03 February 2011
Montecito Heights (Flats is the popular name of the area around the antenna on the top, a semi-private lot with a gate and a self-appointed caretaker called Tuck ) is a rarely mentioned neighborhood south of Pasadena with some beautiful hilly areas and a rare undeveloped area on the very top that affords majestic views of Los Angeles skyline. Our Group painted there for the whole month of January which posed some challenges since it is not a place with a lot of foreground, it's all about the far back, mountains and city views.
I painted three small pieces that try to capture the majestic sunsets and distance in a tiny square. Here are the uneven results.
The first piece is my favorite with a sunset feel of the eucalyptus and a hint of the snowy peaks in the distance. I find the trick with is to allow a slight difference in cool /warm between the white of the snow and almost identical sky color. A bit of volume in the paste also seems to help create the impression of distant-but-not-same.
The second piece was another 8x10 , no deer showed up I am afraid but I added it in jest so I could enter a wildlife exhibit in nearby Audubon Park. Ok, so I cheated, so sue me :)
The last piece I did hurriedly *while* or rather in the minutes of sunset I had. So I would paint the piece of the day and then run to
my sunset spot and paint for twenty minutes on the ongoing work below. I tried to capture the abstract play of light on the mass of buildings and trees. I think in the future I will use a different approach, less color based, with a lot more matter involved as I've seen other artists do (Bryan Mark Taylor for example).