Painting Vetch

Vetch plant

“Near Roaring Camp”
oil on linen panel, 8 x 10 inches

“Cowell’s Meadow”
oil on canvas panel, 12 x 16 inches
In the last ten days I have made four trips to a local meadow at Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park in California. The meadows there are overrun with “Vetch,” which is a plant in the pea family with violet colored blossoms. Spectacular would be to understate the colors and beauty of this meadow with interesting red tones, yellows and yellow greens against the violet swaths of vetch.

Beginning early in the morning (7 AM) I scramble to capture the light and the shadows. On this day (and every other day, so far) I have made two paintings. These two were completely different. The first, “Near Roaring Camp,” was a speedy study looking directly into the sun as the dew was glistening and the sun was coming over the edge of the trees. The light was changing fast so it was a race to capture the feeling.

By the time the second painting (“Cowell’s Meadow) was ready to start, it had become overcast. The light went from yellow orange to a cool gray with no shadows. Colors intensified and I was in painting heaven. I had moved to another location where there were greens to off set the violets and the slightly orange red grasses (an almost perfect secondary triad of color!). I took my time in the overcast, standing up to my hips in violet flowers with little bright yellow poppies at my feet.
I couldn’t wait to come back to paint. Watch this blog for more paintings from that site.

4 thoughts on “Painting Vetch”

  1. Mike, I enjoy seeing the same location in different lights. Beautifully done.

    Thanks for your comments on my blog about Don Andrews. I hope you didn't think I was ignoring his advice. Somehow I overlooked the size piece in that demo. My post was a commentary on how slow I am on the uptake in art workshops. I was the same way in your WBTO the first time I took it. My brain always lagged about a lesson behind! I seem to have to hear it, try it, fail, see how others did it, and try again with a bit more success. Honestly, I wasn't like that in academics! Plus I think my engineering gene gets in the way of transposing from literal to artful application. Art is a journey that challenges and rewards me. Don is amazing and I am loving his class.

  2. Thanks Mary! I hope your Andrews workshop brought some new ideas to light for you.

    Hey Evelyn! Thanks for the nice words. It must have been terrible having lost your passport in Nigeria!! I was also amazed at how you arrived back home in less than an hour!! (for you readers, I rec'd an email appeal for help from Evelyn . . .it was a Nigerian scam!)

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