Sunday, October 28, 2007

Grizzly Peak Sessions

The Early Bird crew spent a morning this week up on Grizzly Peak, a ridge line above Berkeley that overlooks the San Francisco Bay, and a good chunk of the East Bay area. I wasn't able to join them that morning, though I was up there briefly to scout the area for another time. It was a shame though, because there were some really heavy hitters up there that morning, like Bill Cone, Ernesto Nemesio, Paul Kratter, and a few others, and it would've been great to watch them in action. I managed to paint the following day instead... not quite able to capture any sweeping bay views thanks to the rolling fog, but still enjoying the scenery.

"Two Trees and Path" 5x7 inches, Gouache and Watercolor on Clayboard

Jimmy G., a good friend of mine from the climbing gym, has been diligently painting bay area locations over the years, and Grizzly Peak is kind of like his backyard painting spot. He joined the gang the morning I wasn't able to make it, and was inspired to get an early start this weekend. So we were there today by 7 am, hiked to the top and got started.

We were both amazed by the sunrise and how the dark blue-gray clouds hanging over Mt. Diablo were suddenly smeared with bright lavenders and oranges. It was actually incredibly frustrating despite its beauty, because the entire color scheme and mood would change in the seconds you were looking at your palette to mix a color that was no longer there. I definitely need to work on better memorization.

I had every intention of saving my disastrous results, but we moved downhill a bit to start a second painting, and I needed a board to paint on, so I wiped out my sunrise and painted this one over it.

"Trail Through Cypresses" 10x8 inches, Gouache and Watercolor on Clayboard

I need to go in and tweak a few things, though I already made a few adjustments back in the studio. It's only an 8 x 10, but after painting 5 x 7's for a while, it was a challenge to cover something that felt a lot larger. I'm thinking I'll stick to the smaller sizes for a while, or try 6 x 8's. I'll also be sure to carry more boards from now on...

Still, I have no complaints. You can't beat painting outside! Even when you're sitting on a pile of chipped eucalyptus that's beginning to ferment, attracting hordes of gnats and mosquitoes toward you and your painting, when you could be painting in the breezier, bug-free spot on solid ground like the smarter guy over there is.... well even then, you just can't beat painting outside!

1 comment:

Julien alday said...

If you think one single minute that next time I will visit you, I will be ready to be awake in the early morning and loose my health to climb over hills for see you paintings amazing pictures like the ones you just posted here... Well, you are right ! ;) Hahaha ! :P

Nice job with it, buddy. I really wish I had a proper art education, but maybe my next trip will be the opportunity to get more familiar with landscape painting and traditional art ? ;) That sounds like a cool challenge. And a safe one, if you are around. ;)

Glad to see you keep busy, sounds like you find new ways to explorate. Amazing bunch of update you post lately. Respect.

Aside that, I let you guess what was the song I update on my radio-blog just before I read your reply ! o_O WOW ! "Déjà-vu" !

Keep posting the killer stuff and give "la bise" to Alex for me.