Thursday, April 5, 2012

Two sessions of plein air painting

"Urban Farm"
Emma Prusch Farm Park
San Jose, CA
12" x 10" watercolor

"Sunlit Shapes"
Agnews Historic Park
Santa Clara, CA

Artist Anna Jacke paints

Roosters all around -- this guy enjoyed his personal water fountain

The Tower at Agnews Historic Park

Bob and I have been very preoccupied with other commitments, but I managed to paint with the Santa Clara Valley Watercolor Society Paintsites group. Today's event was at the Emma Prusch Farm Park practically situated under a very impressive flyway of two major interstates. I could have painted in the flyway behind the barn, but chose to omit it. One of our very fine artists, Michael Rogan, did a landscape that included it in the distance. Michael is very accomplished, so it looked superb.

I was an hour late, but I managed to sketch and quickly paint part of the barn before lunch a little over an hour later. Sometimes I am happiest with the results when I am rushed and don't belabor my work. The Park was filled with families and many children viewing the farm animals. Anna Jacke, another of our accomplished artists, was hard at work near the barn. I enjoy painting structures so I sat right down and began my drawing. The roosters and chickens roamed freely, and one cocky fellow helped himself to the Burnt Sienna from my palette. It must have been delicious because I had to discourage him from returning for more. Unlike my Vermont son's rooster Leo, these guys are very tame. No spurring my shins, thank heavens.

Last week we painted at Agnews Historic Park. This lovely campus was a facility for people with mental illness and later developmentally disabled children and adults. Like most such places, the state closed it and sold off the land to Sun, now owned by Oracle. The company uses the buildings and keep them in fine repair. The campus is lovely and I was especially taken with the sunlight on the trees and the way two palms grow next to a Norwegian Fir, a living oxymoron. I did this painting in 15 minutes after belaboring one of the tower and deeming it a failure. 

When we gather for our picnic lunches about 12:30, we share our work. Today, the artists had done some neat sketches and paintings. Michael showed us a large painting of the Niles Railroad Station that he did in his studio from the quarter-sheet he did on location and photos. He said that one of his recent award winners was done with our group and he thanked Syvia for the fine service she and Jenny, both volunteers, provide to us. Today we had lovely sunshine with a stiff, cool breeze. We sought a more sheltered picnic table for our lunch break. Another great day - retired, doing art, outside with friends -- what more could I ask.


jyothisethu said...

it seems a lovely experience and i have visited anna's blog also...

the paintings are very beautiful and the technique used to show the sun's effect is nice...

CrimsonLeaves said...

Wow! I especially love the barn, Mary. You did some amazing work for one who was rushed for time. I can't imagine ever being able to retire, unfortunately. I'll be working until I drop, I suspect. Ah must do what one must do, yes? Sounds like you and Bob had a wonderful day!

hw (hallie) farber said...

Wonderful painting of the barn--I love how you crop your buildings.

Barbra Joan said...

Outstanding Mary,
I have watched your progress through the years and you are really an accomplished artist.
See you again after my 'event' next week .
hugs BJ

Barbra Joan said...

Mary, outstanding paintings.
You've become an accomplished artist through the years I've watched you... Wonderful !

Mary Paquet said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
hmuxo said...

This Urban Farm is absolutely beautiful! Love barns and you painted this perfectly.