Thursday, February 16, 2012

Plein Air at Campbell Heritage Theater

"Floating Glass" 
7" x 10" Watercolor

Campbell Heritage Theater
10" x 14" Watercolor

The Real Deal

Today's Santa Clara Valley Watercolor Society plein air group met in Campbell, a distinct small town surrounded by San Jose's 179.8 square miles and 17 miles from my home. Campbell has a very charming downtown and on the West side is their Community Center with the Campbell Heritage Theater, formerly a high school auditorium.

I had just two hours to paint. I was intrigued by the glass balls lit from below in the reflecting pools, which had a Dale Chihuly look to them, colorful stationary balls that look like they are floating. I found I couldn't rush the painting as each section needed to dry so the paint wouldn't bleed. Thus I began a second larger piece of part of the beautiful 1930s theater. I almost finished each piece before leaving the site. Tonight my South Side Art Club had to cancel Thursday night painting session, so I went up to my studio and put the finishing touches on the two pieces.

"Floating Glass" is whimsical and probably doesn't make much sense as a standalone piece. I felt the ball needed the contrasting purple to stand out, so that is what became of the grey cement. Though "California Heritage Theater looks more golden than the building in the photo, it's pretty close to how it appeared in the sunshine. I don't know why the photo looks so pure white, not being much of a photographer. There was a little artistic license applied to remove a wing and another building and somewhat relocate the cypress trees to enhance my design.

In a few days I will write about my show at The Forum and the reception.


CrimsonLeaves said...

What a great job, Mary! I really like the way you've handled the beautiful building too.

Mary said...

These are very nice pieces, Mary. All your effort in developing your drawing skills definitely shows in your work--especially impressive given the limited time you had on site to establish the basis of these works.