in Marin – along the coast. a sunny calm day.
a few years ago my plein air group and I took a trip up to the Guerneville area. We rented a cabin on the Russian River and spent three days eating, painting, socializing and generally having a blast. One of the days, we headed out to Goat Rock, along the coast. As we got closer to the coast, the fog became thicker and thicker, until by the time we arrived at our destination, it was a thick blanket you could scarcely see through. Some of us continued south until we could find some clearer skies, which we did, but I returned to Goat Rock determined to paint that almost-island. Still socked-in, but I set up my gear and focused on a nearby bramble tangle. It turned out to be an abstract, and super fun.
An alla prima painting from this past Sunday – yes, that HOT Sunday. Staying cool in the shade of a grove of eucalyptus begged the subject of the sheltering trees. These trees shed their skin continually it seems, and they have interestingly shaped trunks if you take a few moments to look at an individual or two. This is a little wet, there may be a few more things to add later on. I’ll not nominate anyone for this challenge, because I want to allow my fellow artists to continue on their journeys at their own discretion and in their own time.
I worked on this painting more, struggling a bit with the interface between “reality” and non-reality (orange and purple areas). It’s settled down a bit and I like the general direction now.
I won’t finish that title —but you may think of the author Gabriel García Márquez. We must find and connect with the things we love and take joy from. Everything is helpful, from simple pleasures like a morning cup of coffee in your favorite cup to the more complex and absorbing occupations you may assign yourself. Connect with friends, get exercise, write a virtual letter. I challenged some of my painting friends to a Wolf Kahn-style effort. I’m not sure I really accomplished that. I was inspired by a photo I took of some clouds at sunset after a rain right here in the suburbs. You don’t have to be limited by what your landscape really is— take what is working and inspiring for you, and discard what is not. (see reference photo below)
I’ll keep working on this and I think I see what direction it needs to go now. However, any suggestions are welcome!
there is a free day at the SF Botanical Garden once a month, but I rather accidentally ended up there on the free day! I happened to have my painting kit with me and so I thought I would find plentiful subjects there. I wandered around the 55 acres for over an hour, ending up near the main gate where there were some magnificent crabapple trees blooming. I have never had a lot of luck or skill at painting flowering trees, but they were so beautiful I had to try again.
It was pretty late by the time I got back around to that location, and the sun was streaming over the lawn from a low point, making these great shadows that are really fun. It seems the trick is to simplify the trees, just making them into shapes.
Sunsets are so dramatic, they become trite. It’s a lot of fun, however, to glob on tons of color! In reworking this one, it became illogical when I added the brightly lit waves in conjunction with the deep orange and yellow sky, but I like it anyway. It may stay this way.