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Weekly Paintings By National Award Winning Artist Terry d. Chacon

Monday, December 31, 2007

Zanja Ditch Redlands, Ca. en Plein Aire

Last week we got another day of painting in before the Holiday rush. Zanja Ditch is another historically recognized area in the Redlands Conservancy list for Plein Air artists to paint. Sharon Sahovy had tried to find the place prior and was unable to figure out where they wanted us to paint. I had in mind what they were talking about but I too was unable to find in the beginning. I read from Mentone to Redlands University so figured I would go out towards Mentone. Sure enough a small dead end road was found right off of Citrus Ave. Oh my, when I drove through the orange groves I came upon a breath taking site. I wanted to paint the mountains in the back ground with snow and was happy to see this would be possible today. Excitedly I phoned Sharon and Pat to give them directions to the site I had found. I walked around getting used to the place but the view I first saw as you come out of the orange groves with the trees turning colors and the snow capped mountains in the background was just waiting for me. Sharon shortly arrived and also was in aw of the site. We decided to move our cars back so we could get a full vista view with the shed and windmill. Sharon then found another place that she liked and moved her equipment. A couple ladies who live in the area then stopped to see what we were doing and wanted to let us know that there was a sighting of a Mountain Lion in the area the day before so to be on the look out. The hazards of painting in Plein Aire! I decided at this time I would open the rear of my SUV and paint from there. I figured I could jump in the car if the lion appeared. I knew they were serious as I had read in the newspaper that the local High School and one grade school in the area had been on lock down one full day because of a couple Mountain Lions. They did capture one but the other was still at large. After this Pat showed up. She parked her car in front of mine and thought it was a good idea to stay close. I told Sharon to yell if she got suspicious and I would drive to pick her up. The day went on and we all did fine until Sharon got stung by a bee. This is another hazard of Plein Aire painting. She had forgotten her medicine as she was allergic and one of the nice ladies we had talked to earlier happened to be coming back through about the same time and she said she would go get some medicine for Sharon. We need to all carry a first aid kit. The weather was just beautiful, the sun felt so good, a little cool but no wind and the view was incredible. Boy I love my job! Enjoy the painting "The Road to Zanja Ditch".


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