Dancing Dunes | Pastel | 11x14
Five o'clock pm was the check-in time for the 2017 Carmel Art Festival. We were to have our canvases/substrates stamped and begin our 48 hour period to paint a minimum of two paintings for the Saturday and Sunday Festival Show. I headed to the south end of town and the Carmel River State Beach. There I set up on the beach facing the shore where the steep dune with its ice plants tumbling down had caught my eye. Using the artistic license we all learn to employ, the Monterey Cypress were actually across the road at the top of the dunes but the road was unseen from my vantage point looking up. A short while later, another artist came racing by in her down long coat, setting up quickly to capture the fading light. I was so envious of her coat as the temperature was dropping rapidly and the constant wind had left me with almost frozen fingers - a real liability for a pastelist who must hold the sticks securely!
Painting Notes: The wind was helpful in letting me 'feel' the dancing Cypress. I waited on putting in the sky color, knowing that for a brief time just before the setting sun the sky would turn a lovely yellow. It was a pre-planned decision as I thought the interplay between the blue violet shadows and the yellow sky, while using the red/green complimentaries in the ice plants would add to the high contrast I wanted to achieve in this painting.