Friday, June 22, 2012

Plein Air Painting at Allied Artists in Menlo Park

"The Art Gallery"
15" x 20" Watercolor

"Art Flowers"
7" x 5" Watercolor

"Alied Artists Adobe"
7" x 5" Non-Permanent Ink and Watercolor

Fellow artist Janice Faulstich and I headed north about 35 miles to Menlo Park, a very upscale area of the Peninsula. Janice is a wonderful plein air artist and she creates beautiful art journals of her travels. Recently she gave a demo for one of the art societies and was a huge hit. She is now scheduled to do a demo for a another art association. Do check out her blog.

We met up with more than twenty other SCVWS artists at a beautiful complex of buildings owned by Allied Artists. So much to choose from -- wonderful adobe and old wooden structures, beautiful gardens filled with art objects and flower, and many interesting people visiting the facility. I set up my Sun Eden easel next to a water fountain and painted three pieces in about three hours. 

The first painting depicts the art gallery building, a lovely old adobe. I was attracted by the mural of the woman and two children backed by a beautiful cobalt blue,  and the angles of the roof lines. Plus friend Laurie Barna said be sure to get some power lines in the painting as she liked my "Powerful" plein air piece. I took a little artistic license and moved some nearby lines into my painting. I think they add character and are in keeping with this old section of the town.

Not wanting to move, I turned 180 degrees and did a small painting of some of the lovely flowers growing behind me. I used quite a bit of color on these white flowers to suggest the shadows and texture of the petals.

Next I turned 90 degrees and faced the side of a wonderful adobe building with classic lines. I grabbed my dip pen and some new non-permanent ink Laurie purchased at the the Asian store and drew the building freehand. I notice I have a tendency to drift downhill with lines and I did this painting in about 20 minutes so I was not using care. I convinced myself it adds to the charm. I then dropped in some color, attempting to quickly blot up some of the ink runs with a damp brush. I've added the ink and watercolor technique to my repertoire after seeing a plein air demo by Dick Zunkel. You can read about that experience here. Incidentally, the small painting from that session sold at my art open house in April. 

We got home in time for me to get in a half hour of ballroom dancing with Bob, have dinner, and join my Thursday night art group where I drew my commission painting. I am doing a small piece for the patron's approval. I plan to paint the sample today. I am working from a photo that was likely taken on a cellphone and is a bit fuzzy when I blow it up for a better view. 


CrimsonLeaves said...

I love what you did in all three pieces, Mary. Boy! I am drained after reading of your oh so full day. Really like the effects in the last piece. Thought it was charcoal until I read your words.

Mary Paquet said...

Thanks, Sherri. I realized I had not provided a live link to Dick Zunkel's website, so I added one. He's a very accomplished artist and you would enjoy seeing his work there.

Karen said...

Lovely pieces Mary. I have not done a lot of plein air, but would love too.

Mary Paquet said...

Karen, with your love love of landscapes, you should try it. For your first outing, just go close to home.

janice said...

Thanks for the plug, Mary! It was a nice day up at Allied Arts and I look forward to more plein air adventures with you!

hw (hallie) farber said...

You have such a wonderful eye, Mary. These are three beautiful paintings.

Mary Paquet said...

Janice, we will have many more plein air adventures together.

Hallie, thanks so much for your kind comment. I find using a piece of plexiglass that I was given by our plein air leaders helps me focus in on what I really want to paint and forget all that great stuff I am missing.

hmuxo said...

Three beautiful paintings...I really like the last one...Pen w/watercolor..very nice...and your previous Peonies is a gorgeous piece!!

Barbra Joan said...

Mary, all three of these pieces are lovely. I like something about each one...
The ink and watercolor is my favorite and I believe it took you the shortest time. Go figure.
I 'm seeing more and more ink and watercolor. I find it sort of funny as my first attempt at watercolor I did a drawing first with ink.. then filled in the watercolor.. and here about 40 years later I'm thinking of doing that again.. I like the look of it.
Good to see you here Mary, I just got back from a visit with friends in Biloxi, a great , fun time , now back to earth...LOL!
Barbra Joan

Anonymous said...

My, great job!

Mary Paquet said...

Sarah, I checked out your blog -- love the bookmarks!