According to Wikipedia: "Alabama Hills are a "range of hills" and rock formations near the eastern slope of the Sierra Nevada Mountains in the Owens Valley, west of Lone Pine in Inyo County, California. Though geographically considered a range of hills, geologically they are a part of the Sierra Nevada mountains."
The Demo Today was by David Deyell. "David paints in the "California Style"; entertaining, happy, bright, colorful paintings. Emphasis on composition, values, brush strokes, shapes and symbols, strong contrasting colors."
My Notes from the Demo:
He worked with McKim, Meade and white. Influenced by Tony Couch and Edward Whitney.He emphasizes making a value plan. You need to make a plan before you paint. He often said: DESIGN, CREATE and COMPOSE.
He likes Richardson Paper and Brushes. He starts his watercolors by sketching in Sharpie. With the Sharpie he stresses looking for thick and thin lines, continuous lines. You need to have a reason. Have a center of interest.
Try to paint the most difficult part first. Paint hardest to easiest. Be a composer not a copier. If are an artist destroy the brush and make it work for you. Don't treat it like you are a housepainter and are going to pass the brush on. Don't use the brush as if you were painting a barn. If you spend 3/4 of your time outside you will learn more. Turn painting upside down from time time. Henry would never have a blue sky.
The critique in the evening was by Al Seton. "Artist Al Setton's work captures California's joyful and energetic, yet sophisticated and laid back ambiance. Educated at Cairo University, the University of Santa Cruz, and the California Art Institute, Al Setton's paintings clearly reflect the influences of Fauvism and Abstract Expressionist masters in addition to the work of recent masters such as Henry Fukuhara, Rex Brandt, Robert E. Wood, and Kathryn Chang Liu. It is clear that Setton has developed his own personal vision of life which engages and excites the viewer. The artist's hand is evident in his work with visible, energetic brush strokes, unique markings, and spills and drips, which make the viewer aware of both the flatness of the surface and the quality of paint application while being entertained by deceivingly simple subject matter."
Here are my notes: Don't be limited by the nature that's out there. Interesting shapes have some interuption like sides of a jig saw puzzle Move things around in nature to make intersting shapes. Each corner should look different. Paint 80 to 90 percent on location and then put the painting away and see it with fresh eyes. Move color around through painting.
Do not follow local color. Create new colors by overlapping, create interest with calligraphic lines. Darks attract attention. Be careful about having to many clumps of grass. Make sure the painting is entertaining.
Know where you want the viewer to look. The eye looks at the lightest light against the darkest dark. You can use scrap paper with watercolors on it to check things out in the studio. You can create movement in your painting by having the perspective a little off.
As soon as you put away your big brush and get out your little brush you are in trouble. Don't leave the sky plain. Turn your painting upside down, sideways and squint at it.