Mt Pleasant

From April 2020, for a year, I posted on Facebook a painting each day as a brief diversion from the lockdowns and other bad news this year. Neglecting my weblog, I’ll post in the coming days some of my better posts. Some of these paintings are still available.

“Mt Pleasant”, 8×16, oil on panel, plein air, finished in the studio

I used to live right near the edge of San Jose, close to the east side foothills. Occasionally I would go up in the hills and paint, especially during winter months when the skies were more interesting.

From the “nije studiokarantene”, this piece was sixth in a plein air series of winter cloud studies from the hills above my home about about 5 years ago. The view is from Mt. Pleasant Rd looking west over San Jose and Silicon Valley. The round hill in the middle is Groesbeck Hill Park where I used to walk our Golden Retriever, and our son used to play when he was a kid. In the distant left is downtown San Jose. A few stadium lights were on, probably the PAL Sports Centre, which I indicated.

It is practically impossible to paint a sunset entirely en plein air (on location). The moment you want to capture lasts for only a few minutes. In this instance, I started the painting about an hour before the moment I was expecting, putting in as much as possible based on prior observations from the same location. When the sun hit the right spot, I furiously put down color and value notes, and minutes later the sun was down. I then finished some of the detail in the studio.