Friday, February 19, 2010

Plein Air at Overfelt Gardens and other artistic events

"My Town: Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall"
Chinese Cultural Center at Overfelt Gardens
9.5" x 10"

Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall

Yesterday, I took a break to do plein air painting with the Santa Clara Valley Watercolor Society. I've been pretty busy with other commitments, including doing my taxes. It was the final day of a little stretch of dry, warmer weather hinting of spring; we will now have several days of rain. We were a small group of men and women hauling our palettes to capture this lovely space in our town.

The Overfelt Gardens are a 33 acre park on the East side of San Jose donated by the matriarch of the Overfelt Family. This nature reserve includes the Chinese Cultural Gardens that honor leaders of the Republic of China. I set up in front of the memorial hall and painted one corner of it. Sylvia, one of our leaders, sat near me and painted one of the stately lions at the bottom of the staircase. See her lovely piece on her blog. She artistically included a piece of the thorny, vivid red quince bush blooming nearby.

Our watercolor society has so much to offer. I helped coordinate a Christopher Schink demo on February 7. Topher is an editor of the Palette Magazine, award-winning artist, and author of books on color. These demos are free to all, including non-members, so if you live nearby, check out our Website calendar for upcoming demos. Next month, one of our members who is featured in the March Watercolor Artist magazine, Kathleen Alexander, will do a demo. I am surrounded by amazing artists!

Last night Bob and I attended the spring reception for members of the San Jose Museum of Art, a very lively event. The featured artist for the next several months is Wayne Thiebaud: 70 Years of Painting. He took painting such everyday objects as cupcakes to the level of fine art. The show is a wonderful display of his works that include bakery displays, people, California landscapes from above, beach scenes, and San Francisco with its hills and freeways. I have tickets for the sold-out Artist Talk with Wayne Thiebaud on April 1. Wayne and family were in attendance last night, but I did not see him (or I might have walked right by). In his 90s, he continues to paint regularly, and some of the pieces on display are 2010 works. May we all continue to create in our later years. I find visits to museums a priceless way to continue my art education.


Charlene Brown said...

You really are surrounded by wonderful artists in your Art Adventures! I was interested to run across Christopher Schink's name after all these years -- I had a wonderful time at one of his workshops in Pangnirtung, in what is now Nunavut, in August of 1990 (although, as I recall, we were all freezing most of the time) and still have my Topher-designed Baffin Island sweat shirt.

Kathy said...

You have such wonderful opportunities! I had the pleasure of taking a watercolor workshop with Topher ten years ago, and he's terrific. And, I'm a great fan of Thiebaud's work. Too bad you didn't get to see him, but maybe you will one day.

Mary Paquet said...

Charlene, your adventures are far more amazing than mine, but I do enjoy being surrounded by so many great artists. Topher is a wonderful man and I hope to take a workshop from him sometime.

Kathy, you selected one of the top workshop instructors. I hear he is terrific and I hope to take a workshop from him soon. I'm delighted to know that you enjoy Wayne Thiebaud's work. I will get to see him when he comes to give his artist talk. I am excited about having an opportunity.

Barbra Joan said...

Mary, your fortunate to be so close to so much artistic culture. Living in Fremont in the '80's I was in a different frame of mind as you know.
That area has so much to offer, and if I were there now I could be inspired all the time. Love your rendition of the 'bakerey girl' and sketchbook drawings.

Sheila said...

Oh Mary! You did a wonderful job with the temple. I would have gone crazy with the details but you edited them perfectly to imply their intricacy and the composition sets it all off perfectly!

janice said...

It was wise to focus on a corner of the pagoda-wish I had done the same. You still caught the feeling of the building so well.

Mary Paquet said...

Barbra Joan, thanks for the continued support. I understand that when you were here you were not in the art frame of mind. There is much to inspire us in the Bay area, including a bunch of terrific artists.

Sheila, I tend to favor simplicity so I like to remove a lot of the fussy stuff around me. The morning was a pleasure and I almost didn't take the time to do plein air. Glad I did.

Janice, your sketch done with brush alone was very successful. I loved the freshmess you achieved. Let's be in touch about the next plein air session -- I definitely want to go.