Thursday, June 23, 2016

Sierra Azul Nursery, Watsonville. Thursday, June 23, 2016

Although this is a famous nursery and very popular with local artists as well as gardeners, it was Paintsites first visit and tho' a bit of a drive, it was well worth it ....

Always wanted to paint lavender fields in Provence?    Save your money and visit Sierra Azul in Watsonville instead -- there you'll find a large lavender field (in magnificent bloom right now),  a wide selection of water-wise plants (succulents, grasses, natives, & mediterraneans) in a handsomely arranged retail setting and in a mature demonstration garden.   There are some small sculptures in the retail nursery but the majority are found in the demonstration garden where they're just begging to be discovered and painted --- we did our part:  we did both. 

For more information about Sierra Azul Nursery (and Sculpture Garden), see their official website: 
(They can also be found on Facebook)
Upcoming Paintsites:
  • Thursday, June 30, 2016:   Duc Vien Buddhist Pagoda, San Jose
  • Thursday, July 7, 2016:   Shoreline Park, Mt. View
  • Thursday, July 14, 2016:   Maison du Lac, Los Gatos
  • Thursday, July 21, 2016:   New Almaden Historic District, San Jose
  • Thursday, July 28, 2016:   Downtown Los Altos with potluck lunch to follow at a member's nearby home.
Check the SCVWS website and the June & July Newsletters for details.

Events of interest involving Paintsites regulars:
  • Richard Bloechl's watercolors will be on display thru the end of June 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.) 
  • Candy Yu has a one-woman show in the Cupertino Library, 10800 Torre Ave., in the Cupertino Civic Center Plaza.    Hours are:  Mon. - Thu. 10:00 AM - 9:00 PM;  Fri. - Sat. 10:00 AM -  6:00 PM; and Sun. noon - 6:00 PM.     The show runs thru August 6th.
  • Mary Raftery and Laurie Barna each had a painting accepted to the Haggin Art Museum's 59th Annual Juried National Exhibition.  The Haggin Art Museum is located in Stockton and the show runs July 7, 2016 - September 11, 2016. 
Special Note:  Long-time Paintsites co-leader Sylvia and husband Keith recently relocated to Auburn.  Tho' she'll seldom be able to paint with us, we can still share Sylvia's artistic journey through her blog in the "Members Blogs" link in the right sidebar.

 It was tough to ignore the sculptures in the Demonstration Garden - most of us couldn't resist their allure .... 

Dick (that's Lisa over his right shoulder and the lavender field in the distant background.)

Dick's trio of sculptures with succulent accessories.


Lisa's painting of one of the numerous ceramic totem poles (?) and blue jar.


Alan's painting of an abstract sculpture (right) and a big ceramic jar/sculpture.

Marilyn (Thursday Paintsites co-coordinator).

Since taking the SCVWS Journaling Workshop, Marilyn had done some serious "journaling".   These were her first three entries for the day.

Page 2 of Marilyn's journal entry for 6/23/16

Brad (Thursday Paintsites co-coordinator) (photo by Salinda)

Brad's painting of "Dragonfly and Mayflies" by LMNO Arts.   (The dragonfly has about a 6' wingspan!)


Escaping the pull of the sculptures was ....
Salinda, a keen gardener in her own right, who went for the flowers ...

Salinda's lush garden painting.

And Lisha and Annie who found the huge cactus bordering the driveway most interesting...
Annie (left) and Lisha

Annie's painting of a fan palm and a large cactus.

Lisha's painting of the same.

 Time for lunch then our critique...
Setting up for our 'show-and-share' critique.


Friday, June 17, 2016

Vasona Lake County Park, Los Gatos. Thursday, June 16, 2016

We've avoided local reservoirs the past few years because of the drought but, with water levels up, we decided to give Vasona Lake (90% capacity) a try.   And we're glad we did.  Although the lake itself is small, the Santa Cruz Mountains provide a great background and the popular boat rental concession means there's always activity on the water.    A bonus was the weather  --- we were on the southern edge of a front which passed through which gave us a clean blue sky with puffy white clouds lazily drifting overhead.     It all added up to a great day of painting.

(Note our fascination with pedal boats:  Maybe next year we'll organize a paintout where we rent pedal boats (instead of painting them) and pedal off to paint on the water -- an aquatic variation of the Hike & Sketch paintouts.)

For additional information about Vasona Lake County Park, see: 
Upcoming Paintsites:
  • Thursday, June 23, 2016:   Sierra Azul Nursery & Garden, Watsonville (new Paintsite)
  • Thursday, June 30, 2016:   Duc Vien Buddhist Pagoda, San Jose
Check the SCVWS website and the  June Newsletter for details.

Other ongoing events of interest involving Paintsites regulars:

  • Month of June, 2016:   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.) 
  • Now through August 6, 2016:  Candy Yu has a show in the Cupertino Library, 10800 Torre Ave. in the Cupertino Civic Center Plaza.    Hours are Mon. - Thu. 10:00 AM - 9:00 PM,  Fri. 10:00 AM -  6:00 PM, Sat. 10:00 AM - 6:0 PM, and Sun. noon - 6:00 PM.     Candy's artwork is displayed in the room on the right near the entrance.
Along the west shore of the lake:
Candy (standing) & Lisha
Candy's painting of the rental boat docks, sailboats and pedal boats. (The pedal boats were very popular with the many children in the park.   The sail boats not so much.)

 Candy's painting of Kaaren and her son Jack painting by water's edge.
Lisha's painting of a rental pedal boat.

 Dick (Weekend Paintsites co-coordinator).  Behind Dick is SCVWS member Lisa, attending her first Paintsite.

Dick's painting of the rental boat docks and rental boats.

 Lisa's painting of the pedal boats at the boat rental dock.

 Elizabeth painted near the south end of the lake away from the hubbub of the rental boat concession.

Elizabeth's painting of one of the handsome sycamores dotting the shoreline and a few of the many "walkers" taking advantage of the beautiful day to stroll around the lake.

  Grace, like many of us, wanted the unique steel arch bridge in her painting.
Grace painted the steel arch bridge and was content.   But when one of the bright red pedal boats cruised by, she just had to go back and add it.

 Jane P. set-up near the "bridge painters" but looked north for this vista.
Jane's painting looking north.


Broncha's painting looking east toward a float and two fisherman.

Jane S. (Thursday Paintsites co-coordinator) set-up near Elizabeth on the tranquil part of the shore.

Jane's painting of a sycamore and a trio of the thousands of Canada Geese in the park. 

 Ji-eun set-up near Elizabeth and Jane S.


Joe's painting of the steel arch bridge. 

Brad's painting of the bridge.


Alan's east shore panorama.


Nora and Wayne found a nice bench in the sun from which to paint.

Nora's painting of the eastern shoreline. 
Marilyn (Thursday Paintsites co-coordinator)
Marilyn attended the recent SCVWS Journaling Workshop and put what she learned to immediate and successful use.
 A second page in Marilyn's journal.

Mitsi made the mistake of trying to eat lunch in the heart of "Gooseland" in the Park. 

Mitsi's sketch of the steel arch bridge.    The Award for Best Ever Excuse for Not Finishing a Painting goes to Mitsi --- she's  a volunteer art instructor for juvenile inmates in the Main Jail and four of her students were receiving their diplomas Thursday afternoon --- she wanted to share the moment with them so had to leave early.

Salinda.   Doesn't this look like a great spot in which to set-up and paint?   It was.
   Salinda's painting of a pedal boat.

Artists not caught on camera:  Just because we don't have photographs of them, the following artists were hard at work .....   

 Kaaren did this boat-on-trailer painting without any pencil sketch/outline first - just her brush.

                              Kaaren's painting of  idle sailboats at the boat rental docks.

                  There weren't any boats like this in the rental fleet --- but there should be!
                                                          Sketch by Kaaren's son Jack.

  Another sketch by Jack - this time of a real boat.

And another.

  Rich's painting of the steel arch bridge and two fisherman on the floating dock. 

Lunch:   Thanks to Nora and Wayne who sacrificed part of their lunch to lure the nasty yellowjackets away from the picnic tables, we had a peaceful lunch.

 Nothing left to eat so we might as well have our critique: