Moss Beach, CA 3-21-08
Before heading to Utah to paint with friends, I had a few days with family in California. These paintings were done near homes of relatives.
The Bluff at Moss Beach, CA 3-21-08
It always takes 30-60 minutes to find the spot I want to paint, I try to do each on site painting in 2-3 hours, sometimes less. I use my fingers as a view finder and compose an image which always seems to change when it gets on paper. I believe this will resolve with my recent efforts to make a pencil value study in a separate sketchbook before I begin the watercolor.
Batiquitos Lagoon toward La Costa 3-24-08
Frequently I take a photo or two, thinking I will use it to finish the painting in the studio if needed. I seldom use them later. The painting is always so different from the photo that they are not really useful. I have to make decisions on site about composition, value and color. The photo may influence me to adjust the values a little.
Lagoon near Oceanside, CA 3-30-08
The camera does help as a viewfinder aid unless I am painting a format which is completely different from the photo format. I find my favorite format for plein-air landscapes is a very long horizontal. My current sketchbook is a more standard horizontal.
Batiquitos Lagoon Trail- Encinitas, CA 3-26-08
I have been working for a couple of years in linen bound watercolor sketchbooks. At first it was intimidating, but it also makes me take each painting session seriously and bring all my focus and skill to each effort.
The dilemma is what to do with the failures that are bound together with the successes.