View from the parking lot of Matanzas Creek Winery in Santa Rosa, CA.

Lavender Garden and Vineyard

Lavender Garden and Vineyard

A gorgeous day was spent with Joanie and Wakar, painting at the winery.  The mounds of lavender were not in bloom.  They looked like scoops of blue green ice cream, maybe a mix of pistachio and blueberry.  The steep, rolling hills of the Sonoma Valley take my breath away and renew the pleasure of plein air painting.

This trip has been quite different from the one I planned.  My life is like that, always full of surprises.  If the surprise isn’t a good one, I do my best to transform it into something wonderful.  Just like a painting that has lost its way, the solution often brings the experience to a level beyond what it might have otherwise been.

Painting:  sketched lightly in pencil, followed by watercolor and areas clarified with pencil after the watercolor was completely dry.

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I am a week late in painting last Saturday’s Daily Paintworks Challenge.

Ten-Minute Challenge, Oil on Birch Panels

The challenge is to choose a subject and to paint several 10-minute paintings of the subject.  I chose a game piece and a wooden pattern block from my early childhood.  After an exhausting eighty minutes of painting, only ten-minutes per square I took a break for dinner and then painted another, larger version of the same subject.

One Hour Painting, 10" x 10" oil on wood panel

The ten-minute paintings were done on two, 9″ square wood panels.  The second, one-hour painting, was done on a 10″ square wood panel.

I will definitely repeat this exercise.  I look forward to doing it outdoors as soon as the weather breaks.