Today I found a place to paint on Rainbow Canyon Road in Temecula, California, which is famous for its wineries and rolling hills. It was a clear, brisk day and the sky seemed enormous as I looked down into the valley. The sky was full of half-darkened clouds that floated by too high to care what was going on below. My painting is a mixture of old and new styles that I hoped would capture the hills, sky, and clouds I enjoyed today.
Eaton Canyon is a park at the base of the Angeles National forest and Mount Wilson. Its creek was full of water from the recent rains, which apparently weren’t over because it rained enough on me to smear my under-painting. When the rain-cloud passed I was able to salvage it by using my painting style from last year.
The original painting was done en plein air and in a hurry. Off and on this week I worked on painting over the right side. Then I realized I would have to re-paint the sky to make it even. I removed some of the confusing background. I finished up the painting today by adding the trees and making the stepping stones natural-looking. I think this painting leads the eyes from the bottom right to the top left.
I was thinking of painting over the whole right side of this painting because it’s so unclear and undefined. It might be accurate, though, last weekend when I painted it the wind was blowing so hard the grass and trees were a blur.
I was painting with the Warrior Painters yesterday. After a short hike I did a plein air study of the Observatory sitting on the hills. After raining all week, it was nice to be out in the sunshine. An hour or so later, I wished I hadn’t left my hat in the car.
Today I painted “en plein air” on San Fernando Boulevard in downtown Burbank. I like the colors and the lines of the city scene and don’t mind the passerby’s who think it’s novel to see a painter live. I used my old “painterly” technique on top of the complementary under-painting technique I was using.
Yesterday I did a quick plein air painting at Brace Canyon Park. It was after 3:00 PM and the sun was making its way down the sky through some haze. It washed everything in a pale yellow light.
Sunday morning my daughter and I headed west in search of a new place to paint. I exited the freeway at Tampa on a hunch and noticed a park on the map, called Wilbur Tampa Park. Instead of finding green grass and picnic benches, a tall cliff greeted us with a wooden-fenced trail around its belly. I drove around to where the top of the cliff was level with the road and parked. The view of the valley took a while to take in: tract houses below, the valley with a thin layer of morning haze still on it, the mountains to the south and west, the gaping blue sky with streaked with clouds and contrails. I could have at least made three paintings there that day but had to settle on one.
I’ve heard of Amir’s Garden in Griffith Park, California, but never visited it until today. Looking for a place to paint, I parked near a hill near the golf course. I followed some hikers up a steep path to the top of the tall hill covered in trees and foliage. There were spider plants, aloe plants, jade plants and more carpeting the pathways. Trees such as oak and mulberry provided a lot of shade. I painted en plein air one of the pathways through the trees with gnarly roots growing across it.
One way to keep one’s artistic muscles is to sketch what you see with whatever materials are available. So here it is, a sketch of my hand using pen and highlighter.