On a Mission

 Capistrano Courtyard, watercolor, 12x16

Capistrano Courtyard, watercolor, 12×16

I had been working on a watercolor of Mission San Juan Capistrano this week. It has been some time since doing a project in watercolor other than demonstrations in techniques for my class. I didn’t realize how timely the subject was until hearing the news today that Pope Francis announced that Father Serra who founded the California Mission in San Juan Capistrano in the 1770’s would be made a saint. I won’t get into the politics surrounding the missions or the Church here. But, there is little debate about the beauty of the courtyard garden within the old mission walls.

The watercolor is based on a reference photo which I used to sketch onto a watercolor block of  Arches 140#. Then I first added the shadow walls that surrounds the arches with a dark mix of cobalt blue and burnt umber.  To that mixture I sprinkled Kosher salt to add texture and let it dry. Other watercolors were Yellow Ochre, Naples Yellow, Raw Sienna, Quinacridone Burnt Orange, Alizarin Crimson, Quinacridone Coral,  Cobalt Blue, and Sap Green in either Winsor Newton or Daniel Smith brands.

It was a good change to work on a watercolor project of Mission San Juan Capistrano.  If you ever get a chance to visit the mission, I recommend it.

Next Trip Around the Sun

"Lake Tahoe Sunset", 19x25, pastel “Lake Tahoe Sunset”, 19×25, pastel
It is a new year and with it comes a new show. I am part of a group show at the Danville Theatre Art Gallery that opens on January 9 and runs through February 28, 2015. The show features my work and that of fellow pastel artists Ruth Hussey, Mark Mertens, Pat Suggs, Debbie Wardrope. The theme of the show is “Romantic Expressions in Pastel.” Whether or not my work is viewed as “romantic” will be the judgement of the viewers. But, I do know that I need to feel a tug of the heart to commit to a painting and all that is involved.
“Lake Tahoe Sunset” was inspired by the view from the overlook on the Mt. Rose highway between Incline Village and Reno last October. It was an ‘ah-ha’ moment when viewers stopped and took in the magical display of light and color in the sky and on the lake. My reference photo served to remind me of it. I used Sennelier La Carte sanded paper which seems to work well for the clouds in the sky. My pastels included a variety of Unisons, Terry Ludwigs, Giraults, Rembrandts, and NuPastels.