Rattlesnake Canyon Creekflow

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22×28″ oil on canvas–  I’m savoring the sound of raindrops on the roof right now and smiling knowing we have more boulder hopping and creek painting days ahead of us this spring!

Santa Barbara Golden Hour

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18×36″ oil on canvas (sold)– What a romantic seaside town for smitten, starry-eyed couples to  be walking around in, enjoying a nice walk in the late afternoon light before dinner… Happy Valentine’s Day everybody!

Succulent Window Garden

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8×10″ oil on Canvas– In the shelter from the rain under our front porch I painted these pots of succulents a week or two ago.  Although the grey sky removes brilliant lights and shadows, somehow the overcast makes the colors more saturated, no pun intended.  It is like putting a dry pebble in a wet creek, I love how rain enhances colors and the smells of the earth…

Cold Spring Creek Pools

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16×20″ oil on canvas– I am so grateful to have water flowing in our local creeks again.  This painting started with the small casein sketch below that I made hiking with my family last weekend.  creekpools-gleason-2

A plein air sketch is much more useful for me when making a painting than a photograph which can be a lot harder to interpret.  Photos aren’t as true to our experience as we think they are.  Here is a photo of the scene.

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And here is a sketch of the abstract concept… the bones under the image that help me simplify the concept and focus on the essential shapes that make it easy to read.

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Rained out in Romero Canyon

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12×24″ oil on canvas– You can see a lot of the raw canvas toned with raw sienna at the bottom of this painting.  I was painting Romero Creek yesterday when the rain began to fall and I had to abandon painting.  Lauren, my best and most important art critic said “leave it unfinished, I like it that way.”  Usually her advice is more along the lines of “why didn’t you paint all the way to the edges and could you add more flowers or butterflies or eyelashes on that bird?”  I like how the few expressive strokes at the bottom help guide the eye to the focal point without demanding too much attention.  What do you think?  Is it done?

Santa Barbara Harbor View

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12×24″ oil on canvas– Here’s our fair city, green with winter rains and soaking up the warm southern sun yesterday. Winter in Santa Barbara:  60 degrees in the afternoon, then scraping ice off the windshield with a library card in the morning.  I’m happy to have some works on display at Devereux’s Art and Soul Fundraiser tomorrow evening if you can come out and support a great cause.

Sand Dune Garden

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20×20″ oil on canvas– The light was lovely in this small small cove just north of Campus Point.  It is a motley collection of salty, succulent, ocean-loving plants that grow here happily in the sand… they’re the beach combers of the plant world, sunbathing near the surf, satisfied with little nourishment besides a good view.