Wednesday, January 9, 2008
A late bird here
Clear Cut west:
~10 x 10.5"
Pastel on paper
Thanks to Dice, Mike, and Jennifer for encouraging and helping me post here. It is great to see the energy of all these painters. Kind of makes it easier to get out there and do it, when other's are painting and posting the results.
Painted the same morning with Nick and Jennifer nearby. Paul Kratter was a few hundred yards away, and Sharon was up on top of the hill. The East Bay hills above Berkeley and Oakland are being systematically clearcut of Eucalyptus, a quick-burning, non-native species which grows in abundance up here. It is a bit ironic that a lot of early California landscape painting celebrated the distinctive Eucalyptus silhouettes and groves in the Bay Area and Southern California.
One result of this clearing out of trees is that new vistas are appearing, as well as places to paint them from. To get to this spot, I hiked over several acres of Eucalyptus 'shreds' that had been laid down over the hillside, burying poison oak plants among other flora. At this point the hill became very steep, so I stopped, and ended up sitting on the ground, as it was too sloped to set up my stool. The wind followed me all the way down the hill, and the chill factor began to kick in after about a half hour. Jennifer and Nick appeared soon behind me and started painting. It's always worth it in the end, even if you aren't completely satisfied with the result.
I was interested in this view as it looked down into a foliage choked ravine, then out onto the ridge line that began to turn blue as it angled away to the right. Beyond that lay Berkeley and Emeryville, providing different texture and color, as it lay in sunlight. Some grand old Eucalyptus are standing up on the ridge at left, catching the light. I don't know if they'll be spared or not.
I'm not crazy about the overall color range, and some of the values are a bit suspect. Specifically the far ridge should be lighter in value against the city. It's easy to get tricked by a contrasting edge, which is what I think happened to me here.
Here's one more, painted a few weeks earlier, up on the hill where Sharon was painting on this morning. It's looking East at sunrise. The North peak of Diablo is visible on the right.