Leonardo da Vinci

Where the spirit does not work with the hand there is no art.

--Leonardo da Vinci

Friday, February 17, 2012

LaCamas Lake

Winter Oaks
This past weekend, i took the advice from a great friend and went exploring more of the LaCamas Lake Heritage Trail. I have painted there before, but only on the south end of the trail. This time, i started at the north end and took in some amazing beauty. The flat and wide path wonderfully winds through the trees and along the lake's many inlets to reveal very intimate scenes that gave me a sense of being in another world.
It was difficult landing on a composition, for they were everywhere. Which one do you do? Which one gets ignored while another takes center stage? This is the never ending question that plays round-n-round in the plein air painters noggin.
Thankfully, i did land on my star for the day, and really what it came down to was the amazing moss covered oaks that really struck me. It may have been the close proximity, or the backdrop of evergreens that really made the sea-foam green of those trees pop, but i wanted them in the composition.
I was also stunned by how many people use the path. There were countless runners, walkers, and cyclists who seemed happy to share the space with a painter.
Nature and art go hand in hand, but i think most people are quite surprised to see someone out painting, especially in a venue they frequent. Not that the scenery does not warrant being painted, but that, Wow, someones actually doing it. I know i would think its great, but then, maybe that's partly why i do it: Meeting nature on her terms, in her opera house.
It is always interesting and exciting for me to have the unsuspecting person stop to take a look at what i'm doing and maybe strike up a conversation - which did happen a few times. This is not always easy for a painter, for we tend to get pretty focused. So, going in and out of of those mindsets can be distracting, but it is a challenge that is necessary and will ultimately make us a more well-rounded painter.
So thank you to all those who showed an interest, and took the time to help me grow.
Click on the link to learn more about LaCamas Lake Heritage Trail.


  1. Beautiful Michael. It's nice that you go out into the plein air. It's too cold here and now it's snowing. Sunday, I painted the landscape I saw from my studio window. The all over gray light is what attracted me--it's interesting how much color there is in gray paintings. You apparently have more color in winter than we do. Nice water's edge.

    1. Thank you Linda for the wonderful comment. I too love the gray winter colors. We have pretty mild winters here. Not much snow falls to the valley floor unfortunately, but that may contribute to our beautiful senery. and while i may have pushed the values a bit, it wasn't by much. Thanks again, its always great to get feedback.

  2. love how "pale" this looks...somehow you always make that work! You are the King of pale! :)