artwork > Natural Beauty: The Los Angeles Paintings

Runyon Canyon Sentinel
Runyon Canyon Sentinel
Oil on canvas
22 x 22 inches
2009

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I first visited Runyon Canyon shortly after moving to LA. It is an incredible resource, an easy hiking trail centrally located in Hollywood. Within a few minutes of hiking on the trails, you can see amazing views of the downtown skyline, and the ocean to the west. On clear days you can see all the way to Long Beach. It is really breathtaking, and intensely beautiful.

It was in Runyon Canyon that I first got a sense of what the natural environment is like in this area. It is dry, with little rain. We are entering the rainy season now, and it is raining as I write this—-a welcomed interruption here. The lush plants in Los Angeles are watered, and palm trees, found in the wild only near abundant water sources, are no exception.

When I was hiking in Runyon Canyon, I saw this palm tree, and it immediately struck me; I knew I had to paint it. My paintings are about my observations, and my associated experiences and thoughts. This palm tree has layers and layers of dead leaves, suggesting that it has been here, watching over the entrance of Runyon Canyon, for a long time. It is a sentinel, testifying to the history of Los Angeles, and to our future. Like innumerable others, this palm tree has become deeply rooted in the new, natural environment.

Behind the palm tree, a narrow cloud delineates the course of the jet that preceded it. Both elements contribute to this depiction of natural beauty.