watercolor

Plein Air Fridays Session 7

Foreground, middle ground, background. Aerial perspective. This magic lake features dozens of shaded “nooks” for curious painters to discover. A cart or a backpack will be necessary, to traverse the five minutes of stairs, paved and dirt paths to the lake’s edge. There are bathrooms and a drinking water fountain close by. Directions To Lake Anza No exact address is provided by Tilden Regional Park, but the lake is located at the end of Lake Anza Rd. The exact GPS Coordinates are 37.89700°N / 122.25359°W If coming from Richmond, el Cerrito, Berkeley or Albany: Go to the intersection of Arlington Blvd and Boynton St. Get on Boynton, go uphill until you see Colorado Ave. Continue going uphill until you hit Michigan Ave, then Spruce. Turn left on Spruce. You’ll cross Gr...[Read More]

Plein Air Fridays Session 6

Topic The role of values in a landscape. Directions To Meeker Slough Take 580 towards the San Rafael Bridge. Get off on Marina Bay Parkway. Cross Regatta Blvd and continue through the Marina Bay development. Turn left onto Bayside Dr. Our meeting location is the round end of Bayside Dr, where there are approximately ten parking spaces for visitors of the Marina Bay development. Park there. We will walk together to Meeker Slough. Important Note Please keep in mind that the address is for the house closest to the parking lot where we will meet and that GPS will take you elsewhere if you follow the GPS alone. Follow the written instructions once you get to Richmond, and you will find the parking lot very easily. The closest bathrooms are located at Shimada Park, five minutes away via Bay Trai...[Read More]

Blake Garden Did Not Disappoint

Yesterday was our first Plein Air Fridays session at the Blake Garden. The day was beautiful and the temperature, perfect. This Berkeley garden did not disappoint those of us who were hoping for an afternoon free of cold wind and overcast skies. Everybody was on time and we met near the reflecting pool, where dappled light dotted the grassy area around it. After a demo on how to use a viewfinder and how start an acrylic painting, the students dispersed and I began making rounds. I forgot how much walking is involved when students are spread out. The Blake Garden spans ten acres! There are two spaces left in this class. Registration ends June 30.

Blake Garden Delights

For our first visit to the Blake Garden, I thought I should talk about its enduring appeal to east bay painters. While the garden “contains a large diversity of plant materials that grow in our Mediterranean type climate” as well as “new and historic garden design and structures” I’ve long suspected this is not why artists flock to this enclosed space. It is more because, unlike other (and perhaps more) popular gardens in the area, this one packs a lot into a relatively small and it seems to have been designed with the plein air painter in mind. No, there aren’t a lot of benches, but there is plenty of shade near its most popular attractions, and a high number of secluded nooks and crannies where one may paint undisturbed. If to this you add that it lies...[Read More]