Monday, October 10, 2011

Calistoga Paint Out: Day ONE Started With A Bang!

Henry was not overjoyed that momma was taking off for parts unknown...
but take off I did.
And the day started off with a BANG!

 I got to the art center Friday morning to have my papers stamped and to get my packet of instructions for the weekend...where to paint, etc. etc. As I was backing out my car to leave the center an invisible tree rammed into the back of my car! I hate those trees that do that! It felt like I had been rear ended big time, a jolt to my head! Minor damage to the car...still drivable so I took off for my first destination: Chateau Montelena Winery.

There I found other artists already  hard at work painting the Chinese Pagodas and the swan on the lake.
 My inspiration was the castle itself. And as I said in yesterday's post I had to sneak up some stone stairs and make myself invisible (just like that tree that hit my car earlier) so I did not impede foot traffic of wine tasters in order to draw the spires of this majestic castle. I did the whole thing standing up in that corner.
 Afterwards I took a much needed restful walk around the lake and enjoyed the incredible beauty there.
 From there I found a spot over looking this vineyard and the hills and a house beyond and sat and painted that too.

 This young fellow was painting the same scene I was and doing a much better job of it too. He won honorable mention the next day at the art show for his beautiful works.
 I met Karen Lynn Ingalls there painting this beautiful scene looking out over the lake.
 I also met Tim Ward who came from San Francisco and sketched the whole castle from down below. He couldn't even see the whole thing but he ad libbed beautifully and I thought he should have gotten first prize.
 I forget this young man's name, a guy transplanted here living in the bay area but from Atlanta, Georgia. He was doing a terrific job in oils.
 This is his work in progress.
 The weather could not have been more perfect. The rains had stopped and turned to sunshine and warmth.  Just being there was a little bit of heaven.
Tomorrow I will show you Day Two... where I stayed, more artists I met and fun I had doing it all.


  1. funny about those invisible trees. i have one near my driveway that chases me.

    some wonderful artists, beautiful spot. love the swan picture and water reflections of the bridge which feels Monet like.

  2. What a lovely spot. I love that area. Would be fun to go visit and paint and photograph there. What a great day you had. All that ambiance. Loved seeing what others painted. And it does feel Monet like.

  3. What FUN! It is so inspiring to be in new places and then the artists. WOW. That would really get one fired up. Too bad that tree attacked you. Nothing like a little insult to start a day. I am glad you went ahead and had a good time.

  4. I tried a little "plein air" today while on the river - disastrous!! but fun to try....

  5. Looks like a super place! Pity about the tree - they can get in the way sometimes, like lamposts and walls!


Thanks for leaving your comments as I love hearing from you. Your words of encouragement are why I continue to draw!