Eaton Canyon Morning

“Eaton Canyon Morning” 9 x 12 – oil on hardboard – SOLD

This morning was delightfully overcast and cool for an hour or so while I painted this in Eaton Canyon, in the northern part of Pasadena. The wash is bone dry and even the random grasses seemed to be struggling for whatever meager water they may find under the gravel and boulders.

I’m really looking forward to going back in the late afternoon to paint some of those shadows. I’ve painted the same area before in watercolor (below), but not in oil. Another day, another season, another medium – it’s a whole new experience. (And this time I didn’t see or hear anything scarier than a covey of quail!)

Painted this last September – “San Gabriel Sunset” – watercolor

Daily Painting – Sycamore Sentinel

7″ x 11″ Watercolor on 140# paper


A sycamore at Eaton Canyon in the early fall, the San Gabriel mountains in the background. Do you see the white bird flying in the background over the mountain? It wasn’t intentional, just a little white space left by the twist of my brush as I was putting in the mountains. In fact, I didn’t see it until after I scanned it. Funny how these things are …

I’m not quite sure what’s happened in the last couple of days, or where this somewhat new direction is coming from, but for the moment I’m not going to question it, and just follow it and see what happens.

Plein air Eaton Canyon

Watercolor on 140# paper … 9″ x 10″

Today our paint out group went to Eaton Canyon Nature Area in Altadena, CA … a new place where I had not painted before. In the early fall some of the trees were starting to show tinges of brown and gold, and the hills were brown from the long dried-up spring rye grass. This is typical California chapparal – hills scattered with oak trees and occasional accents of chemise, toyon and buckwheat.

This on location study is going to be the basis for an oil painting one of these days. I’m looking forward to going back there again soon. Check back tomorrow – I have two more (looser) watercolor sketches I did today, but I need to get them scanned up.