Saturday, March 27, 2010

Spring Celebration in wine county

Spring has arrived with all its power after the rains. Now is breakout time for me to paint outdoors in paradise. My van is loaded with canvas, paints and lunch for days on end till dusk. It is a season to drink in the Earth.

I have been in Napa for 5 days painting, chasing vistas of mustard. Fresh greens, the crisp smell of the earth and play of colors are inspiration unparalleled. California’s unique landscape and angle of the spring sun are a delight to my painters’ eye and palette.

As I drove toward Yountville I searched for a site that I fell in love with twelve years ago. After reconnoitering for some time, I gave up and headed further north. Suddenly, there was a flash in my peripheral vision. I pulled over and headed towards the hills. Suddenly, there were patterns in the distance against the rising blue hills. Eureka!

For the next 5 days I found a variety of vantage points using back roads, always facing the sun and looking for what a painter needs to see: values that translate into a painting. Color can enchant, but it is the dark and light areas that are the backbone of a composition. Combining the two can explode into a dynamic painting!

After working most of the day, I drove down the Silverado Trail for a glass of champagne on the sunny deck at Mum’s with my friend Rita. After painting and seeing so intently, tasting was the perfect way to continue drinking in the colors of a glorious spring day. Come visit!

You will see my new paintings at Marin Open Studios on May 1,2 and 8,9th in the Industrial Center Building, Sausalito, or in Carmel at the Pearl Canyon Gallery, Dolores Street off Ocean Ave.