Plein Air in Summer: Big Sur

December 1, 2015

This past Summer, I had an incredible adventure with my partner Amery, as we drove across the country and camped in the van we built out together. While we camped around Big Sur I started to get more acquainted with my plein air set up, making a painting or two everyday. Here are some photos and paintings from the trip.


 Our beautiful 1988 Ford van, home sweet home.



Painting at Bottcher's Gap, where the fog rolled in and out, filling and emptying the bowl of the valley all morning.


 The painting above is a 6" x 6" oil sketch, and was done in the late afternoon, in a field above Jade Cove. The land there drops off suddenly, and I was set up above the cliffs where the Pacific ocean is known to turn up pieces of jade in the changing tides.


 This is also a 6" x 6" oil sketch, painted from our campsite off Nacimiento-Fergusson Road. In the morning, the fog rolls in from the ocean and fills the valley below where we were camped. It felt like being on another planet, it was so beautiful and serene.


 Painting til there's no light left.



The gold hills, just before dusk.


 On this morning, it was too foggy to see into the valley so I made a little graphite study of some roadside flowers.



Spending a foggy morning studying a wave.



A mule near the Hearst Ranch in San Simeon.





How do you say goodbye to a place like this? Our summer held more adventures, so we drove on, but I can't wait for the chance to get back.




photos by Amery Kessler, photos of paintings by Mary Jane Ward

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