Like seasonal cooking, painting over the course of a year allows one to experience firsthand some of the changes
that may be unique to the region one lives in. Here's 2 pieces done in the winter over the past few years that show different aspects of light. This is just scratching the surface.
~7.5 x 12.5" Pastel on Canson Paper
Fog, mist, and rain, are some of the qualities of weather and light that come this time of the year. I don't always seek out "miserable" conditions to paint in, as I'm happy to stay in and cook on a cold, dreary day. But sometimes the circumstances are in favor of working outside. In this case, I was sitting inside a horse arena off of Bear Creek Road, while my daughter was riding, and I had some time on my hands. As I often accompanied her out there on the weekends while she groomed and rode her horse, I would bring my pastels along, as the surrounding hills had some promising views. I've probably painted there over 10 times, and I've only kept 2 of the pieces, my daughter providing an automatic time constraint... "Can we PLEASE GO now, Dad?" etc. So, I aborted a few of the pieces midway, or just had unsatisfactory results. The horse has been sold, and I keep this one, as a reminder of that period with my daughter, as well as being able to paint in the rain, and stay dry. Hint:
Find a horse arena with good views!
A soft, misting rain was coming down like a curtain over the hills. The range of color in the green and the violet of certain weeds or shrubs interested me.... this sort of luminous, minty green, and a grey violet. I had to paint that. The foreground horse paraphenalia provided a contrast to the muted bg. I probably overstayed my daughter's time limit on this one.
~10 x 15"
Pastel on Canson Paper
Here is a kind of light that is common in the East Bay hills this time of the year. Often, on sunny days in the winter, there will be a lot of moisture in the air, which will start attenuating values, even within a hundred feet. This effect becomes more pronounced when looking towards the sun, as in this case. This was painted on a ridgeline about a mile from my house, looking down the hill. I was so interested in the blown out light, I don't think I chose the strongest composition here. The 2 tree 'scoops' are awfully similar in scale and angle. The shadowed folds of the hills were showing a strong bounce color from their counterparts, while the upward facing folds turned blue as the sky colored them. It was a warm afternoon, and some kids were flying remote controlled gliders that were whirring about, periodically passing over my head.