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.
Catching up on some posts – This is an update of my painting from last year’s Burbank Arts Festival, returning May 18th and 19th in 2019. This is the view looking north up Palm Avenue from the booth I was painting from. There were a ton of people ebbing and flowing through the street but in the end I decided to leave a few vehicles to show there were some signs of life.
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.
I was thumbing through paintings and came across on of the two paintings I did at the 2018 Los Angeles Plein Air Festival. The colors were there but the shapes were blurry, so I added some black contours and I like the result. I then looked for news on this year’s festival only to learn it’s been cancelled! What a bummer, I always had a great time.
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.