Friday, July 19, 2013

Heatwaves, Cloudbursts and Summer Breezes

36" x 24" acrylic on canvas

It's summertime in my hometown of Sacramento, California and we're headed for another heatwave this weekend.  The past few years have been relatively mild for our Capital city, with temperatures occasionally rising over the 100 degree mark, but they're usually tolerable given our Delta breezes that occur after sundown.  

On the 4th of July, Sacramento hit 112 degrees around 6:00 p.m. and I can assure you it was NOT pretty!  I was heading to a friend's house for a pool party, and took this photo of my car thermometer with my iphone on the way. 

I'll be the first to admit I'm a bit of a weenie when it comes to hot weather.  It's easy to bundle up and get warm when the temperatures hit the freezing level; but when the heat comes with a dose of humidity, then I am the first in line to get out of the area and avoid the fire.  However, because of previous commitments I wasn't able to escape and decided to paint instead.  Here's what I produced that horrible, hot and humid day:

"Summer Breeze"
48" x 24" acrylic on canvas

The colors made me happy and reminded me of the flowers in my Mom's garden when I was growing up.  The summers were hot indeed back then (I grew up in Sacramento and we didn't have central heat & air until I was in my teens!) but somehow I don't recall them ever being intolerable.  Being outside with the fruit trees (cherries, nectarines, apricots and plums) and enjoying the flowers in the garden while swimming in an above-ground swimming pool, I actually looked forward to the heat.

I no longer have a pool or any fruit trees, but I do have my paint and plenty of canvases, so I'm enjoying the process of making lots of swirls out of color and blending everything in a memory of what I grew up with. 

I hope you are all enjoying your summer -- I know a lot of my Mid-West and Eastern friends have been experiencing crazy rains for days on end.  It's weird, isn't it?  Not at all what we're "used to" but I have to admit, I'm liking the change :-)

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