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.
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.
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.
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.
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.