Redbud and Poppies

Acrylic on gallery wrap canvas, 24″ x 30″
On a Sunday morning in early April, we drove toward El Portal in search of inspiration. Orange poppies blanketed the hillsides and blooming purple redbuds peppered the roadside. We stopped many times in the canyon along Highway 140 which resulted in hundreds of reference photos. For this one, we had parked on the road near a temporary bridge. I climbed down a steep embankment, my feet sinking into soft detritus, and hunkered down to take several photos of a single red bud surrounded by brilliant orange flowers across the river. As often happens, the mountain engulfs the picture plane, leaving little room for sky. The use of ultramarine blue for the shadows and rocks was a departure for me, since I regularly rely on phthalo blue-green for my blue hues. I mixed turquoise and ultramarine with purple to create a deeper blue green effect.