Arroyo Twilight

I think I tend to be a little too conservative with color. It’s a rut I’m trying to get out of by occasionally getting experimental and pushing the colors far beyond realism. So, today my husband and I went out for a little “golden hour” painting time – the last 25 minutes of the day before the sun went behind the nearby Verdugo Hills. There wasn’t time to fiddle and fuss about being neat or getting the shapes and values right – the light was changing rapidly by the minute. I had a very good time splashing around while he read to me about Calder from today’s LA Times.

This watercolor sketch is another view of the same arroyo I painted last week – an area that is either dustbowl dry or full of water depending upon the season. Right now there are cattails in a marshy area – redwinged blackbirds everywhere and ponds full of poliwogs. It’s my idea of a great painting location.

If you draw or paint, in what areas are you ‘pushing yourself’ to be more experimental, regardless of the outcome? Are you taking chances? How does it feel when you do?