I try to sit down and reflect on my paintings of the year and decide on my favorites as I set new goals for next year. I am happy to say that two of my goals were met for this year. I created tree paintings I liked and got much more comfortable working in smaller sizes.
I liked the gracefulness of the forms of the young oaks here, they looked like they were dancing to me. I was also pleased with the foreground. Learning to see trees was helped tremendously by the exhibit " Superbly Independent" at the Hearst Gallery at St Mary's College in Moraga, as each of these three women artists had a favorite tree she painted ( see my blog entry from July 21st for more information about the exhibit)
I was very pleased with the amount of rain we had last winter as the poppies were finally out in full force on South Gate Road on Mount Diablo after two years of dormancy. I like the amount of abstraction in these wildflowers and the subtle pale coppers and mauves of the grasses framing them.
This was painted during the Carmel Art Festival in May 2010. The weather was so cold and wet on the coast that I went inland and found the most beautiful hill to paint. I've noted before that the hills near the coast have straighter shapes than the older more curvey eroded hills near Diablo. This hill had such lovely pleats, looking freshly wrinkled. This was also a favorite because it was one of those fun places to paint, with horses and butterflies and dragon flies ( but not horse flies) around me .
After two years of drought, water use was on my mind as I painted the stark contrast between the naturally dry summer hills and the irrigated patches of vineyards on this hill in Napa near Oakville. This was a great painting session, with the cameraderie of fellow painters from the California Art Club.
Morning has Broken 9 x 12 ( Mount Diablo)
The most recent painting of the year, this is the only painting of Mount Diablo I've chosen this year. It took a subject matter I know almost too well to create a 9 x 12 I am perfectly happy with as a finished painting as opposed to my usual sketches at this size..
Goal Setting for 2011
My goals for next year are to paint both bigger more often ( I usually paint 2 to 3 full sheets a year, with the vast majority of my work as half sheets, so I am aiming for 5 or 6 in 2011) and smaller ( 9 x 12 and even try some 8 x 10)
I still have not painted a nocturne after promising myself I would try one for several years, so at least trying one is on the list again.
Painting more trees and clouds is also on the list. I need to do more looking at trees and more going out to paint on cloudy days ( where I live it is sunny 300 days a year so I usually prefer painting in the bright sunlight) There are subtlies in colors and values on cloudy or foggy days I want to explore.
Thank you for visiting and commenting on this blog during the year. Your encouragement means a great deal to me.
Happy Painting in the New Year!