Friday, April 12, 2013

Joel McCrea Ranch Pastel Paint Out!

In the 1930s, actor Joel McCrea established a working ranch, in Southern California. It's in a beautiful area, in the Santa Rosa Valley, in Ventura County. Joel McCrea and his wife, actress Frances Dee, raised their family here and built a home for themselves and their three children.

280 acres were aquired in the 1990s, through a donation to the Conejo Recreation and Park District, and the Joel and Frances McCrea Ranch Foundation helps to raise money, to maintain the facility.

Our group, the Pastel Society of the Gold Coast, was lucky enough to be the first artist group, invited to come to the Ranch for a plein air "paint out," which happened to be on Saint Patrick's Day.

At the start of the day, when I arrived, there was quite a bit of cloud cover, and fog rolling over the hills and through the valley. Of course, with plein air, the most important thing is to figure out where to be and what you want to paint!

Pretty sure this was Lynn Simon's set up and her watercolor underpainting ...

Working on field sketches, you have to start new pieces when the light changes, and perhaps take reference photos if you want to finish them at home, or use it all as reference for a studio piece.

Lynn Simon, on to another piece ...

There were so many lovely spots, it was hard to commit to a location!
All of the lovely buildings here, are on the National Register of Historic Places.

Lovely sketches, at the ranch, by Judy Koenig 

Oh, there's Judy Dietch, over on the left!

Judy Dietch's set up ... a great piece, and wonderful view of the chicken coop!

The Visitors Center

As you can see ... another light change. The sun came out!

Yep, back at the chicken coop! That's Donna Vis' set up on the left. 

From Donna's point of view ... a lovely composition!

From my point of view (below) ... and that is about as far as I got, with my field sketch on location. More to resolve, in the studio!

Lori Corradi, at work on a beautiful landscape, with a lovely Oak tree.

Just a few of our members that enjoyed the lovely day at the Joel McCrea Ranch!
Judy Dietch, Donna Vis, Lynn Simon and Emily Goldfield

We were also joined by Delia Menes, Judy Koenig, Nelda Gruenthal, Lori Corradi, Erna Braun, and Kathy Coleman.

And a couple of finished pieces!

Joel McCrea Ranch by Lynn Byrne Simon

Joel McCrea Ranch by Lynn Byrne Simon

A couple of nice ladies, Stephanie and Jennifer, came out from the Thousand Oaks Acorn paper, to interview us and take photos. You can check it online!
Our article in the Thousand Oaks Acorn HERE!

If you'd like to visit the Joel McCrea Ranch, at this point it's only open during scheduled events and programs, which you can visit the website to find out about! 
Click Here for upcoming events. The people there are friendly and helpful.

To find out more about the the foundation and the Joel McCrea Ranch, click Here.

If you ask me what I came to do in this world, 
I, as an artist, am here to live out loud.
~Émile Zola

posted by Lucinda Keller