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.
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.