day 3. painting in the fog

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.

Goat Rock painting
Not Goat Rock!
Goat Rock painting detail
detail-so fun to push the paint around

inches into abstract

While painting along the Russian River recently, I headed out to the coast with a couple of friends, specifically to go to Goat Rock. It had been predicted to be gloriously sunny, but in reality it was socked-in, dense coastal fog. We continued towards the rock, but couldn’t see it until getting right up close to it! (This is a large rock!!) My friends headed back inland to Bodega, but I waited for the fog to clear. The visibility actually went down as denser fog rolled in, so I decided to try painting something small and nearby. I found a nice jumble of lichen-covered rocks near the road. On one, a bush’s dry twigs curling around like an enveloping hand, with tiny, red-leafed brambles amongst caught my eye (hey, writers can take liberties too!). Loosely following the form of the objects, I followed my whims and tried to enjoy the process. It wasn’t cold, there were few people around, it was pleasant. The painting is almost evenly divided between fog and land, and appears black and white, but there are actually colors! I like the idea of going a bit abstract, though it may be sort of dark…?

abstract painting
abstract on the rocks

 

painting detail
detail