Sunday, May 29, 2016

Weekend Paintsites Santana Row Saturday May 28,2016

Wow! So many beautiful cars on one street.  Our weekend painters had a rainbow of color and exotic automobiles to render at Santana Row. The event was the monthly "Cars and Croissants" show held each month on the fourth Saturday. The weather was perfect as we captured the spirit of the show and the attending crowds.

Kaaren and son Jack

Kaaren's rendering of a Ford GT
Kaaren's grayscale sketch

Jack's Cobra... where does he get this talent?

The pair of Ford GT's were the artists' favorite
Dick's sketch of the Ford GT
Dick chats with the owners of the Ford GT

The other rare Ford GT 
Dick put the GT in motion

Salinda's Ford GT
Suhita at work. She was everywhere!

Suhita also liked the GT
Suhita renders GT admirers
Suhita's figures captured the excitement of the day
Suhita found another exotic car to complete the set
Alison found beauty in Santana Row beyond cars
Alison's spirit of Santana Row

Artists gather at Pinkberrys to compare notes
Plein-air artists show their stuff

Friday, May 27, 2016

Anna Cook's Mexican Garden, Saratoga. Thursday, May 26, 2016.

We've been very fortunate that two SCVWS members welcomed us into their very different but equally special gardens this year:  Jane Kwant, in March and then on May 26th,  Anna Cook welcomed us into her Mexican themed "La Casa De Las Campanas" garden.    To the average person Anna's garden is filled with junk (Anna said it's OK to use that term); to a sophisticated person, perhaps even a connoisseur, it's filled with "Junque"; but to an artist, it's filled with "Art".    Lots of Art in every size, shape, and color and all arranged to stimulate one's imagination, inspire us to paint great things, but mostly to make us smile.  (The smiling part you can't help but do even if your painting is less than satisfactory.)   Katherine mentioned that she could paint in Anna's garden every day for a year and still find new things to paint --- that's true but with Anna always adding and rearranging things, constantly creating new compositions, a year wouldn't be nearly enough time.

Anna (left) and Leslie
Upcoming Paintsites:
  • Saturday, May 28, 2016:   Santana Row, San Jose - urbanscapes (special opportunity as street will be closed for an Auto Show so artists can paint in the street - see the Newsletter or Members Only webpage for details.)
  • Thursday, June 2, 2016:    Rancho San Antonio, Cupertino - Hike & Sketch or Sit & Paint.
  • Thursday, June 9,  2016:    Allied Arts, Menlo Park
  • Thursday, June 16, 2016:   Vasona County Park, Los Gatos
  • Thursday, June 23, 2016:   Sierra Azul Nursery & Garden, Watsonville 
  • Thursday, June 30, 2016:   Duc Vien Buddhist Pagoda, San Jose
Details can be found on the SCVWS website and in the  June Newsletter.    Be sure to read the Sunday e-notifications for specific driving and parking directions.  And please consider carpooling to Rancho San Antonio (limited parking) and Sierra Azul (a long drive).

Other ongoing  local events of interest: 

  • Through Sunday, June 12, 2016:  18th Annual Botanical Art Exhibition at Filoli.   A niche genre of spectacular watercolors.   See the particulars at
  • Month of June, 2016:   An exhibit of Paintsites regular Richard Bloechl's watercolors will be on display at the Campbell Library in downtown Campbell (77 Harrison Ave., adjacent to the Ainsley House).   Open Mon.-Tue. 1-9pm; Wed. 10am-9pm and Thu.-Sat. 10am-6pm.  (See Rich's website link in the right sidebar for images of his paintings.)
Across the street from Anna's:   Streetside, there's more than a hint at what awaits within ...
Elizabeth's painting from across the street.

Anna's Entry Courtyard:    First stop on this tour through the garden is the entry courtyard and Alan gets top billing because he painted the bells for which the garden is named.
Alan set-up in the entry courtyard.

Alan's painting of Anna's courtyard entry gate and the Las Campanas (Bells).

Katherine's painting of 'stuff', lot's of 'stuff', in the Courtyard.
Jane S. (Thursday Paintsites co-coordinator) on the front porch.

Jane S.'s pots and a pig.
 Anna's Driveway:


Carole's painting of a collection of pots lining the driveway.


Helen has painted Anna's pots before.   They always turn out to be excellent paintings -- this year is no exception.

Liz, getting in the mood for a hot Mexican afternoon, set up on the driveway in the sun where it was indeed hot. 

Liz's paintings of pots and a ceramic bird who pulled off a painting 'bomb'.

Anna's Front yard:    The most "serene" spot in the garden.  But that doesn't mean boring by any means.

Broncha set-up on the front lawn looking towards the driveway.

Where yet another collection of pots lined the driveway.

Anna's Backyard:   Many more pots, a (ceramic / terracotta/ plaster) menagerie, toys, and objects (junk) which can't be described in words --- enjoy the paintings:
Dick (note the boat in the background)

Dick's painting of some pots, including one with flowers.


Elaine's unfinished painting of another collection of pots.


Iris' pots were both beautiful and functional --- something was growing in them.


Lisha's pots, a diminutive donkey, an upended wheelbarrow and ???  (Note: the fingers weren't objects in the garden - although there are probably some somewhere - in this case they were real fingers holding the painting.)

Leslie --- a study in blues.

Leslie's painting of just a few of the many toy metal cars on a fence shelf.

Leslie's painting of the half of an actual boat filled with nautical stuff stuck in the ground.   (If you don't believe such a thing could exist in a garden, see the photo of Dick above - the boat is in the background over his right shoulder.)
Jane P.
Jane P.'s painting of lots of things: an owl, ducks, dancing frogs, metal sculpture, a turtle, succulents, and more.

Marilyn (Thursday Paintsites co-coordinator)
Marilyn's painting of a little donkey pulling a little cart.

Jenny's cast of subjects included pots, donkeys, another pig and some unidentifiable things.
Mary had a long drive down to Saratoga and then had to leave early but it was a worthwhile trip.

Mary's painting of metal "flowers" stuck in a wooden barrel.


Salinda's unfinished painting of a bench with a seated fairy princess, a huge blue globe, and more.
Brad's painting of a "coffee maker" - possibly (all things are possible in Anna's garden)  the prototype for the Keurig single-cup coffee maker? 

The Blue Door:   An irresistible and most popular subject even though it doesn't open or lead anywhere --- it's mounted on the Caltrans sound wall at the back of Anna's garden.


Nancy's unfinished painting of the Blue Door.

Susan won the award for "bravest" artist:   she set-up next to Anna's bee hive.  Fortunately, the bees weren't too active until later in the day when it warmed up.

Susan's painting of the Blue Door

Anna and Joe discussing Joe's painting-in-progress.

Joe's finished Blue Door painting.
There was so much visual and sensory input that it was hard to know where to begin or where to stop!     Joe

Lunch on the Lawn:
In the background is the sound wall which Anna painted to look like a street scene in a small Mexican town.

More of the sound wall.  The bee hive is atop the green post just to the right of where the sound wall scene ends.   The bees don't show in the photo but they were there.

Thank you Anna for inviting us into your unique and wonderful home and garden again this year.