Tuesday, October 6, 2009

William Wendt-Hollister Peak, CA

  • The other day I ventured out and gave a shot at Hollister Peak, Wendt's famous landmark here in San Luis Obispo, CA.
Daunting task I knew but I wanted to give it a try.
I managed to consume the whole canvas ( 18x24) with the mountain and inevitably, failed miserably. I looked at an image of his painting earlier in the week but did not bother that morning. Not sure why. Not wanting to copy but definitely get a feel for what and how he did what he did was the mission at hand. I brought the painting back only to wipe it off later that evening. However I am excited to go back and try it again tomorrow, hopefully with better results this time.

After searching around with laptop in hand I did find what I feel was as close to the spot as possible, given the roadway, Highway 1, which was surely not that size back in 1925, it seems to be within the same viewing field that Wendt would have used. I was moved emotionally and happy to have the chance to gaze upon this wonderful peak, Hollister's peak, as well as the challenge it presented.
Of course I went off of Wendt's design, even though the trees have grown in a bit and the time of season is different. His painting seems to be greener and a bit more saturated most likely due to the earlier season verses the later. I was not truly interested in finishing a completed painting as much as getting a feel for it and grabbing a block in that had the same feel of the scene.
My second attempt was better. I did keep the peak where it belonged, however it was incredibly windy. I was happy to have had Greg LaRock's Gloucester style easel, which stood steady even though I took a beating. I did bail out too early and will most likely play a bit longer in the studio, but for what it was worth, I did enjoy the experience and I am grateful to have had it.
Either way the area in and around San Luis Obispo is quite spectacular. I look forward to returning in the future. For the mean time I am off to Laguna to participate in the Laguna Invitational.

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