I am just back from a quick visit to see my two daughters in San Diego. What a nice change of scenery from the cold winter days here in Chicago.

We made a point of doing vacation-type activities and a highlight for me was visiting the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. I was surprised to see bamboo growing throughout the park… have you ever heard the sound of the bamboo blowing in a breeze? It’s musical, and I was motivated to paint one of the bamboo lined pathways as soon as I got home.

Bamboo Path
encaustic on panel
10” x 8”

I worked from the photo below using encaustic medium combined with oil sticks and lots of mark making. Scraping into the wax allowed me to create impressionistic vertical lines representing the bamboo; using color freely reminded me of the sounds of being there and it helped me to re-create a feeling rather than a literal representation.

Bamboo lined path leading to the Tiger Sanctuary

After viewing animals running wild with a tour guide we walked to the Bonsai Garden where I was blown away by so many incredible bonsai, a favorite was 800 years old!

800 yr old bonsai
Bonsai Garden

It was wonderful to be in perfect weather, there were so many beautiful spots, and I plan on using photo references for future paintings.

path along the gardens
The three of us!
View from mountain path

I always love painting mountains but to have cactus and rock in the foreground… that will definitely be a challenge!

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