"Ice Carpets"
watercolor 15 x 22 inches

Few people on the East Coast consider that colors like in the painting above actually exist in California.   Well, folks, they do!   

Iceplant, a creeping succulent, that grows just about anyplace that is a temperate zone, is prolific on the central coast of California.   Inland, it remains green.  However, on the coastline, it turns all sorts of red shades that get my juices going.   What is so alluring about this stuff is that it covers acres of sand dunes and exhibits so many, many colors at once.
Painting a scene like this requires a very alert color sense.   As one looks across these acres of carpet, one must tune in to all the variations of reds and oranges, browns and grays that lie out there.   The painter must be very cautious not to allow a single tone or tint of red to become monotonous.  The challenge lies, also, in the neighboring greens or in how the green includes reds and oranges right in its midst.   Mixing red and green, of course, leads to dull grays and blacks.  So, one must paint color transitions to accomplish the subtle shifts.  I am not sure that I have exploited that to the extent that would make these paintings better, but I am still working at it.   That is the fun of painting . . . .way more than just making a pretty picture . . . it is beating the challenges that arise.

Now for the news . . . . .Open studio at my home in Santa Cruz, California October 13, 14 & 20, 21.  If you would like an invitation sent, just email me at mebaileyart@comcast.net.  Join my wife and I for lots of laughter, plenty of art, nibbles, wine and, maybe, treat yourself and take home a nice painting.