Landscape Oil Painting Outdoors/Landscape Painting Plein Air

Above Dead Fish Restaurant, Crockett

View from Dead Fish Restaurant

The Dead Fish Restaurant is on a hill in Crockett, California and just above it there is a wonderful new little park with amazing views of Mare Island (pictured above) a former military base and naval shipyard, Benicia, and the Carquinez Bridge.

I arrived at the site close to 4:00 p.m. and painted until around 6:00 when some persistent wasps (I think they’re wasps — they’re the yellow buzzing things attracted to meat at picnics) finally drove me away. One kept trying to crawl up my sleeve or into my rubber glove and bit me twice on the wrist.

To anyone watching from a distance I’m sure I appeared to be painting with great flourish as every stroke required swiping at the wasp to move him before I could put a bit of paint on the canvas. That combined with the sun glaring in my eyes and the heat and the fact that everyone else in the plein air group had already left, convinced me it was time to go home.

It’s too nice outside right now to be on the computer so I’m going to keep this short and go paint. I’ve made some changes and additions to my studio that I will post soon as well as some of the paintings and drawings done while I’ve been spending more time in the real world and less in the virtual one while my computer was in the shop. See you again soon!

About the painting: Oil on canvas on panel, 10″x12″, painted 75% on site and 25% in the studio.

Landscape Life in general Oil Painting Outdoors/Landscape Painting Plein Air

China Camp & Two Surprise Parties

Old boat on rails at China Camp State Park

Old Boat on Rails, Oil on panel, 9×12″ (larger)

Blazing hot sun on the beach made plein air painting a challenge Sunday at China Camp State Park, an historic site where Chinese immigrants lived in a shrimp fishing village in the 1880s. It is a fabulous place to paint, with a small ghost town and old boats, (many with Chinese lettering) beautiful views of bay and marshland and hiking and biking trails that go for miles.

I was painting with the Benecia Plein Air Painters, a wonderful group of painters led by Jerry Turner. Many painters stayed until sunset, capturing the sunset and late afternoon glowing light. I painted from about noon until 3:30 (minus a break for a suprise birthday party lunch for Jerry) and after a little splashing around in the water, headed home to the fog belt to cool off.

I’d been given my own surprise birthday party the day before by my wonderful neighbors. I was completely stunned and delighted to find all my dearest friends and family and coworkers standing there throwing confetti and yelling Happy Birthday!

What a feast my neighbors made for me, with all of my favorite traditional Mexican foods that C & A are famous for, plus a beautiful cake and decorations galore. Their backyard was covered in balloons, and signs and banners and a banquet’s worth of delicious food.  What a special birthday treat!

One of my party favors was a purple hat that says “At my age, Happy Hour is a NAP!” I love it! My yearlong birthday celebration continues….

Art theory Landscape Oil Painting Other Art Blogs I Read Outdoors/Landscape Painting Photos Plein Air

Inspiration Point, Tilden Park

Inspiration Point, Tilden Park

Oil on panel, 9×12″

Sunday was my plein air oil painting class in Tilden Park and we met at Inspiration Point in Tilden Park in the Berkeley Hills. On a clear day you can see far into the distance from this site. Unfortunately, when we arrived at 9:00 a.m. the fog was so thick we could barely see halfway across the parking lot. Our teacher, Elio Camacho, had planned to start class by doing a demo — an expansive vista on a large canvas. To try to accomplish something until the fog cleared, he had us set up our easels facing the alleged view and get ready to paint. I enjoyed the idea of randomly picking a spot with no idea what I’d see or paint.

At 10:00, after delicious coffee and treats from Peets Coffee generously brought by a class member, Elio did an amazing small demo of the sun glaring through the fog above some nearby trees. Happily, just as he finished the fog lifted and we got to work.

This time I remembered to take a photo of the scene before I got started so that I could finish the painting at home:
Inspiration Point, Tilden - Photo