Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Napa Valley Part II - August 28, 2011

Paintout with the North Bay Plein Air Painters: Napa Valley Art Museum, Yountville, CA.

The Sunday after the sketchcrawl in Davis, I went out with the hubby to Yountville, in the Napa Valley. It was a hot day there again but some welcome breezes made it nice to be there if you were in the shade. Check out more pictures of the artists and their paintings on the NBPAP Blog and on co-organizer Gerald DeDios' website. It was a wonderful day to paint and I really enjoyed meeting some new faces to the group!

I arrived way early so was able to finish my pencil and ink sketch of the Napa Valley Art Museum. One of the artists (Alfredo Tofanelli) is having a show there in the spot light gallery downstairs. It is well worth cathching if you are in the area.

Later I added watercolor to it. I'm not sure if that was a good idea. I seemed to lose some of the three dimensional effects that the ink sketch had. What do you think?

More about our day in Yountville in a later post.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Sketching in Old Davis - August 27, 2011

Davis Food Coop and Pete Scully's "Let Draw Davis" Group:

I have to put the day's temperature on these initial drawings, it will give you an idea of the conditions here in Davis in summertime. I chose to stay pretty much in the shade this time so my street sketching was rather limited to our first stop, the Davis Food Co-op. This store has all the good stuff (deli, food tables, steam tables), and a bar-b-que (also known as BBQ or barbequed meats) out by the store entrance! The guys were cooking chicken on the grill all day and I hear it was delicious!

There was a good gathering of the artists - we sat capturing each other in our sketchbooks. We had folks from Sacramento, Rio Vista and local folks too. All ages are welcomed and all levels of skill encouraged to attend by Pete Scully and Marlene Lee, the organizers of these monthly sketchcrawls. Below is Sandra (who is sitting near the crates of watermelons and the herb plant display).

Since we were sitting in the outside seating area (usually occupied by shoppers enjoying the delectibles from the store) we had comfortable tables and chairs to use for our sketching. Good thinking organizers! A little girl and her mommy sat across from me while I attempted to draw the trumpetvine that was growing among the rafters of the outside overhang of the building. Up at the corner, someone had placed a plastic owl (to deter birds from roosting over the seating area). I liked that and here it is - along with the tiny girl below. She didn't stay long so I left her in sketchier mode (ballpoint pen & watercolors).

Pete and the others had spread out to the front of the store and the nearby corner to sketch the neighborhood. I went around to the back parking lot and spied the delivery van and sketched it over two pages (I had my little square Bee sketchbook to work in). A composite will be included on the Flicker Group when I get a chance to post there. That's a jazzy van painted with "Davis colors". The few of us that were left (5) met up at the Dairy Queen (Oh, Wonderful, Cooling Milkshake!) to look at the day's work. We agreed it would be good to go back and tackle the hardware store another time...

I'll include links to Pete Scully's and Marlene Lee's blog. Of course you can see the rest of the drawings on the Flicker Group photostream.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Napa Valley Part I - The Art Festival - August 20, 2011

This year's Napa Valley Art Festival (held in Yountville) is always a day long event for us. We get there early, scope out the lines at the Bouchon Bakery and nab a couple of scones for breakfast. The Art is in the Yountville Community Center (as it was last year). No longer a plein air event, the artists present recent work for sale and 40% of it goes to charity. This year the festival benefits the Connolly Ranch Education Center. (The photo above is a shot of the display for artist Paul Kratter).

Here's a watercolor sketch from my Moleskine. All the artists depicted here are much prettier, cuter and handsome than I can draw at this stage of my development! But you don't get better if you don't try...So here are a few collaged images from the Art Festival and the award results so far (they just posted the People's Choice Award so it didn't make it yet into my sketch below).

I was so enjoying visiting with the artists (and looking at the art) that I didn't get around to sketching the outside of the venue (see a photo link here from the internet). That will have to wait for another day. Anyway - here's a goodie from the past :

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Sketching in Lodi - Part III

Lunch during the workshop was alone time for me. Since we were having wonderful spring-like weather that day, I opted to sit in one of Downtown Lodi's open air eateries. The sandwiches at the Dancing Fox (Winery, Bakery Eatery) were scrumptious and the sidewalk seating under a large market umbrella was just the thing for sketching while I waited for my lunch. Above is the view from my table across the street and the House of Clocks storefront. I'm thinking I might go inside one day to sketch some fancy timepieces!

I inked these sketches and added colors later. Usually if I am working fairly leisurely, I will sketch first in pencil. If I am in a Sketchcrawl situation I tend to use ballpoint pen or other. I guess I'm afraid of smudging off the pencil when I'm moving fast in this little sketchbook. I like this sign over the door at the Dancing Fox. I did a sketch of it in my Moleskine but I misjudged the size and only captured 3/4 of it! So no posting that one...Oh heck - why not!

Below is the view I had while waiting - I'm glad the people sitting in front of me left before I sat down so I could quickly include their dishes. Business was brisker in the side garden area behind me - most customers preferred the shadier spots there. The waitress would walk back and forth between my table and the other customers seated behind me and at the far table. The Dancing Fox website has a cute little tale about their logo here.

Watercolor and ink sketches by Janice L-H

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Hanging Out At Lodi, Again...Part II

Living in a semi-rural part of the California Delta, you always have to be ready to travel a bit for your entertainment, fine dining and shopping. We are about 25 miles from anywhere so when I'm out art gallery hopping, sketchcrawling or looking for a bite to eat, I'm pretty much doing that while on the road.
This time I was visiting the town of Lodi, CA.

Lodi is in the upper part of the Central Valley, a city of farmlands, dairies, wineries (lots of wineries) and residential homes mostly located along Hwy 12 between Interstate Hwy 5 and Hwy 99. It's a nice drive with views of vineyards, strawberry patches, marshlands and Mt. Diablo in the distant south. I especially like hanging out in the older part of town with it's distinctive architecture on 100 year old buildings and historical areas. Did you know the first A&W Rootbeer was sold in Lodi? (Yup, neither did I but Huell Howser can't be wrong!) The picture below is by the train station and entrance to the old part of town.

Back in July I attended a pastel workshop in Lodi and enjoyed a preworkshop day of shopping and lunch at the Lodi Beer Co. on S. School Street: that's me in the mirror below taking the picture. We sat across from the enormous brew vats (beer made on the premises).

The burgers and onion rings were enormous!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Land's End, San Francisco with NBPAP - July 31st, 2011

Sunday was cold and windy on the coast (with just a bit of the drizzly rainy fog to keep my pastels in their box!). The SF Marathon was earlier that morning so traffic was still kind of messing things up downtown.
The views from Land's End were somewhat curtailed and the Golden Gate Bridge played hide and seek all day, frustrating many of the artists. However this area always has tourists and other visitors drawn to its trails even in weather like this.

I rather like the graphics on this very truthful sign (an unlucky few had already lost their lives this year from falls from the cliffs).

Most of the painters had arrived by noontime and while I was waiting for the clouds to lift (just a little, please) my hubby and I went over to the Seal Rock Inn for lunch (and to get warm). Poor guy, everytime he tries to join me in a painting outing it is either stifingly hot, bitterly cold, or tied up in endless traffic. The Cliff House food was a tad too expensive and Louis' Restaurant was not yet open for business after its recent remodel.

We had walked part of the trail at Land's End earlier to try and scope out some good views but I settled on this view in the parking lot overlooking the ruins of the old Sutro Baths and Seal Rocks. I had brought my Canson Watercolor SF Sketchbook to work in since the weather wasn't cooperating.

There was a fairly large turnout this day of painters (despite the weather). We are a hardy bunch!

For more pictures and a look at the other paintings created that day - visit the North Bay Plein Air Painters Blog.