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More from Torrey Pines

It was a busy weekend but I did get out to the Torrey Pines Natural Reserve early Saturday Morning. I didn’t paint but hiked over most of the trails in the park and took some photos. The weather was very overcast and grey, so I opted to do the camera work, smell the flowers, sage and chaparral and reconnoiter for potential compositions that might work with the paint brush.

Here is a shot of the Isomeris arborea, or commonly named “Bladderpod” bush, with the characteristic pods. They say the pods are edible but spicy hot…I haven’t tried them:

Isomeris arborea

…and here is a photo of some unidentified (at least by me) shrub with pretty little flowers the color of pink coral…

Tiny Flowers

…eventually I made my way down to a view of the beach and “flat rock.” Bet you can’t guess why they call it “flat rock.” 🙂

Flat Rock, Torrey Pines

While hiking up and out of the beach area I saw some really lovely flowers and shrubs growing in the sand…

Beach Walkers at Torrey Pines

…and the exceptionally pretty flowers of the Sand Verbena that must be very hardy to grow where they do…

Sand Verbena

It was a good morning, despite the cold, overcast and drizzle.

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Art in the Pines ~ Plein Air Competition

Art in the Pines is a yearly plein air painting competition which takes place in the Torrey Pines State Reserve, here in San Diego County.  A jury selects artists who are allowed access to the park to paint for a full month (April) and then submit their best painting for competition in early May. The park is particularly beautiful this time of year and has lots of blooming wildflowers.

Torrey Wildflowers

Torrey Pines, is one of my favorite places in San Diego and I have visited it probably a hundred times either hiking, jogging, swimming or surf fishing on the shore, so the subject matter is something I know very well.  I was fortunate enough to be juried in as a competing artist this year and will be completing several paintings over the next few weeks, so that I might have a good one when it comes time to submit the work for the competition. I went out to the park yesterday, with my camera, my easel and painting supplies.  I chose the area of the park called the “Guy Fleming Trail.”  The trail is about a 2/3 mile loop that wanders through the chaparral and Torrey Pine forest…

Torrey Pine Forest Panorama

skirts by the sheer cliffs which drop down to the State beach below…

View from Cliff Top

…wanders through some spectacular rock formations…

Torrey Sandstone

and loops back to the starting point.

I had hiked the trail the day before, scoping out areas that would make good compositions for a painting and decided on a scene that depicted yucca trees on a steep slope, catching the light from the setting sun. This is an unusual view of the park and one that I think may catch the eye and inspire the judges, who probably see lots of the same-old-same-old.

IMG_0333

So I set up my easel on the trail, out of the way of the hikers (many of whom shared words of encouragement about the painting as they walked by), and went to work.  I had pre-toned the canvas the night before so I wouldn’t have to waste that time when I was ready to paint.

Easel Start

…and here is a little video I took and a picture of the completed painting.  I like this one quite a bit. So far, it’s a good start for the competition. I hope to get in at least four or five more paintings to choose from.  I hope you like it!

Evening Yuccas

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Hacienda Carrillo, Plein Air Paintout in Carlsbad, California

Yesterday started with another bright and beautiful, Southern California, morning. A little chilly (34 degrees) at dawn but nothing compared to temperatures some other parts of the country are experiencing in Mid-January. Got to paint in a new locale (for me) up in the Carlsbad area of San Diego’s North County. The Leo Carrillo Ranch is a 27 acre historical park that preserves the early California adobe architecture and landscaping. It has very nice walking trails and colorful botanical gardens, as well as preserved and restored buildings from the long working history of the Rancho. It was last privately owned by Hollywood actor, Leo Carrillo, who was friends with many of the A-list stars of Hollywood’s golden era. For example, Clark Gable was a friend who often vacationed with Leo at the Ranch. Here is the brand logo and motto of the Rancho: carillo_logo …and here is what part of one of the trails looks like… carillo_pillar …and a little farther down the trail… carrillo_trail …and these guys are roaming all over the place, I must have seen thirty or forty of them… peacock IMG_0078 …I found a view that made a nice composition for the canvas (in this case a 12 X 12 cradled gessobord panel)… cropview …so I set up my easel and painted it, which came out like this… hacienda_carrillo I received many complements on this one by passers by and fellow artists at the park. For now, I’m calling it “Hacienda Carrillo,” but if you can come up with a more compelling name, let me know and I’ll consider it. Here is a link to this one at my online gallery:

http://ronaldleeoliver.com/blog/product/hacienda-carillo/

All in all, a great day for painting outdoors.