This one took a pretty long time, but it's finally finished:
My intent was to use this as a promo/Christmas card this year, but I kind of hate to sit on it that long and am wondering if I could find a home for it with a greeting card publisher. I've never had much luck getting attention from card publishers in the past, but I suppose it couldn't hurt to try again.
I started this one with a monochromatic watercolor under-painting, since that method seemed to work out pretty well on "The Tea Merchant." I'm still undecided if I'm going to incorporate this method into all of my work. It does add a chunk of time to the process, but not as much as I would have thought.
Changing the subject completely, we went hiking this weekend. Actually we go hiking on most weekends when work/time/weather permits. This weekend, we hit the Getty View Trail which is more or less across from the Getty museum. It was a big surprise to us that this trail even existed in this location since it's literally right next to the 405. My husband used to drive this highway to work every day for four years and never had any inkling that there was parkland right here.
This was probably one of the more harrowing trails we've hiked as the path was very narrow and parts of it appeared to have started to slide down the hill. It was a mile-long series of switchbacks up the side of a low mountain. The reward at the top of the trail was a pleasantly wide fire road that runs along the spine of a couple mountains and grants stunning views of the landscape below.
It was kind of hazy, so the view was probably not quite as nice as it would have been on a clear day, but it was still majestic nonetheless. Needless to say, at the end of the day we were exhausted!