adventures in the real world

Seattle Plein Air = artists who enjoy painting and sketching in the real world. Here we share the adventure!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

The DeYoung Museum in San Francisco

 My husband (in sketch) and I flew into the Bay Area for a quick weekend.  We visited the DeYoung Museum in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco.  What a fantastic building with plenty of interesting exhibits. It turned out to be a beautifully warm day.  We had lunch at the museum cafe outside under the cantilevered overhang.  It was so enjoyable, I just wanted to linger.  It smelled of the eucalyptus trees.  You can see more pictures and sketches at my blog:
It's a definite 'must see' when in San Francisco.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Texas Mesquites and a House

These are a couple of the paint/sketches I did on a recent trip to Texas. Above was done enroute in a large vehicle out in the wild areas of a large ranch... looking for, and finding, lots of wild hogs, deer, and more. And of course, lots of mesquite, red dirt and blue sky.

And the one below is the drive entry to a very large house, behind the gate was a heavenly garden...

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Hudeman Slough, Sonoma Ca.

One of the downfalls of plein air painting in the Winter!!!

The day started with showers during the first 2 hours but I set up underneath an abandoned structure.

Setting up and ready for a tractor study.

At the end of the day I ended up painting 3 separate watercolor studies.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Ring Mountain - Corte Madera, Ca

October Paintout along the trail of Ring Mountain, Corte Madera CA. Bringing my cart up that hill was the challenging part :)

But the view was well worth it!!!
(9" x 12" pastels on waterboard)

Monday, October 17, 2011

Castle Green in Pasadena California

While on vacation in Pasadena, California, I walked down to their Central Park, where I sat at a picnic table and attempted to paint Castle Green.  I don't do enough watercolor, and didn't spend very much time (it was too hot outside) and I definitely need more practice sketching palm trees (not enough here in the NW).  That's enough excuses for one day.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Samish Island

In early September I was lucky enough to spend a week at a painting retreat with Seattle Co-Arts. My bliss was sneaking out before breakfast to paint alone. Here are a couple oil sketches:

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Pastels - Point Reyes, Ca.

Limantour Beach @ Point Reyes, Ca.

It rained in the morning but let up... just enough to paint. This was quite a tricky view since the heavy fog kept rolling in/out of the hills. But still a fun experiment with watercolors and pastels. Both of which... would get destroyed if it ever rained, LOL.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Hansville sketch with watercolor

"Jane at Hanesville" Ink and Watercolor - Copyright Delorse Lovelady

Here is a quick sketch of a friend on an August outing to Hansville, WA. A lovely day sitting by the water, enjoying the scenery, snapping photos.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Sunday at Greenlake

Technically, there were many people buzzing by but I appreciated this fine fellow who rested in front of my car window.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Plein Air - Yountville, CA

(9" x 12" watercolors & gouache on watercolor board)

Long Horns @ Yountville, Ca???

I thought I'd never see Long Horns unless I visited Texas??? Last weekend I visited the town of Yountville, CA. Another great tourist spot for wine tasting and yummy bakeries... not to mention the world famous restaurant, French Laundry and owner Thomas Keller.

You might have remembered seeing Keller on the DVD Special Features of Ratatouille.... where he served as a consultant during Pixar's culinary research for the 2007 animated film :)

So back to those Long Horns.....

I didn't feel like setting up around the restaurant where there's way too much foot traffic so I continued driving and turning onto Yount Street. It began to look like a lonesome road that would most likely take me to a private winery. And just before I drove any further a huge Long Horn was hanging out by a large tree!!!

I was just in awe.... seeing these Long Horns up close but remembered to keep a SAFE distance. That was not much of a sturdy fence! So I parked my car off to the slanted shoulder and set up my easel. Above is a progress shot.... with blown out lighting due to the direct sun light right above me. One of the disadvantages of doing plein air in the late afternoon. I'll be sure to scan in the final painting and share, Thanks!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Log Boom Park

Log Boom Park, oil knifepainting on canvas, 24" x 36"

This was actually painted in 2009, when Leigh and I met at Log Boom Park to paint. But I'm posting it now because I'll hang it as part of my September exhibit at the Sunlight Cafe, 64th and Roosevelt! Come and join me for happy hour (4-6) on September 1. Their food is great!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Kirkland Farmer's Market

Last month I was at this market in Kirkland, and took a few moments to sketch and enjoy a lovely day. I came away with a huge bouquet of gorgeous flowers, reds, purple and more, that we enjoyed on our kitchen table.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Sketchcrawl Breakfast

What a beautiful morning!  We had breakfast outside at Luna Park Cafe in West Seattle.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Convex and Concave Shapes and 4th of July Sketch.

Haven't posted in a while.  But here are a couple of sketches done recently as drawing prompts for my architectural sketching students.

Apples, Strawberries, and Pears

11" X 15" Watercolor on Arches paper (cropped to 11" X 12" for this photo)

This was painted from the still life I set up for our Seattle Watercolor Meetup Group on June 17. The weather here in Seattle had finally gotten warm enough for a few strawberries to ripen, and they were begging to be painted, along with two beautiful pears and an assortment of apples.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Richardson Bay (Mill Valley, CA)

(5" x 9" Gouche on Watercolor board)

Spent the afternoon driving passed Mill Valley and taking the same exit towards Stinson Beach. Met up with fellow plein air painters to paint along the Richardson Bay. Decided to include some passerby's.... on kayaks!!!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Skillet Diner on Capitol Hill

 Had breakfast with my husband at Skillet Diner on Union Street.  Very nice breakfast.  This is a semi-blind contour drawing with a little watercolor, done while we were waiting, maybe ten minutes.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

singing in the rain

Treetops 2, oil on copper, 6" x 4"

Couple weeks ago I went out for the first time with a Seattle Co-Arts' plein air posse. Before the rain began pouring at Magnuson Park I began this little oil sketch on copper, only 6 inches tall!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

The Houses Next Door

Taking my sketchbook and pen to our deck last week on a wonderful sunny day, I captured this quick sketch of our neighbor's houses.....

Monday, May 30, 2011

nature vivant

Fading Light, w/c on Arches HP, 5 x 7 inches, copyright BVF Betker 2011

I meet with a few other painters on Friday afternoons in the Loyal Heights Community Center in Ballard just to paint watercolor together. It is an oasis, with warm light coming in the windows, calm, easy talk and periods of silent work. Last Friday Megan brought pears and a dish, and Christina brought grapes. We snuck the compost pail (originally a cat litter container) out of the facility's kitchen to get our still life up into the light. And voila, the dignity and grace of beautiful fruit!

And I've never really liked the term "nature morte."

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Sugarloaf Ridge State Park - Kenwood, CA

Found a great spot off one of the trails and decided to set up in front of water running down rocks and into the creek. The bad part about this paintout was the MOSQUITOES!

(9" x 12" Gouache on Watercolor board)

Sugarloaf is on the list of 70 parks in California scheduled to close down this July.... that means no more pubic access for hikers and... plein air painters!!! For now there is an Assembly Bill No.42 that would grant access for non-profits to enter operating agreements with State Parks without having to go through the legislative process. Here's a link to more info on the park closures: [link]

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Tillikum Village

We took the boat ride to Tillikum Village on  Blake Island aboard the Good Time II.  This is a quick sketch of the bar on the boat.  Bloody Marys.  Yes.  The weather even turned out very nice.

Then we had a very nice salmon lunch and watched the new Native show.  We enjoyed it very much and highly recommend it.  It's funny, we've lived here all of our lives and this is the first time we've been out to the island.  We are going to start doing more touristy things here in town.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Beatrix Potter Foxglove

This is a foxglove I had in my yard in Kirkland. I call it the Beatrix Potter foxglove because it looks like the ones pictured in Peter Rabbit. A robin hung around with me all afternoon while I painted it, and I wrote a story about that robin for my blog.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Kubota Garden

If you haven't been to Kubota Garden lately (or ever - augh!!), it's in magnificent bloom for painting!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Painting Boats on Lake Washington

A gorgeous and fun day over at Lake Washington, painting with Beth.... here's one of my pieces - a small watercolor painting - I was trying to not be too fussy, and just getting in a hint of boats, general shapes.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Learning to glow again

The sun has returned to us! Lake Forest Park's meetup was a glorious day and we went over to Lyons Park (our secret dock)! I finally got to try something I've been thinking about, painting with oil on copper sheeting. I cut it up into little plein-air sizes to fit in my sketchbox. The smooth surface affords wonderful blending opportunities, and whether you can see it here or not, I think the copper actually glows through the paint.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

marina morning

Delorse and I got out sketching Tuesday morning and she showed me a wonderful little public marina in Kenmore. It was a bright sunny day after a rainy weekend. Couldn't stop fussing with this sketch, even as the light kept changing.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Down at the terminal

Yesterday was an amazing day for painting. The sun was out, the wind was soft and the sights were many.

I met up with the Seattle Plein Air group and we got settled onto the docks and started creating away. Some people were more prepared than I, with their easels and chairs, but I found myself sitting on the concrete, sprawled out in the sun. This was the perfect way to get a fresh perspective of the marina though. Instead of just seeing the masts and the decks of the tugs, trawlers and sailboats, I was able to sit and stare at their reflections and what lay beneath the water.

As I painted, sailors would walk by and comment "Now, that boat there: that's the one you want to paint" or "I just pulled my boat in if you're looking for a new subject..." I think that next time somebody suggests a topic to me, I'll jump on it. I can always finish something that I've started, but if there is something that needs to be painted so badly that a lonely sailor suggests it, well, it would be foolish to keep passing that up.

Long story short, I love beautiful days on the water and enjoying fresh air while painting. It's the perfect day.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Town of Glen Ellen, CA

(5"x7" gouache on watercolor board)

Took a drive out to Glen Ellen, CA......Where's that?! The town is located along Hwy 12, just between Sonoma and Santa Rosa. Made a stop at the Jack London Village shops and set up my easel. Turned out to be a nice, warm and sunny afternoon so I thought I'd try to capture folks enjoying lunch in the outdoor patio. Happy Easter weekend!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

transportation helix

Last Saturday was Worldwide Sketchcrawl 31 and Seattle's Urban Sketchers met at the Helix Bridge on Elliott Avenue, a real wonderland of old and new industry and architecture. Naturally my eyes follow the railroad running underneath the bridge -- its own form of social and economic DNA. A great day for sketching in the open with congenial others!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

I spent last week in Clinton, New Jersey. This is a painting of JJ Scoops, Ice Cream Parlor. A favorite stop for my Granddaughter.

Friday, April 8, 2011

the sun came out today

April Light

copyright BVF Betker 2011, watercolor on multimedia artboard, 8" x 10"

They told us this would be our only sunny day for awhile. It was my duty to make the most of it so I sat down behind the Bathhouse Theater on North Green Lake and enjoyed the light!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Pike Place Market

Three ladies sitting under the large wooden carved Sasquatch having lunch.  The lady in the middle looked so sad she made the Sasquatch sad.

Calistoga, Ca

(5"x7" gouche on watercolor board)

This was the first time ever painting in the RAIN. Although the rain was intermittent, it caused me to retreat to my SUV. I ended up using the trunk door as shelter. I usually carry an EasyL umbrella... mainly for the summer paintouts. But I think using my trunk door will be the best option during the rest of these April showers.