The Medium and the Message

How can one describe the beautiful intricacy
      of smoke taking flight
      from the glowing orange-red ember
           at the end of the young girls’
           magic-wand campfire sticks
as they trace their names in the sky?
      could speak of the transparent twining vines
           of hot ghostly calligraphy swirling
           into accidental Celtic knots which
           lift and twist on warm updrafts
      and glide on the subtlest of chance breezes.
      could say something like this :
But I think Noam Chomsky, 
      and most likely Picasso and Shakespeare, 
      and perhaps even Smokey the Bear
           would agree
 the best medium for the job is matches.

Ellwood Sunrise– Oil on Canvas 48″x36″


I haven’t made a painting this big for a while…  It was nice pulling out the thick, shiny oils and blowing up this moment that I caught in a sketch a few weeks ago.  I could never have made this from a photograph… one thing that has really dawned on me this year is that our eyes are so much more sensitive to a wide range of color and value than a camera.  It is good to know that some things are still best done the old fashioned way.

Misty Beach Trail


18″x18″ Casein on Panel

I was planning to paint the waves on this nice foggy morning, but the way this path in Ellwood zigs and zags under those Eucalyptus trees caught me on the way down.  I saw an adorable, helpless baby Grebe down on the shoreline wondering where its mom was…

The Sojourner


I had fun painting this view in front of my favorite restaurant in Santa Barbara for First Thursday last evening.  I think I might try doing some more urban landscapes…  I got to use colors that I don’t often get to use in wilderness areas and it was fun to talk to people strolling by.