I attended a California Art Club event a few weekends ago up in Sonoma. We all converged on 'Old Lakeville Rd. #3', a dogleg section of old road off the Lakeville highway, which slopes west towards the Petaluma River. This section of the road encompasses grapevines, cattle, sheep, and miniature horses, which may be the Llama and/or Chinchilla of their time. Whatever they are, they are cute. I drove up early with Paul Kratter, and we drove the length of the road, looking for where we might begin our day. Following that 'revealing' excursion, we picked a hilly section, lined by eucalyptus, which also had a creek running under the road, that had been trampled by cattle. The shadow, crossing over grass and water, the edges of the grass, and the modulation of color in the water, added up to something I felt worth spending time on, so off to work I went. As I painted, more and more artists, and a few local residents, came driving slowly by. The locals to wave, or warn us not to get run over, and the artists to say 'howdy'. In short order, some of my other Sierra pals, Kim Lordier, and Clark Mitchell cruised by. Richard Lindenberg, and Christin Coy, whom I painted with in Sequoia National Park, were out and about, as were many other familiar faces. Part of the fun of an event like that is running into so many folks you know, on a rather remote rural road, and meeting new ones as well. It was a gorgeous day for being outside in the spring. Green... but with atmosphere, plenty of shade, eucalyptus, to take refuge in the reds and violets, plus miniature horses. You couldn't go wrong, unless of course you were downwind from too many cattle up the hill. It is funny how idyllic views in nature may actually 'stink' in real life. Similar to that are scenes painted from the side of a freeway, that look utterly peaceful, but whose true context is quite noisy and somewhat dangerous. This was a peaceful spot, though quite overrun by artists, who probably outnumbered the local population of that stretch of road.
I wandered up the road from my easel to pick a second spot, and found a eucalyptus view a little ways away. I liked the figurative strength of the tree, the contrasting values and colors beyond it, as well as how reflected light bounced onto the forms of the branches. That one came together fairly quick. After a lunch break at a taco truck on the other side of town, we drove back and went after some afternoon atmospheric views. Though I thoroughly enjoyed painting after lunch, as well as bickering with my colleagues, my results weren't so enjoyable, so all I'm posting are the two morning pieces. Both these pieces are in the show that Paul and I are having at Walt Wines in Sonoma. The show is up now, and the reception will be on the 21st of April, from 2-5. You can view more of the work from the show here. Hope to see some of you at the reception.