Monday, May 21, 2012

To Practice Art

"To practice any art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make the soul grow. So do it."   ---Kurt Vonnegut

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Santa Cruz Vista

This past week, I had the opportunity to go on a field trip to Santa Cruz with the Honor Society students from my school. I took my pochade box with me, and (in between correcting essays on Anne Frank) sat on the wharf next to the beach boardwalk and painted this view. It was wonderfully relaxing...the sun was bright, and there were four or five seals frolicking in the water in front of me. It was the first time I had used the pochade box to paint in a very public spot. It worked beautifully; the box is small enough to be pretty discreet. A few people came up to me, but they were friendly, so it was fine.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Cemetery Painting

This 5" x 7" study was painted very quickly because it was extremely hot that day and I was with my dog, who is old and can't tolerate the heat for much time. I painted it at the cemetery on Green Valley Road in Sebastopol. I love cemeteries for their peacefulness, and this one is especially lovely for its small size and beautiful view. Before I started my painting, I was sitting on a bench taking in the view. I noticed a handmade wooden box attached to a wooden post next to the bench. Inside the box, I found a small notebook and a pen. Inside the notebook was written, "Welcome, all! This notebook is lovingly dedicated to the memory of ______. Please feel free to leave a note." Family members of ______ had left notes, photos, and cards over a long period of time. Additionally, people who had never known the deceased gentleman but were visiting the cemetery (like me) had left their thoughts about a wide variety of topics. Interesting idea.
I still need to work on the foreground of this painting. I'm not happy with the grass, and the tree needs more branches...