My family and I snuck away to get into the back country this weekend. I made a couple of gouache sketches in my sketchbook of the same rock formation… one on a misty, grey afternoon and the other on the clear sunny morning that followed it. It is remarkable how much the atmosphere and light conditions affect the colors we see.
Ahhhh…. you are beautiful Ellwood an hour before sundown. You make me use every color in the paintbox– the cadmium yellow mustardseeds, the reds in the ice plant, the golden light in the sky and on the water, the phthalo blue ocean, the deep rich greens of spring, and most important– the lovely grey in-between colors that support the others and allow them to shine.
The creeks are flowing beautifully after that last storm and I saw that there is a chance of rain in the forecast for this weekend. These sketches are from Cold Springs and Rattlesnake Canyons.
I’m happy to see that many of you fellow Coronavirus recluses are finding more free time to appreciate the simple pleasures in life: hiking up creeks, dusting off old hobbies, playing games with family… How are you making the best of your corona-experience?
I love this chair. I found it broken and abandoned a couple of years ago and patched it up with some wood glue and nails. It reminds me of the chair Van Gogh painted when he was in Arles. I think I might do a series of paintings of it in different locations. I like how having the chair in the image gives the viewer a place to rest. Here viewer– have a seat in my backyard living room and I’ll make you a cup of tea from that hummingbird sage under the peach tree.
I turned my recent plein air study of Lake Lose Carneros into a larger studio painting. I’m including a photo from in the studio of the two next to each other so you can see what can be changed when you have more time to think about shapes and colors. The purple flowers growing on the fields out there are wild radish and the yellow flowers are of course mustard greens. Both are delicious and in this time when people are stocking up on food rations, it’s good to know that there are always fresh greens growing around. I like to eat the pods and flowers of the the radish plants and the young mustard leaves and shoots can be sautéed with a little garlic and lemon like you would their domesticated cousin, broccoli. I hope you are all staying healthy and finding ways to connect with nature.
I’ve been out painting small studies a couple of times this week. I feel like I see way more people out hiking an walking than usual, which is one of the silver linings of the crazy situation we find ourselves in. People are home from work and doing things they haven’t had time for in a while. It’s easy to practice “social distancing” on a hiking trail or by the beach, so if you haven’t yet, get out there and see the creeks flowing, the wildflowers blooming and listen for bird songs you haven’t heard since last spring.
#socialdistancing #pleinairpainting #kevingleasonart #landscapepainting #lakeloscarneros #ellwood #santabarbara
These are a couple of recent small 6×8” paintings of architecture in downtown Santa Barbara. The first is of the Presidio adobe. I love how the windows in the tower were open so you could see through to the mountains behind. The other is of the Santa Barbara Courthouse at dusk catching the warm colors of the setting sun.
24×30” oil on canvas— Cave painting always feels really elemental and makes me think of the first artists thousands of years ago creating the first art galleries. That’s the railroad trestle above Gaviota State beach below the horizon. If you’ve never taken the hike up here there are several caves to explore and its well worth the climb.
Imagine walking this path through Cold Springs Canyon and feeling the warmth of the sun, then the cool of the shade and then the radiance around the bend again… I love that feeling and its what this painting is about: passing through shadow areas and experiencing the coolness and dark and then stepping again into the sunlight.
I was running on Camino Cielo early a couple of weekends ago, high above the fog and overcast and happy to watch the sun spill over the top and warm the east sides of the mountains. I was struggling with the sunlit sides of the mountain on this painting, trying to put too much detail in but losing the feeling of the radiant warmth. In the end, I just wove some strokes of pure color that I’ll include a detail of. I always appreciate paintings that look somewhat lifelike from a distance, but upon walking up to them image dissolve into abstract strokes of paint.