Up a Creek without a Paintbrush

That would be horrible– I try never to get stuck up a creek without my art supplies.    It makes me so happy to be exploring our local watersheds and seeing the waterfalls flowing like the good old days.   I’ve been making lots of plein air sketches and working on a large studio painting of one of my favorite sweet boulder falls.  What I love about our little canyons in the oaks is how small patches of sunlight illuminate transparent pools here and there.  It is not an easy effect to get and I’m playing around with different ways of doing it.   These small paintings are both 6×8″.  

Chard in the Garden and a Mountain Path

Here are two small recent oil sketches.  One was made in out backyard when the chard in the garden was looking like stained glass, the other is from the upper path at the Botanic Gardens and the third photo is just to give a sense of scale…

Santa Ynez River Flow

24×30″ oil on linen–  I created this studio painting from the sketch I posted a couple of weeks ago of a view off Paradise Road.  I love seeing the river which has been dry save for a few pools from the droughts over the past years flowing strong and steady.  The road is under swift water and closed at first crossing, but I can’t wait to get back there and do some exploring of the canyons and pools this spring.

A couple of recent oil sketches…

 Can you see the tiny hikers in the meadow on below hiking up the Rattlesnake Canyon trail towards Tin Can Flat.  I loved how you can see the Santa Barbara harbor through the window of the canyon.  The sunset was painted with my artist friend Chris Potter at El Capitan State Beach.  Both small paintings are 6×8″ oil studies on panels.  

Between the Storms–Gaviota Peak

20×48″ oil on linen– It feels like ages since we’ve had a series of rainstorms stacking up…  I love it in so many ways.  The smell of wet earth is so satisfying, the sound of creeks flowing is music to the ears, the green landscape is refreshing for the eyes and the promise of water in the reservoirs is comforting for the heart and mind.  I snuck up Gaviota peak last week between storms and I created this from an oil sketch and some photos.