It was a grey day yesterday, we being in the middle of May Grey/June Gloom here in San Diego. Usually this overcast only hangs around the coast, so I figured that the clouds would break up when we went inland to The Lavender Fields in Valley Center. Not so!
The previous owners of the Lavender Fields opened the property to the members of PAPASAN (Plein Air Painters Association of San Diego) once or twice a year in the past, and the new owner, Alicia Wolff, has generously continued the tradition.
There were about 10 of us who set up to paint. Some of the fields have been replanted with new varieties, and were not yet mature enough to bloom, but the hillside section was a riot of purples violets … and lavenders. There was a little muffled grumbling about the soft gloom from those “coasties” who’d expected brilliant sunshine, but as everyone settled in it became so quiet that we could hear the bees working the rows of flowers.
In some ways, it’s a difficult subject: there’s a complexity to the patterns of the fields, and if I don’t search out the big, simple shapes, I won’t get a successful painting. The soft lighting actually helped me to do that. I only had time for one 8″x 10″ panel, but I think it’s a winner. Make me an offer on this one, but hurry, I’m rapidly growing fond of it!