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Painting Newport Back Bay

"Newport Back Bay" 8x10"

Vacation took us to beautiful Newport Back Bay in southern California.  Popular with plein air painters, there is not an ugly view anywhere in the Back Bay.  I set up early with an overcast sky and generally dark moody colors in the pickle grass.  Not far into the underpainting the clouds began to disipate, spotlighting the mustard on the hills right above the water, creating a fantastic focal area.  Before long, all the clouds were gone and sun bathed everything in bright colors.  I lost my sense of direction and the painting became muddy.  Had I created a frisbee?

Back home in the studio, I reconsidered the painting.  It had good bones, but had lost the original mood.  Furthermore, the brushwork was dreadful near the bottom of the painting where the pochade box makes it difficult to get a good angle with the brush.  I usually advise against reworking a plein air painting because the spirit of the painting gets lost in the process.  In this case, the spirit had already been lost, but I had a vivid memory of what it should be.  This is the result of the reworked painting.

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