Friday, January 23, 2015


This was painted on the walkway between the Arroyo Seco and Arroyo Seco Stables that goes under the York Bridge and comes out by this old truck.  I sat on the ground to paint, and even now I can recall the sensation of feeling really dirty.  There was a vinyl table cloth between me and the dirt, but it was some seriously dirty looking dirt.  I will spare you the detailed description.  But there were other painters close by, some nice looking horses keeping an eye on me, and a rooster that crowed every so often.  That truck isn't going anywhere.  Ever so slowly it's crumbling back into the earth.    

Friday, January 9, 2015

Home Staying

I'm going to break from my normal pattern here, and I don't mean my pattern of going weeks without feeding the blog, but rather my pattern of taking things in order.

I've been doing this Saturday paint-out thing for going on five years, since March 6, 2009, if you want to keep track.  This is how it started.  My youngest son was going off college, and I thought I ought to dedicate myself to making good use of my expanding spare time.  I was already drawing and painting, but I decided to put more time into it.  I signed up for a watercolor painting class and joined some art clubs.  I  found out about people going out and painting on location every Thursday, and I badly wanted to join them, but I couldn't shake off my Monday through Friday full-time employment.  So I said to the board of one of the art clubs, I think there should be paint-outs on Saturday mornings.  And the board said, make it so.  I got a little help early on, but soon it fell to all me.  It was going to be a club activity, but the club's insurance carrier could not condone club members being led out into the wilds to paint, so it became its own thing.  Unaffiliated and unsanctioned.  Just a bunch of people getting together and painting.  Sometimes, though, it wasn't a bunch.  Sometimes there were just a couple of painters.  Sometimes only me.  Frankly, I like it better when there are other painters around.  It's more fun and it's also safer.  But I don't mind painting alone.  So I stuck with it.  I habituated it.  I paint on Saturday mornings.  I am constantly on the lookout for places to paint.  I send emails to people who want to get emails about Saturday painting.  

I've had companion painters come and go over the years.   I understand that there are hundreds of other things to do on Saturdays.  Yard sales, cartoons, diner breakfasts, daylight lovemaking, gardening, and hiking, to name a few.   I send emails to seventy people.  Some have never actually come to paint.  I'm glad all seventy don't come, because that is much too big a group to paint with.  I think about 5 to 10 people is optimal, and that is just about how many people come these days.  My painter friends make me happy, and I think I've done a good thing giving them a nudge to come out and paint on Saturdays.  I treasure their friendship and their company and their artistic wisdom and their art.  So once a year I invite them to my house and give them some food to show my gratitude.  Then they hang around and paint pictures of my house.  Maybe someday art historians will wonder why so many artists chose to paint a modest one-story 1917 bungalow with Christmas colored trim and unkempt landscaping.  Like this:
For some more work by some of these painters, see