Thursday, January 15, 2015
"Santa Ana River 5 (Vespertine)"
watercolor on paper, 2014
6" x 18" (15.24cm x 45.72cm)
This is my painting for the article "The River in Me" by Susan Straight for Orion magazine. See previous post.
The client wanted to see more color than my more urban versions of the river to communicate the lush verdant arroyo and river banks of the author's essay.
If you are not familiar with Southern California's landscape much of it is either desert or savanna, dry most of the year. But the river basins are teaming with green lush vegetation and wildlife year round.
I was happy I visited the site because I learned that at this time of day with the river sitting down in the arroyo the long streaking shadows are gone as the sun drops behind the hills but there was still plenty of light in the landscape.
We originally talked about showing some evidence of the manmade as you can see in the some of the sketches in my previous post but we arrived at this one (sketch 3) and I was happy with it.
When you are down in the arroyo, although there is some of the manmade, you do feel like you are away from the city and the final painting reflects that as well as that same feeling in much of the article.
What did remain was the distant dry desert mountains of Southern California in the background.297