Monday I took myself and my dog in our little RV on a paintcation to Anza Borrego Desert State Park. What I loved most about this spot was the quiet and the very dark starry nights. I painted outside in the mornings, as the afternoons were either too warm or windy. The rest of the time I spent inside piddling around with my watercolors. Oh, and there might have been a couple of margaritas and pints of ice cream. Meanwhile, my little malte-poo waited patiently to go home. I guess to her, the whole place smelled like coyote! Here are some pics of the first day. It was 75 degrees in the shade, but I swear it felt like 90 in the sun! I don't get that. I came home a day early to avoid driving in the high winds expected for today. Better shots of the paintings will come once the rain stops and I can photograph them.
watercolor and gouache approx. 9x11 inches magnify/purchase
I bought flowers at a local farmer's market. Later that day, they pulled my raffle ticket and I won a huge basket of fruit, veggies, bread, nuts and a fragrant bunch of stock to add to my flowers. Lucky flowers! I nursed the bouquet along for a week. Here are the survivors barely hanging on. I liked the prospect of making a lively painting with a not so lively subject. I kept it loose and left my marks alone.
oil 6x8 inches magnify/purchase Sorry about the glare. I continue to try different approaches in my work. Here, I worked with low natural light rather than a set up strongly lit from one side. For so long I have mixed paint on my palette, made a stroke, then the next, avoiding painting on top of previous strokes. Now I'm exploring the possibilities of mixing paint on the canvas with my strokes. Along with using thicker paint, this is freeing. I feel like I can do anything I want to and see how it turns out. I've begun to question the "wipe out" in favor of working with the paint, pushing it around, trying different stuff and letting it be. In the end, it is what it is. Maybe this one looks like somebody else painted it! Ha!
watercolor & gouache approx 11x8 inches magnify/purchase Reading about John Singer Sargent this weekend got me in the mood for some watercolor. Not surprisingly, he produced about 900 oils. But did you know he did about 2000 watercolors? And he had no problem using some opaque paint here and there. I had fun with this, then even more fun playing with some gouache on top.
oil 12x12x1 1/2 magnify/purchase
Meet Grandma Tina from Amy's Farm in Chino. She's a gentle old cow who doesn't mind being led past a line of school children so they can get a sense of how big a cow really is. She always wears her halter and bell. I had a hard time getting a good shot of this piece due to it being wet on five sides. There is glare on the bottom third obscuring some nice warm darks. Painted on 1 1/2 inch deep gallery wrap canvas, ready to hang.
oil 8x10 inches click for purchase info and magnifier
I didn't have much painting time in January, but the month definitely ended in a positive way, paint-wise. Yesterday I got out to Irvine Regional Park in Orange where this old tractor asked to have her portrait painted. Mostly the light was cloudy and overcast which allowed me to slow down and enjoy myself instead of racing against changing conditions. As I painted, the Shetland ponies nearby snorted and chewed, and the little train clicked by again and again full of young children on field trips. One painting, then one wipe-out in the afternoon. Having had good dose of dirt, trees and fresh cold air, I went home a happy painter.