Sunday, May 5, 2013

China Cove: Kaleidoscope of Color

China Cove, 10x8" oil

I had the thrill of painting in the stunning Point Lobos California State Park last month. My painting above depicts "China Cove"—  a cozy little secret beach tucked away from the world, except for the many curious tourists and over-the-shoulder lookers that appeared throughout the day.

The view was overwhelmingly's the cove late afternoon.

The ranger at the gate was nice enough to recommend this far away place on the map as an ideal painting spot... and she was right!  By the time I got set up in the late morning and finished around 4pm, I'd say I painted about 3 or 4 hours...which was quite a luxurious amount of time compared to the rest of the windy blow-and-go kind of week I had been having.

This has the makings for a future the complimentary colors of red/green here.

Protected from the wind, I even found a bit of shade to paint in...what heaven! The light completely changed a million times on me...but I was so enchanted with the place that I didn't want to leave. It was literally a emerald kaleidoscope of light and colors, all day long!

Secluded and protected, it's the perfect a baby seal nursery.

 The colors where spectacular as they reached the many shades of emerald to chartreuse. See the mommy and baby could watch them nursing from just around the corner. But the world seemed to stop and congregate at my painting spot that day. You can see why!

Here's the cove looking out into the ocean. Almost looks like Maui here!

I wish I'd taken photos in the morning as well, but when I scouted out the area I didn't have my camera in hand as the hike was pretty intense...and I had my painter's thinking cap on...which tends to be a different mind-set than photography. You constantly think, "Hurry up and paint...the light is changing!"

Here's the cove seen from the opposite shore...about 5 or 6 p.m.
At first, I thought there would be no way I'd carry all my paint gear up there. Then I found the handicap ramp on the way back down to my car (gotta love California for that!!) and was able to throw my gear in a suitcase and pull it all up the ramp to my painting spot! So, I made a mental note to prepare for future traveling with much lighter stuff...but hey, you do what you have to with what you've got!

Detail of the other side from where I'd been painting.
There were so many great views of the cove I could have painted from. Thank goodness I didn't find this one until after I'd finished my painting or I may have spent the day in undecided anguish!
And, I can paint this one now.

The actual painting inspired view.
Here's the approximate spot I was painting from. I took out the pine tree in the foreground which was nice enough to offer me her shade for the day, and cropped tight into the rocks above, eliminating the sky. When I started, the rocks on the left were in masses of shadow with dappled light changing the forms into a curtain of colors that you see in the actual painting. And, of course, the sea weed took on different shapes and colors minute by minute. It was quite a challenging scene to paint...but what a great day!

1 comment:

Michelle Wells Grant said...

Wow, these are MAGNIFIGANT photos! Isn't No. Cal beautiful? That's my old stomping ground. So glad you enjoyed it so much ... can't wait to see all the paintings that come from your trip.
P.S. You're also a great writer!