Sunday, March 4, 2012

Knowing R. J.

This is less postcardish than the last few paintings. This is a view from Bailey Canyon Park in Sierra Madre, looking across Carter and south to the lowlands. I kind of expected to paint trees when I headed up to Bailey Canyon Park, but the ravages of November's winds are still very apparent there. I saw plenty of downed trees and plenty of stumps. There was a lot less shade to be had as well. Challenging painting conditions because of the speed at which the paint dried. I liked the image of the morning sun bathing a roof top with the blue expanse of distance beyond. Since I believe painting is an intimate act, I think I should know something about what I paint. I was able to learn that Bailey Canyon was named for R.J. Bailey, a homesteader who didn't stick around long. Nothing more than that. I don't know who the roof belongs to either.

Here's a treat, and I only wish I could have gotten closer and focused better. This is an acorn woodpecker. There are several that I think live in palm trees to the south of me. They come and get peanuts that I put out in the morning. They've gotten used to me over the past few years and don't seem so shy any more. I think they might be an extended family group; they work cooperatively to chase jays and crows away from the nuts. Hang in there, woodpecker.


  1. I like how you didn't edit out the telephone pole. It makes sense with that other humble California institution; the ranch house. Craftsmen homes get all the glory but as for myself, I've always found myself in a ranch (my dad liked them).

    I bet Baily was a bee keeper. So many of the early settlers were

  2. There's plenty of bees up there, maybe left behind by Bailey. I never lived in a ranch house for long, but I associate them with backyard barbeques and garage bands.