I've been working to finish up a couple of commissions this week, both paintings of other places...one of Big Sur and one of Hawaii. It's been interesting to shift into painting the local scenes here. Having spent most of my California life in the central and northern coastal areas from Morro Bay to Big Sur and Mendocino, I am use to painting scenes that have a spectacular beauty.
|ISLAND AFTERNOON 16x20 oil on canvas , commission|
It's beautiful here, very much so, but not in a spectacular way like Big Sur or Hawaii. There is a different kind of beauty here...more like a quiet beauty or the beauty that comes from being in a place that is simply extremely pleasant. I was thinking about these things on my bike ride this morning. The sun had just come up and a marine layer was floating across the Creek like some kind of diaphanous ribbon of smoke, all lit up a soft, golden color. As I rounded the corner where the bike path goes by the Ballona Wetlands I caught movement out of the corner of my eye. A pair of coyote pups bolted from the bushes, chasing each other round and round in the misty, sunny morning light, seeming to delight in the fact that it was another day. I stopped my bike and stood for awhile, watching as they would dart into the bush and out again. Then, riding again, I watched the creek reflecting the golden mist and a great blue heron doing his stand-and-wait thing at the water's edge. At times like this I seem to be just riding along, but really I am very focused, recording images for future use. I discovered years ago that I could catch the image and details of a bird in flight by just quickly glancing at it and then shutting my eyes, capturing a moment in it's movement...like looking at a single still from a movie. That way, I could actually study a single position of the bird's body without being distracted by the continuous movement. So I've been finding my way through the process of learning to paint a more subtle type of glorious. It's interesting and challenging and makes me look closer and tune my awareness to a finer degree. I've painted a number of smaller local scenes and they seem to sell quickly, and allow me to explore this new thing in a fairly rapid way. I am starting to enjoy it very much.
|WATERFALL 16x20 oil on canvas, commission|