Friday, June 23, 2017


               Serene Creek / Pastel | 8x16

Each year for the past few years I have been invited to attend the Los Gatos Plein Air Festival in June. I love traveling there and getting a week in indulge my passion for all the varied scenes this event offers. Our radius is all the way to the coast, including Santa Cruz and Davenport.  There are numerous reservoirs in the area, countless vintage homes I used to specialize in selling back in Sacramento, parks and vistas across the Silicon Valley.  Each time I make a point of going to Los Gatos Creek for at least one painting. My favorite access point is right in the middle of town, under the bridge over the freeway.  That Wednesday found me again here, looking downstream. What was most confounding and pleasant is that the freeway is right across the way- up the bank on the other side! And yet audibly undetectable. The water was flowing so high this year that the babble of the water was all I could hear!! In the heart of the town, I enjoyed two hours of pure bliss standing by this gorgeous spot, taking in its every nuance, reveling in the joy of being in nature!

Painting Notes:  I'm getting proficient at using fixative (Spectrafix) in early stages. I applied dark Spruce Blue NuPastel on the water half of this painting and rubbed it in my finger snood (inside-out bill counter), then sprayed it with Spectrafix. Drying time is longer than for Isoprophyl alcohol but I'm liking taking a ten minute break at this juncture, when I've already done my values thumbnail, drawn in the scene, and now fixed the underpainting colors.  What I like about the Spectrafix application is that you can apply a stark white/light on top of the dried area without picking up any hint of the underlying dark color. And vice-a-versa - a super dark tree trunk, say, on top of a white cloud.  It is a perfect aid for creating even stronger value contrasts!