I attended a little gouache workshop the other weekend…en plein air--again I say–not for the faint of heart. Besides it being 90 degrees, while approaching me the teacher started screaming–and not because of the state of my painting! She’d been stung by a bee!! Gouache is tricky…so I’m trying to practice before I abandon it altogether and all those wonderful little tubes of color dry up as is their wont!
Another little study from the holiday. More paintings on the way! (I did a gouache of this first.)
This was the second painting I did at the PACE17–even though I’d gotten up at 5 am, been very active all day, and this was painted around 5 pm in the park at Old Town. Some Asian tourists seemed very interested in appearing in photos with me. They’d kind of sneak up and try to be discreet. It was quite amusing. Not sure why they picked me when there were so many others to choose from.
I did an oil version of this in October 2015.
I had a very expensive drink while doing this…but I don’t think they put much alcohol in it…which was obviously for the best! It was almost 100 degrees…so I needed to drink something cold!
So we arrived at the Bellagio after almost running out of gas in the desert. The next day we went down to the pool. I was hoping no one would stop me from whipping out the oils…they didn’t. Still think gouache would’ve been a better choice, but I’d left them home. People got in my way as I tried to paint this, but no one seemed remotely interested. They had better things to do! I did another one the next day. I had to paint from a shaded area–it was about 100 degrees. I would wind up with a heat rash–not fun!
We headed to Big Bear after the Fair. Long winding roads in the dark! The next day as we drove around the area of the B&B we had stayed at, I spied this delightful scene. We left to check out the lake, but I chose to return here to paint this. I was struck by the red house against the sunlit leaves.
This is from a few weeks ago when I found out about an opportunity to paint at the Museum of Natural History. They waived the parking and entrance fee, which was nice. It was kind of hot and crowded and it wasn’t easy to find a good place to set up. The waterfall is actually over to the side, but I had to be under an umbrella, which happened to be close enough to do this. There’s a little bridge and that is my focal point. As I was leaving I noticed the museum is near a botanical garden, but I couldn’t figure out how to get there, and I was exhausted so I gave up trying to find a way in that I could have gone to paint at the next day.
This was painted last month on the last day of painting at the Los Gatos Plein Air Invitational. We’d made an agreement that I’d return to the vineyard at the end of the week…but when I got there the third gate was locked. It later turned out that the owner had been called for jury duty. Anyway, I looked around and noticed that where I was was plenty good enough for painting-overlooking a magnificent view…so I set up. A friendly woman bounded over to ask what I was doing. It turned out she owned the property that I was on. But we hit it off, and she even invited me to stay at a tree-house she’d built for guests (I won’t bore you with how that turned out–let’s just say, I’m not so good with heights). My host had sent her husband to check that I was okay, since I called her before I realized that it didn’t matter. The woman and my host (the husband) also got acquainted. It was a regular party, on top of the world, in the middle of nowhere. They all finally left and I got to work. I was shooting the piece when I thought it was done, and it too (like the vineyard painting before it) went flying into the ground, picking up authentic gravel, twigs, etc. I did my best to get that off, and also to keep painting, since it seemed like I was not done after all. It really was a magnificent view, and I was “on top of the world” in more ways than one.
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.