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Arboretum Fountain – California plein air landscape oil painting

October 5th, 2009

“First there is a fountain, then there is no fountain, then there is”
11 x 14
oil on canvas panel

Click image above to enlarge


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View my online gallery of paintings here

Last weekend I did a plein air painting at the Los Angeles Arboretum, which was a nice change of pace. I have a reciprocal membership with my Descanso membership, so I’m looking forward to doing this some more this fall.

This is a view of the San Gabriels that I haven’t painted before. I was enjoying blocking in the fountains, but after awhile they were turned off, so I had to do the rest from memory. If you remember a certain 70s Donovan song, the title of the painting will make perfect sense.

Some other curve balls thrown by Mother Nature. When I started blocking in the painting there was not a cloud in the sky. An hour and a half later, the sky looked like this. By the time the sun had lowered and the interesting shadows started, the clouds were all gone. So this is sort of a compressed-time view of the scene, as plein air paintings often are. You just have to adapt to the changes in a sort of Zen way – acceptance of the moment without stress. Here’s me, below, wildly gesticulating with brushes, no doubt. I hope I didn’t get any paint on that nice lady watching.

5 Comments »

  1. Ahhhh the challenges of plein air!!

    But you always manage to do so well at it, Karen!!

    Comment by Marian Fortunati — October 5, 2009 @ 7:47 pm
  2. What a beautiful painting! Very well done with lovely colors. nancy

    Comment by nancy t — October 6, 2009 @ 4:29 am
  3. A really beautiful piece. It’s fun to see the photo below because I can see that you really captured the scene. I like the slightly purplish tinge in the water.

    Comment by Dan Kent — October 6, 2009 @ 6:57 pm
  4. And then I loved it. Willing to have my free time to spend it wisely as you did. Great!

    Comment by Aurileide Alves — October 6, 2009 @ 7:54 pm
  5. It’s fascinating to see how your painter’s eye translates a scene. You captured light in a way that breathes life into everything you’ve composed. Wonderful atmospheric piece.

    Comment by Phyllis — October 6, 2009 @ 9:19 pm

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