Not this year. After years of California drought, off-shore weather systems were now massing early off the coast. My favorite location had lost most of its sparkle and all of its high color. I am committed to this location at this point, however.Not wanting to start making things up, I decided to complete the project and deal with all the grey atmosphere and moisture in the air as well as light fog. I struggled through another study and then decided on something I really don’t do— a limited pallet. In addition to my four colors (Cad Yellow Medium, Ultramarine Blue, Sap Green and Alizarin Crimson), I added three separate Grey’s—light, medium, and dark. Once I established a very tight value study with the Greys, I added color. The following two additional Plein Air studies were completed:
The next task was to paint my large studio piece. I used the same process as with the Plein Air studies—limiting my pallet, holding very tight with Grey mixtures, then adding color to complete San Mateo Coast.
After completing my work for the museum show, I decided to apply the strategy to another painting at a different site. I was especially happy with Point Lobos Calm No. 2 and have since been using the limited pallet with a couple of accent colors for all of my Plein Air work.
I have just received notice that Point Lobos Calm No. 2 has been accepted to the Oil Painters of America 26th Annual National Juried Exhibition of Traditional Oils.
I think I’ll stick with this approach for awhile!