Viano Vineyards, Martinez

Oil on masonite, 9×12″ (larger)

Disclaimer: Elio made those lovely brushstrokes on the big tree on the left when he was showing me how to rescue its dorky shape that I was complaining about.

We were grateful to have been given permission to paint in this lovely private vineyard in Martinez. The fields were covered in bright yellow-green mustard grass and the constantly changing and moving clouds made the light very dramatic (and chilly, even in the weak winter sun).

I had a few celebratory moments when an area of this painting worked right and I felt like I was really getting it. And then of course there were the sad moments when I ruined a perfectly good passage, and the hilarious moments when I tried to make marks indicating the rows of vines which were just plain laughable (gone now).

For now I’ll take the improvement of the painting above over the two lame plein air paintings below that I did the previous few weeks:

Oakland Inner Harbor Park

Oil on canvas panel, 9×12″ (larger…but why?)

I painted the one above from Chappel Hayes observation tower in the Western Pacific Mole area of Oakland Middle Harbor Park at the Port of Oakland, right beside the docks where huge container ships are loaded by giant cranes that look like creatures from Star Wars. It’s a great new park with wonderful views, walking trails, and a perfect place to bring active kids to watch all the activity. An old Railroad man stopped by to chat and explained that the area where we were painting used to be where the railroads went all the way up to the ships to load the freight. We could see the rails now embedded in the grass and paved trails.

Crocket from Benicia State Park

Oil on masonite, 9×12″ (larger)

This one was painted on a hill in the cold fog at Benicia State Park’s Glen Cove. I’m pretty sure that’s the C&H Sugar Factory across the Carquinez Straights in the little town of Crockett but I’m not positive. It was a fun couple of hours on December 30 when Elio and I joined the Benicia Plein Air Painters for this paint out. It was a small gathering due to the cold, mud and fog and I didn’t last too long.

Landscape, Oil Painting, Outdoors/Landscape, Painting, Plein Air

Join the conversation! 3 Comments

  1. Oh Jana! This is glorious! I so know those fields of mustard — they’re a wonderful yellow you captured beautifully! And what a joy to paint in the vineyard!

    I an so empathize with the frustrations of wrong strokes … how lovely that in oil you can eliminate them with a sweep of the brush! But cara, you’re doing magnificently with your oils — truly! And your two others are nicely done — perspectives, especially the bridge, is well done, Jana! (for me, any perspective done right is a great achievement!!! LOL)

    I love the light on the trees in this oil, the distance created by the background trees, and the sky and clouds are terrific!!! GOOD JOB, my friend!


  2. Nice work on the vineyard! Beautiful colors and love those clouds! Yes, that is the C&H sugar factory, I knew what it was as soon as I scrolled down to it, needed to read the post cuz I was looking for the bridge, don’t blame you for not mudding it up trying to put that in!


  3. the factory is nice! I love the gentle waves too.


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