Thursday, July 19, 2012

Plein Air at Pete's Harbor in Redwood City

"Morning at Pete's Harbor"
Redwood City
15" x 20" Watercolor

"Leonard Paints at Pete's Harbor"
11" x 14"Watercolor and Non-Permanent Ink

The sign as we exited Pete's Harbor in Redwood City said, " Reentering the United States. Arrivaderci."  I have to admit that I did feel like I was reentering the "real world" as we quickly merged onto busy Highway 101, one of two main routes between San Jose and San Francisco. 

Pete's Harbor was built in 1955 by Peter Uccelli on swampy lands adjacent to Smith Slough in Redwood City. His dream would be the site of our SCVWS plein ar outing. There were probably about 15 of us painting there today. We found a sunny spot with a great view of the exit from the harbor. There was a lone sailboat anchored , marshlands, power towers (I seem to be on a power theme in plein air), and distant mountains across San Francisco Bay. Later the boat would motor away from it's mooring. We were entertained by a group of young people on small sailboats, one of which kept ending up with its sail in the water. Not to worry, their superiors in a motorboat were there. We also saw large rowing teams practicing their skills. Sue found a garden by the harbor and chatted with a man who works in Louisiana 20 days a month and returns here to his motor home and boat. The Harbor is a tiny community separated from the rest of Redwood City by the freeway.

I first did a half sheet painting of the scene mingling color on the paper. I also occasionally spritzed some water into the wet paint.  In the final 20 minutes before lunch, I grabbed my dip pen and non-permanent black ink, and drew one of the artists quietly painting by the water. Leonard is a wonderful artist and I was able to quickly capture his likeness. I dropped in some color and voila, I was done. I do see that what was meant to be the slough looks like a wall because of the bleeding ink of the waves -- oh well. 


Barbra Joan said...

Mary, yes good old 101 .. I remember that well too.
Never went to Petes Harbor but what a great place to do your painting.. and you've done it well.
Your painting has progressed so much since I first started following your blog. You've really moved forward ..
Happy Painting Mary....

CrimsonLeaves said...

Both pieces are fabulous, Mary. I have to say that I prefer to think of the painting of Leonard as more the ghost of Pete. Yes, I like that idea. I think these are two of my favorites of your watercolors!

Mary Paquet said...

Barbra Joan, good old 101 hasn't changed much. They keep trying to make more room, but there are always more cars. Thanks for the encouragement on my art journey

Sherri, I like that -- the ghost of Pete!

hw (hallie) farber said...

I have to agree with Barbra Joan-- you have made so much progress as we followed.

These are two beautiful plein air watercolors (I still haven't tried painting outside).

Rosemary said...

Lovely paintings Mary - I especially like your "Ghost of Pete" - great plein air pieces!