Sunday, January 30, 2011
Saturday I painted at Alhambra Park. Alhambra Park is easy walking distance from my house, but my painting stuff is pretty bulky, so I drove there. Although I mostly paint in watercolors and probably don't need an easel, I use one anyway. It's a french easel and it's an object of beauty, and the many nuts and bolts by which it is unfolded and folded up again are part of my painting zen.
Alhambra Park has some beautiful trees, including a massive wonderful eucalyptus I had forgotten. Painting that tree as I wanted would have meant painting with the sun in my face. That alone wouldn't have dissuaded me, but I also took an interest in this house (or apartment building) on the other side of the park. It was moving day there. I was going to paint the moving van too, but it left pretty quickly, so I painted the nice shadows in the driveway instead.
I like painting these urban/suburban scenes. They often appeal to me nearly as much as wilderness scenes. A picture like this is much more stuck in time and place than a picture of a forest or ocean. But I don't think that's strictly a bad thing. It's a little tiny slice of human history. A viewer noted that I didn't put much detail in the car. I said I considered the car mostly just in the way, but I did like the way it reflected the sunlight. Simplification.