Thursday, June 28, 2012

Plan B

Yesterday, I had planned to paint at a beach right on the Russian River. I packed my painting gear, and an extra chair with an umbrella for my old dog, Mr. Wilson. We got all set up on the beach, and then a large family came & literally surrounded us, only about 2 feet away on all sides (sigh). This wouldn't work, as Mr. Wilson is not friendly to strangers. We moved down the beach, a distance from everyone. A large man, with his swim trunks hanging extremely low, promptly came and stood directly in front of us in the river, about 3 feet away. Then he began casting into the river with a fishing rod. Each time he swung the rod back, the hook was inches from my head (sigh). This is summertime on the river. A bit frustrated, I packed up all the stuff, put my dog back in his bed in the car, and set off to find a different place to paint. Driving along Highway 116 towards Forestville, I saw this tree with flowers blooming underneath just at a curve in the road. Fortunately, there was a shady spot to pull into by the side of the road. I opened the windows, and a breeze blew through the car. I had the radio on, and the dog snoozed. It turned into a lovely painting day!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

More painting with Lola

On June 21st, the day after Lola's birthday, we drove down to Tomales Bay. We ate delicious grilled oysters at the Marshall General Store, and then drove further south to one of my favorite painting spots on the bay. Lola painted in watercolor; I painted in acrylic. It was a gorgeous day!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Painting at Flowers Winery

Last Tuesday, Lola and I drove north along the coast to Cazadero. Our destination was Flowers Winery, where our friend Dar works. We had lunch with her there, and had the good fortune to try 3 of their fabulous wines. After lunch, we sat overlooking the beautiful rolling hills that surround the winery and painted these two paintings.

Painting at Bullfrog Pond

This morning, Lola and I drove up above the redwood trees in Armstrong Woods Park to an area near Bullfrog Pond. It was HOT. These are our paintings, as we looked out at the same scene. 

Painting with Lola

My friend Lola is visiting from Spain and we are painting a lot! Last week, we painted one morning at a cafe in Jenner, right at the mouth of the Russian River. In the distance, we could see the ocean. It was a beautiful, clear morning. While we painted, we enjoyed fresh, just-out-of-the-oven strawberry scones...yum!

Saturday, June 2, 2012


" The lessons you are meant to learn are in your work. To see them, you need only look at the work clearly---without judgement, without need or fear, without wishes or hopes. Without emotional expectations. Ask what your work needs, not what you need. Then set aside your fears and listen...."
--from Art and Fear by David Bayles and Ted Orland

Dillon Beach

On my first painting excursion of the summer, I drove to Dillon Beach, where I had never been before. I wanted to check it out because my friend Lola (from Madrid) is coming to visit, and I thought it would be fun to take her to a different beach. Lola is a painter, too, so we are planning to paint a lot during her visit. I want to post our two versions of the same scene on this blog each day. Dillon Beach is a beautiful, wide beach, with lovely sand dunes. I will definitely take Lola there!

River view-Monte Rio

Went to sit on the bank of the Russian River in Monte Rio one day this past week. My dog was with me, so I couldn't stay too long as it was hot for him. Quickly did this sketch of the river bank across from where I sat. Probably needs more work. This summer I want to paint the river a lot; it is a challenge for me because most of it is just varying shades of green, and reflections off the water.  

Cows at the laguna

For one of my first paintings of the summer, I went to the laguna in Sebastopol...on that day there were cows grazing there, something I had never seen before. I like landscapes with cows in them, though I need a lot more practice.