Oceano Lagoon, CA

Plein Air #25 / 7.11.17 / 10×8 acrylic
Arroyo Grande, CA
“Duck Lake”

I don’t really know what the name of this little lake is, but it had lots of ducks.

Wait…hello, Google Maps. OK, I think this was the Oceano Lagoon at the Oceano Campground-Pismo State Beach. (“Duck Lake” would be easier.)

There were families and playing kids and people trying to catch fish. You’d never know it from this scene, though.

I had a heck of a time with all the reeds. Took it home, played with it a while, and then added the ducks :). Hubby wanted to know why I put in the penguin.

I like the tree line :).

Bell Canyon Park #2

Plein Air #24 / 7.5.17 / 8×10 acrylic
Bell Canyon Park #2, Woodland Hills, CA
“Every Which Way”

Carol and Jane are taking the month of July off, as they both have huge travel plans. My hubs volunteered to go out with me on this morning, and we headed back over to Bell Canyon Park (home of Castle Peak). While I was doing the block-in, hubs took an hour hike/walk before settling down next to me, waiting for me to finish.

I believe that the big tree on the left is the same tree as the one in the center of the first Bell Canyon painting I did.

I noticed again today that I cannot mix that shade of BRIGHT light gold, or get things that are in the sun as bright as they are in real life. Spent an hour and half there, then took it home to finish it.

Over the time I stood there, maybe a dozen hikers happened by, and every path was used.

Tampa & Braemore #2

Plein Air #23 / 6.28.17 / 10×8 acrylic / Tampa & Braemore #2, Porter Ranch, CA / “View To the Left”

With temperatures in the 90s lately, this location got points for shade. With all the trees, there are only two directions to look in: north or south. This looks south.

Three months ago when last we were here, I painted the closer house and palms that are on top of the hill just out of sight on the right. The hills were really green then, but there were far fewer leaves and you could see the Limekiln path below. Now the canyon is full of nothing but fluffy trees for as far as you can see.

Working on figuring out how to differentiate all the greens.

Orcutt Ranch #4

Plein Air #22 / 6.21.17 / 10×8 acrylic
Orcutt Ranch #4, Chatsworth, CA
“Bridge, Palms, and Path”

Hey, two bridges in a row, this one deep in the shade. And not… the light kept coming and going. I could have picked the much simpler view behind me, but the shapes in this scene were much more interesting. I have learned that lots of lights and darks tend to confuse me, but this time I made an effort to pick out where I specifically wanted the lights. I decided up front that I didn’t care how flat it looked, as long as I didn’t let it get away from me.

It was a hot morning, so we didn’t stay as long, and I failed to get to the bottom third of the painting. Went home and worked on it rather blindly (my photos were horrible). I simplified the complicated stone wall area and tried to keep the same “scribbly” feel. Not sure the two portions match, but I still rather like it.

I really think I’m all over the board. Nothing looks or feels the same from week to week.

Van Gogh Park #2

Plein Air #21 / 6.7.17 / 10×8 acrylic
Van Gogh Park #2, Granada Hills, CA
“Bridge and Eucalyptus”

So, we went back at the little park where plein air started for me five months ago in January. In general, I think I’ve improved over the past 20 plein air outings… with caveats, of course. Other than the hollyhock, I have been discontented with my output for the past month or so, leading to a few doubts, here and there, about carrying on. Trying to ignore them. They say it’s darkest before the dawn…hoping there’s a breakthrough coming!

(Have you heard? Artists are never happy!)

I wasn’t at all thrilled with this one when I left the park, but I took it home and put a lot more darks into it, making it look a lot better. If I had done my mini notan when I sketched it out, I may not have forgotten where the darks should go .