This is San Diego?

"San Diego Backcountry" 9 x 12 in. chalk pastel on paper

Well, it's not in the city of San Diego...

It's another one of those views from the tram at the Safari Park, which is in San Diego County.

Once you leave the coast, much of San Diego county looks like the above painting. It's been unbearably hot these last few days. Sometimes the heat inspires me to paint cooler places like the beach; according to the weather channel website, it's even hotter down at the coast than it is here today.

For this painting, I worked quickly, having already formed the idea based on a reference photo ahead of time. The simple composition and emphasis on color (especially the orange paper) were the main components.

California is famous for supposedly not having seasons. Anyone who spends a fair amount of time here can tell that summer is slipping into fall by looking at the sky: the blue deepens into a bold azure,providing a stunning backdrop for the golden hills as they hit their dryest point of the year. The surrounding beauty is unfortunately a reminder that fire season is just around the corner.

Here's another piece inspired by a view in the same area:

"Country Roads" 9 x 12 chalk pastel on paper

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