Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Azusa Canyon Wash

This scene was painted from a reference photo taken Easter morning. Azusa canyon is a short drive from where I grew up in Pasadena. I've spend many a day up in the canyon. I even caught my first fish just below the canyon at a place called Happy Jacks Fish Farm. Across the street there was a pasture with buffalo grazing. Both of these places are long gone with condominiums in their place. Glad I was raised here before the great disappearance!
I have collected several reference photos of this scene taken from the freeway as I drove by. California Impressionist painter Elmer Wachtel painted the same scene probably 30-40 years before I was born and was most likely setup where the freeway now is and where I took my ref photos out of a speeding car window. Not to be in the exact same spot, I drove to the west side of the wash and took a new reference photo from there. The wash is now fenced off to the public but I made do. I didn't want to paint the smaller dams in the foreground so I just winged it with my own foreground version.
Here is my reference photo.....

And here is the finished painting of mine...

"Azusa Canyon Wash"

12" x 24"
My reference photo doesn't show the wash at all. The dams block it out but I've seen it enough times to just paint it in. At the base of the mountains I added suggested buildings and homes so this is actually a little of both the past and present.


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