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Monday, June 18, 2012

Plein Air Painting at a Drop-Dead-Gorgeous Place

"Pond of Memories" 8 x 10 oil

I just got back from a fantastic plein air painting workshop with Randall Sexton at La Rusticana Vineyard in Los Gatos, California.  I tried my hand at oil painting and really enjoyed it!

I really appreciated that Randy noticed immediately one of my weaknesses - too much detail too soon - I need to squint more and get the whole value shape in first.  He showed me how to blend the shadowed areas with oil paint to tone down my nit-picky detail and have a more impressionistic style (which is what I really want anyway!)  I also learned some ways to start an oil painting and how to make changes in this wet medium.

"Morning at the Gate" 10 x 8 oil
Our host and hostess, the owners of the property, spent 20 years developing this fabulous Tuscan-style Vineyard and gardens in the hillsides.  Originally, there was nothing but a dirt road and a few old shacks.  They brought garden sculptures and fountains from Europe and have little gardens, ponds, rock pathways and arbors and flowers everywhere you turn.  You could paint there for years and not run out of subject matter.  Then, to top it off, they served gourmet luncheons made by Chef Franca Coletta, and samples of their wine every day for us!  There was not one up-tight or nervous painter there!!!  It was like dying and going to artist's heaven.

"Sculpture of a Hunting Dog" 10 x 8 oil
If anyone is interested, they still have some space available at the next 3 workshops coming up.  Last I heard, La Rusticana Vineyard's website server was down, but you can contact their assistant at


ti-igra said...

WOW!!! I just amazed!!! :)

Thay are so-so beautiful, your oils! I have no words! They looks like pastels and oils, very soft, wonderful colors and shapes, also, you reflected spirit of this place!
Wow, I am impressed! How you did it!
:) Carolyn, congratulations!
And, hope to see more and more oils here and on yor website!

Keep it up!
P.S. and see your Emailbox ;) Hurray!

LIZ said...

Beautiful! I'm very impressed with your oils. But, then your pastels & watercolors are wonderful, so your oils would be too! Beautiful place!