watercolor 15 x 22 inches
This is the first painting that was the result of the scramble to get back to painting en plein air. I must admit that there were a number of pleasures which arose on that day. The first was that I read the colors and values well enough that the impression of fog came off well. In addition, I met a few nice folks who stopped by the easel to observe and to chat. One, in particular was a young, attractive woman who happened to be visiting the area (she grew up here) from New York City. She proved to be enormously fascinating as she, also, is a painter (as well as a costume designer for the theatre scene in NY), along with a few other noteworthy accomplishments. We connected instantly about the ever present angst in trying to paint. We couldn’t stop talking! Sometimes, being outside painting brings unexpected pleasures.
The ice plant, which is the succulent that covers the tops of the bluffs, is multicolored and presents an interesting challenge to paint as it curves and undulates across the cliff tops. When it moves in and out of the light in unexpected ways the painter can often become confused and lose track. This day, however, all went well with the ice plant. The cliff faces are a crazy challenge, too. I am sure if you look back over the 400+ posts here on this blog, you will see many more attempts at painting them. As I confided in my new friend from NYC, I have spent 25 years trying to figure out how to paint these gorgeous citadels overlooking the sea. I have been fascinated with them for that long . . . .and they are just as flirtatiously elusive as ever . . . .though I am getting closer.
Click on the image and you will see the multiple colors used throughout the cliff faces. Not just earth colors, that is for sure. Would you believe an underpainting if violet beforehand? I did it as an experiment and was pleased with the outcome. That set me up for a more serious attempt the next day.
By the time a got finished with the cliff faces and ice plant, I believe that exhaustion had set in. So, I made a sloppy mess out of the rushing water, which had to be scrubbed out and repaired in the studio. More about that later, too.