Grass Hopper Nocturne August 13, 2011

While driving to and the San Fernando Valley from Santa Barbara, sometimes two to three times a week while obtaining my Masters Degree I would spot intriguing subjects to paint along side the freeway.

I eventually got out to paint these pumping units or as I like to call them, "Grass Hoppers", near La Conchita, along with my friend and fellow Nocturne painter, Donn Longstreet, (Great Great Grandson of Confederate Gen. James Longstreet)

On Wednesday, November 18, 1998, It was a cold and quiet night. Except for the sound of the 101 Freeway and and the motors pushing the pumping unit, nothing stirred, but something was up!.

Donn and I got to the location and set up to paint, the grasshoppers were rocking up and down.  My challenge was going to paint a moving object so it looked correct. Just then, the grasshopper stopped moving, and remained still in that position the rest of the evening. I literally had a Still Life to paint.

We finished; exhausted, around 10 pm, packed up, and headed back to Santa Barbara. We could see the glow from a fire lighting the sky in Santa Barbara. Donn, an SB County Firefighter, learned Stearns Wharf was ablaze and burning up, so while I went on home to bed, Donn had to gear up, and go fight the fire on Stearn's Wharf for the rest of the night. Bummer for him. Bummer for Santa Barbara.