Garrod Stables, 8x10" Pastel. ©Brenda Boylan Sold
Back home and finally rested after a whirlwind of plein air painting Los Gatos, CA. My traveling buddy Thomas Kitts and I left on Sunday at 4am so we could get a couple of days to search and find that 'perfect' scene. There sure was plenty of it, but funnily enough, we Portlanders brought some sprinkles down with us too. The first couple of days were spent touring around and even though it was not officially time to start painting, we couldn't help but stop in our tracks and paint at a location called Garrod Stables, a family ranch built in 1894 that even had wine tasting. Just what a traveler needs... a little vino, huh? And if I was dreaming, please don't wake me up because the artistic subject matter of this place was plentiful.
'Garrod Stables Pathway', 8x6 Pastel ©Brenda Boylan Sold
More times than not, I finished my work well before my oily painting friend Thomas, so I'd just go off and find something else to paint. Oh, the beauty of pastel. I painted this quick scene of a path that wrapped around the backside of one of the many barns. That evening after a great dinner, we decided to try our hand at the Theatre.
My time spent was not as successful as I had wished, but it was a great attempt nonetheless. Possibly I will make this one a studio piece when the winter months keep me indoors. Our early arrival helped us to narrow down those painting locations so our time would be productive painting instead of searching. By registration on Wednesday, we were ready to begin our work.
After registration on Wednesday morning, Erich Nuebert, Robert Frank, Thomas and I sweet talked our way onto the La Rinconada Country Club's golf course...in blue jeans (a no no at the club). All I can say is a little honey goes a long way. This was my first time, and probably my last to drive one of these little guys. It was fun though and the painting turned out pretty nice too.
'Hole #14 at La Rinconada', 16x12" Pastel (available) ©Brenda Boylan
That afternoon while it rained, Mr. T and I decided a drink and draw was a great way to wait it out...so why not? The Black Watch is the local watering hole where stories are shared and kamakazi's are the fav. I chose a different route with a tasty tequila. If you look closely, you will notice my drink is covered with a napkin to keep the dust out of it. All I can say is this was a first!
'Drink and Draw at the Black Watch' 10x8" Pastel (available) ©Brenda Boylan
I wasn't too thrilled with the piece, but I was told that the folks around here love the place, so why not celebrate it! After the rain, we wound our way up past the many mansions to find Paul Masson Winery. What a beautiful area this was....so California!
'Masson Vineyard Slopes', 8x10" Pastel (available) ©Brenda Boylan
Up early the next morning we attempted these majestic eucalyptus trees at Vasona Park. The early golden light was changing long before the park opened. I started this one at 8am and finished by 10. The light was blue and overcast this day, we began to wonder if we really did jinx the week. By this time, the skin on my fingers was wearing off. So I made a make-shift finger cot with masking tape to protect my right thumb and ring finger. Ouch!
"Good Morning Eucs' 16x12" Pastel (available) ©Brenda Boylan
Painting with newfound friends Ursula Hennessy and Tonya Zenin at Vasona Park
'June Shadows at Vasona' 16x12" Pastel ©Brenda Boylan Sold
...and more Eucalyptus at Vasona Park...they were so graceful, like ballerinas posturing to the music.
'Day's Last Stand', 10x8" Pastel (available) ©Brenda Boylan
Then after all the painting, it was time to frame and go to the Gala. Here is my signature piece from the 3 days of painting and no sleep...my eyes just about swelled shut from the hard work, but boy was I happy!
Wishing I had more photos of the Gala and all the kind folks who came out to support the cause. Great food, great people. After the gala, a few of us artists went over to the McSorley's to do some more celebrating.
After a short night's rest, say, 4 hours, I was up again to hang and sell during a record Californian downpour.
The grassy ground was like soup, but the crowd still came despite it all. Next time Brenda, don't bring the raincoat to jinx the weather, eh?
Then a funny thing happened on our way back home...
We had a terrific time at the Los Gatos Plein Air 2011. Both Thomas and I were pleased with the overall economy of the area and event coordination of the Los Gatos Morning Rotary Club. I sold 3 paintings and left contact for 2 commissions, so I'd say it was pretty successful! I hope to return again for a some more great painting and adventures in 2012.
One more event coming this Saturday evening at the Elsinore Gallery in Salem, OR. Details on the right...