While visiting the area outside of Brea, CA I began painting a view of Carbon Canyon. During the 1880’s, the town of Olinda was established on the northeast corner of Orange County, CA. It was a small pioneer town known mostly for agriculture and oil businesses. Some of the oil fields are still there. Part of the canyon is a regional park where many people now hike and ride their horses.
This painting was done at the very east end of the Carbon Canyon Regional Park. The fenced in area is now a native plant garden. Like many places in Orange County, the setting sun provides a particular golden glow that has been captured by many artists and photographers. This is a beautiful area during certain times of the day and is full of history.
Redwood Forest in Southern California?
There is a natural redwood forest here also. A short hike around a small hill takes you to the small forest of redwood trees. It is easy to imagine what life must have been like when the area was being settled by the new farmers. One would like to think of those days as simple times. Not far away is the town of Brea which would have been a hub for commerce. The Santa Fe railway serviced the area. At that time, Los Angeles must have seemed very far away.
A Great Day Trip
Fortunately, much of Carbon Canyon remains as it always has. It appears the locals want to keep it that way. I hope they do. Places like this are wonderful to visit. You can learn more about the Canyon Canyon Regional Park here.
The plein air process for this painting was in keeping with the historic flavor of the area. I used my portable wooden easel, a hand stretched canvas and a few tubes of paint made by Rublev Natural Pigments. I plan to return and capture more of this hidden area just off the beaten path.