Bell Canyon Park

Plein Air #18 / 5.12.17 / 10×8 acrylic
Bell Canyon Park, Top of Vanowen St, Woodland Hills, CA
“Castle Peak”

I saw this scene a week before when my hubby and I took our Friday hike this way. The contrasts were great…purply lavender(?) up front, yellow grasses behind. The hill in the foreground was probably bright green a month ago. I hoped for good weather and received it. The sky was cloudless until about 3/4 of the way in, when I looked up from the foreground and this big cloud had appeared behind the star of the show, just like that.

These purples are a bit brighter than the actual painting; I can’t seem to turn them down in Photoshop. There were also a LOT more green bushes all over the mountain. When I first got here at 10:15AM, two people were coming down the trail in the center. Maybe I should put them in…

I saw about 18 peeps go by on the trail I was standing on. Two young gents with a dog early on were the ones to tell me the name of the mountain. I had my back to another mountain, so no unpleasant sneak-ups. Unfortunately, this put me in direct sun all morning, and I was again taught the useful lesson of “pre-outing palette moisture checkups.” It is tough to get good coverage when your working paint has dried. Momentarily thought about re-taking up oils on the way home, but I rather dread the day.

Figured out that one of my flat square brushes is just too stiff; I’ll take it out of my traveling collection. Decided I don’t much care for the marks that filberts make, but they would be good for rounded forms. Need to break out the medium round brush sooner than I do.

I also took pictures of some really cool thizzles, I mean, thistles. What nasty looking plants! (I want to paint one!) Unfortunately thizzle theason seems to be over since last week. There were almost no beautiful purple blooms left.

ETA 6/14:  Every time I come by this page, I see the right swoopy edge of the mountain and how it flies me out of the painting. Now I totally get what an “eye stopper” is. Should have put a bush or tree on that edge!

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