Sunday, May 29, 2011

Plein Air Painting at Pt. Arena

 Here are a couple of small paintings I did last week off the cliffs at Pt. Arena, near the lighthouse. I used a limited palette suggested by Terry Miura, not much more than this:
ultramarine, ivory black, cad yellow light/lemon pale (I can't read the tube anymore), cad red light, transparent red oxide (he calls it magic brown...), white, cerulean, and yellow ochre

I decided to limit the colors I use for a while, although I am going to play with Sarback's colors this summer. I'm thinking that using her method of underpainting warms and cools will work for a number of things.
The day I was painting the lighthouse, the wind was blowing so fiercely, that I taped and tied and bungee'd everything down, and started roughing in the composition. Jim stayed in the car to read where it was warm (don't blame him). After about 40-50 minutes, I had the "bones" but realized that the wind was so strong, I couldn't keep my hand steady, so I packed up my kit, and took my frozen fingers back to the cabin, and painted on the sheltered porch. It's amazying what a row of cypress as a windbrake can do for temperature and wind speed!

I am going to pick a day this week and set up my paints for another session. Might also try to drop by an open studio and do some figure painting as well.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Back from the Coast

This was a journey colored by blues and greens, with splashes of every other color to accent it. Every day along this rocky, dramatic coast was different, and the blues changes with the passing of the hours.  These are not friendly beaches, with miles of sparkling-sugar sands. These are jagged teeth and crushing waves that hammer and pull and grind. For all of this, it is breath-taking. For all of this, I am pulled to stand along the cliffs and watch, mesmerized by the drama and power.                 
Jim and I had a chance to tour the Botanical Gardens outside of Ft. Bragg. The rhododendruns are in full glory right now - I've never seen them like this before. If I lived up here in the northern coastal area I would be here frequently. to walk and paint and just feast on the variety and richness of the plantings.

Will post the plein air paintings I did soon, and more photos. Need a nap right now.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The bowl in the lower right corner is salad for dinner. We are eating fresh greens now, with onion blossoms and herbs added. The flavors are bright and intense.  You can see how much things have grown in just two weeks. (Scroll to previous post. Even though is is a different tree, the plants went in on the same day.)

Last night I had enough fresh greens to feed seven friends for dinner. This makes all the work we've put into the garden worth every sore muscle and broken fingernail. The only good thing about the cold and rainy weather that we have had this last week (record breaking cold for May, coldest in the last 100 years) is that the lettuces are thriving.  They love cold weather.

And about thriving, I am enjoying my free days again. The job ended about 10 days ago, and I've been pouring my time into the garden, house, and a massive cleanup project. Catching up on routine  doctor visits (yes, yes, my labs are all good: cholesterol, sugars, blood pressure, etc.) and getting more exercise/activity.  I have already dropped a few pounds and am feeling great. 

I learned from this last session at work: don't think that you have lots of time to do/finish/accomplish things. Life happens, and things come up that create roadblocks to the successful completion of projects. So, I've put completing things up in my high priority lists, if that makes sense.

So, even though the weather outside is nasty, I'm feeling pretty good, and overall in a great place.