In Beaumont California there are three fields of lavender at The Highland Springs Ranch & Inn, which was established in 1884 according to their literature I read. Apparently the Ranch & Inn was a getaway spot for many Hollywood figures as well as highly notable historic figures such Albert Einstein and Ernest Hemingway. Also, I know that in June there was a Lavender Festival. I would imagine that the festival would have been a lot of fun for those wishing to smell the delights of the lavender flower and view the beautiful colors and feel in nature.
I had the opportunity to stay there for 3 days and paint with 30 plein air artist out in the fields and around the ranch. The experience was absolutely wonderful and I personally found it exhilarating. Exihilarating because I was able to be out and in nature. It smelled delightful there also. If you are ever in California, I highly recommend a visit to the Inn. They also offer couples the opportunity to get married there too among the fragrant lavender smells and gorgeous scenery.
Often, some artists find themselves inside in their studios or workspaces. I know that I needed to get out and be around nature so I signed myself up with Chuck Kovacic, at Chuck Kovacic Arts, who organized this opportunity for many artists. By the end of the venue each artists made about an average of 5 pieces which would equate out to be about 150 pieces! They were all laid out on some wood tables in the fields for all of us to view. Each piece absolutely stunning! Artist were encouraged to post their work on Facebook on Plein Air Roundup.
The day before the experience I was so happy to be take a road trip to the lavender fields that in my sketch book I created the piece on the left. It was hard for me to sleep the night before so I reached out to my sketch book.
This was also the first time I ever took gouache out on the field and painted plein air style. Also, gouache is a medium that I really haven't worked with much before. So it was nice to experiment and see what kinds of possibilities existed with gouache. The first piece which I'm including here was the view I was embracing in one of the fields where a tree I have never in my life seen before stood before me. It was my first piece and after finishing this piece I believe that the feeling of exhilaration I had was imbued in it and a sense of whimsy was present. For the most part, when I partake in art endeavors I always am either aware of an emotion or an emotion comes forth that sometimes can be unexpected. I honestly don't know how I feel about this piece, but it was great to experience painting outside.
If you like to paint or just do art in general I highly recommend getting involved with a local group and get out to paint; especially if you tend to be in your studio or workspace a lot.