Trina and I have made our way to Carmel, California, for a week of exploration. We last came to the area thirteen years ago. This time, we've come with the intention of scouting for plein air painting spots. I might want to set up a painting retreat here for myself and other painters. (Stay tuned!)
We drove up from the south along California Highway 1. This is one of the most scenic routes in the country, and as we found, one of the most harrowing in a rainstorm. Between San Simeon and Big Sur, we had heavy rain and small rock slides. Rocks the size of cinderblocks bounced into our lane, forcing us to swerve around them. (And yes, into oncoming traffic!) In a few places, the road was one-lane-only and controlled by traffic signals because of "slip outs" that had occured recently. At one slip out, we were stopped by a light where we had a steep cliff on our left and a torrent rushing along the roadside to our right. I wondered how fast that torrent had to run to undermine what pavement was left and to send us all hurtling 600 feet down to the Pacific. That stop light seemed to stay red forever.
|The storm that we went though on Highway 1|
Now that we're safely in Carmel, I'm looking forward to scouting. But I'm doing so only with a camera. Although I threw the pastel gear into the car at the last minute, I don't think I'll paint. Sometimes scouting with a camera is better, so long as you're using your "painter's eye" while taking photos. One of our cameras has a GPS built into it, so that'll be handy for finding the good spots next time we're here in full painting regalia.
By the way, even though I'm on the road, my studio painting sale continues. I'm posting sketches and demos daily. If you would, please check it out at my studio store - http://johnsonstudiostore.blogspot.com/