14" x 20" Watercolor
"Peaches and Pears"
12" x 16" Pastel
I had several very busy days in the art world. You may have seen my previous post of my rewarding plein air outing on Thursday. Friday I went with friends to two art galleries on the North Coast and Duncan Mills on the Russian River. Drawing instructor Bob Semans has a wonderful show at the Christopher Queen Gallery in Duncan Mills on the Russian River. I highly recommend stopping in at this gallery in the postage-stamp sized town. They have superb art for sale.
We also stopped at the Ren Brown Gallery in Bodega Bay , specializing in Japanese art plus contemporary California artists. My friend and her late husband have a fine collections of art from the Gallery and she found another piece to add to her collection. It was a picture perfect day on the coast. This is quite a trek from the South Bay, more than three hours of driving one way from my home. We made it back by 9 p.m. and then I quickly changed into my ballroom dancing duds and joined Bob at a studio dance.
Saturday the Santa Clara Valley Watercolor Society sponsored a Flower Painting Competition at the Sunnyvale Art Gallery that is hosting our Annual Show. The owner of the art gallery has a floral business and she set out many bouquets. At least 20 or more artists participated. We checked in, our paper was stamped for use, we set up and promptly at 1 we were told to begin painting. We continued until 3:30 and then set up our paintings around the room. Artists voted for the first, second, and third places with cash awards. Guests voted for "People's Choice." My friend Kaaren Marquez got both First and People's Choice. I totally had a wonderful time. I brought my plein air easel and the experience of painting outdoors in a limited amount of time was helpful. Though not a winner, I was satisfied that I completed a respectable piece in the time allotted. I made use of some negative painting and I liked the way the upper left and lower right is suggested, while the lilies are the center of interest in my closely cropped design.
Monday morning I went to my weekly drawing class. We had a choice of doing a bowl of fruit or a small statue. If Bob brings the statue again, I will try that next. Bob gave me some personal attention. He liked the drawing and the way I used some straight edges along the rounded curves. However, he said I was making my pastel task too difficult. He grabbed a few pastels and showed how he would block in color and value very quickly using the side of a small piece of pastel, then work from there. I had blocked in values with vine charcoal, but had not used the pastel. Indeed, the remainder of the painting went much more quickly, and now I know a little more about this medium that is a recent addition to my repertoire.