Finally, the holidays are behind us! I despise this time of the year. Rather than subject myself to the usual family drama and strife, my boyfriend Ben and I opted to spend Christmas in Ojai, a quaint, little eclectic town located one hour north of Los Angeles. Below are two small plein air sketches I did during my two day sojourn in Ojai.
'Resting Cattle'.............oil on canvas panel.............6x8"
While exploring the idyllic Ojai countryside, we came across a horse and cattle ranch. It was late afternoon and the mountains and cattle were beautifully backlit from the waning sun thus urging me to stop by the side of the road to paint this scene.
'Lower Lake, Rose Valley'.........oil on canvas panel......... 6x8"
The following day, we drove a few miles north of the ranch and discovered a small, deserted fishing lake nestled in a valley across from an abandoned inmate labor camp. Sweet! Although the labor camp was obviously uninhabited for years, my vivid imagination left me feeling disquieted and paranoid at the prospect of a crazed and dangerous convict at large charging towards Ben and me. I walked around the lake until I found a view that appealed to me. I used Ben's car parked in the distance as a focal point to offset the placid composition.
The cool, overcast weather provided ample painting time, however, I painted hurriedly due to my paranoia, the random gunshots in the distance and fresh bear poop on the trails leading to the lake. Oh, and it was freaking cold!!