“Spring Comes to the Arroyo” – 12 x 16 oil on canvas
Spring is first announced the the appearance of bright green grasses in the arroyo. These may emerge within weeks of the winter rain, covering the parched mountains and hillsides with brilliant chartreuse fuzz. Rosettes of mustard plants germinate and provide patches of darker green among the annual rye sprouts. Eventually the mustard grows tall , blossoms, and blankets acres of ground with yellow mist.
This past weekend I had the opportunity to see watercolorist Jerry Stitt demonstrate. He brings a great amount of energy and passion to his work, along with remarkable technique. One of the quotes that stayed with me was “I don’t paint what things ARE, I paint what they do.” He doesn’t want us to just see a boat, a lake, a hillside … he wants us to FEEL the sweep of the windblown tree, the flatness of the desert, the weight of the mountains. I learned a lot not only from what he painted by how he painted it as he put his whole self into his work with large gestures. Someone once said if he had a native American name it should be “Dances with Brushes” and that’s not far from the truth. He is also a trained ballroom dancer and that elegance and confidence comes through in the way he paints as well. A fascinating and talented painter. If you have a chance to see him demo (he lives in Sausalito) don’t miss it.