The Santa Monica Beach Pier was very crowded this Sunday – the result of a confluence of events: St. Patrick’s Day, Spring Break, mid 80s Fahrenheit inland, and the first weekend in a while it didn’t rain.
It didn’t stop me from getting in a quick Plein air painting of the beach crowds waiting for the sunset.
Last weekend I went the the Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve to see the California poppies in bloom and paint the views. The poppies were just starting to unfurl their first blooms so there wasn’t much orange to see yet. I set up my easel and painted a view of the Antelope Valley.
This view of this painting is from Palm Avenue looking north across San Fernando Boulevard (in Burbank, California.) This part of Palm Avenue is blocked for only pedestrian traffic and houses a movie theater and many restaurants and stores. It was a bright, warm late morning when I started painting and the acrylic paint was drying fast.
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 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.