22" X 24" Oil on Canvas
At Christmas time I was visiting my parents in Pasadena and had the chance to run up to Eaton Canyon to take some reference photos. Eaton canyon is a great place to go and I've been doing that since I was a kid and raised 5 minutes from there. I think my first memory of the San Gabriel mountains was when my Dad took my brothers and I hiking in Eaton and up to Henneger Flats a few miles above the canyon. That was a hike and half because I was really very young when that happened.....maybe 10-11? Back in the 60's. Yes....they had hiking back then and no it wasn't because they hadn't invented the car yet.
I love Eaton in the evening because the light is intoxicating then. The mountain sides light up in pink and orange tones while the canyon floor goes into this wonderful shadowed look of various ochres, pale violets and crimson with great olive drab greens of the oak trees. All of that with these splashes of flaming yellows and oranges in the fall months. The Eaton color display and best yet....it's free!
There have been a lot of changes in there since I was a kid. The only thing they had there was a really simple indoor/outdoor nature center where I saw my first rattlesnake...stuffed of course. They used to have this cool series of pictures of a hiker who had been bitten by a rattler and you could see how bad the leg got as the time went by...awesome stuff for kids to see. Aside from that you just hiked around the canyon's riverbed and along it's walls. There was usually hardly anyone around that I remember. On a busy Saturday they might have 10 cars in the parking lot. I was almost run over by surprising a mule deer hiding in the bushes. That dude was hugh!!...well, when you are inches away from a frightened hopping mule deer it looks hugh...and smells gamey too.
Nowadays they have a brand new Nature Center...and indoor one with air conditioning and snack machines and a gift shop, hahaha. They have a nature walk with various plants and picnic tables. Joggers and power walkers abound cluttering up the trails. You see people there who have come by for a walk after going to dinner wearing very nice clothes. It's almost surreal at times and I always find myself wondering where did they all come from and why is every other one carrying a waterbottle. Do people seriously believe they are going to somehow run out of personal water or dehydrate from a simple hike at Eaton canyon??? I think people are watching too many fitness commercials. They even have the president doing it now at the podium. Whatever happened to a glass of ice water for the President as he gives a speech.
I took my daughters to hike up to Echo mountain a few years back and it was the same way...a million joggers, power walkers and even mountain bikers...pretty soon they will pave the trails up there because people will begin to complain of the wear and tear on their Nike, New Balance and Ugg shoes. There was a time getting up to the mountains was a way to enjoy some solitude. You have to hike back further now to do that. Sorry to gripe but I liked it back then when rustic meant dirty and people didn't dress up to just hike, hahaha, and besides....it's my Blog.
Well, here are some detail shots of the painting.