Baja California Sur is primarily gray. Well, kind of gray. So then, why do tourists come here so much? Why do so many people think it's beautiful? When I first visited a few years ago, I kept wondering; How can I paint this? Even if I can, wouldn't the panting be drab and dead-looking? So many of the desert plants here are various grays. Then, I realized that the tranquility experienced in the desert was related to the grays -- and that the almost-neutral grays are a gorgeous foil to the spacious cerulean skies, incredibly iodine-smeared sunsets, majestic cordons (the large cowboy-type cacti), the occasional green bushes and trees, towering palms and turquoise, greens, blues and violets of the water, the Sea of Cortez and the Pacific. Oregon artist, Ken Roth, was the first instructor to point out clearly to me how a neutral can set off color.
Of course, there are plenty of lushly green tropical (human-made) spaces here in Baja Sur and they're certinly beautiful in their own right, but the desert, even on the ocean, is rarely so filled with bright, pure color. After it rains, rarely if at all between November and July -- and and usually during the very hot months of August, September and into October -- all of those "dead," gray plants show themselves alive with light green foliage and lots of flowers. That too is beautiful, but I actually prefer those surprises of color (and the weather!) alongside the sleeping grays.
So, here I am again in Baja Sur, this time to paint six out of seven days -- concentrating particularly on the grays with the juxtaposition of Baja Sur colors.