The June Lake loop (off highway 395, in California) has several areas where you can pull off the road and look down onto meandering streams. This viewpoint of Rush Creek (between Silver Lake and Grant Lake) was on a bright overcast day, and the hazy whitened sky made the stream look more white then blue. I liked the striking contrast with the straw colored marsh-meadow and the deep blue shaded mountainside in the distance. I used a very limited palette for this study – mostly ultramarine blue, yellow ochre and cadmium yellow light. A few tiny bits of burnt sienna and cad red added warm notes.
I have it on good authority that all those little nooks and crannies along the creek are filled with hungry rainbow and brown trout. Is it true? Fisherfolk, do tell!
9 x 12 inches
Pasadena Arroyo Seco oil painting
A stately old eucalyptus grows along Arroyo Drive in South Pasadena, standing guard at the edge of the Arroyo Seco.
I have been painting like crazy here, and traveling to paint on location, but I always seem to run out of time to post what I’m doing. Some of the paintings are commissioned works which are surprise gifts for people, so I have to be a little careful about what I put where in this day of social networking and transparency.
We’ve made one recent trip to the eastern Sierra and hope to get a few more trips in soon. Southern California weather has been marked by the same June gloom/grayness that typified our summer. I’m looking forward to making a trip to Santa Barbara to see the Clyde Aspevig show before it closes in February 2011 – he’s among my favorite landscape artists – a list that is growing quite lengthy.
11 x 14 inches – oil on canvas
This is a plein air painting that I did a few years ago, and somehow it escaped being photographed and posted to my blog. A recent conversation prompted me to revisit it and I discovered that it was missing from my site.
Not too long ago we renewed our Huntington membership and I’m looking forward to visiting again when the camellias are in bloom. On a trip a few weeks ago, they had a California landscape exhibit which I enjoyed, along with other permanent collection work in the Paul and Heather Sturt Haaga gallery. If you live in Southern California and you’re not a member of the Huntington, what are you waiting for?
6 x 8
oil on gessoed wood
We’ve had some unusual storm activity in the past week, including some huge thunderheads that appeared in the distance last night. As the sunset glow touched them, I tried to memorize the colors and immediately came indoors to get down a quick impression.
When I was last at the Irvine Museum, I saw a whole collection of cloud studies done by Frank Cuprien. I think they were about 8 x 10 inches, no bigger than that. Displayed on a wall together they made an interesting collection.
I enjoy studying how different early California impressionists painted certain natural features, like clouds, water reflections, particular species of trees and so forth. Some, like William Wendt prefer heavier paint and active brushwork. Others, like John Frost, had a lighter hand.