck book, impressons of Stanford

Uma's Redwoods @ Stanford


Thursday, February 11, 2016

McClellan Ranch, Cupertino, CA Thursday February 11, 2016

What a fine day it was with unusually warm temperatures for February and a brief (hopefully) break from winter rains. McClellan Ranch Park has been renovated to extreme, yet the country charm remains. Our plein air artists enjoyed a fine day under partly cloudy skies.


Dan's painting
Marilyn and Dan
Marilyn's painting


Mary's painting


Iris's painting

Jane's impression
Jane's realism
Jane creating impressionism and realism.
Liz's painting

Joe's painting

Kaaren's painting
Katherine's painting of Brad and a fan created at the Ansley House paintout
Larry's "bird's eye" view

Leslie's value study
Leslie's painting

Lisha and Dick at work

Lisha's painting

Dick's painting

Melanie's sketch
Melanie's painting
Salinda's painting


Jenny's painting
John T's pen and ink with watercolor wash

John E and Larry
John E's painting

Joe,  Melanie,Elizabeth and Liz

Elizabeth's painting
The Gang