Thursday, March 25, 2010

Agua Caliente Noon

I finally got around to finishing the last large painting I did when I was in Baja. This one was painted from the same spot where I painted the estuary; I just turned to paint what was in the opposite direction: basically an empty lot with weeds and the back of some sort of storage building I think. It was fun to try and turn something infinitely mundane into something else entirely.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Baja Morning

Here is another larger sized painting that I did the last painting day we had in Baja. We stayed near Agua Caliente which lies south of Ensenada right where a point of land - Punta Banda - extends west into the pacific containing and creating somewhat the Bahia Todos Los Santos, (or the bay which Ensenada overlooks). A striking part of the geography here is a long spit of land creating a tidal estuary, fully 5 miles long and affording beautiful wetlands effects as the tide ebbs and flows. We arrived about 8:30 am just as the tide was beginning to flow back in. This is a view I painted looking almost due East, with the beautiful green hillsides of the point backlit by the morning sun.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Punta Banda Avenue-(Private Collection)

Here is a second painting I did in Baja. It's a larger one than I normally post here, 11x14 inches. I painted all of these with the idea that I wanted to give them to my hosts for the week in thanks for all their hospitality, and they did ask to keep this one. The weather was crazy this day too. It dawned sunny and cool, a perfect day to paint. We drove all around the small little village of ex-pat cottages but came back to this view of a long gravel street which is just outside the house I was staying in. So, we started off painting a bright sunny street with lengthening shadows and puffy white clouds in the sky. Then came very dark clouds from the south, like a big dark blue blanket which ultimately covered the whole sky, blotting out the sun, eliminating the wonderful bright colors and the shadows. So, I finally gave up and began to turn the painting I started into one that would be more subdued and subtle. No shadows, no bright colors, but a rich dark blue sky with forbidding clouds. But no, just when I've changed everything, the clouds disperse, (this takes almost an hour), and we are back to bright sunny day, beautiful cast shadows and puffy white clouds. This is a typical occurrence for a plein air painter, but one we sort of just take in stride, because it's so wonderful to be there watching it all happen.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Ensenada Bay

I spent last week visiting my friend's family in Baja, near Agua Caliente, south of Ensenada.
Baja at this time of year is as green as Hawaii, with weather just as changeable, though without the mild temperatures. We had to paint indoors our first day there as it alternately rained and blew like a gale, making the temperature feel like it was in the 30's. So, here is the first of the 5 or 6 paintings I did when down there. This is a view of Ensenda Bay from the living room window of the beautiful home where I was staying.