Saturday, July 7, 2012

Painting With Friends

What a great day Friday was!  I met with friends Ruth Andre, Howard Rees, Julie Trail, and Vickie Chew at a beautiful mountain lake west of Jackson in the Sierra Nevada Mountains.  Even though it was in the mid 90's in Sacramento, it was beautiful and mild at the 7,000 foot elevation.  In the afternoon, a stiff breeze came up for awhile, but even that was invigorating and refreshing.  It was a marvelous day. 

I painted two 9" x 12" paintings during our stay.  I purposefully chose a smaller canvas because I have been struggling with my plein air paintings and it seem logical to go smaller and see if I could get better results.  I'm not sure the strategy worked, but it sure was fun.

Silver Lake Friday   9" x 12" oil on canvas panel
 This was my first painting.  It didn't start well, and about an hour into it, I was strongly tempted to put it aside or wipe it down and start over.  However, I pushed ahead and I think it came out OK eventually.  As we were leaving this gorgeous setting I was comparing my painting to the identical setting done by Julie Trail.  I thought her's was much more successful and said so.  She suggested that my foreground trees might be improved by additional darks.  Today I spent about 5 minutes in the studio adding them. She was right!  Much better!  Thanks Julie!!

Silver Lake Beach  9" x 12 " oil on canvas panel

I has spent so much time on the first painting that I was concerned that I might not have enough time to do another similar effort.  Instead, I got the idea of painting the bathers and kayakers that had gathered on the beach across the lagoon from where I was already set up.  I just suggested a background to save time and then set about trying to capture some of the figures and colors that made up the groups on the beach.  It's a fun little painting done in about 1 1/2 hours or less.

It was a great day.  Everyone had a good time and about a dozen paintings resulted among the five of us!  Not Bad!  Here's the crew....

L to R: Ruth, Howard, Vickie and Yours Truely

Vickie Chew:  Two beautiful paintings!
Julie Trail:  3 Large Paintings!  Can you believe it???

Howard Rees:  Two large paintings!
Ruth Andre: 2 beautiful paintings for the day!


  1. It was truly was a spectacular Painting Day at Silver Lake. You could spend days in one spot and paint. As the light changed it made for a new painting. Your paintings really give the viewer the sense of being there.

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