Friday, September 26, 2008


Was going to paint at the river this evening, but I forgot my wallet at Trader Joe’s, had to go home and get it, then back to Joe’s for the groceries. I walk out to the car and the sun is settling into a bank of colorful, corrugated clouds. Shoot! I will never make it to the river before it sets. And, hey, there’s a good view here. Why else am I carrying paints around in my car? I set up to paint in the parking lot.
Trader Joe’s customers stop to see what I’m doing. "You going to put that Safe Lipo billboard in?" I explain about artistic license. I’m painting on a 6 by 8 canvas. How much do they think I can fit? A white-haired lady stops by saying that she used to paint. Watching me, she seems to want to paint again. I am standing, separated by a fence and ten feet of hillside from the freeway. We can barely hear each other.
As always with a sunset, the sky is changing minute to minute. I keep reminding myself: paint the parts that will change the fastest first. The clouds become more orange, then more rose as the sun lowers. It angles sharply across the horizon. Maybe that is why the sun seems to set more slowly in these latitudes than in the tropics.
After the sky is finished (frozen just before sunset), I cover the bottom edge with a dark line of silhouetted trees. The white-haired lady comes back out with her groceries just as I am packing up. "Oh, those trees really make the picture. Otherwise, it’s just blobs of color."
It is always blobs of color. But never "just".

No comments: