Thursday, January 30, 2014


Exhilaration -- Leo Close Up    8x10  O/L

There are always so many things to do that it just doesn't seem like I "should" make time to go outside and paint.   At times I feel like it's an indulgence.   Even though I KNOW that it's an important part of my developing better thinking, "seeing" and application skills, I enjoy it so very much it seems like I'm playing.

However, last Wednesday I reached a point where I had gotten many of the things off my "to do" list (and my studio painting was stalled..  sigh) so I took off for my favorite spot, Leo Carrillo State Beach.  I often enjoy going there all by myself.  I don't think about anyone else..  I go where I want for as long as I want and just enjoy being.

David Gallup's Master Class
On Monday during our Master class with David Gallup, he had shown us a painting he had done en plein air the previous week at Leo.  It was a very different composition... from vantage point of the far flat rocks that stretch out into the sea, looking back toward the cliffs and across the cove.   He used this study during class as the foundation for a demonstration.  Although he thought he had put a lot of color into the rocks when he originally painted it, now that it was back in the studio, it obviously was a GREAT composition but needed some work.  After showing us examples from Waugh, Payne, and especially Rischel (see examples below) to illustrate how the darks have such great color David painted some rocks in the studio as he demoed how to enhance the interest and color and value in the rock areas.

On Tuesday I tried to practice what he had suggested while I worked in my studio.   It wasn't happening.

So on Wednesday I took off to the beach and settled in to practice while in the field.  It was a rather nice California day... not really warm... but not cold, not foggy, not windy... pretty much perfect.  I climbed and hiked and scooted out onto the rocks as far as I dared.  (Carrying all my gear and not being the youngest spring chicken, I always worry about falling into some hole...)  I sat down right in the middle of the formation and looked all around, thinking I would try the same view as David had.  However, what totally made my heart soar was the formation facing the other way and the way the waves moved in and out - sometimes lapping at my toes through this wonderfully shaped wedge.  THAT was what I would paint!   The point was to paint interesting rocks.. and they were everywhere.

I was having such fun!  The painting was going well and there was no one there but me and my pochade!   I guess sometimes when you're really enjoying yourself.. the exhilaration simply translates into paint.  Anyway time flew by but when the surge began to close in and touch my toes more frequently I decided it was time to pack up and haul myself up the cliff and away from the waves.

It was so strange.  The day had been clear and beautiful but by the time I got to the top of the cliff and looked back the fog had rolled in!   I had never even seen fog while I was down on the rocks painting -- it came in THAT quickly!

Bye Bye Leo Carrillo... Thanks for a beautiful morning.

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1 comment:

CrimsonLeaves said...

Now that sounds indeed like a perfect day, Marian. When you can let worries and thoughts fall aside, even if for just a short while. I always love your Carillo paintings.

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