Friday, November 11, 2011

Thursday's Plein Air in Almaden Valley

"Fall Colors in San Jose"
9" x 7" Watercolor

Yesterday was an informal plein air session for the Santa Clara Valley Watercolor Society. There are either two or three sessions each month. Often the leaders call for Hike and Sketch at a local park on one of the off Thursdays. This week the park was close by, Guadalupe Oak Grove Park in the middle of residential Almaden Valley. Soon more photos of work done by the artists will be posted on the SCVWS Paint Sites Blog. Give about a week for them to show up.

We had a half dozen of us who set out on a cool sunny morning and soon had to shed layers as the day warmed. We hiked up a steep hill and had a marvelous view of the valleys and Almaden Lake. We stopped to sketch for a half hour. I was too ambitious and more work is needed on that piece. We dipped down and up following the ridge to an old sandstone quarry. Many chose to paint the quarry, but I liked the view of the downtown across the neighborhood trees that had quite a bit of Fall color. Interestingly, most people think we don't have seasons and thus no color, but that is not true. It cools by now, sometimes into the 30s at night, but 50s to 70s in midday. I come from the very colorful state of Vermont, but I am still impressed by the colors of San Jose, especially when viewed from above. You see, our deciduous trees tend mostly to be in the flats of our valleys that can stretch for miles, best viewed from a hill or mountain. In Vermont, the ubiquitous mountains are covered with trees that change, so can be viewed from the valleys.

I was thinking a bit of our recent Frank Francese demo and the vivid colors he uses as I did this little piece.


hw (hallie) farber said...

I had not thought about autumn in CA. That's a good lesson; view CA from above and VT from below--makes sense.

I like the view you chose to paint--nice colors and a light touch.

janice said...

Didn't we have a great day? You were so clever to find that view of the distant city skyline. I did enjoy painting the rocky cliff faces, though. The SCVWS Plein Air group is truly a wonderful group of people and Always makes for an enjoyable time.

conservativelybohemian said...

Gorgeous colors and fabulous composition, Mary! Love the silhouetted skyline in the distance too!

hmuxo said...

You chose an interesting view, Mary!! Beautifully painted!! I'm not sure how I missed a few paintings on your blog...AWESOME pieces..especially love your Fall
Persimmons and Fall Veg. And I also enjoyed the demo by Frank Francese. It's always nice to see someone's WIP.

Christiane Kingsley said...

Mary, indeed your colors are beautiful!

Your plein air outings seem to be so much fun!

Barbara Pask said...

Wonderful colors in this painting and it sounds like a wonderful day to be out.