Driving home every day I'm confronted with a view that looks something like this. Often there's fog rolling toward me over the distant peak; sometimes I'm late getting home, and the shadows are long and deep in the valley.
No matter what the conditions are, I find it a challenge to keep my truck on the road, because I'm staring at the view, trying to remember it so I can paint it faithfully.
You may be wondering what happened to the painting I was doing of the aircraft (a couple posts below). I've done more work on it, and it may even be finished, but I've had to set it aside for a little while, because I've driven to Salinas twice in the last couple days, and every time I go out there I'm overwhelmed by the landscapes I pass. Coral de Tierra, the Pastures of Heaven, Laurelis Grade, Toro Park, and Jack's Peak are all along my route, not to mention the spectacular Salinas valley itself, where unbelievably green lettuce plants thrust themselves up out of row upon row of black soil, sheltered between the mountain ranges that form the valley. These mountains, at this time of year, are cougar-colored nearby, but distance tints their gold with green and then blue, until they disappear altogether in the faraway haze. Every time I make that drive, I come home with my head crammed full of images I want to paint, and not a single one of them is an airplane.