The California Landscape in Retrospect - Methods and Approach

The California Landscape in Retrospect - Methods and Approach.

Acrylic on Panel

The California landscape was a part of my life for decades. Those moments stuck in traffic feeling those everyday feelings you have in life, then the late afternoon sun would angle just right and light up a hillside along the 210 freeway. And you would get a glimpse of magic, between the buildings and overpasses. It would fill you with the now, a reassurance that you had a place in time. 

These paintings are an endeavor to capture those transcendent moments of nature, the small notes of music hidden in the daily grind of modern life. Every bit of these paintings is an attempt to put that onto canvas. All the scenes are something I experienced in real places, filtered through thought, time, mood, and retrospection. 

Oil on Panel

Reference material is dishonest.

These aren't literal translations of the location. I intentionally avoided working from photos or other reference material as that would sabotage the truth that was captured in my mind. 

It's not plein air. 

What I was attempting was diametrically opposed to the methods and goals of plein air painting. It wasn't about the fleeting moment. It wasn't about color, technique, or even composition. 

I was about expressing a moment processed through the subconscious as it was allowed to sit and become part of one's personal identity and history.  Often times I let something brew in my head for years before I finally painted it. From a technical standpoint I could have painted clouds more realistically, or colors more accurately. I could have been more dramatic with light or flashier with composition. But that was not the goal. The goal was to get that transfigured mental impression that I had lived with for years out onto canvas.

Beyond - Acrylic on Canvas

Brush techniques destroy the sincere.

I avoided brush techniques to paint trees, grass, or bushes. I used finer brushes and treated each leaf and blade of grass as individually as I could(when appropriate towards describing depth and detail). 

Sometimes I would treat bushes and trees as vague shapes if that what was in my mind. In general , there's no way a brush pattern, shape, or canned painting method could describe what was in my head. There are no shortcuts to the sincere. 

Moving on.

I no longer live in California, so the chapter has ended.  I may come back but for now I'm being tugged in a different direction, with different approaches. I don't know where my CA landscapes stand in the tradition of CA landscape painting. I don't know if these fit into any of those "schools". They just are what they are I guess.

Oil on Panel
Available for viewing and sale in the halls of Distinction Gallery in Escondido CA.

Acrylic on Panel

Acrylic on Panel

Looking - Acrylic on Canvas

Mercy's Pull - Acrylic on Canvas

66 Through Glendora - Acrylic on Panel
Mercy's End - Acrylic on Panel

Sky Kissed the Road to Black Mountain - Acrylic on Panel

Mission Through 52 - Arcylic on Panel