Saturday, December 24, 2011

Winter Brush in Coachella Valley

Oil on canvas 
9 x 12

In early December, I travelled to Indio, California at the gracious invitation of friends. For a week, I used their home as a base and toured the Coachella Valley in my rented Ford Focus, the trunk packed full with my paint box, easel and supplies.

On my last day, local plein air artist, Elaine Matthews, kindly guided me on a hike in the Coachella Valley Nature Preserve to McCallum Pond. She shared her local knowledge as we walked and chatted. Afterwards, I stayed on alone and searched for a view to paint.

Today's posting is based on the field study I painted while standing under the giant palms of the nature preserve. The air was warm and the trees sheltered me from the gusty winds as I looked out over the desert brush to the nearby canyons and the distant blue layers of the San Jacinto Mountains. I could hear only the wind high in the palms and occasional falling branches. In two hours, just two people passed by. It was a magical afternoon - I felt safe, happy and completely engaged in my painting.

Season's Greetings to all and best wishes a peaceful and fulfilling New Year. 


  1. A really great plein air piece Shelley! Have a great Festive Season.

  2. Brings to mind the old song lyric "...and you can see for miles and miles and miles..." Great aerial perspective here Shelley. Enjoy your holiday.

  3. Very magical painting, Shelley!

    Best wishes to you and your loved ones over the holiday season...

    Shelley & Brian

  4. Lovely painting Shelley. You have really captured the sense of depth from the detail in the foreground to the mountains in the distance.

  5. Shelley, I just stopped by your beautiful blog to say that I have been missing you. I hope that all is well. Look forward to seeing you soon. :)

  6. I would love to know how your palette is being held up. Thank you.