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

Flowers plein aire painting

Today I spend all day painting. First started the morning painting at the Cloverleaf Farm in Dixon. Part of the Yolo Arts & Ag Project. Beautiful farm with so many flowers and orchards and wide open fields. I had painted a landscape then did a couple of watercolors of flowers. The hollyhocks came out the best of the two.

Hollyhocks at Cloverleaf Farm 042515 8x5

After the farm I went home and took my dog out to Central Park in downtown Davis. Located in the park is a small arboretum featuring ideas for a water drought yard but also featured are these huge and beautiful roses.

Red Roses at Central Park 042515 8x5

It’s rare that I get a chance to paint all day.

Pete’s Valley Cattle

The Yolo Arts Council is again sponsoring their Art & Ag projects. The farms throughout Yolo County invites artists to come on their land to paint the beautiful sceneries – rolling hills, plenty of trees, fresh air for most of us…and an occasional farm equipments.

For February we met at Pete’s Valley Cattle at the end of County Road 26. It’s an organic grass fed cattle ranch with over 400 cattle.

When I do plein air, I paint small. So I used by Guerilla 6 x 8 Thumbbox and oh! it is sooo convenient. I purchased this last year and I’m very pleased how easy it is to set up. Oils, brushes, and Gamsol are easily carried along with a palette plus 2 to 3 panels. (Another post will be devoted to this).

My palette consist of titanium white, ivory black, yellow ochre and transparent red oxide. Later I added cadmium yellow and ultramarine blue. I’m pleased with the results though I intent to go back into it later…like lighting up the mountains, less details.

Painting of Pete's Valley Cattle


In November, there will be a fundraiser and paintings are sold.

Yolo Arts & Ag Project

Yolo Arts provided a way for local artists to paint plein aire on different farms through the county. It’s a monthly visit to a farm that has invited artists to paint. In November there is an auction of the paintings plus wine and food.

I’m happy to say I had sold a painting the only one that I had done. Next year I hope to participate in more farm visitations.