Yellow Bushes and Riverbank

Acrylic on gallery wrap canvas, 16″ x 20″
At a good-sized turnout outside of El Portal on Highway 140, a steep rocky bank, festooned with shrubbery, leads down across boulders and sand to the edge of the Merced River. The hills and trees loom large above the ravine. Manzanita bushes hug the upper lip of the crevasse while the ground slopes upwards to a thick mesh of pines. The rocks in the riverbed are light and bright with subtle colors and sharply defined by deep shadows. In this darker time of the year, when the days shorten and the sun rides low, the slanting morning light barely crests the top of the hill and starkly limns the bare rocks and sand. It looks like the surface of the moon. Meanwhile, autumn careens through the foliage, leaving trails of color in it’s wake. Vibrant, vivid, gorgeous swathes of gold and pale peachy orange occupy the bushes nearest to the turbulent water. This, then, is the setting for “Yellow Bushes with Riverbank”; another labor of love in the environs of Old El Portal.