Saturday, July 19, 2014

Plein Air Documents Valley History

"Waterworks"
10" x 14"Watercolor
 
The real deal
 
 
 
Historical information
 
We had a picture-perfect California morning at the Rengstorff House, a preserved home from the 1800s typical of an affluent family of the times. Last year I was invited to exhibit two of my collages during their August show of local art. You can read about the event here.
 
The commute was just awful and I was never a commuter; I lived  just 3 miles from the two IBM campuses where I worked in my 30 year career.  I often bicycled to work the final 8 years. The 32 minute drive north to the paint site took almost an hour and a half! Thankfully, it was worth the drive. I had about an hour and a half to paint this piece before lunch, which keeps me from overworking the piece.
 
There were many great paintings done of the house, but I chose the lifeblood of the valley -- wind and water. Santa Clara Valley was known as "The Valley of the Heart's Delight" for its glorious agriculture. Today we are "Silicon Valley" and the fields sport companies with manicured landscapes like Google, Facebook, EBay and Paypal, to name but a few. There are remnants of agriculture and very fortunately, I live on the southern end of San Jose where the fields remain open between towns. We have a lovely farm stand just a couple miles from us where I buy my fresh produce. Today Linda gifted me with cantaloupes that she planned to compost because they were very ripe. Bob made cold melon soup from them -- yummy.

 I loved that you could order this windmill from Montgomery Wards for $42.50 in the Thirties. I enjoyed doing the dramatic shadows and I had a nice view across the marshes behind the structures and a piece of delicious shade. When we gathered for our picnic lunches at 12:30, we were impressed with the groups output. A few of the 20+ paintings are seen here.
 

 
Check out more about this paintsites event on the paintsites blog.
 


3 comments:

CrimsonLeaves said...

Your painting is simply beautiful, Mary. I love that you caught that dappled shade on the ground too. The colors in the shaded side of the windmill just lend so much to this piece. Also love that old ad and that you gave some of the history. One of my favorite posts to date!!

Mary Paquet said...

Sherri, you leave the most thoughtful comments. Thanks!

PAMO said...

What beautiful surroundings you have. I would prefer not to commute either.
Your windmill rendition is superb!
I am always impressed with the art community you've surrounded yourself with. Your art is expansive, unique and meaningful.
Thank you for sharing!