“Fire in Ojai” – 11 in. x 7 in. Watercolor on 140# paper
Yes, there is a theme this week in my painting – clouds and skies. This one came about for a few different reasons.
1) I was looking for a different kind of cloud to paint
2) I wanted some practice doing eucalyptus trees
3) My talented art friend Ron Guthrie posted a wonderful painting on Wet Canvas today based on a photo of the San Gabriels he took from the freeway – and that reminded me of a freeway shot I’d taken earlier this year that might be good for cloud/smoke practice.
The backstory: My husband and I were driving up to Santa Barbara for a meeting and I saw a plume of smoke rising in the distance. Because I have my camera in my lap whenever we drive anywhere I got a few shots of the Ojai fire which had just started that morning.
As you can tell, I made quite a few changes, just using the photo as a starting point to remind me of the shape of the plume and the geometry of the mountains and agricultural fields. I borrowed the euc from another one of my photos.
I’ve been studying the California regional painters this year, and I’ve noticed that not all of the scenes they painted are pretty landscapes. Often they represent an incident – a moment in time. So this is a tip of the hat to the spirit of those painters and their storytelling power.