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.
I painted this en Plein Air using the backyard as reference. It was late morning and the winter sun cast long shadows of the trees. The oranges are not ripe yet, the fruit large but yellow. This style of painting suits me, I must go forward from here and not backwards.
Last Sunday I painted the baseball fields at Olive Recreation Center in Burbank, California. It was hot, in the nineties, and I painted from under a sycamore tree. I tried to capture the hanging branches in the painting but it’s hard to capture the depth in this flat style of painting. I’m still working on it, and I decided to post this since the final result so far is going to be noticeably different. Lighter sky, leaves more defined lines.
I did this painting this week en plein air of Los Angels State Historic Park near the Chinatown area of Los Angeles. The light of the day was waning into a yellow wash by the time I was applying the main colors, so I went with it.
The short story of this park is that this stretch of land by railroad tracks was going to be made into a row of warehouses but the community rallied together to show its best use was for a modern park. There are great stretches of green grass, many exhibits, and a lot of modern design with wood and stone.
It was nice to be near the beach and Plein air Painting again. I joined the Weekend Warrior Painters in Venice, California in the Venice Canals. The walkways were narrow and there were a lot of tourists taking pictures on the bridges. A few took pictures of me painting!
Last weekend I painted with the Weekend Warriors in Descanso Gardens in La Canada Flintridge, CA. Did the heat scare everyone away or were we spread out all over? I only saw a few others painting. I was very ambitious because I took a 16″ x 20″ canvas to paint on and I’d never painted that large since using Cloisonnist techniques. I think it turned out good.
I met the Weekend Warrior Painters at Stoney Point Park in Chatsworth, CA. It was very hot that morning but I preservered and found a spot to paint under an oak tree. Looking south I could see the tall sandstone rocks and a dusty trail.