This is the 2nd of 3 plein air paintings I completed in Red Rocks Canyon, near Las Vegas. A really beautiful place.
Morning light on the corner of Robinson and Park Blvd in San Diego. A short walk from my house in Hillcrest.
I like this corner because of the way the buildings pile up on the hill behind the art deco building in front. I like painting steep areas.
San Francisco’s vertigo- inducing streets are more famous- but San Diego’s got its fair share of knee-killing ascents. Painting the city on the hills is a new project of mine.
Here are a few of my favorites:
A rosy dusk on the beach in Santa Barbara, with sailboats softly lit golden by the setting sun.
A plein air painting from Red Rock national conservation area in Las Vegas, Nevada.
I planned to go at dawn.
I would paint glorious desert sunrises. I left the hotel at 6:15. It was only 20 minutes to Red Rocks.
I then got hopelessly lost. But hope is an anchor, and I did not give up.
Those of you who’ve known me for a while are familiar with the drill. The night before, I carefully copied down directions to and from my hotel. I sent maps to my phone. I double checked everything. I drove out of the parking garage, took one wrong turn, and proceeded to drive all the way around the city on the beltway.
Eventually, I did find the right road, so I exited 215 and drove out into the desert. I was rejoicing- but I rejoiced too soon. The road dead-ended in a half-built subdivision.
Turned out I was still on the opposite side of town from Red Rocks. So I executed a 3 point turn and drove straight across the city for about 20 miles, or 40 miles, or however far it was, and arrived at Red Rocks around 2 PM. Red Rocks was stunningly beautiful so I think it was worth it.
The day was wonderfully mild- not 105 as I had feared, and I was able to work on several paintings. Here’s the first one.
Morning in a Hillcrest alley. Abandoned tower PC in the dry, crackly weeds.
A corner in North Park, where a restored Deco- era movie theatre now also includes this Starbucks and a bar. This is University Ave and… Grim? 30th? Ray Street? This is a partial plein-air, partial studio piece.
A cottage in North Park, overhung by magnolia trees, in morning light.
And if you looked the other way that morning, you saw this:
The view from our 51st floor balcony at the Cosmopolitan Hotel in Las Vegas. Another plein air piece- I didn’t touch it up and just left it rough. I like it this way.
Painting in Vegas
Leaving Vegas at the crack of dawn, laden with heavy, heavy painting stuff. Shephard Fairey mural in the parking garage of the hotel.
Morning in a cloudy alley in Hillcrest. Old houses and recycling bins- two of my favorite things to paint!
This friendly cat showed up one sunny morning as I was painting in North Park.
Happy birthday to Rhonda!
A cool walk on the beach in Santa Barbara in a cloudy, grey morning.
Cottage Liquor in Hillcrest. This is where I go to buy 90% of my Lotto tickets.
This is as far as I got with the painting plein air before the sun got too fierce, around 9:30 AM. I’d already had to move the easel once (the date palm went behind the building when I did) to get under a tree… one of my first painting teachers told us, paint in the shade, and she’s absolutely right.
The University of San Diego on its hilltop, seen from across Mission Valley in… Pioneer Park? I think that’s the name.
I painted this on Labor Day in a perfect ocean breeze.
Sometimes I touch up plein air works in the studio afterwards, but this time I liked the painting the way it is.
Santa Ynez Valley Landscape Painting is for sale.
Sunny skies, golden summer grass, and deep green shade in the Santa Ynez Valley, near Santa Barbara, CA.
We spent a long weekend in Santa Barbara earlier in the summer, and I just discovered this and a couple of other paintings that I forgot to post. It’s a beautiful place.
We joined a wine club the day I started this painting up in the hills over Santa Barbara… and that wine shipment should arrive any minute now!