Hi, Welcome back to my series discussing how and why I painted some of the paintings hanging on the walls of our home. The third in the series, todays painting is from 1999 and is titled simply enough “Pt Lobos” It could also be titled “Pt Lobos prior to California” .
In the 1990s I primarily painted with watercolors, learning color theories and the nuances of the medium primarily on Arches blocks 14 x 20. Until then my ArtistEye outlet was through my photography: developing Black and White at home, processing slides, and printing with a color enlarger. In 1996 I jumped into oils and used my photo images as a resource.
Pt Lobos has always been an inspiration to me. I followed and marveled at Ansel Adams’ photo images and also of the paintings by the early California Impressionists. Over the years trips to Pt Lobos have been many, enjoying hiking, sketching, painting and photography, even some snorkeling in Whalers Cove in the seventies.
This painting is from one of my photographs and is a view from Whalers Cove toward the Carmelite Monastery on the far hillside. If you look closely you will not see the Monastery! As the painting progressed I decided to leave it out. I liked the idea that this could be a view from hundreds of years before Europeans were in California.
As this was one of my earlier oils, I tried to paint as realistically as I could but added an Impressionistic flare, mostly in the water surface and nearby cliffs. Layer after layer, I think it took about 40 hours to complete. I would paint for 4-5 hours, let the paint dry for a week and then using retouch varnish and paint medium I would add the next layer. I used a simple landscape color palette of alizarin crimson, yellow ochre, thalo and cobalt blue, thalo green, burnt umber, burnt sienna and titanium white. A fun discovery was to mix lavenders for the shadows of the foliage and use it to add atmospheric perspective to the distant hills .