Not much to report: spent 5 hours driving to Yosemite; got flipped-off by a speeding teenager (God, I feel old sometimes); my car broke down; and I painted one “scraper”.

The car thing was scary.  I stopped for lunch in Big Oak Flat, and when I came out, a huge puddle of green slimy fluid was visible under my car, and still leaking fast.  I tasted it to see if I could tell what it was (I had no idea what each fluid SHOULD taste like, just seemed like the right thing to do…the “expert” thing). Yuk.  Luckily, there was an auto shop just up the hill from the restaurant.

As soon as I pulled up (even though the shop was full of cars), this guy walked up and asked me what was wrong. I pointed an accusing finger at the green slime drip, and after he and another mechanic dug through the maze of hoses, found and fixed the leaking culprit.  They only charged me $12, and that was for the cost of the fluid they replaced.  I couldn’t believe it.  I gave them twenty and asked them to keep the change.  What great guys! I wish I wrote down the name of the place (and I can’t find it on Google Maps) so I could recommend them here.  They’re the shop just behind the Big Oak Grill.

I should have photographed the scraper before I wiped it, since learning from a painting mistake is just as useful (if not more) than seeing a success.  The root of the problem was this: I tried to fit too much in.  When you get to a place as majestic as Yosemite or the Grand Canyon, it’s easy to try to do too much. I didn’t find some simple, large shapes and stick with them.

After, I checked into the Bradford Place Inn.  Nice, small place (three rooms), hosted by Dottie (who talks a mile a minute).  They have a great garden too, and since rain is in the forecast, I may paint there and avoid that long drive looking for inspiration.

Here’s the area I painted in today.  May as well at least enjoy the photo 🙂

5 thoughts on “Gold Country Plein-Air: Day 1

  1. Oooh – that picture is just beautiful. I can see how it would be tough to paint a plein air piece there without trying to include everything (the mountain, the waterfall, the water, the trees), but man – I could envision doing a nice 30×40″ painting of that scene! I’m going to have to take a trip to Yosemite sometime….Enjoy your week.

  2. What a beautiful place! Sounds like you are having and adventure, before you really get started. And yes, we would have liked to see the scraper as well. 🙂
    Thanks for taking us along.

  3. You’re right, Ed — trying to capture too much is an easy mistake to make. I do it all the time. And no matter how much you fuss with the paint, short of scraping the whole thing off, the painting just won’t work.

    But I did enjoy the photo!

  4. That you linked the Wikipedia definition of flipping off is HILARIOUS!

    There’s a place I painted at in Isles of Capri, FL and in the window of a second floor apartment on the site ( a tiny little building on a tiny little island) there’s a huge carved wooden hand with the digit in question raised for all to see!
    I did a double take before surreptitiously snapping a couple of photos for fun.

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