There was too much to choose from in Phyllis’ backyard. It faces east and, judging from her photographs, has endless beautiful sunrises. To the left (northeast) is a mountain, adorned with a house that looks over the entire San Fernando Valley. Phyllis says that you can see all the way to L.A. on a very clear day.
Taking in the Valley view to the right (southeast), I was waaay overwhelmed by the overload of information no matter where I looked. I finally settled on the mountain and house because it gave me peace by comparison. Actually, it was a day in which I would have preferred to paint the dog had I thought he would have stayed put for an hour. (As it turned out, he sacked out on the chaise lounge and I missed the opportunity.) Carol, however, tackled the Valley and got a very nice start with it.
This is what I came home with. I’ve had no time to play with it.
I really oughta make some sort of plein air goal, it being New Year’s ‘n’ all. Hmmm.
Cody at 20, and Cameron at 18, my sister’s kids. I shot the photos in 2012 at my daughter’s wedding. I painted Cameron as a 30-in-30 exercise in Jan’16. My sister saw it and I wanted to give it to her, but I didn’t want to give her only one son.
I started Cody a year later in Jan’17 and finished him Jan’18, plinking away at him here and there. I found it tough to want to work on him–I was a bit afraid that the two paintings would fail to “hang together” since I was supposedly an older and wiser painter. I did get a better likeness and some softer edges on Cody than I did on Cameron, but I’m probably the only person who can tell a difference.
These days, Cameron is 23 and has filled out. With a similar beard, he looks A LOT more like his brother. I saw a more recent picture and they almost look like twins.
My first year of Plein Air has come to an end. By my count, I met with the group “in the wild” 23 times and “in house or yard” 8 times. I also went out on my own 8 times.
That’s 39 plein air painting trips for my first year, and I’m satisfied. Over all, on a scale of 1 to 10, I’d give myself a “4” for painting effort this year. That’s an improvement of a point or two over previous years. And over half way to an impossible high of 6, maybe 7!
(Haven’t painted outside for the past three weeks, after all ;))
By the by, I am finally finishing up a small portrait of my nephew for my sister. She has been waiting a year for it. Landscapes have made me want to do other paintings, purely so I can start and finish something without a time limit!
Looking forward to “Plein Air, Year 2.” Happy 2018!
This was the week of extreme wind and fire in our locale. 16 fires, four within 25 miles, with >1000 structures lost at last count. Out of range for the moment, we ducked the wind in Jane’s garage.
Carol worked on an Italian gondola, Jane on a French boulangerie. I didn’t know what I was going to do until I got there, taking no references with me. The obvious subject presented itself. I think Jane’s husband thought I was crazy for immortalizing his Sparkletts bottles. No “before and after” because I made almost no changes.
Hey, two neighborhood-type parks in a row, this one on three levels. We walked up a long driveway and chose to paint on the uppermost level. I chose this view for all the sweeping pathways. There were a lot more houses in the distance, but I thought four or five were enough.
I brought my new friend Sue to our little plein air group, and we made introductions and enjoyed a bit more talking than usual. I didn’t get very far while there, but that’s okay :).