My inspiration for the "Earthscapes" series came from flying in and out of the Sacramento California International Airport. I have always been in awe of the rich patchwork of colors and textures that exist in the land beyond the urban centers. The Sacramento area has a unique landscape - the rice fields, pastures, orchards, vineyards, cultivated farmlands, delta, lakes and rivers form a collage of velvety greens, rich earth tones and bright blues. I was inspired to paint these aerial landscapes in watercolors before the views changed or disappeared.
The aerial view provides a unique perspective which is very different from the ground. From the air one can sense the environment's delicate beauty and vulnerability. Flying in a 1940's Piper Cub allowed me to photograph the incredible aerial views below. I've also flown in an Aeronca Champ, a WWII training plane. Recently I have tried using a drone to capture some images to paint from and the expereince has been really fun! Painting these scenes gives me the opportunity to share my observations in hopes the land and earth may be preserved.
Aside from being known as the River City, Sacramento, California is renowned for it's beautiful trees. So in the "City of Trees" series, I look upward from the ground to the sky. During my walks I love to admire the city's beautiful old trees in the historical neighborhoods, including the Sycamore trees against the blue sky; observe the shadows on their white limbs and puzzled bark trunks; the translucent fall leaves aglow in the light; a nest securely built in a tree top; a swing dangling it's invitation for a ride; a beloved kite or balloon caught in a branch or a birdhouse safely hung above the reach of the neighborhood cat. These scenes constantly evolving with seasonal change of color, falling leaves, spring blossoms, leaf buds and bark texture, give me many new subjects to paint in watercolors.
Below are four of the planes I have flown in to take photos to paint my aerial landscape watercolors.
1940's Piper Cub
Light Sport Aeronca Champ