Huntington Gardens Jacaranda

Huntington Jacarandas – 9 x 12 – Raffine sketchbook

The Best Laid Plans of Artists oft go awry (to paraphrase Bobby Burns.) Wendee and I arrived at the Huntington today and before leaving we both checked the website and discovered that the only way one is permitted to paint in the gardens is if you have previously registered with the Art Guild. So instead of doing a large size plein air painting as I had hoped, I used smaller brushes and painted this in my Raffine sketchbook in my lap. It’s still good 110 lb. paper but not quite the same feeling (to me) as a nice sheet of Arches. If you are in Southern California and are a Bank of America customer, many museums are open for free this month – you can get a complete list on their website. But there’s only a week left, so get busy!

This sketchbook painting represents a pathway near the Australian section of the gardens. The day was overcast and slightly cool so you’ll notice the lack of a brilliant blue sky. The periwinkle blue of the summer blooming jacarandas brightened an otherwise subdued green landscape. We have a jacaranda on our property as well but it hasn’t decided to bloom yet, but I’m looking forward to it.

Blue Cove

“Blue Cove” 9 x 12 watercolor

A few things I was experimenting with: lost and found edges, limited color scheme, interlocking edges, oblique forms, use of reflections, using suggestive brushwork rather than painting every little leaf and bush, using strong value patterns and so on.

This afternoon I’m looking forward to a paintout at a local botanical garden with artpal Wendee!