Today on Pi Day (3.1416), I have officially become Mid-Century Modern. I’m vintage now. To commemorate this auspicious age, I escaped the rains of Northern California and set up camp at a recently renovated Mid-Century Modern home in Palm Springs. It was one of the hundreds of mid-centuries that populate the area and quietly exude their hipness with their clean lines and low profiles.

These cheery California fan palms I quickly drew and painted kept my friends and me company as they overlooked the house pool. They towered over a 9-foot tall privacy hedge from the adjacent backyard, giving the space a feel of a nudist resort. Peeping Palms is what they are. What perverts!

With this study, I practiced keeping my palm fronds loose and painting skies quickly. For the sky, I laid down a light wash of water on just parts of the paper and loosely floated in a wash of ultramarine blue while the paper was freshly wet. I was surprised to actually capture a billowing effect of clouds and was really happy how it turned out. I’ll have to file this away so I can remember how I did this.

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