Fresh paint from the Arroyo

Arroyo Seco Afternoon, 12" x 16", Oil on panel, © Eric Merrell

These are a number of new pieces I've done recently - since moving closer to the Arroyo Seco, I've been painting there almost entirely. And since I'm temporarily without a studio, everything is done on location. It's a fantastic place to paint, and as the birthplace of plein air painting on the west coast and California Impressionism, offers some pretty special light. Jean Mannheim, Franz Bischoff, Elmer and Marion Wachtel and William Lees Judson are just a few of the artists who lived on or near the Arroyo. The high western edge of the Arroyo casts a shadow a little earlier than sunset and creates some unique painting opportunities - below are some examples of this: "The Arc of Evening" shows the eastern rim of the Arroyo and "In the Gloaming" looks up at the western edge.

The Arc of Evening, Arroyo Seco, 9" x 12", Oil on canvas panel, © Eric Merrell

Summer Heat in the Arroyo, 11" x 14", Oil on panel, © Eric Merrell

San Rafael Bridge from the Arroyo, 11" x 14", Oil on panel, © Eric Merrell

Hillside Oaks and Shadows, Arroyo Seco, 11" x 14", Oil on panel, © Eric Merrell

These three paintings, "Hillside Oaks and Shadows," "In the Gloaming" and "Down to Earth Sinks the Sun" have been great challenges. I spent at least three consecutive days working on each, developing the color and subtleties.

In the Gloaming - Arroyo Seco, 12" x 9", Oil on panel, © Eric Merrell

Down to Earth Sinks the Sun - The Arroyo Seco, 9" x 12", Oil on panel, © Eric Merrell