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California Paintin'

Posted: Jul 25, 2015
Categories: Plein Air
Comments: 0
I have a new addiction, Plein Air painting. All due to California's beautiful coastline. Always dreamed of painting the rocky sites of the Pacific coast, along the California state road 1 aka the Pacific Coast Highway. This month I got to travel to San Francisco for the first time for one week of business and one week of vacation. San Francisco, beautiful in it's own right just didn't wow me, being that I'm a city boy and all. It was a step up from Manhattan in some regards, mainly architecture. Got to paint a few of the city sites and felt like I was just anywhere back home near Miami. Just across the Golden Gate bridge however was a beautiful world awaiting my mobile easel.
[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="600"]Sausalito Bay Sausalito Bay © Santiago Perez – All Rights Reserved[/caption]
After I was done with business in the heart of San Francisco's financial district I headed North to the beautiful town of Sausalito. It's a quaint little town with it's bay lined with sailboat mast's and calling seagulls and just on the other side, the high life and upscale town of Tiburon. I could not unpack my bags fast enough and get down from the hill I was staying at to go paint at the boardwalk. Captured a nice little dock that rented out miniature sailboats , the bay, and the edge of Angel Island. Many people were so friendly and curious, they all wanted to see what I was working on and all were very complimentary. Not to mention the PERFECT weather, 66 degrees painting outdoors. I was in heaven as opposed to the outdoor oven of South Florida weather at an average of 94 degrees at this time of year.
[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="600"]Santiago Perez painting in Muir Woods National Monument July 2015 Santiago Perez painting in Muir Woods National Monument July 2015 © Santiago Perez – All Rights Reserved[/caption]
Next day was followed up with an adventure and a workout all in one as I trekked and hiked through the Muir Woods with my painting gear and tripod which sum a total of 30 Lbs for a 5 mile journey round trip. Needless to say it wasn't hard to find inspiration and a purpose for being in the Redwoods forest. After I found a nice little spot I quickly setup and captured this little site while the sun was still above the trees' canopy. This was my first experience painting in the woods and there was much to learn about the landscape perspective and color combinations. Unfortunately I couldn't command the sun to stand still and my time ran out.

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 On the last leg of my trip I arrived at the most enchanting little town I've ever visited in my life and lined to the rim with QUALITY art galleries, I died and went to heaven! Needless to say, I forgot how much I was walking or shall I say running from gallery to gallery if it wasn't for my fitbit on my wrist alerting me I had reached a milestone. In any case, the next morning headed down the road and came across a beautiful beach with some rock formations and I knew I had to capture it. Wasn't sure from the view on the side of the road if it was possible but noticed there was a path down to the cliff and I knew there was my money shot! And heck, I figured if I go, I go doing what I love! Quickly setup and went to work. I was surprised as I was done with my 9 x 12 inch oil painting rather quickly. Must have been something about the soothing sounds of the crashing waves, the sandy beach, and majestic rock formation footing the mountain.
[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="600"]Painting at Garapata beach, CA Painting at Garapata beach, CA © Santiago Perez – All Rights Reserved[/caption]
On my last day I was itching to capture one last shot before I headed back to the flatlands of Florida so I headed out to Pebble Beach. I underestimated how much time it would take to get through this paradise land. Along my drive in the quest for the perfect painting spot I was struck by the serenity of the lone Cypress on the rock juxtaposed with the crashing waves against all the rock formations surrounded by Kelp. I was in awe and so upset that my trip was ending and I did not have time to translate what my eyes and heart were feeling through my paint brush and unto a canvas, which words cannot describe . I quickly awoke in the plane ride back and realized I have to start booking my next flight back!
[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="600"]Lone Cypress in Pebble Beach, CA Lone Cypress in Pebble Beach, CA © Santiago Perez – All Rights Reserved[/caption]
Do you know of any hidden spots that would be a gem for a painting? Leave a comment and let me know about them. If I decide to paint it in the future you might have a surprise in your mailbox.

Come see the finished pieces on my site:

Landscape_ScreenShot

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