Day 31: Pastel Pastures

Today’s another hot one. This morning I drove north about 25 miles to Fort Bidwell, CA, a charming, pastural enclave close to the Oregon border, lined with Victorians, white picket fences and the old Army fort (no longer used) that kept the Indians at bay. I was feeling sleepy and not very ambitious and was about to turn around for home when this distant ranch set against a mountain of pastel colors presented itself. There were hundreds of cows in these fields, but when I pulled up and got out of the car, those that were in front of the scene ran off. ¬†Since they appeared jittery, I decided to forego including them in the painting and instead focus on the simple and peaceful pastel scene that presented itself. ¬†Half way through the painting, the cows were apparently convinced that my iPhone and easel weren’t going to hurt them and started to wander back over. But their boss, Big Bull, was having none of it and wanted to make sure they kept moving. He inserted himself between me and them, kicked up some dust and started bellowing. Any thoughts of putting the cows into the painting at this juncture quickly passed. But I did have an audience on the other side of the road; those cows were in a different pasture and apparently not beholden to Big Bull.

Pastel Pastures, oil on linen, 8″ x 16″. Click here to see the cows and Big Bull:


All of a sudden they decided it was okay to come see what I was up to:

photo 1

That is until Big Bull arrived on the scene:

photo 2

My audience across the road:

photo 3