(2017) Contrail

March 2017. Acrylic on 11″x14″ stretched canvas.

This is the first painting I’d made in many years.

Although I was very excited my husband had the opportunity to work for SpaceX supporting rocket launches from Vandenberg, I was not handling the reality of the move very well. I’d lived my entire life in San Diego, never having lived further north than Escondido. I loved our little house: a ten-years-young baby of a building nestled in the shadow of a great ash tree, tucked away at the end of a long private driveway at the edge of the historic district. I loved how convenient the drive was to friends and family. I thought it would be our “forever home.”

Though that frontier called, it was very difficult for me to leave.

We were fortunate enough to make new friends soon after we relocated, but living in Santa Maria felt very isolating. I wound up watching a lot of Bob Ross on Netflix, which inspired me to start painting, again. This particular painting taught me that you can’t treat acrylics the same way you treat oils, unless you have a heckuva lot of acrylic retarder, and even then, it’s not really the same.

I was asked by SpaceX’s lead rocket scientist at Vandy if this is a rendering of a particular place, because it seemed familiar to him. I was painting it mostly from Bob Ross reference and imagination, but it is very reminiscent of some areas just outside the Air Force Base.