Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Cool Refuge–San Rafael, CA

"Cool Refuge–San Rafael, CA", 8x8 oil

This is my last and favorite painting from the workshop.  It is another plein air from the St. Vincent School for Boys in the hills of Marin County, north of San Francisco.  I just loved the punctuation of the tall dark Italian Cypress trees, and how they frame the entrance to his chapel.  It was a warm sunny day, but luckily I was able to paint in the shade of some leafy trees like the one on the left.


Tuesday, July 23, 2013

School's Out–San Rafael, CA

"School's Out–San Rafael, CA, 8x8 oil

So on our last day of the plein air workshop Tim Horn took us to St. Vincent's School for Boys, which is a beautiful Renaissance style church and campus in the rolling Marin County hills.  It was not in session, which means we had the whole place to ourselves. I loved the stucco buildings with their orange tile roofs, surrounded by well-designed gardens consisting of terraced walkways interspersed with flowers and Italian cypress trees.  Just a wonderful place to paint.


Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Where the Road Turns–Nicasio,CA

"Where the Road Turns–Nicasio, CA" 8x10, oil

On the third day of the Tim Horn plein air workshop, we drove through the winding roads of Marin County to the tiny town of Nicasio.  How tiny?  Just big enough to have a center square, a cute church, a general store and restaurant, a baseball field, and a handful of small houses, all surrounded by beautiful hills.

Tim did a demo for us, making it look easy as usual, and then we set off on our own to paint.  I chose this view because I liked the shapes of the two roofs against the large tree with the hills in the background.  When I started this painting, the shadows looked just like this.  Luckily I took a photo for reference and painted the house first, because by the time I finished–two hours later–the front face of the house was entirely in shadow.  That's plein air painting for you.  You have to expect things to change and plan ahead.


Monday, July 1, 2013

China Camp Beach–San Rafael, CA

"China Camp Beach–San Rafael, CA" 8x8

"Waiting for Lunch–San Rafael, CA" 8x8

Two more view of China Camp in San Rafael, California from the Tim Horn workshop I took last months.  Rustic buildings aren't really my thing but this was a good opportunity to practice using color and value to show that hot, strong California sunshine.


This is the view on the beach looking the other way from the buildings.  And these are my fellow students watching Tim paint the same scene as my first painting.  After his demo, I took the easy way out and copied his composition.  Even then, I learned a lot.  Tim always makes it look so easy, and then when I try it myself, it's not so simple!


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