Landscape Oil Painting Outdoors/Landscape Painting Plein Air

View from Stege Marsh, Richmond Bay Trail

View from Bay Trail, Richmond, oil 6x8"
View from Stege Marsh, Richmond Bay Trail, oil 6x8"

This isn’t the painting I made at Sunday’s plein air location in a funky old marina in Crockett, beside the Carquinez Bridge. I was mad at that painting so I did this one to get even. I worked from a photo I took on the Bay Trail near my house to give myself a chance to paint in easier circumstances (no wasps buzzing around my hands, no trains going by every half an hour only 10 feet away, no cars rumbling overhead, no sweaty heat, and light that doesn’t move).

Feeling a little more confident after that, I tried to fix up the painting I’d done under the bridge (where the only shade could be found on that hot day). What made me mad about the painting was primarily that I didn’t come close to meeting the goal I’d set for myself that day: to SIMPLIFY and also that it is just a stupid composition. The view was tricky as everything was in direct afternoon sun except the foreground which was in shade.

Under Carquinez Bridge, Crocket, REVISED, oil 6x8"
Under Carquinez Bridge, Crocket, REVISED, oil 6x8"

I will keep working on the goal of simplifying in my oil paintings, as I’ve had a major breakthrough in my understanding about why it’s important, which I’ll write about in my next post.

Landscape Oil Painting Outdoors/Landscape Painting Plein Air

Above Dead Fish Restaurant, Crockett

View from Dead Fish Restaurant

The Dead Fish Restaurant is on a hill in Crockett, California and just above it there is a wonderful new little park with amazing views of Mare Island (pictured above) a former military base and naval shipyard, Benicia, and the Carquinez Bridge.

I arrived at the site close to 4:00 p.m. and painted until around 6:00 when some persistent wasps (I think they’re wasps — they’re the yellow buzzing things attracted to meat at picnics) finally drove me away. One kept trying to crawl up my sleeve or into my rubber glove and bit me twice on the wrist.

To anyone watching from a distance I’m sure I appeared to be painting with great flourish as every stroke required swiping at the wasp to move him before I could put a bit of paint on the canvas. That combined with the sun glaring in my eyes and the heat and the fact that everyone else in the plein air group had already left, convinced me it was time to go home.

It’s too nice outside right now to be on the computer so I’m going to keep this short and go paint. I’ve made some changes and additions to my studio that I will post soon as well as some of the paintings and drawings done while I’ve been spending more time in the real world and less in the virtual one while my computer was in the shop. See you again soon!

About the painting: Oil on canvas on panel, 10″x12″, painted 75% on site and 25% in the studio.