Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Plein air in Southern California ~ Lake Casitas

The artist a a receptacle 
for emotions that come
from all over the place:
from the sky,
from the earth, from a scrap of paper,
from a passing shape,
from a spider's web.
~Pablo Picasso

Lake Casitas, is not far from my parents place in Ojai, and while many people go there to fish and camp, Lori and I met for a beautiful day of plein air painting. Lori is also a member of the Pastel Society of the Gold Coast. I started a blog for them, and will be passing that on to you guys, a little later.

Anyway, it the last day of January, and as you can see, it was an absolutely gorgeous. Doing plein air work, you have a limited time, to get the information down on your paper or canvas. Because light and shadow change quickly outside, often, depending on how long you stay out there, you may start two or three different pieces. 

Of course, one of the most important decisions, is the location you choose and what you decide to incorporate into your composition, and what you decide to edit out.

Here is piece #1 ... "The morning piece." Here, you can see I have done an under-painting. Actually, I used hard pastels and a special liquid, called SpectraFix, and spread the pastel with a brush. (Sometimes, I use watercolors paints.) At this point, I now have some values (darks and lights) in place, to play off, with the soft pastels.

Here is Lori Corradi, getting started on her piece.

Every human is an artist.
The dream of your life
is to make beautiful art.
~Miguel Angel Ruiz

So here is the view I picked ...

my set-up ...

I got pretty far on this piece the, below ("the morning piece")  ... but the light started to change, and I was also loosing some of the reflections, of the hills on the water.

So, off I went to the little café, across the lake, to get a sandwich. I brought it back and ate at these picnic tables, you see below. Lori and I were loving the weather, and the view, and were feeling very lucky to be there that day! We also had a very informative conversation about the best ways to meet men. (Not a great number of available, straight men, doing pastels, as it turns out.)

In the following photo, you can see that the reflections of the mountains, on the lake, (to the left side) are pretty much gone. It was time to begin a new piece.

I put in the big shapes, with a dark nupastel (which is a harder pastel stick,) keeping pretty much the same composition, as the morning piece, and trying to stay extra loose, and notice the changes in light and color that happen in afternoon.

Then, a very loose under-painting ...

Below, I have just begun to use soft pastels. You can see the vibrant blue and green ... toward the upper-center, at the base of the hills.

Afternoon painting, (#2, for the day )
The light went behind the mountains so this is as far as I got, on the second piece. I took photos throughout the day, and with what I had gotten on paper, I had enough information to go back and resolve the paintings in the studio.

Back in the studio, Painting #1, the "morning painting"  ... almost done.

And here are the finished pieces. You can see how different they are from each other, and what a different feel and color palette they have. 

Morning on the Lake  
Ojai, California

Afternoon on Lake Casitas 
Ojai, California

Painting is just another way
of keeping a diary.
~Pablo Picasso

If you want to check out the blog that I started for the Pastel Society of the Gold Coast, click here.
It's really just getting started!

I am working on a post, with my photos of the Baths of Caracalla, in Rome. It was so amazing but I actually need to do a little research, because my knowledge of the place is very limited. (Outside of "There was a Roman dude named Caracalla and he built some baths.")  My main objective in going there, to the ruins, was actually to find images to paint! And, boy did I! The place is incredible! Anyway, I will get to that later!

Hope you are all enjoying spring and getting some good weather. And for goodness sake, let's all pray for the crazy weather to stop in the Midwest and elsewhere. 

Blessings and light!


Kerry O'Gorman said...

What a lovely way to spend the day. I think your pieces reflect the landscape so well (no pun intended!). What a gift you have! Mixing media is a lot of fun isn't it?

donna baker said...

I love this post Lucinda. It is pretty incredible to see how you progressed as you worked. I love it. Loose I am not; focused and too careful. I've never painted outside and love the fact you had to work so quickly. I think that would be a good thing for me to try. Pray tell us what kind of man you're looking for. Brad Pitt?

Tito said...

What a beautiful post Lucinda, I really like all your works.....and all your photos. Ciao!

Unknown said...

What a beautiful post. The landscape and the way you captured the morning and afternoon colors and shadows in your paintings ...fantastic! You are very talented! Thanks for sharing the beauty!

Loree said...

Your paintings are absolutely beautiful. I can't wait for your post on the baths of Caracalla. I left you an award over on my blog. Feel free to pass it on.

Theresa said...

These are gorgeous. Someday I hope to do a art trade with you. (If you would want to!)
We are coming to LA to see Amma in about a month if you want to meet :)
LAX Hilton on West Century Blvd June week of June 10...

isabella kramer - veredit said...

Breathtaking place for pleine air painting and your result is absolutely wonderful !!! fantastic feeling for light and atmosphere.

love it ♥


shayndel said...

beautiful quotes, scenes, paintings, and you!
i can feel your life in the quotes, and the quotes in your life. i also feel that art as diary, i used to paint, now my `medium` has changed to dance, but i feel still this way you describe with your paintings, so beautifully expressed!
happy days and happy painting!

shayndel said...

PS blessings and light to you!

Cobalt Violet said...

Thanks for the lovely comments and compliments!!! You are all very sweet!

Donna~Not Brad but what's that saying about not throwing someone out of bed for eating crackers? lol!
Someone funny, kind, smart, loves Italy and travelling and seeing art ... Oh, I have a whole list!! ;)

Theresa, we are definitely going to have to meet up one of these days!!! We'll get in touch!

Loree- you are a sweetheart! Thank you!!!

Donna Weathers said...

I just discovered your blog and absolutely love this painting! Well done! Would love to see more pastel paintings!