Monday, October 5, 2009

Carmel Paintout - Second Edition

"Glorious Morning"
Pacific Grove, CA
14" x 21"

"Afternoon Fog"
Point Lobos
7" x 10"

Here is a continuation of the Carmel Paintout. On Thursday morning I drove to Pacific Grove, that lovely piece of coastline between Monterey Bay and 17-mile Drive. I found our leader, Karen, hard at work at the edge of the golf course by the bay. This a great place to paint with restrooms and water available. Later we were joined by others from Santa Clara Valley Watercolor Society. Karen is a gutsy painter -- she had a card table, folding chair, and was doing a full sheet in bold colors. I never realized how great tree trunks would look painted bright torquoise.

I set up next to Karen and painted the tree line and point of land, backed by the hills and mountains along the bay. The rosy color you see is provided by prolific ice plant. The trees are Monterey Pines constantly swept in one direction by the winds blowing in off the ocean. Again, the day was perfect and sunny. A local was telling us there had been many days of fog, so we were most fortunate with weather. The golfers were very friendly, offering to pose for us, asking if we included them, or admiring our work The piece suggests the sunny, delightful day, filled with fresh air.

The second piece I painted on Saturday afternoon at Point Lobos. I had already completed the half-sheet painting in yesterday's post upon my field easel. I located a couple of fellow artists about a mile down the road and grabbed my simple plein air setup -- 3 legged stool, small watercolor block, paints, brushes, and water bucket and set up looking down the coast. The afternoon fog was sneaking in against the mountains, but I was seated in sunshine. When I put these paintings beside each other, I can see the difference in tonal colors that I selected based upon current atmospheric conditions.

Again I enjoyed social hour with newfound friends, dinner at Asilomar dining hall, and joint critique. When I worked in software, I was often surrounded by much younger people who were my good friends. There is a lot of youth working in the tech industry in Silicon Valley, bright and ambitious and very likeable. Now that I am retired and have the luxury of attending mid-week events without counting vacation days, I am meeting many people my age or older. I have to say that I have grown to love older women friends. They have experienced both the highs and lows of a life well lived and they are very wise. They are comfortable within themselves and very strong. This group of older women was so supportive and very fun.

On Saturday morning I had to return home for another commitment, so I rose early and met Nardia, a new friend, for an hour-long walk along the coastal road. We had been cautioned that cougars (mountain lions) do prowl the grounds that are shared with numerous deer, so don't go out alone. It was dark when we met at 6:30 from our respective buildings with relief that we had survived our short solo walks. Dawn emerged and with it, the wonderful rocks similar to those in "Afternoon Fog" and wild crashing waves. Nardia was studying the waves as a basis for her planned painting. We noted how they build and crest, and where the lights and darks appeared. After a delightful breakfast with my fellow artists, I packed up and returned to daily demands.


Sheila said...

Oh It sounds so wonderful! I love that area. You certainly have captured its beauty Mary!

Mary Paquet said...

Thanks, Sheila -- it's a beautiful place and it's always so invigorating to be at the coast.

Megha Chhatbar said...

That might be an inspirational place. I can see the beauty through your painting. Love your work as always! :)

Graphite Pencil Sketch: University of Pune

Nina E J said...

Sounds like an awesome trip! And the paintings are so nice!!!

Barbra Joan said...

Oh Mary, After reading and re-reading your last two posts I must tell you it brought back such good memories, I know each spot you talk about. It reminded me of so much beauty there. My only regret is that at that time of my life I couldn't paint with any joy. How could I not see? Well, I have enjoyed your paintings of it and your writings with it.. thank you for sharing it and so glad you had a wonderful time.

Mary Paquet said...

Megha, thanks for checking in.

Nina, it was a wonderful trip. Thanks for your encouragement!

Barbra, I love when someone has been to the same places. They are indeed very inspirational.