Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Winter on the California Coast

"Winter in Andrew Molera State Park"
11" x 14" Watercolor

Continuing with my versatile approach to art, the medium is watercolor and the subject category is landscape. I must say, there is just something so satisfying about working with watercolor -- the way it flows, moves, and mixes on the paper is delicious.

In recent years we've spent a few days by ourselves over Christmas in Big Sur. That tradition was broken this year as adult children marry and start new traditions with blended families. However, I still went there in my mind's eye. Among the larger parks there is modestly-sized Andrew Molera State Park with a hike-in campground and some trails along Big Sur River to where the mouth of the river joins the mighty Pacific. At that juncture, the scene is very wild and powerful. However, as I looked at my old photos, I was drawn to this quieter scene a short ways from the ocean.

The day was overcast and colors were quite grayed out; the land masses were reflected in the river. Using just my brush, no drawing, and editing the scene mentally, I created the land and water masses using Stephen Quiller' watercolors -- permanent orange and thalo blue for the greyed green of the hills and trees, the water is cerulean blue with some ultramarine blue in the foreground, the sky remains the white of the paper, the tree limbs were done with alizarin crimson, ultramarine blue and permanent orange. I used a touch of alizarin in the weeds of the middle ground. I recalled the damp, cool air against my skin as we hiked the mile to the sea, and the peaceful, muted vista that says California Coast and Big Sur on the shortest of winter days.

This painting was done ala Tom Fong style-- just go for it. View another Andrew Molera scene, "The Coast" -- I sold that painting at my "Trois Artistes" reception on the Santa Cruz Wharf.

8 comments:

Kathy said...

Your painting is beautiful and serene! You did a great job with the water.

Peggy Stermer-Cox said...

Hi Mary, I agree with Kathy, the water is particularly lovely; I can feel the reflections! And, I enjoyed looking at your brush work; well done!

AutumnLeaves said...

Really gorgeous, Mary. In fact, the exercise of painting it sounds like it was just absolutely refreshing! The water is perfection.

hw (hallie) farber said...

Wow, Mary. Really beautiful.

Barbra Joan said...

Mary I've been to Big Sur and the area you describe.. Your versatility in mediums is something to be admired. You seem to do so well with all of them.. I look at this watercolor , its an excellent capture, and then your pastel below it... nuf said !!!!

Tim Robinson said...

Very nice!

hmuxo said...

This is a beautiful scene, Mary! I love the detailed work ...color and the water...Perfect!!!

PAMO said...

OMGosh Mary! I think this is one of my all time favorites. WOW!!!!!!!