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.
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.
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!