I decided to use a study by the watercolorist Vernon Nye. He caught the back country of California perfectly – the hills and trees in particular. It was a fun study and I liked it because it pointed out to me how deceptively simple the hills can seem, but they really are not. The road, too, was another eye-catcher. I have driven along a number of back-road highways throughout the state, and you feel like you are the only person in the world. The perspective was a great challenge, too. Altogether, a good study of something in my own back yard, and I can take what I learned into future paintings.
Even though summer is moving through July, soon into August, the rains we had over the spring are still leaving waves of color in the hills of the California back country. Usually at this time of year beige is the predominant color, and in really dry years, a dark dirty brown. This summer is a delight of colors – pale compared to spring – with wildflowers still hidden amongst the grasses.