Monday, September 29, 2008

Alum Rock Park

I'm totally behind on posting my plein air sketches - which must mean I have a life, of sorts!
Anyway, here we were in Alum Rock Park on a beautiful autumn day. The mineral springs are the primary reason for the park. Back at the turn of the last century they were used as baths for curing all kinds of ailments. Now we just have the various little bridges and grottos left. The accumulation of minerals on the rocks give rise to interesting textures and colors (and smells!). Here's my color/texture sketch of one of the springs.As I sat there painting every now and again there would be a little rockslide and a heap of small pebbles would rain down the rockface onto the ground. There are always lots of little earthquakes here and I wondered if that was what was dislodging the rocks. I didn't see any squirrels or birds causing it. It seemed like the whole park was in constant motion, rocks chittering down the hills, trees swaying in the breeze, undergrowth crackling as deer and squirrels wriggle through it. We followed a couple of deer down the main path. A young buck and a doe. Neither seemed concerned about our presence as they stopped frequently to munch on the fallen acorns.
I tried to sketch the buck, but he never stayed in the same pose for more than a couple of seconds.

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