Local L.A. artist Eric Merrell captures the mood and mystery of the desert by moonlight in his series of nocturne paintings, painted on location. His work is the inspiration for Desert Nocturne, a project that teaches the students about the fragility of the high elevation flora and fauna, plein air painting, and what happens when plein air painting sessions stay past sunset. What new shapes and creatures emerge? What new colors does the moon cast? Using the plein air technique of “direct painting,” students will mix their own values to create a night scene depicting Joshua Tree National Forest.