"November Morning at Byington Winery"
10 x 13 Watercolor
"Artist at Work"
10" x 14" Watercolor
"November in Byington Vineyards"
10" x 14" Watercolor
A gorgeous Northern California November day greeted the Santa Clara Valley Watercolor Society (SCVWS) Paintsites group at Byington Winery in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Upon arrival, I did not even wander the beautiful grounds with fabulous chateau after spotting the breathtaking view of Monterey Peninsula from a picnic table. The overcast was still over the ocean, soon to be replaced by glorious cobalt blue skies. I loved the landscape shapes as the mountains marched to the sea. I covered the entire paper with my first wash, with the exception of the sea. I am a must do person and find it hard to wait for things to dry, so there are a couple happy accidents in the top third that I think enhanced the painting. In this first layer I was able to capture "the planes of recession" as Maggie Siner taught us in Provence. I exaggerated the oranges and yellows that were visible, and selected a few trees to be the darks. Varying the greens is always a challenge in landscapes.
After taking time to wander the beautiful grounds, I moved to a nearby table to paint a far off view of an artist with her easel capturing the beauty of the vineyards. An olive tree dominates the left front, and colorful shapes suggest the orange-yellow vines and burnt sienna soil. Distinctive evergreen shapes completed the scene.
It was now 1 pm and we met to enjoy our picnic lunches and did a show and tell. Unfortunately, the shadows fell on the paintings so the show pictures are not worthy of display. You will have to check out the paintsites blog. I was carpooling so I stayed longer than usual, and began a third painting. A couple of the artists had done wonderful work on vines, so I to painted the vineyards on the hillside. I was joined by John, a new member, who was thoroughly enjoying himself. He joined our society because he likes plein air painting. He found the group very welcoming. I was not quite done when we were ready to leave about 2:45, so I completed work on this piece at my Thursday night South Side Art Club weekly session.