Saturday, October 22, 2011

The perfect plein air session in a Redwood grove

"Fall in the Redwoods"
10" x 14" Watercolor

Thursday was a special plein air session for the Santa Clara Valley Watercolor Society. The paint site was the Redwood Nature Preserve in Los Altos. Kay Duffy, a member of SCVWS and professional art instructor, gave a demo. Because the morning was misty, she would occasionally stop and have us paint, so we got to complete a painting as well.

One of the things that was most helpful was how Kay started the painting. I was reminded to put some loose color down before developing the parts. Thus I painted the left side of the paper with lighter yellows, blues,and reds, and the right side with darker greens, blues, and reds. We've heard this advice before but it bears repeating: be selective about what you include in the painting. When you get to a certain point, you are no longer looking "out there." You are responding to the painting and making a good piece of art. She also suggested something I tend to do already. Just select a small part to paint if you are overwhelmed by all that you see.

Kay Duffy instructing artists

Kay is midway through her painting

Shortly after 1 p.m. we adjourned to the home of another artist, Karen Druker, and had a lovely potluck. There were at least 20 of us present. By then the sun was shining and the view of the Bay was magnificent from Karen's deck as I chatted with friends and members of the society that I had not met.


hw (hallie) farber said...

This is really nice, Mary. I like that's it's a bit abstract. I must remember to select a small part; I like the way you sometimes paint just a portion of a building.

conservativelybohemian said...

Love how you've given a sense of the whole forest with just a couple of trees, Mary. The sense of movement is there too. Just so lovely!

Barb Sailor said...

Mary - you have really captured the feeling/atmosphere of the place...your trees are beautiful and your instructor's work is beautiful. I like the way you have simplified the can almost feel the forest breezes.

Tim Robinson said...

Great painting! It looks as though the entire image is in motion.