Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Mar 9 - Plein Air with the Riverside Artists PAAR

On location this time, I went as part of the Plein Air Painters of Riverside (PAAR) on their week-long paint out last week. This is the fifth year, and I've been in it several times. The bridge in this 12 x 9 oil is the Union Pacific Viaduct at the Anza Narrows park on the Santa Ana River, built in 1904.

Last year I stayed up in the park where most of the artists were today. This year I wanted a more dramatic view, so Willow and I hiked down into the riverbed and got near enough to the architecture to get the dramatic upward span of one of the arches. Below is a photograph of my setup spot with the almost finished painting on the Easyl. I was fascinated by the graffiti on the uprights of the bridge as a contrasting color to the predominantly blue/yellow ochre of the day.

Done rather quickly (as most of my plein air work is), I now feel as though the sky needs more punch to honor the sweeping shape of the arch. Yet as you can see from the photo below, the sky that day was about as I painted it. Ah, back to the studio for some creative license! This painting never saw the light of sharing at the PAAR event, as I quickly packed up and headed home after enjoying a walk up and down the riverbed with Willow. And I'd signed it, so it stayed in the studio--the plein air competition pieces remain unsigned.

The amazing force of the water through the channel created many dynamic shapes and curves in the river's banks, and Willow and I enjoyed the cool day on the river. I took Willow with me, since I knew I'd be down in the very remote riverbed. Nothing was there on this day, but I know there are feral dogs, pigs and some destitute humans eking out a living in this watershed. She was great company.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Lovely painting. It's interesting to see it next to the photograph and see how much more vibrancy and life the painting has. The photograph may have crisper details, but the painting is definitely more life-like.

David Gordon