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Workshop, Weddings, Wheels at Legion of Honor, SF

Legion of Honor, SF, Ink & watercolor
Legion of Honor, SF, Ink & watercolor

My plein air painting group held a workshop today at the beautiful Legion of Honor in San Francisco’s Lincoln Park at which Ed Terpening demonstrated.  After an hour some people set up and started their own painting but I watched the full demo so had only enough time for this quick sketch. At the critique Ed pointed out the problem with the size of the guys in the foreground compared to the cars which made me laugh.

Ed is one of those rare artists who can paint while at the same time explaining the how, and why of what they’re doing. I learned so much! I’ve enjoyed following Ed’s blog, Life Plein Air for years and it was a real pleasure to meet him in person.

Afterwards I tried to walk over to the museum to see the Impressionists in Paris show (wonderful!) but was prevented by this craziness:

There were about a hundred noisy, smoky mopeds, coming up the hill and then circling around and around, more and more of them. Finally they left and I made it across the street and directly to the museum’s café for a much-needed latte. While I sipped I sketched the view out the cafe’s french doors (except they didn’t have Ed’s name above them):

Cafe view under my notes about the workshop in sketchbook
Sketch under my notes about the workshop in journal

I took notes during the demo on a page in my journal that had an unfinished sketch done with green pen which is what that green mark is under Ed’s name.

Apparently the Legion of Honor is a place people go to take wedding and Quinciaños photos (even though their ceremonies weren’t actually held there). I noticed five different groups being photographed and took my own photos of a few. Since I used a zoom lens you don’t see the tourists and museum goers that were all around them:

Wedding #1, Very serious and stoic
Wedding group #1, So formal and serious
Getting the flower girls ready
Wedding Group #2: Flower Girls
The Quincianera and her court of honor
Quincianera and her court of honor getting ready for photos

The Quinciañera is a Latin American tradition for celebrating a girl’s 15th birthday. Formerly a religious celebration, it has become an obscenely expensive event that can match weddings in cost and extravagance, including ball gowns, banquets, limos, huge parties, photographers, bands and more. I wish they’d save their money for college.

After their photos they left in a huge stretch limo as long as a bus but made out of a Hummer.

Priceless expression (great hat, too)
What is he thinking?

Nobody looked like they were enjoying themselves much in any of the groups. Except maybe the photographers, but they were getting paid to do their art.

6 replies on “Workshop, Weddings, Wheels at Legion of Honor, SF”

Goodness! Where to start? I just couldn’t agree more with your comment about saving that money for college. I hope it isn’t that the girls are not expected to go to college-please don’t tell me that.

Fun sketches-I particularly love The Legion-it has such a great history and even with their regular collection alone, it is well worth the trip out there. Too bad about those mopeds though. That could have spoiled things a bit!


A very interesting tradtion – I can see how the costs would mount up – so many involved and all dressed up. Your photos capture the occaision well – I also love the little boy. I am sure he would have gioven anything to be somewhere else!


Thanks Carol, The expression on that little boy inspired me to do an oil painting of him from that picture. Thanks for leaving a note–it gave me a chance to click over to your website and see your beautiful work. I enjoyed seeing the scenes that inspire you–sometimes just the beauty in ordinary things like your street scenes. I was intrigued by the name of your Sinister Pool series. Did they appear sinister to you or is that their real name? Jana


Weren’t those mopeds a sight? I had a great time demonstrating for the group. Thanks for asking me. It was a pleasure finally meeting you.


Hi Ed, I’m so embarassed I haven’t left a note yet on your blog thanking you for your teaching that day! I’ve been so wrapped up in my painting that I’ve had a hard time getting to blogging or blog visiting. I got so much out of your teaching! I’ve been using some of the color mixtures you recommended (making my own mauve) and enjoying them and have started using that rubber pointed paint remover tool which works wonders. But I especially appreciated just seeing the way you mixed and apply paint to the canvas–it helped me to resolve some things I’d been struggling with. And it was also a real joy to meet you. Thanks again! Jana


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