Fog Monster #1

The California coast depends on the fog that rolls in from the Pacific during the late spring and summer – and other times of the year, probably – for its ecology.  Plants collect the damp of the fog as a primary water source, and at times it makes the coastal areas, and inland valleys, rather damp and dreary.

Here, we call it “May Grey” and “June Gloom” and “The Fog Monster” – and believe me, when you live in a coastal city in July, and the sky is cold and damp, you cannot help but agree with Mark Twain when he said, “The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco.”

You see the coastal fog rolling over the foothills toward the inland valleys.  I tried to simplify my palette and fields of color to suggest distance.  The sun is coming from the viewer’s right, so I also worked to make it evident on the distant hills.  I used a lot of dry brush in the foreground, and basically worked from top to bottom so that the distant layers would be overlaid by the middle and foreground.  The only thing that wasn’t quite in that sequence were the fence posts.  Once they were established, dry brush to represent grasses was employed.

Spring in the California Foothills

We have had a lot of rain this year in California, and throughout both ends of the state.  North and south.  As a result, the hills are a brilliant lime green, and when the sun hits just right, it’s hard to believe our once beige state has blossomed into such beauty.  The wildflower bloom is beginning, from the desert to the high Sierra.  Cacti, poppies, lupines, and so many other flowers await our eager eyes.