Toland Park, CA

Plein Air #8 / 3.12.17 / 10×8 acrylic
Toland Park, Route 126, CA
“Mountainside Scars”

I dragged my hubby out to a small town an hour away to see a plein air art show at the Santa Paula Art Museum. The show was mostly studio versions of plein air studies–too bad I couldn’t have seen more of the studies themselves :).

I took all my painting gear, and we stopped at a place called Toland Park, off highway 126 between Santa Paula and Fillmore. The park road takes you up the side of a foothill, past many forlorn and empty parking spaces and picnic tables. It seemed rather bare, and if there used to be much green in the place, I think it burned a couple of years ago. We stopped at the top of the road where it was closed off, and I set up.

What interested me most about this scene were the scars in the mountains, the tiny little barn and windmill (which I enlarged), and the skinny little tree. I left out as much as I put in, and I swat a lot of bugs. We took Steve a lawnchair and, plied with books, comics, Candy Crush, and coffee, he says he was perfectly happy. It sounds like I’ll have many painting occasions to come. Can’t wait for our next road trip.

My unexpected moment came the next day. I was driving to my volunteer job when I heard a Bzzzzzp go by my left ear and felt something land on the back of my neck. I immediately brushed it off and was stung by a HUGE bumblebee we had imported from ye olde Toland Park. Thankfully I was stopped at a light at the time and I was able to get the window down and shoo him out before he came back for more.

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