When I do a painting of a place, I get to know it’s intricacies. The angles of the land, colors, shadows, and textures are interpreted from my short term memory and on to the canvas. Sometimes afterward it seems my brain is not satisfied with my output. I have to scrawl it out on the page or be haunted by it like a ghost.
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.
I will admit that I like yellow a lot. Maybe too much. I decided to re-do an earlier painting I called “City Park” but instead add yellow to all the colors just for fun.
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.
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.