Los Gatos Plein Air 2011 recap

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.

Thomas Kitts, Jane, ?, Debbie Gualco, John and Sue McSorley, Robert Frank, and Sterling Hoffmann.

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...

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Blogger Don Bishop said...

Great recap Brenda! Looks like you both had a good time, glad you guys are back : )

6/9/11, 11:58 AM  
Blogger G. Lindwood said...

Beautiful paintings Lil' B! Looks like you had a fabulous time in spite of the rain, although that probably just made you feel "at home."

6/9/11, 12:15 PM  
Blogger Carolyn Jean Thompson said...

Wow, Brenda - you had a GREAT trip! Los Gatos is a great area (used to live next door in Campbell). Your paintings are WONDERFUL! Congrats on a successful event!

6/9/11, 4:13 PM  
Blogger Pam Flanders said...

Just hopped on FB and saw your wonderful paintings and trip...congrats, sounds like a "successFULL" trip all around!

6/10/11, 8:38 PM  
Blogger Brenda Boylan said...

Don, it's great to be back home, albeit overcast. Oh what fun I had...will be back out on Sauvie Is really soon!

Hey Big G! Yes, I did feel right at home. Those Californian's are afraid of a sprinkle, for me, I just paint under a tree...just like home. :)

Carolyn, You are from Campbell?! I grew up in the area too and it was just like a reunion for me. (Went to Leigh High) Los Gatos has changed a bit and the freeway system had me very confused and a bit unsure of which way I was going.

Pam, Thanks! It was worth every bit of worry and energy...will definitely do it all over again in a heartbeat!

6/10/11, 9:06 PM  
Blogger Celeste Bergin said...

fantastic travelog...and your paintings are outstanding! A huge success.....congratulations on the sales and commissions...BRAVO!

6/10/11, 11:29 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I really like the cool lighting on the trees in the "Good Morning Eucs" piece. Overall, very very nice work!

6/11/11, 3:39 AM  
Blogger Brenda Boylan said...

Thanks Celeste! It was awesome and loved every minute of it! :) Will see you out in the field soon enough!

Thanks Tim for your kind words. Had full intentions on painting eucalyptus ,but now understand that a few natives view them as weeds! Can't believe it! Simply a nice change than the usual firs we have here in Oregon!

6/12/11, 8:38 PM  
Blogger Casey Klahn said...

You are making me dizzy just reading this wonderful post, Brenda!

That's the way to roll!

6/13/11, 1:16 PM  
Blogger Brenda Boylan said...

Thanks Casey. It was a whirlwind and not for the faint of heart! Would have wished to attend your workshop too, but then I'd have to clone myself.

6/13/11, 3:34 PM  
Blogger Megha Kapoor said...

your blog is truly amazing with lots of great work in it i m glad i found it and i m following it.

6/16/11, 8:07 AM  
Blogger Brenda Boylan said...

Hi Megha,
Welcome aboard! Looking forward to your comments and hoping you find something interesting with every visit. ;)

6/16/11, 10:34 AM  

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