"Heaven's Gate 2"
20" x 14" watercolor
"Mission San Juan Bautista"
9" x 5" watercolor
Once a year the Santa Clara Valley Watercolor Society makes a longer trek to paint all day on location. This year's choice was the small Spanish town of San Juan Bautista. If you haven't been there, it should make your bucket list. We had around 15 artists show up, very good considering the distance for some. I live more south than many, so it's not a bad drive, The mission is the first I every visited, way back in 1976, and remains my favorite. San Juan Bautista has the only original Spanish Plaza remaining in California. I've painted here more than once and sold both paintings. I wrote of one such experience on my blog here.
We were treated to a beautiful day with comfortable temperatures. I stood at my easel under a tree and painted from a new perspective. After a few hours, I stopped and vowed to reconsider the work after I got home. We had a picnic lunch, viewed all the work people cared to share, and then selected a new spot to paint. The mission has a long low building with arches attached to the church. When we first arrived, I was taken by the view down the long outdoor hallway. So this afternoon, somewhat fatigued, we settled across the street at shaded picnic tables. I didn't have a great view of the hallway, but I could see a nice vista. I settled on small and used my new Arches block that is perfect for small sweeping landscapes. I've seen other artists use that block and had to have one. I removed some distant trees to add the expansiveness that I felt when sitting there.
The wind began to really blow, as it can in this area close to the Pacific Ocean. That's why San Francisco Bay is a great venue for the America's Cup. Friend Janice and I left about 3 p.m., having completed a couple paintings each, and Janice had done a wonderful ink drawing of an old adobe to which she will add color.
For a fun read, check out the paintsites blog: http://scvwspaintsites.blogspot.com/ , Brad is a very charming writer and he keeps the blog updated. He always asks for people to send in their work, but only a few do. So this time he told us he was taking photos for the blog. We can tell him if we want to be named with our work. There were many nice pieces.