I had planned to oil paint with my plein air group at Mountain View Cemetery but there were just too many interesting sights to explore to plant myself in one spot with an easel. I switched to ink and watercolor which is so much more portable. I wonder what the statue above is supposed to be pointing towards?
The entrance and central plaza is planted with thousands (?) of tulips. I hoped they would be in bloom but I only spotted one early bird. This cemetery is such a beautiful and historic place (as you can see in this photo slide show).
This pond and little waterfall beneath a gigantic weeping willow tree (above) is one of my favorite spots in the cemetery, hidden just behind the entrance gate. I’ve tried to paint it before and have yet to get it right. Maybe next time.
After the group left I stayed behind to draw a couple more of the statues. The life-sized angel on the left was bunching up her robes, looking off into the distance. The one on the right is yet another female statue pointing at something in the distance.
I’m curious about how people chose or designed their statues in the 1800s. Were they built to order or were there standard designs they could buy? Why are they almost all women? I suppose in death, like birth, a mother watching over us is comforting, even if she’s looking or pointing at something else.
11 replies on “Lively Day Sketching at the Cemetery”
So interesting, Jana. Lovely sketches. How
far back do you think these headstones go?
Has the pollution hurt any? It’s been hard on
some of our Revolutionary and Civil War
I think that they(the angels) are pointing the way towards the Great Beyond. Just a thought. You would never think a cemetary to be a great place to sketch but I bet it was full of history, so to speak. The Lafayette cemetary is supposed to have a beautiful view of Mt. Diablo. If you get over that way check it out and let me know:)
Great sketches as always. I miss the Bay Area a bit:)
Love the watercolors and your interesting sketch site.
Fabulous sketches!!!! Great attention grabbing post title too.
My mom is buried nearby is a small, peaceful, pretty cemetery nearby. I go there often to pray and have tried a time or two to sketch (in Spring especially, the trees and shrubs are so colorful). I like to go there for the quiet, but on even the rainiest or snowiest days, someone else always comes by, which interrupts my “vibe”. What a world–no true solitude, even in a cemetery!
I hear you, Rita, big time… Some of us really need
that solitude. I don’t know what I would do if I did
not find some.
Best of luck in finding some.
I envy you .Where I live the so called cemetery is “modern” without crosses,
angels or respect for the dead.A green lawn with some gravestones.
This is the top AMERICAN MATERIALISTIC DREAM spread across the world
I stikll prefer yours.
What a beautiful place, and you offer, as well, insightful commentary about the ways art (sculpture) depicts ineffable and mysterious things.
I do like your heading – Lively day etc. What a lively place or you worked so hard leaping between rocks and hard places. It’s certainly a place for producing an array of drawings. Statues posing and so on. And no neighbours making comments ha ha. You made the place interesting but not creepy.
I do like drawing in cemeteries, but sometimes friends and family tease me because they think it is creepy. I especially love the colors in the statue that is pointing.
Thanks Raena, Some parts of this cemetery are creepy — the gothic crypts especially that look like mini haunted houses. But mostly the place is full of life and beauty and agood reminder to enjoy it while we can! Jana