A Yucca Plant, I think

I sketched today at Balboa Park’s Desert Garden. It is a delightful place on top of the mesa, full of succulents and cactus. Unfortunately, there are no name plates so I am not confident that this is a yucca. Regardless, this particular plant captures my eye and I have now sketched it many times.

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Ramona Grassland Preserve

Sketch by Sarah Sullivan of Boulders and Trees
Ramona Grassland Preserve

I got good a good start on this painting when I was over at Ramona Grasslands Preserve last Saturday, but I had to wait until today to finish it. This began as a bright morning scene with intense backlighting but somehow became more of a bright moonlight landscape. 

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Cuyamaca Lake Park

Sketch by Sarah Sullivan of Cuyamaca Lake
Cuyamaca Lake

I drove up to Cuyamaca Lake today with a friend where we painted. It was cold with a heavy sky and I liked the dark shapes that I saw along the edge of the forest.

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Beneath the Eucalyptus Tree

This afternoon I went over to Lake Murray Park and painted for a few hours.  The late afternoon light had a golden glow which was especially bright on the bark of the Eucalyptus trees along the shore. A woman and her small dog with a large tail came along and obliged me by admiring the view for a few minutes.

Sketch by Sarah Sullivan of a woman and dog standing under a tree
Beneath the Eucalyptus Tree

The last three days I have used paper that is about twice as long as it is wide. The first day I used it in landscape mode, these next two days in portrait. I like the way the portrait orientation suggests the majesty of nature.

This is a 6 X 12-inch gouache painting.

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An Artist at Work

An Artist at Work

Torrey Pines State Reserve was a perfect place to paint this morning. I arrived expecting heavy fog but it had already moved out over the Pacific. As I thought about a vista to paint, my eyes kept looking over at my friend. I thought her silhouette and easel against the ocean was just gorgeous. So instead of a painting of the view from the West Overlook, this became a painting about an artist doing her best to capture beauty. 

This is a 13 X 20- inch gouache and casein painting on heavy black bristol board.

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Succulents at Balboa Park

Sketch of a few succulents from Balboa Park
Succulents at Balboa Park

The succulent garden at Balboa Park is a great place to paint this time of year. Succulents need a lot of sunshine so it can be uncomfortable to paint there during our warmer months. Now the weather is cool enough to make it much more inviting. The sky and mesa beyond this row of plants were spectacular in the morning light and I used very watery gouache to try to capture the feeling of the light and wind.

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Looking Down on the Trolley Tracks

Sketch by Sarah Sullivan of the trolley tracks at San Diego State and the hills beyond.
Looking Down at the Trolley Tracks

This morning I walked up the hill to San Diego State University and sketched one of my favorite views. You can stand on the northwest corner of the mesa and look out across it along the trolley tracks to the hills and sky. We had rain last week and the hills are already beginning to green up just a bit. 

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