Categories
Bay Area Parks Colored pencil art Outdoors/Landscape Plein Air Sketchbook Pages

Change Is…

Stege Marsh, ink and colored pencils in pocket Moleskine
Stege Marsh, ink and colored pencils in pocket Moleskine

I started to title this post “Change is Good” and then I thought, yeah, but change can be difficult too. As I thought of all the things change is (hard, exciting, scary, growth) I realized that if nothing else, change is constant, it just IS; thus the title.

So what about change? Well, the most obvious change is my blog’s appearance. I’ve begun the process of converting it to a website that will host both this blog, JanasJournal.com, and my art portfolio website, now at JanaBouc.com. It’s a work in progress so please, if you notice any bugs, let me know.

The sketch of Stege Marsh above reflects another change in my life; it’s one of the first sketches I did while out walking my pup. I waited until after we’d walked about 3 miles through the huge off-leash dog park at Pt. Isabel (well I walked 3 miles, she was off leash and probably ran 10 miles running off and coming back). By the time we got to this spot she was happy to rest while I sketched this view along the Bay Trail. I carry a little bag of colored pencils and a small Moleskine sketch book in my bag all the time as it’s lighter than my watercolor kit for long walks so that’s what I used to color in the ink drawing.

Categories
Ink and watercolor wash Landscape Outdoors/Landscape Painting Places Plein Air Sketchbook Pages

View from the Marsh: 3 Attempts

View from Pt. Isabel Bridge #1, ink & watercolor, 6x8"
View from Pt. Isabel Bridge #1, ink & watercolor, 6×8″

Very near my home is Pt. Isabel Regional Shoreline, with the world’s largest and most beautiful dog park. It is situated on the San Francisco Bay directly in line with the Golden Gate Bridge. There are views of San Francisco, wetland marshes and the East Bay hills looking east. I love dogs and don’t have one so I often go down there to walk the trails and enjoy other people’s dogs.

In the sketch above, I stood on the wooden bridge over the marsh and tried to capture everything, the marsh, the freeway, the buildings behind it and the hills beyond. Too much, really, for a small 8×6 sketchbook.

View from Pt. Isabel Bridge #2, ink & watercolor, 6x8"
View from Pt. Isabel Bridge #2, ink & watercolor, 6×8″

On my next visit it was extremely windy and I almost lost my sketchbook and a brush over the top of the wooden bridge rail I was using for a table. The light wasn’t very interesting, very flat with no shadows.

View from Pt. Isabel Bridge #3, ink & watercolor, 6x8"
View from Pt. Isabel Bridge #3, ink & watercolor, 6×8″

On the third visit the tide was in and the area in the first two sketches was mostly underwater so I turned to face west with San Francisco and the bridges in the distance.

I don’t feel that I did the scene justice in any of these sketches and hesitated posting them, but will return again and keep trying until I’m happier with the result.

Categories
Art theory Oil Painting Outdoors/Landscape Painting People Photos Places

Sit Stay Cafe Girl Sketch in Oils

Sit Stay Cafe Girl, oil on panel, 10x8"
Sit Stay Cafe Girl, oil on panel, 10x8"

When I painted this oil sketch I had three inspirations: First was the Peggi Kroll Roberts video focusing on designing value patterns by simplifying and grouping values, even when the colors are different (e.g. the red umbrella and green trees above are very different colors but approximately the same values).

Curan: Afternoon in the Cluny Garden
Curran: Afternoon in the Cluny Garden

My second inspiration was the Curran painting above that I saw at the Impressionists show at the DeYoung Museum. I fell in love with this painting because of the colors, strong values and abstract qualities and brought home a print. Charles Courtney Curran was an American artist who studied with the Impressionists in Paris in the 1880s and then returned to the U.S. His other work I’ve seen online doesn’t appeal to me at all, too sugary and romantic.

Original photo reference with face blurred for anonymity
Original photo reference with face blurred for anonymity

I was also inspired by my reference photo (above) that I took at the Sit Stay Cafe at Pt. Isabel’s dog park where I was lunching, sketching and taking photos to test a new camera last summer.

The tired young woman was very kind about allowing me to sketch and take photos of her. She told me she also liked to paint. Since I didn’t ask for permission to post her picture online I blurred her face in Photoshop first.