Thursday of the Los Gatos Plein Air Invitational we were asked to paint downtown. The Chamber of Commerce was open to us and at 8 am I showed up looking for coffee. I met the woman who was watching the Chamber and she invited me to paint at a plant nursery….so I followed the breadcrumbs and went there. It seemed like a good opportunity. It also seemed a bit overwhelming at first, but as I walked around to see if inspiration would strike, I spotted this little scene in the sunlight. My next post will show what I could see when I turned around from this. All in all, a delightful place to paint.
I feel like I risked my life to do this painting. A couple years earlier, when I had also been invited to the Los Gatos Plein Air invitational, I had called the number on the business card to this place and the woman of the couple who owns it told me it was up a steep winding road. I thought she was just trying to put me off and so I decided not to go. Actually, she was being very considerate and honest. This year, I was already staying at a place that involved driving up many winding roads and this vineyard now seemed not so far away. My hosts had even made introductions and let them know to expect me. Well, I could not believe it! The road was only wide enough for one vehicle and yet it was a two way road that wound around curves overlooking a steep cliff! I finally got to the top and found myself literally at the end of the road. Thank goodness for cell phones and their amazing reach. Just about then my phone rang and it was the vineyard owner asking where I was. Of course I had no idea! I had already gone through a coded gate and another gate, and yet somehow was not on his property. He told me to turn around….which was not possible unless I wanted to go off a cliff. I slowly and carefully backed up, thinking how they could be telling the story of the artist whose car went off the cliff next year, but decided CANCEL CANCEL on that thought. Finally I arrived at the vineyard. The owner was just as nice as could be and told me many a visitor had arrived there in tears. So I felt pretty badass because as afraid as I was, I wasn’t crying. That is, until I looked around at the beauty of this place….Breathtaking!
Later, I thought to myself “I don’t think I’ve ever been this far away from other human beings” when a minute later a car drove up! It was the woman who I had spoken to a couple years ago. She was so friendly and considerate. She didn’t want to drive past my painting, on her own land, for fear of kicking dust up into it. We chatted for a half hour or so and then she left. I decided to re-position the canvas and the whole thing went flying into the ground. Lots of dust! But I managed to continue. I was cold and hungry but inspiration kept me going.
I attended the Los Gatos Plein Air Invitational a couple weeks ago. Getting back, settling in and getting the images ready to post has taken a while. The first day, I wound up going back to this park that I had painted in 2 years ago….just to see how things have changed. I’m pleased with my progress. The kids that passed by were all very encouraging. There were about 100 geese when I started, sort of surrounding my easel…and honking up a storm, but after I’d been painting a while, I looked up and there was nary a one in sight. They had just somehow slipped away while I’d been completely absorbed in the painting. I did 4 more paintings up there over the next 2-3 days and hope to post them soon.
This was the second one that goes with yesterday’s post.
This piece and the one I will post tomorrow came about because a woman who supplies art to designers thought some similar pieces would be great in this 18 million dollar home they were home staging for–except the originals were postcard size…so I experimented with blowing them up. It was a lot of fun…and I want to try doing more like these.
Not sure why, but I haven’t posted anything in the last couple months. It’s like I hit some kind of wall. I was painting and drawing but not posting to my blog or FB…only IG. I’ve been having certain “health” issues and I guess this just sort of fell to the wayside. I’m going up to Los Gatos for a plein air invitational in a little over a week and I should have a lot of new paintings to post after that so I think I’ll get some of these I haven’t gotten to posting up first. This was an experiment in working larger. It was fun. What do you think? There are a few other large experiments that were done the same time frame…also not yet posted. The next ones spent a few days in an 18 million dollar mansion but apparently were too colorful for such a place…and they are much grayer than this one! Stay tuned.