Friday, March 13, 2009
I wasn't sure I wanted to paint, feeling weakened from an illness the previous day, but Thursday was a glorious, sunny, spring day, not to be missed. And Coyote Hills Regional Park is one of my favorite areas on the Bay.
Everyone else hiked up the hills, while I elected to stay close to the visitor center and went out on the boardwalk into the marshes. It was so peaceful sitting in there with the birds twittering in the Tule reeds, ducks and geese on the blue water, and Egrets stalking the edges of the ponds. There is a lot of water in the marshes at the moment. Last time I was here it was mostly mud. I did a quick sketch of the hilly reflections in the pond. I was almost tempted to sit there all day and just listen to the bird sounds and enjoy the salty aroma of the marshland around me, but I was so rejuvenated that I decided to go up one of the hills to get a better view of the marshes.
Just as I was finishing this sketch, my phone rang and the group wanted to know if they could meet me for lunch. I looked farther up the hill, and there they were, right above me. We sat on the hillside and had lunch with great views of the Bay, and the marshes. We were even looking down on the Red Tailed Hawks and Kites as they flew by. A large flock of sheep kept us company on the hill. They're there temporarily to keep down invading weeds and improve the environment for native plants. The sheep are all Ewes and their lambs - the lambs are quite big. I tried to incorporate a few in my painting - but they move around such a lot its hard to do from life. They would stand for a few seconds to look at me and make sure I wasn't hostile, then put their heads back down to business and walk off. They made quite a racket with their bleating, but I loved it. It reminded me of England.
When we were leaving the park We stopped on the roadside and did a very quick sketch of a little red building behind a field of yellow mustard. I used my brushpens and was reminded that I should always be thinking about value rather than color. If only I'd remembered that with my watercolor sketches! Duh!