Old California Trail, 16 x 38 inches, oil on linen
This is a new painting. I haven't abandoned the city - just needed a little break. Painting the hustle and bustle of the city is exciting but after long periods of doing nothing but that... well, I can't think anymore and I need a mental vacation. So I go to this quiet spot, slow waaaay down, paint something that calms me down.
Tall eucalypti, muted "old" colors, solitude. Ahh, that's the ticket. Not a car in sight! No pedestrians! I hear no honking and no diesel engine noises.
This painting looks a little tight compared to my recent city things, but that's only because of its scale. It's actually painted pretty loosely. "Loosely" doesn't mean it's painted quickly. As I said above, I slowed waaay down. Thinking about each stroke as I put it down, trying to make it look nonchalant, but in the right place, with the right shape, and integrated into its neighboring stroke. Consequently, shaping these trees took a long time. I want them to look like they just fell out of my brush, but that spontaneity is an illusion.
I've seen other artists do it quickly and in single passes, but how they're able to do that is beyond me. May be I just need more practice or may be my brain doesn't work that way. I don't know. I'd like to be able to do that, but going slowly is kinda nice. Meditative. Quiet. That's what I was looking for in this piece to begin with, after all.
Happy Thanksgiving! Slow down a little, eh?