The Yolo Arts Art & Ag Project held their April outing at the Clarence Scott Hill Ranch in Winters on April 10 and 12, 2014. Dozens of artists showed up on location to take advantage of the blessing of being invited onto Yolo County agricultural and ranch lands in order to capture the essence in paint, pen and photography.
Each month from February through October a different location is featured on a Thursday and Saturday. The outing may take artists to farms, ranches or historical addresses. Many of these destinations are steeped in rich family and regional history that owners are happy to share. Mr. William A. Chapman made himself available to visitors during the April outing in order to answer questions and help make the history come alive with stories about the ancestral ranch settled and developed in the 1850's by his great grandparents George Washington Scott and Amaratta (Emma) Bloomer Scott.
The Clarence Scott outing offered artists many picturesque opportunities with a ranch house over 100 years old, barns, a saddle house, green pastures, rolling hills and ravines, as well as old farming equipment, silos and so much more.
Fences and gates
The beauty of wood and wire, the angles and lines of fences and gates, the boundaries and the expanse are all part of what makes the Clarence Scott Hill Ranch an ideal location for an Art & Ag Project outing.
Wildflowers and grasses
In April the ranch pastures and rolling hills at the edge of the coastal range are green and glorious. Wild poppies color the road side of County Road 29, 89 and CA-113.
Fig trees, oak, and many varieties of grasses and trees populate the ranch and refresh the eye and mind, creating a relaxing environment for artistry. Many artists brought chairs while a few made the pasture their personal lounging sites as they worked their painting magic.
Upon arriving at the Art & Ag destination, visitors are likely to find artist dotting the land, perched in ideal spots for framing their images or wandering around getting ideas or simply enjoying the inspiration.
The April outing welcomed dozens of artists who most often sported hats for shade. Photographers were also at hand with tripods and cameras. These outings are a great resource for meeting fellow artists, making new friends and sharing your love for art and the land.
According to Mr. William A. Chapman, this rusty delight is one of the first washing machines to be made. He is quite a humorous historical story teller and made the artists feel welcome and, if so desired, also well informed. The large bowl (seen in the corner of the bottom image) was used to hold water and placed over a heat source. The ring allowed the washing women to move the bowl back and forth.The cow head ornamentation makes for a very elaborate "washing machine" panel.
Various old farming equipment, tools, and parts are found at many of the Yolo County Art & Ag Project locations. Some of them have incredible collections and include antiques as well as more recent discarded items that turn the grounds into a sort of outdoor museum. Stoves, wheels, farming equipment parts that only the users readily now their use, tubs, sinks, buckets, rolls of wire, old saddles, tractors, harvesting parts and so much more are among the collections that might be found and used as sources for inspiration.
The agricultural and ranch life is a huge draw. The fields filled with crops at various stages of growth, blooming almond trees, livestock, flowers and more all beckon the artist to express their appreciation of the Art Ag bond.
Artists seem to adore old barns. They also love newer barns if they are panted red. One of the attending April artists commented that the ranch was ripe with venues for painters with the barns and multiple old buildings.
Both interiors and exteriors are appreciated by artists. Photographers will do well to remember their tripods in case occasion arises where they get to peek inside and capture the fall of light and shadow through the door or wood slats.
Wagons and wheels
Everyone finds their own view and sometimes the artists appear to agree. On Thursday, April 10 a cluster of painters could be found under one shaded grove as they faced this old carriage.
Wagons, wheels, old trucks and cars, and other things that go or used to go are often a focal point for those who are inspired by what is found at the Art & Ag destinations.
Animals easily make a scene more energized. Horses, sheep. dogs, chickens, wild birds, goats and more might be encountered at the outings. The Clarence Scott Hill Ranch is a working cattle ranch and these horses caught the eye of many as they grazed the green fields. The cows were away in other pastures but their splendid patties were in evidence throughout the grass.
The April outing offered some grand views with extensive fields and hills. The green grasses also highlighted the barns and gave a fine contrast to the wood.
As summer approaches, the green will fade but the ranch will remain active. Artist will move on to the next destination and perhaps share what they captured at the Harvest Lottery.
Beyond supporting cooperative efforts of Yolo County agricultural and ranch lands and artists, the outings are great fun. Visitors will always want to respect the boundaries and be sure that where they aim to tread is acceptable. There are potential hazards, like any place, but there are endless opportunities to enjoy the Art Ag visual delights and capture your favorites in paint, film or digital records. Some use watercolor, some acrylic or oil, some favor pencils and pens, some carry multiple cameras and gear.
The outings are scheduled for 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. which allows for ample time to create, capture, and be inspired. Many painters take photos and do additional works later or complete their projects started on site.
Art is inspiring. Art is fun. Agriculture is necessary but it is also inspiring. Bringing these things together makes for many happy people. It doesn't get much better than coming upon an old tub sitting in a row of tubs out in the field. You can enhance the experience by perhaps bringing a snack or lunch and sharing the Art & Ag Project fun with friends. Put the next one on your calendar and bring your tools and a friend or two! You can find out more about the Art & Ag Project at the Yolo Arts website here.