Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Week 20 of 365 Days of Art Challenge

This week went by so quickly! Started with having a new grandson! Then I went to CA for 5 days for a quilting retreat with Patt Blair, where we painted wholecloth quilts using Tsukineko inks. The retreat is held at Vina de Lestonnac, a quiet retirement center for nuns and a few priests, in Temecula - beautiful southern California wine country.

Dragon head - created by Lynnita Knoch
for art quilt for Patt Blair workshop.
I continued to work on my dragon head that I started at last year's retreat (see previous post here). I hadn't had a chance to work on it since then - it's a large piece  (approx 35" x 50") and I don't really have a place at home to set it up.  I'm not posting any photos of the quilt yet. I don't want to unveil it until I've finished it.  I've changed the colors a bit, from what I painted on my drawing (shown here) - it is fresher and I don't need to do as much mixing to get the colors I want. I'm very pleased with how it's turning out.  I'm a little more than halfway done. I realized that when I paint, it usually takes me several months to complete a work this large, so I shouldn't be frustrated that this is taking me so long.

At any rate, I didn't get any sketching done for this week's art challenge - between the newborn and the quilting retreat. But I took many photos around the retreat center, so I'm posting some of those as my "sketching" for this week's art challenge.

Windmills in CA from I-10 highway. The mountains still have some snow.
Overlooking the Danzai winery from  Vina de Lestonnac retreat center.
Several hot air balloons over wine country early Friday morning.
Vina de Lestonnac has lovely grounds with a wide variety of plants. This purple prickly pear had its first blooms while we were there. We just need to look to Mother Nature for our color palettes.  The purple and yellows are just stunning!
One of the local denizens! He was soaking up the sun. He posed for me, allowing me to take several shots before he decided to move on. He has a lovely purple throat and belly to show off to the ladies, which he displayed for me. He has attitude and I would like to paint him for a small art quilt. 

Several rose bushes were still blooming, although many were past their peak by the time we were there. The colors are awesome on this lovely striped rose. 
Red rose still drenched in dewdrops. 

 I hope I didn't overwhelm you with photos. Vina de Lestonnac is such a relaxing, quiet place for a retreat, with beautiful scenery everywhere you look.

The only problem we had this year was the fires north of San Diego. We were between 40-60 miles from them. You could see the black smoke clouds in the distance and occasionally smell smoke. One evening, we actually had to drive from the classroom to the dining room, as the wind blew smoke from the Camp Pendleton fire into the area, making it very difficult to breathe. I pray for all those affected by these fires, especially the firemen and the people who have lost their homes.

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