“Arroyo Dawn” – 8 x 10″ oil on canvasboard
SOLD to a collector from Pasadena
When my husband and I had our duck adventure a few days ago, we were so struck with the beauty of the upper pond under Pasadena’s majestic bridges that we decided we’d go back soon to see what the light was like in the morning. (Can you tell we are dyed-in-the-wool photographers and artists?) Knowing that the 4th of July wasn’t going to be a work day, we set our alarms for early and got up before the sun peeped over the San Gabriels (see yesterday’s post) so we could grab a cup of coffee and head down to the Arroyo Seco.
Now, even though I’ve been doing a lot of oil painting recently, most of it has been studio painting from my own photo references – I haven’t taken the time to schlep my gear out into the field. The main difference is that even though watercolor takes practically as much gear, you can just pop the finished painting into a bag and not worry about it. Oil takes a bit more planning. I’ve got to get one of those wet panel holders to carry them home. I attached this wet one to the side of the French easel but worried about it as I carried it back up the gully. I found this environment to be beautiful but very challenging as the light changed radically from moment to moment as it slipped into the deep ravine. I followed the advice of the best plein air painters I’ve been studying: block in your scene and then stick with it.
Here are a couple of pictures of my setup and a glimpse of the environment
And if you were wondering about the fate of the ducks, we saw that mom and her brood were up early, having breakfast as we arrived. The fifth duckling is on the other side of mom, obscured by her tail. They were grazing for bugs or whatever they eat at the edge of the steep spillway.