Friday, March 9, 2012

Another great day of plein air

"Old Niles Depot"
7" x 10" Watercolor

 My View
Photo by Bob Eltgroth

Today's destination was 30 miles north of the house at the historic Niles Depot. Niles is one of those charming old towns, with homes from the Victorian era and turn of the twentieth century, plus a quaint downtown that has managed to survive amidst the sprawl fueled by high tech. From miles away you can spot the name of the town on the steep California mountains that flank the town. When we arrived there were cattle grazing near the white "Niles"  and I marvelled at their ability to navigate their huge bodies over treacherous inclines. Bob joined Janice and me as he is a historic railroad buff. He roamed the town taking pictures.

Painting at the depot
Photo by Bob Eltgroth

I was very taken with an old wagon on display, but I did a very detailed rendition (sometimes I can't think how to simplify) and it's just not me. I recalled Maggie Siner in Provence saying about our detail, "That's just noise). Of course that is her style and it suits me, but not for everyone. Now I was down to my smallest watercolor block, 7" x 10". I moved the end of the building and painted the piece that you see at the top of this post. I see now I missed some opportunities for shadows on the roof. I will probably add them.

Grazing on Niles
7" x 10" Watercolor

Next I turned slightly and sketched the hillside, recalling the cattle that were grazing earlier. I mixed the color on the paper and lightly indicated the fence that traversed the hillside. I would like to have included the cattle, but I haven't mastered suggesting large animals at a distance.

About 1 p.m. we gathered for our picnic lunch. Bob's daughter Deborah gave him an old Lionel lunchbox one Christmas, so he carried some of our lunch in it. I love whimsy! I had brought him a Guiness courier bag from Dublin, Ireland, last summer, so he used that as well. When we got home, he photographed both and his Facebook friends are "liking" the photo.

Bob's Lionel lunchbox and Guiness Tote from Ireland

You can see some of the charming old buildings in Niles. We always have a mini showing of  art and it's great fun to see everyone's interpretation of the area.

Dave, Leslie, and Bob in charming Niles

My 2 paintings and others

I believe this lovely painting is by Janice Faulstich.
Check out herb blog.

More gems.

Michael Rogan's handsome piece on the left.
The middle painting is my failed attempt at the wagon.

A few of our SCVWS Plein Air group after the mini show

Here I am with Scotland's missing link


PAMO ART said...

What a fantastic day of painting and exploring! I love all of it as well as your words.

You do such a glorious job of revealing life. Thank you for sharing!

I couldn't even try to pick a favorite painting. They are all wonderful!

CrimsonLeaves said...

What a fund day, Mary! All the paintings are beautiful too! Love the Guiness bag myself! I find myself wanting to see more of Janice's work. Hoping I can find a blog for her...

Mary Paquet said...

Pam, thanks for checking in. It was a great day.

Sherri, you can find Janice's work at is a wonderful artist and interior designer who is on the Santa Clara Valley Watercolor Society Board. Interestingly, years ago I was a Cub Scout den mother (working full time, too) and had her son. I will add her link in the post.

*Bella Bliss* said...

Hello Mary!

I am a big fan of your art!

I am such a big fan, that I followed you!

Great job!

Ciao Bella!

Bella Bliss

janice said...

Thanks for the good PR, Mary! It was a nice day, and I enjoyed chatting with you and getting to know Bob better on the way up to Niles.

Mary Paquet said...

Bella, Hello! Thanks for following my art. I visited your blog and you are wonderfully creative.

Janice, you are one of my favorite artists. I'm glad we could all ride together and you got a chance to chat more with Bob. I had a great day.

hw (hallie) farber said...

What a great day you had--I so enjoy your adventures.

hmuxo said...

Wonderful post, Mary. Love the paintings....