Fong Farms

For the July Art & Ag Project, the artists were invited to Fong Farms. Owned by my husband’s cousin, the farm has been in the family for many years. I had visited the farm with my sons but when I visited the farm as an artist it took on a different look. I was attracted to the different layers of fields and the purplish, pink sky of early morning.

I did a quick oil study, about 6 x 8, catching the colors of the sky and the safflower fields way in the back. The painting was completed from the study and the photos I had taken.

Fong Farms 2019
Fong Farms, oil on stretched canvas, 8 x 16 x 3/4 inches by Marlene Lee
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Underpainting for Fong Farms
Safflower Field_6x8072019
oil study for Fong Farm

Art & Ag Projects

The Art & Ag Project is a call to artist event.

“The Art & Ag Project cultivates a dialogue between artists, farmers, and the community to raise awareness about the importance of preserving farmlands and the visual arts in Yolo County. A nationally recognized creative place making project, Art & Ag has invited farmers to open their land to local artists, providing unique opportunities to capture private landscapes that would otherwise remain inaccessible and unseen.

Each month, artists visit a different farm where they can meet the farm owners, paint en plein air, or take photographs. Artists are invited each Fall to exhibit their agriculturally–inspired artwork at YoloArts’ annual Art Farm Gala, the first Friday in November.” 

The “Red Barn” was painted at the Valley Oak Wool Mill. A young woman rented one of the buildings to run her wool mill business. She would take raw wool and spin it for clients. Her waiting list is about a year long.

RedBarn_18x24_2019.jpg
Red Barn, 18 x 24 inches, oil on stretched canvas by Marlene Lee

The next two paintings was done at the Good Hummus Produce. Caught this dog napping in the middle of the road. Love how the sun light shaped around him.

NappingintheShadows_GoodHumusProduce_8x10_2019
Napping in the Shadows, 8 x 10 inches, oil on stretched canvas by Marlene Lee

The “Red Tractor” was parked underneath these trees. I did a small quick study, 6 x 8 and got up to stretched. Before I knew the owner had driven the tractor away.  Thank goodness I had that quick study plus a few photos.

RedTractor_GoodHumusProduce_9x12_2019
Red Tractor, 9 x 12 inches, oil on stretched canvas by Marlene Lee

This last painting, “Hazy Day” reflect the fickle weather of March or maybe April. I love how the grapevines captured a glimpse of the sun peeking through the clouds.

HazyDay_GreatBearVineyards_8x10_2019
Hazy Day, 8 x 10 inches, oil on stretched canvas by Marlene Lee

There are still more farm visits coming up. I probably would visit up to September.

Plein Air Painting

Out and about at the Capay Valley Vineyards for the Yolo County Arts and Ag Project. Breathtaking views! First time I’ve tried out my new laptop pochade box from *Guerilla and it works quite well. It stores all my paints and gamsol. My brushes I carry separately. Though built for a 9 x 12 inches panels, I can also paint 8 x 10 in. panels or any size smaller with the adjusters. Looking forward to doing more plein aire with this pochade art box

 

*You can also go here for more Guerilla pochade boxes.

Oakdale Ranch

This past Saturday was a ranch visit for the Yolo Arts & Ag Project. Heading down straight on Hwy 16 from Main Street in Woodland, I find myself heading to the small farm town, Esparto. I passed the migrant camp where my son had tutored farmhand children.

It’s a beautiful farm. Came first to a pond set up with an gazebo for entertainment. After checking in and scouting around for possible places to paint, I came upon open fields with the mountains as backdrops. No matter what farm or ranch I’m at, I always go to the mountains. And with a building.

This painting is my second attempt. It worked out so much better. The weather had started cool but got up to the high 90’s after a couple hours. Yet there appeared to be thunderclouds coming from over the mountains. The clouds were in a beautiful formation.

My goal with this painting was to create distance. I particularly paid attention to color – Darker and brighter colors in the mid and foregrounds. The mountains a more grayish blues with hints of yellowish brown to create distance. Another goal was to capture the intensity of the midday sun. The building worked out perfectly for that.

For the Yolo Art & Ag Project
Oakdale Ranch, 6 x 8 inches, oil on canvas panel