Saturday, July 30, 2011


This little painting, 6" x 6", was done at Helen Putnam Park looking west.  It took some work to make the road a road.  It kept wanting to be a river! I love the warm tones, the gentleness of the landscape. One thinks one is looking at a field of dry grass, but one is actually experiencing the colors of the rainbow, rolling across the hills.

Many weeks I do the DailyPaintworks Challenge. It is different every week and there is always something to learn and it is always fun to do. Challenging but fun. This was my second try for this week's challenge. It was a limited time and color palette and one had to stand from one to 6 feet from the subject, which was nature. Way too many rules to keep track of, but my flowers are finally improving. They lacked depth and now they at least have some. Striving........

I am still doing the little 6 inch studies when we paint. This is of a yellow Victorian that just called to me.  The mystery of the door, the triangles on the facade, lovely foliage. What else does one need?
Sandra, my instructor, helped lots on this study, demonstrating how a painting changes and speaks to you as you move through it.  After this, I did the same subject on an 8  x 8 and found just the two inches made my composition need some changes and most areas were just more complex. I am still working on resolving those issues.

Beginning of August we travelled up to the northeast corner of California and one of the days we drove over to Goose Lake.  This barn just rose out of the landscape. To me, it was quite majestic. I loved painting it.  Once again, look at the texture and colors in the foreground. So many grasses, so many feelings evoked. Color rules.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Little Girl in PInk

Here is a progression posting again.  This little girl was so difficult to do as I had to do her from a photo.........she was on the move!   I saw her out at Doran Park and she was cute as a bug's ear.  The challenge was to capture the moment, but she had on Mom's hat and an overshirt.  Here is attempt #1.

My next attempt was just to do her again as she was so much fun and such a challenge.  The background was all sand so I had to find some darks to make the painting work.  Now I see her backside needs more light.
Today is Sunday with plenty of free time so I get to paint again!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

More Studies

This week at class we were at Penry Park on Kentucky St with those lovely old homes facing us.  I did studies that took about 40 minutes each. The point of this is to learn the subject and decide if there is a picture for you there or not.  Here you see the first study. I love the vagueness of it but not so much the placement of the trees. More work on the composition, I think. The sides just look a bit unfinished but time was up!

Here is number two.  I tried to close in on the center area of the white house, include the cars which I did not have time for on number one.  I think the composition is much better, interesting shapes and wow, time was up again.  If I work with this time limit, I do not futz over small things.  Agonize might be a better word.  So next week we will visit the same spot and I will develope this street scene again.

Doran Park Beach is full of interesting and wonderful sights.  This little girls was walking along following Mom and siblings. She was soooo cute!  She is done here on a 5 x 7,but she would be fun to do larger also.

After the studies in my last post from early July, I did this scene of the Petaluma River, deleteing some construction, some buildings that were unnecessary. It was wonderful to have the studies for reference.I wanted to concertrate on the movement of the river.  The class critique helped immensely and now I am happy to view this piece of art. It is on 10 x 12 which is a good size to graduate to .

Wednesday, July 06, 2011


Hi there. So long since I have posted!
The class started the plein air sessions around the Petaluma River as you have seen.   The second week, Sandra demonstrated her techniques for working on the dark pattern and then the lights.
This was my best effort of the day.....Where you see bold, bold strokes.......that is what I like and what I am after. The play of the lights is very important in this scene.

Another view the next week.  The water needs a little more should have some of the same colors as the sky which it does not.  Reflections are good. More work needed but a good start.

Here is the water I like but the upper right hand corner needs to be less busy.  There is actually construction going on there so I am making up what I would like to see there. It really helps to visit and revisit the same place so you can progress.  Needless to say, these are all small, quick studies.

Moving on.  Helen Putnam Regional Park. There is so much going on that I was completely baffled until I took out the viewfinder so I could block out all that was unnecessary.  Here is a study of trees and the light on the dry grasses behind and in front.  It was definitely a challenge but I learned so much!  And I had fun. And there is now a little 6 x 6 painting demonstrating the lesson of the day.

This weeks challenge on Daily Paintworks is to paint what you paint with.  So this evening I will arrange the pot that holds my paint and some brushes and see what I can come up with for a still life. The paintings already posted are great!