I was in Healdsburg last weekend and had two free hours so I drove up to Lytton Springs Road and then cut up Geyserville Ave looking for a nice landscape to paint. After a short exploration I found a place to pull over near Vinwood Cellars that had a good elevated view of the valley. It was a lovely afternoon to paint but I had to work fast as the shadow from the mountains behind me was creeping up fast. When the panel falls into shadow I can’t match the colors any more and that’s the end of it.
I woke before the sun so I hiked up to the top of the Ring Mountain Preserve hoping for a dramatic sunrise. Instead I got thick misty clouds and drizzly wet conditions. You play the hand you are dealt so I set up in the light rain and did my best make oil stick to a water soaked panel.
The first pass of this painting never sat right with me. I was waiting for another over cast morning with a lowering tide to continue it on location but those conditions never came. Then the season changed and now the colors have started shifting green. I missed my window of opportunity to continue it en plain air so I decided to just clean it up from memory at the apartment.
I had to stop on the way to Zeldie’s house to paint the dramatic clouds above Santa Rosa. I drove up the hill on Fountaingrove Parkway to where all the big houses were. The scars of the fires haven’t healed yet but the replacement mansions were already rising from the ashes. I set up by the charred remains of an old foundation and while I was working some kids walked over to see what I was doing. After a few minutes of chatting they ran home to paint. It was a productive hour.
Lunchtime painting over by the Tamalpais Creek bridge, Looking west towards Kentfield. Really wet on the trails after the storm, I couldn’t go very far without mud boots.
The post rain clouds were fantastic this afternoon. I caught them at the tail end of the day over at McInnis Park, in San Rafael. I setup on the dock, just behind Gravity Vault Climbing Gym and enjoyed a stunning view of Mt. Tamalpais as the sun set.
Walked across the street to see what the heavy rains and flooding the day before had done to the salt marsh. The damage wasn’t too bad but the storm had left the grass and reeds in a tangled twist which was rather pleasing to look at. That was enough for me so out came my easel.
I drove up to the ranch yesterday morning and just as I got to Alexander Valley the rain began to thin. The Light was marbled and beautiful so I pulled over below lake Elizabeth to paint. Worried about another downpour, I set up under the back door of my little hatch back car but it was all for not because the weather only improved. It was another gorgeous morning in Alexander Valley and I was happy to be back home once again. I didn’t even mind when the neighbor’s security guard stopped to interrogate me about trespassing.
The light yesterday afternoon were pretty fantastic. I had some time before driving back down to Marin so I swung by the winery to paint the view looking south. It started raining on me about an hour in and I had to wrap up earlier than I would have liked.