I spent four days in Hollywood, in sight of the famous sign on a hill, learning the latest science about melanoma.
I had part of a day to spare. I walked east. The transient glitz and commercial bustle of Hollywood Boulevard rapidly becomes run down before changing to well-to-do neighbourhoods on the ascent above the city. I ate a fat perfectly ripe avocado sandwich at the Trails Cafe, among mothers closing deals on their laptops as their toddlers played.
There was birdsong all around but I had chosen to walk light so no scope or binoculars, nor watercolours, only charcoal and a pocket sized sketchbook. Rounding a bend on a high path with the Griffin Park Observatory above me, I suddenly glimpsed the city laid out below between a gap in the hills. The city glowed, framed by the the silhouetted hills. The white walls of the observatory gleamed against a darkening sky.
I did this painting tonight, back in the UK, from my charcoal sketch on site and from photos on my phone.
This was my first attempt at painting this scene.
I still think that I need to return to this painting and try again. In brief … there is too much paint on the paper. I want to pare this image down to the essentials.