Thursday, January 31, 2013

"Last Bit of Light" © Elsmere Canyon, Santa Clarita, CA

At the end of the hike with my painting buddies we rounded the bend in Elsmere Canyon to see just the last bit of light before the landscape turned monochromatic for the night.  I knew I had to paint that very moment.

Oil on Canvas,  20" X 24"

Monday, January 28, 2013

"Canyon Creek Trail", Elsmere Canyon

Early morning on a chilly winters day, Elsmere Canyon's inhabitants are waking up as the morning sun starts to warm things up.  This spot is along the creekside trail heading into the interior of the canyon.  The last of the golden leaves dangling on the brush was what intrigued me to paint the view.  I just went back the other day and all the golden leaves are gone till next year.  

Oil on Canvas 16" X 20"

 This is how the painting was approached in the beginning.  Rather then drawing out the composition I placed swatches of local color all over the canvas, finding the painting as I went along.  

About 1/2 finished, I now know where all the elements of the composition are located and have the general palette nailed down.  From this point on it's just a matter of painting the piece.  One of the big color influences on this painting and the previous painting was the introduction of "Kings Blue" to my palette.  Recently I went to Dick Blicks to purchase a tube of Holbeins Gray Blue, my standard go to tube when painting sunny day skies and just about the same value/color as Vasari's "Bice".  The art store in Pasadena doesn't carry Holbein any longer and so I substituted the Gray Blue with a tube of Williamsburg "Kings Blue".  It mixes beautifully with every color from  Rose to Cadmium Orange to Quinacridone Violet, creating beautiful grays.  In the photo the little pile of "Kings Blue" is next to the white pile on the right side of my palette.  

Thursday, January 24, 2013

"Canyon Trail" © Elsmere Canyon

This painting is the scene you view hiking down into Elsmere Canyon from the ridge to the creek that snakes along the canyon floor.  The more I paint and explore this canyon the more I appreciate the fight to keep the canyon pristine rather then a landfill.  

Oil on Canvas, 20" X 24"

Friday, January 18, 2013

"Cliff Hanger" ©

Rounding the bend of the trail, high above Elsmere Canyon this lone tree lives clinging to the rocks.  It has such great character and seems to defy nature, buffering wild winds and tough weather conditions.  I had to paint it.  

Oil on canvas,  24" X 30"

Monday, January 07, 2013

"Sunny Winter Day" © Elsmere Canyon

We are going back tomorrow to paint Elsmere Canyon again.  This canyon has views that are strikingly similar to Bryce Canyon, the high Sierras, central California and the woodlands of Descanso Gardens.  It's a painters paradise whether you are painting from high upon the "Beast" trail or down on the "Creek" trail, even in the nakedness of winter.  

Oil on canvas, 9" X 12" study

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

"Elsmere Canyon Trail" © Santa Clarita Valley Open Spaces

In March the City of Santa Clarita is planning on an exhibition of artwork depicting Elsmere Canyon, a newly designated open space.  Any artist interested in participating would be welcome, just email Jeff Barber at the city and let him know.  Meanwhile my little band of painting buddies are out painting the canyon.  This is my first painting of the area and while out hiking I could see the winter remnants of beautiful wild flowers.  The canyon is quite scenic in the winter and I can just imagine what it looks like full of spring blooms.  

Oil on Canvas,  18" X 24" 
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