CALIFORNIA CAPTURED IN 12 PAINTINGS
"12 Days of California" a petite collection inspired by artist, Krista Schumacher's road trip travels throughout California.
By KRISTA SCHUMACHER
Since moving to the West Coast three years ago, my husband and I have made a point to travel as much as possible. Let me tell you something, there is no place like California. California's unparalleled diverse beauty cannot be captured, it must be felt. It is overwhelming. It is magnificent. The paintings in this collection, which represent twelve iconic landscapes, are just the start. California truly is a wonder of the world, and I am an artist in awe. By exclusively using palette knives and oil paint, I wanted to share the beauty of California through my eyes. The impressionistic paintings focus on capturing the emotionality of these iconic locations.
1. BIG SUR
Big Sur is truly a wonder of the world. In this painting, depicting the Big Sur coastline, I wanted to capture the seemingly endless vista. The rugged textures of the coastline are met with the smoothness of a blended sky filled with calming colors. The intensity of the blue hues are met with a complementary orange, creating a sense of balance and harmony.
2. SAN DIEGO
San Diego was inspired by my home city. As someone who walks the coast every day, I wanted to capture the cacti along the coast, because to me, it is the embodiment of “where the desert meets the sea.” In my painting, I contrasted the rougher textures of the cacti, with the smoother strokes of the sky and ocean. Additionally, the deep reds and pinks of the sky juxtapose the green of the cactus, giving a sense of drama.
3. JOSHUA TREE
Joshua Tree, the legendary tree which grows in the Southern California desert, was named by early Mormon travelers because it reminded them of the prophet Joshua raising his arms to pray. As they tree stands in the vastness of a hostile climate, it reaches upward. To me, it serves as a symbol of faith. By using lighter colors in the sky, I deliberately backlit the tree, adding to its sense of prominence. The Joshua Tree is, and will always be, marveled by any visitor of the Mojave Desert.
Yosemite is a true gem. Visiting for the first time three years ago, I was stunned by the towering rocks, sequoia trees, and vast wilderness. In my painting, I sculpted realistic granite cliffs of El Capitan and Half Dome, and contrasted the realism with an abstract background and foreground. It was my intention to liberally employ my signature peach color. Yosemite is best described by photographer Ansel Adams, “Yosemite Valley, to me, is always a sunrise, a glitter of green and golden wonder in a vast edifice of stone and space.”
5. NAPA VALLEY
Napa depicts the vineyards that fill the hillsides of this wine region north of San Francisco. Purposefully using the complementary colors of reds and greens, I was able to create rows of grapes in the foreground. These vertical lines recede into the painting, as the viewer’s eyes are met with horizontal lines that draw your eyes up into the soothing sky. The use of perspective, texture, and color creates a deep sense of space in this composition.
6. SUPERBLOOM IN LAKE ELSINORE
Superbloom was inspired by the 2019 California Superbloom. During this superbloom, I went to Lake Elsinore and Anza-Borrego Desert to see the hillsides of orange, yellow, and purple. It is a site I will never forget. In my painting, I wanted to create the sense of abundant flowers moving in the wind. In the foreground, I painted with more detail, and larger flowers, and then, as the viewer’s eyes move towards the background, my strokes become looser and smaller.
7. BODEGA BAY
Bodega Bay sits on the Sonoma Coast outside of San Francisco. Right before COVID, I visited this coast with two girlfriends. We were in awe of the rugged and authentic beauty of this region. In my painting, I wanted to depict this striking coastal landscape by using smaller strokes with bolder colors to represent the red blooms in the foreground in contrast with larger, pastel strokes in the background sky.
8. OLD MISSION SANTA BARBARA
Old Mission Santa Barbara, also known as the “Queen of the Missions” was founded by the Spanish Franciscans in 1786. It has become a cultural symbol of Santa Barbara. Framed by the Mission Rose Garden in the foreground, the composition juxtaposes our manmade and natural worlds, creating an appreciation of the scope of beauty in our world.