Sunday, July 31, 2011

Sacred Spaces

I signed my waviers and headed out to the ranch yesterday.
I walked the site looking for a vantage. It was tough finding the spot. I had to walk around, look, feel, sit, stand, walk back, go in circles and smell... I felt like a dog looking for a place to poop. I also had to think about the conditions; dry wind coming directly from the west, no shade.
I took a hike to the top of the hill for the 360 vista. The lone oak had a rope swing to nowhere and a couple scattered mortars around it. Not as impressive as the community site below. From that hilltop I could see the freeway to the north, the Asuncion to the east and the Disneyland railroad that envelopes the main property. Looking down at the site, I realized the planview: the site overlooked the village and creek to the east, and had a grand view of a meadow to the west. I hiked back down and found my comfort zone. The area had a horseshoe shaped rock bench about 14 feet long, perfect height to sit on and take in the view. The painting above is the view directly west.
The process of painting was a mental rollercoaster of "Why did I pick such an exposed spot?"; "This is going nowhere."; "My frigging acrylics are scabbing over!", to actual success.
I used two brushes, kept the strokes broad and loose, and abstracted the scene and colors to fit the conditions and mood I was working under.  
Favorite part: Flicking paint at the masonite!

I have an interest in California Native Americans and am doing a series called Sacred Spaces - Landscape interpretations of indigenous sites. My aim is to have a dozen paintings and have an event somewhere in the near future. check out some of the paintings at Art Bistro, and site photos on Flickr.

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