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Weekly Paintings By National Award Winning Artist Terry d. Chacon

Thursday, March 27, 2008

San Diego Mission

Yesterday a group of PAAR members met at the San Diego Mission for a wonderful day of painting. San Diego de Alcala founded in 1769, the first of the great California Missions and is California's first church. The history of this exciting mission can be found at the following website: Mission Basilica San Diego de Alcala - Mission History

We met around 11:30 a.m., after saying hello and a quick trip to the restroom we walked around the grounds to find a place to paint. Some of the artists had arrived earlier and had already started painting. When Pat and I arrived we parked in the lower parking lot off the street. The Mission sits on a hill. I had a thought of painting across the street looking up at the Mission, but wanted to take a look around inside the grounds just in case there was something better. You never want to miss the chance of something grabbing you and saying "PAINT ME"! Ada was painting on the long porch of the front building looking up at the bells of the Mission and the front of the church. I said to Pat, this afternoon when the sun comes through the pillars of this porch looking out into the garden with the cross, this is going to be beautiful. Right now everything was in shadow, so I wanted to wait. Pat and I decided to walk down the hill and across the lower parking lot and the main street to see if there was something interesting. Since I seem to always paint buildings straight on, I decided to challenge myself with a view from the right looking left and up the hill. I liked the way the Mission was hidden behind all the trees and the light and shadow on the Mission at this time was a good mix. Also the palm tree on the hill in front of me was giving off some very nice shadows for the foreground of the painting. Pat decided she liked the view also and would give it a shot. I quickly set up and started drawing a bit of the Mission. Well as one would have it, yes I picked a very difficult view. I struggled with the building until I got it right. I quickly laid in the dark values before the light changed and started painting. All in all I actually came out with a painting that I liked, but I hate it when I spend so much time trying to get the angles on buildings right. The mystery of what is up the hill and behind the trees delighted me when the painting was finished as that is what I was trying to capture. After some Triscuits and water (1 step up from bread and water) we packed up our gear and moved up the hill. I was right, the sun was now coming through the pillars on the long porch and my scene was captivating. I set up about 2/3's down the long porch looking out into the garden with this beautiful white cross. It was shimmering in the afternoon sun, also asking to be painted. I think the painting speaks for itself. I was so excited when I was finished and stepped back. I had a vision in the morning and to accomplish a painting from that, makes me very happy and I would call it a good painting day when you get 2 nice paintings. After we were finished for the day we had a bite to eat, some ice cream at Coldstone and were back home by 9 p.m. Just in time to watch American Idol! Enjoy the Art. Terry

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