Big Sur by Bixby Bridge.
From the series, Nostos. Growing up in a military family, I lived in many places as a child. Monterey was the second one, and that’s why painting Big Sur was meaningful to me.
It was superhot last week so I headed to this spot with a nice big shade tree and catching what breeze there was on the heights above North Park.
More of a sketch really, it’s fun playing around with different approaches.
I usually try to get my plein air pieces to a higher level of finish. This one didn’t quite get there.
I decided to post it anyway because I thought you might find it interesting to see work in such a raw state. So often, we are exposed only to polished work- which sets an impossibly high standard for students.
Even though this piece didn’t make it, it’s still handy for me to be able to pull these studies off the shelf and double check the light, the atmospheric conditions, the colors in the water and so on, how it made me feel. Also the things you notice while spending time in a place- trains going by, many surfers, the wind too strong for my umbrella- all the little details that might be important in a future piece, especially one conceptualized in the studio.
Painted on the beach in Coronado last week, before I left San Diego for a few days in Las Vegas. Just got around to photographing it today.
I’ve been playing around lately with a more conventional approach to Impressionism. In this piece, Pissarro’s ‘petite tache’ and palette and what all. My approach to painting doesn’t tend to come from that place- I got here via a winding path out of modernist abstraction that eventually led to being on a street corner with a paint box. So it’s fun to tinker with the style, so familiar from childhood visits to the National Gallery of Art in DC. We’ll see if it becomes a thing.
This summer I took a trip to Boise and then up to a mountain town called McCall. The green landscape surprised me and I found it very inspiring. I’ve already posted most of the pictures from that trip that were successful.
This one was less successful at the first go so I tried to push it in a different direction when I got back to San Diego. I thought about painters like Daubigny or Diaz who reworked a plein air hot mess into a successful studio landscape for one thing. And another, I thought of European classical landscapes. Even though there are no Roman ruins or dancing nymphs here, I was re-reading Game of Thrones and found it easy to picture this rugged landscape as the setting for parts of Westeros.
Hot afternoon, TJ.
It was a party.
Near my grandfather’s place deep in the Oklahoma countryside.