The Edge of the Season

18×24″ oil on linen– Happy Thanksgiving everybody! I have so much to be grateful for. One thing I’m thankful for is the time I get to spend outdoors with a paintbrush appreciating nature and I’m thankful for you for appreciating it, supporting it and encouraging me to continue creating it.

The inch of rain we had a couple weeks ago is bringing back the green as baby grasses and herbs are sprouting. In Southern California, all the stuff we learned about seasons in Kindergarten is horsefeathers. Rather than everything going dormant and dying in late fall and winter, around here the first autumn rains bring an early spring and new life to the landscape. So happy Spring in November, everybody!

Space to Wander

24×36″ oil on linen– Chinese artists of the past used to say you should wait at least a year has passed since you’ve seen something before you paint it. The idea was that after that much time, instead of trying to copy nature you were painting your personal impression of how a scene made you feel. This painting is from my many memories of hiking through meadows and oak lands in Southern California. I wanted to offer the eyes a space to wander and explore… come hike with me in my imagined landscape.

Gaviota Coast

18×24″ oil on linen– I hope there will always be parts of our coastline that are never developed. Other than occasional trains that rumble through, this stretch of coast is relatively undisturbed. I saw a family of deer in the sand on the beach the day I painted this one.

Chaparral Peaks

Oil on Linen Panel– 16×20″ — The dogtooth above is Cathedral Peak and the dragon’s back to the right is Arlington Peak. I love their forms with their bones of sandstone pushing a little higher every earthquake and their sinuous eroding canyons growing deeper every rainy season. Fire, earth, air, water are all at play sculpting these mountains and this cooler weather is perfect for climbing them.

Friendship Paddle Huddle

This painting was done from memory of the start of the Friendship Paddle this year. Under a stunning sunrise a fun, generous, adventurous community of people were getting ready to relay on paddle boards from Santa Cruz Island to the SB Harbor, as they have done for several years in support of community members in need. This year the paddle was my friend the artist Chris Potter and his family… he has been battling a rare and aggressive form of lung cancer this year with the positive attitude of a champion. This painting is a gift for Chris and his family to remember the special day and John Birchim built and gifted the Monterey Cypress frame for it mindfully and skillfully crafted with reclaimed wood.

Sea Guitar and the Forest Gardener

This old guitar has been sitting around half-strung and gathering dust for several years. A past art student of mine had begun etching it at one time and had never finished. I decided to paint in on a whim last week. I just worked from imagination and let the warm wooden surface peak through in the sky and sand. I bought some strings and tuned it up and it’s sound hole is ready to sing about coastlines and sea breezes… about time, timelessness and giving new life to things that would be abandoned.

The painting below is a small 9×12″ called the Forest Gardener. Scrub Jays hide thousands of acorns each year. Many are buried in shallow holes… head into an oak forest this month and if you see a Jay you’ll see it hiding a food cache for the winter. They have incredible memories to remember all the locations during the winter months. Those they don’t eat become tomorrow’s oak forests… when you enjoy a walk in an oak grove, thank a Scrub Jay.

Patterns

24×36″ oil on canvas (available)

Besides the thought of how nice it would be to sit in the shade of this oak and taste the wine grown from the grapes below, I was also thinking about the contrast between manmade and natural patterns. The geometric, efficient patterns of human developments often oppose the sinuous natural rhythms. Here the two blend: straight parallel lines of the vineyard roll over the organic contours of the hills in a beautiful way.