Flower Art Landscape Oil Painting Painting Still Life

Birthday & Benicia’s Matthew Turner Park

Oil on 12×9″ panel (Larger)

Yay! First day of June, and I get to celebrate my (mid-month) birthday all month long. Because it’s a really big birthday, this year I’m going to celebrate all year instead of “just” all month! It’s also the birthday of Jana’s Journal and Sketch Blog, now entering it’s third year.

To kick off my wonderful yearlong celebration, this morning I went to a paintout at Matthew Turner Park in Benicia followed by a visit to the opening of the Outsiders show at Arts Benicia Gallery. Today’s paintout was organized by the Benicia Plein Air Painters, also known as “Da Group.” Da Group is led by Jerry Turner, one of the founders and a prolific member of the Outsiders. It was a very well-attended opening, and a terrific show. There are photos of the paintout and the opening here.

In my painting above a windsurfer scooted by as I was finishing (well, running out of time, actually) so I stuck it in the painting. I’m not sure you can tell what it is, and whether it should be better defined. There’s lots more I could do to the painting, but I’m finding it pleasurable to call plein air studies done without trying to perfect them back in the studio; just appreciating them for the studies they are and all the wonderful sights, sounds, scents and memories of the experience that they contain.

Here’s my first block-in of the scene. My focal point was the orange hill with a little house on top across the water. Those black spots are little bugs who nose-dived into the wet paint (or were blown in by the strong winds today).


Here’s a photo of the scene. You can barely see the little house on the hill.


I wrote about this great little park and posted an earlier painting I did there last December here. I remember how much harder it was to paint that day, and how much more I understand now. Progress! Yay!

10 replies on “Birthday & Benicia’s Matthew Turner Park”

Happy birthday, Jana! As always, I love vicariously traveling with you on your journey into painting and life. Your fearless attitude and willingness to work through problems is contagious.


Congats, Jana, on celebrating a 4-year blog
and a birthday-all-year because every day should be
special to each of us, shouldn’t it?
And sorta yes– I could see the water moving
under some kind of sail and around the rocks, each
of which gives zip to the painting.


Happy blog birthday Jana! I love your plein air painting – it’s incredible how quickly you mastered oils. I can see the windsurfer very clearly. While the scene is very beautiful, your painting really puts the photo to shame. You can feel the movement of the water and the breezes. Lovely(


The windsurfer is just perfect – what a lovely painting, free and windswept. Hope you have a fabulous birthday month and year and congratulations on your blog-birthday.


Congratulations and happy birthday to both you and your blog! I’m a firm believer in month long birthday celebrations for those big, new decade kind of birthdays. Here’s to another year of your lovely artwork! (Imagine champagne glasses clicking…)


HAPPY BIRTHDAYS Jana! A birthday is your own personal New Year. Here’s hoping this one is your best ever! I saw this painting on your Flickr page, and just LOVE this landscape. The colors are soft yet so vibrant and harmonious, and the blues in that distant hillside are just primo. I hope someday we will both take a workshop together–it could happen!


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