Friday, February 4, 2011
More Winter on the California Coast
Continuing the theme of winter, here is another painting inspired by Christmases spent in the Big Sur area 0n the California Coast. That year we hiked in Andrew Molera State Park to the sea along Big Sur River. I loved this simple scene of evergreens backing dried grasses along the trail. You can see another view of the park that includes the river in an earlier post.
I started and completed this painting during my Thursday night art group. Our numbers were decimated by winter colds, so three of us joined together for a lovely evening of painting. I was hosting and searching at the last minute for art supplies and a subject. I grabbed a 300 pound Arches cold press paper, not my usual 140 pound paper, and a folder of photos of subject matter that emotionally connects with me. Thinking winter, I settled on this scene. I wet the entire sheet, did not sketch out the scene, and used a limited Stephen Quiller pallette, ala Tom Fong's Fast and Loose approach. For the trees, I used Ultramarine Blue, Permanent Orange, and Burnt Sienna. Latter I went back in and introduced a bit of green mixed from Thalo Blue and Cad Yellow Deep. I worked at adding variety in the values. The grasses are Permanent Orange, Cad Yellow Deep, Thalo Green, and Magenta. I scratched in some weeds and added Permanent Orange to some. I had fun doing some positive and negative painting. This morning at critique group, I got a thumbs up on this one without any suggestions for changes.
These California winter scenes are a marked contrast to ones I have painted of winters in North Danville, VT, where son Jeff's family has a small farm with horses. Recently I painted "Winter in the Garden" from a photo Jeff took a couple weeks ago. Having grown up in Vermont, I could feel the cold, crisp air and the bright sunshine in late afternoon. To give you another view of that garden, here is a photo Jeff sent a couple days ago of two of the three horses in the great snowstorm that covered a third of our nation.