After hearing that rain was forecast for Wednesday, I registered first thing on Monday to get going early. I started with a painting of the Sonoma Plaza fountain, which has been my first painting each of the last two years. With everything backlit, it makes a nice composition, and the water from the fountain sparkles. This has made a nice series, seeing the slight landscape changes from each year.
After a quick lunch with a sandwich from the Boulangerie, I once again surveyed the Plaza and found the Bear Flag sculpture to be in the sun. I have wanted to do this painting before, but the statue is surrounded by trees and is rarely sunlit. Once again choosing a backlit vantage point, I went to work. I rearranged some of the trees to strengthen the composition. Everything went quite smoothly, and I was pleased with the result.
I decided this year not to drive around a lot, so I stayed in the Plaza and went over to see if I could find a way to do the Sebastiani Theatre. I had painted it in silhouette many times, but avoided painting it as the subject. Generally I try to avoid specific building "portraits". They rarely make strong paintings. I usually catch a piece or make them secondary to the overall composition. But this time I succumbed. I tried to direct the eye to the sign and the opening. The tower though is so strong an element it is hard for it not to be a major element. I'll have to try a different approach next year.