Tuesday, February 9, 2010

San Francisco Bay

After much cruising around the streets of San Francisco Bay, thanks to the Virtual Paintout challenge, I finally made a decision to paint this view of Beach Rd, Belvedere - a place I think I'd be happy to holiday in, if I was magicked away to S.F. by a sleight of some travel wizard's hand. There's some coastline and a lovely yacht basin just below this shady, winding road. I'm embarrassed now, to think I thought I'd 'seen' this city on an overnight trip there about 17 years ago. What we saw was Fisherman's Wharf, and a steep road which we descended in one of the famous trams, and the Golden Gate bridge - a tiny fragment of this enormous sprawling place.

The painting didn't turn out the way I had hoped - I can tell I haven't done much watercolouring lately. It's green and brown, which was not my intention, and the big strong shapes of dark and light got splintered into a jigsaw of details and fussery. I might try it again, with boldness.

21 comments:

Teresa said...

I can't imagine that it "didn't turn out the way I had hoped".... I think it's beautiful. Looks so lush and inviting.

I'm working on a piece for the Virtual Paintout too... will be my first entry.

dominique eichi said...

I love the feel it has of heat with a lovely promenade ahead. You choose a lovely spot.

Catherine said...

It may not have turned out the way you were planning, but it is beautiful! Very California. VERY Bay Area. I love it.

Makes me want to do this Virtual Paintout thing.

RHCarpenter said...

Oh, you did a great job on this - love the dappled sunlight and that curving stone wall and steps going up and...well, I like everything about this and this is one I say, "Wish I could paint like that!" Catching up on my favorite blogs after being out of the loop for a while...

laura said...

I like the way the curves of the road and the steps make a kind of embrace and also that the way you've painted the scene--with your characteristic exuberance and liveliness--it looks like it could be a scene of South Africa.

Gillian said...

Oh you've really captured the heat and the dappled shade. I love this. Isn't great to think of all of us from around the world virtually bumping into one another as we move around the city!

Charlene Brown said...

Your splintered fussery looks cool and inviting. I think the whole painting is wonderfully successful, just because it makes us want to be there -- really, instead of just virtually.

Terry Banderas said...

San Francisco Bay turned out well. Your greens and browns look nice and do appear when the sun is out. I think you did a great job.

Cathy Gatland said...

Teresa - look forward to seeing your first VP!

Thanks Dominique and Catherine - I am so unfamiliar with this area, so glad I found a 'typical' spot!

Rhonda - I'm also wishing I could paint like someone else - guess one should be happy that one CAN just paint - a privilege!

Laura, it could be a scene in the Western or Eastern Cape, maybe why I picked it!

Thanks Gillian - that is a nice thought, bumping into each other with our paints and stuff :)

Charlene and Terry, thank you, I should stop whinging!

Laureline said...

Oh, I disagree----I like it VERY much. It has so much depth and a real feeling of serenity. I don't see muddy colors, I see coolness and space. I would never have guessed you didn't know this place intimately.

Debbie Drechsler said...

Yeah, I agree with everyone else. You did a great job and absolute captured that California light that's so captivating! It's a wonderful painting!

Art with Liz said...

Ok so this now makes me want to travel there too! Different for you Cathy, but great nevertheless.

JRonson said...

wow great essence ! nice lines and colors

Carol King said...

It may be green and brown, but it's a beautiful green and brown, with lovely sunlight dappled on the roadway. The sky is a clear blue (see it's not just green and brown) and the stairs make the eyes sweep up to the top of the painting.

One of these days I want to try the Virtual Paintout. I just how to figure out how to work Google Maps. I may need to find a damn teenager.

Gillian said...

Hi Cath - yes, so Eastern Cape! That's what I thought when I first looked and didn't read the explanation. The little white building reminds me of a thatch rondavel. And the shady palm trees, lovely.

Africantapestry and Myfrenchkitchen said...

This looks SO great Cathy! and an interesting project...I'll have to go and have a look, it looks like fun to join in!
Ronell

janabouc said...

The light and sun and warmth and colors are perfect. It definitely looks like a sunny day in Marin County, where Belvedere is. Marin is near San Francisco but a whole different climate, hot and sunny in the summer while SF is cold and foggy. Also Belvedere real estate is probably the priciest in California if not the U.S. so indeed, if you could afford to reside in that neighborhood, you would likely be quite happy there! Your work is even more amazing considering it came from a probably not-too-great snapshot from Google! Wonderful watercolor! I honestly can't imagine what you could do to improve it.

Cathy said...

I would have sworn I had left a comment on your beautiful painting!! Weird!
Anyway, I love the way you painted the cool shade! It looks all so inviting!

Helen Percy Lystra said...

It's a beautiful city; I've been twice but barely scratched the surface. You did on nice job on the sketch.

Adam Cope said...

yes, i think it's worth a second try. Bravo for the first!

2 ideas: - focus on the way the light & shade go down the vertical of the wall then strife across the horizontal flat of the road then change direct as the go up the vertical of the facing hedge.

- a person on the (rather boring) path, who might be "cruising " San Francisoe too? ;-)

ps. word verification via auditory noise v.slow non-board band - ugkk!

Mary Sheehan Winn said...

Good thing our viewers don't know what our fears about the outcomes of our paintings are, huh?
I took one look and thought it had everything it needed. Love the horizontals of the stairs in tandem with the horizontals in the street.
Beautiful.