Sunday, July 28, 2013

Flying High Again

Champlain Island Flowers
3" x 5" watercolor sketch
I like to visit family in Vermont at least once a year, so off we went for eight days. We managed to see lots of relatives, including most importantly my two sons. I planned a little getaway for us in the Champlain Islands, so close to Canada that at times the phone company sent messages about international charges.
Jeff, Mom, and Jason 
I've always loved wild flowers and they are at their peak in July in Vermont, so on my early morning walk, I created a little bouquet for our room. Later I did a tiny sketch in my Moleskine watercolor journal with my Koi pan paints.

"Moonlight in Vermont"
3" x 5" watercolor sketch
A full moon and balmy night combined for a lovely scene. I couldn't do it justice in the few minutes I could spare to paint, but I will try it now that I am home.

"Bob Flying High"
IPad on American Airlines
To pass some time while flying, I sketched Bob using a free Sketchbook app. I'm not very good at this yet.
IPad in Bradley International Airport 

A woman waiting for our plane to Dallas was passing the time texting, like almost everyone in the airport.

We arrived home Friday evening  and I delivered my "South County Wine on the Vine" painting to it's new owner at the end of the "California Harvest" exhibit today. Tomorrow I take two collages to the Rengstorff House in Mountain View for their Arts Festival. We have the artist reception on Thursday evening, 5 to 7. Do come if you are in the area.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Good news. On the art front

The book with my art on the cover is available at

Yesterday I sold the art I have on display at the Santa Clara Valley Watercolor Society exhibit in Morgan Hill to a man who happened to see it and called me.

I just sent out invitations for an exhibit at the Rengstorff House. As a result of  another SCVWS show, I am invited to show two pieces of my torn magazine on canvas collages, a new medium for me. I will show City Girl and The Graduate shown earlier on this blog.


Saturday, July 13, 2013

Cycling, Painting, and Flutes by the Sea

"Green Houses, Half Moon Bay"
14" x 10" watercolor

Bob and I just returned from five days on the San Mateo Coast in Half Moon Bay while Bob attended a master flute class, "Flutes by the Sea," sponsored by the San Francisco Flute Society. While he spent the day with several flute masters, most Julliard trained, and world class performers, I was free to do whatever I wanted. I brought my folding bicycle and my art supplies. There is a trail that runs along the Coast that provided nice views and benches to sit on.
The area is notorious for summer fog, and I saw sun only for an hour or two on a couple days. Temps were in the high 50s and very low 60s. Needless to say, this was quite a change from San Jose were the previous week we had a triple digit heat wave. On the first day I set out in the morning and completed two paintings. The top one was my second piece and my favorite, capturing the shapes and variety of the vegetation, the fog over the mountains, and the agriculture that is a big part of the economy along this coast. Half Moon Bay is known for it's production of pumpkins and has a big festival in the fall. I imagined that the green houses were there to start pumpkin plants.
"Summer Camp"
11" x 5" watercolor
The second piece I actually painted first to get myself warmed up, much like a musician. Several people where setting up an area on the beach that soon was being used by many children. I speculated this is summer camp. With the gloom of the fog, I got a bit heavy handed on this little piece. After my painting session, I rode to Pillar Point Harbor and treated myself to lunch at busy Barbara's Fishtrap, all cash, fresh fish. Some folks took my photo as I left. My art supplies are in the panniers on the back of my little folding bike.
I read in the paper about Sunset Pianos, a venture by a local musician to place a dozen pianos along the coast. I had seen one on my way to the harbor. The following day I headed south along the trail and located two of them. I sat down near this one and did a painting.  Notice the plastic. There is a weighted cover to place over the piano and signs encouraging you -- "Play the piano. Play for the Whales." Instructions tell you to leave a note in the log in the piano seat.
As I was painting, three women and a dog arrived and I asked if anyone could play. One recalled a simple tune from her childhood.  I was delighted with the unusual experience.

Opus II Sunset Piano
I'm not super happy with this piece, but it's given me some ideas.
"Play for the Whales"
14" x 10"watercolor
On Thursday evening, Viviana Guzman, master flutist and organizer of Flutes by the Sea, arranged for the group to perform around the piano for a documentary film being done on the pianos. Here you see the flutists in action. Bob is easy to spot, being the only male who chose to participate.
You can watch and listen to the video. It was fun to mingle with people who gathered impromptu wondering what was happening. I talked with Mauro who instigated Sunset Pianos, and he told me that the parks folks gave him back some of the pianos, but they allowed 7 to remain. When art meets government, interesting things happen.
On Wednesday, I sat in the fog and painted a few of the beautiful trees along the coast. I was not happy with my first attempt, so the next morning I painted this one in my room, away from the gloomy fog, so I could more easily imagine some color. I like to mix it on the paper for landscapes.


"Coastal Sentinels"
11" x 5" watercolor