Wet Sand Walk

Wet Sand Walk—12×24″ oil on panel— The winter solstice has passed, which is when we really should mark the start of a new year– that time when the giant clock of our solar system swings passed it’s furthest, darkest point. It’s a time of ups and downs. Leaves are falling, temperatures are falling, but now that rain is falling, the grass is growing, the days are growing and things are looking up.

Clouds Parting–Stearn’s Wharf

12×24″ oil on panel– The city was washed clean and sparkling after the last storm. Out on the wharf was a great place to take it all in. A magnificent rainbow appeared and I was tempted to paint it in, but usually paintings of rainbows look about as convincing as paintings of unicorns. I went with the unicorn instead– can you see him hiding behind the palm tree?

Brilliant Sea from the Courthouse Belltower

18×36″ oil on canvas

The deep bell chimes were ringing in my chest and counting 8 on the morning when I made the sketch and took the photo that led to this painting. I love the perspective from the clock tower… since 1929 people have climbed the steps to see the horizon and watch present moments tick away one by one.

Julia and Murphy

Julia and Murphy— 6×6” oil on panel— Pets are family too. Julia on the left was awesome. She’s been gone several years now but was always up for a run on the beach. She was a great first kid for Lauren and I and older sister to our girls. Murphy on the right is a newer family member for us… no beach runs… he scoffs at even jogging across the yard, but he is very affectionate when he feels like it. Give your own furry family members a scratch behind the ears for me…

Halfway Up Montecito Peak

6×8” oil on panel

I’m thankful to have so much to be thankful for! One of the many things is the fires being under control and the first gentle rains of the season saturating our landscape. Enjoy your Thanksgiving! (This small painting was made while hiking a week ago…)

A Good Place to Stop

A Good Place to Stop

36×48” oil on linen— I was thinking about hiking and painting and the delicate art of knowing when to continue and knowing when to stop. Just like a mindful hiker enjoying each bend in the creek, I tried to be very intentional on this painting, minding each stroke and color that I mixed. The trick is finding the time to stop while there is still some freshness and sketchiness, before overworking the painting into something that looks labored and tired.

It is a new thing for me to have people, in this case my daughters, in the canvas. I realized how much they give the painting scale and help the viewer understand the size of the boulders and falls.


Sunny Path– Jesusita Trail

16×20″ oil on canvas– I love this glimpse of Arlington and Cathedral peaks from this bend in the Jesusita Trail. Lots of trail runners passed my by on their way up to Inspiration Point. Historically I’ve heard that this was the trail the Chumash followed when they wanted to go over the mountains and drop into the Santa Ynez River.

Upcoming Oak Group Benefit Show

12×24″ oil on panel
“Conservation is a state of harmony between men and land.”  — Aldo Leopold Gaviota Creek runs to the Pacific year round even after many years of drought. Its beautiful riparian area supports black bears, California newts, Western pond turtles, California red-legged frogs, two-striped gartersnakes, and threatened Southern steelhead trout.

Partnering with Coastal Ranches Conservancy, The Oak Group will exhibit paintings and photographs revealing Gaviota Creek’s unique ecosystem, as well as watersheds throughout the entire Gaviota Coast, November 1-30 in the Faulkner Gallery of Central Library, downtown Santa Barbara.

Half the show’s proceeds will support Coastal Ranches Conservancy in its efforts to revitalize the Gaviota creek bed and floodplain, removing concrete obstacles that block breeding migrations of steelhead and re-routing the existing access road for Gaviota State Park Beach.

To learn more please visit http://coastalranchesconservancy.org
Please join
The Oak Group
for a reception
November 7
Faulkner Gallery

Faulkner Gallery, Santa Barbara Central Library40 East Anapamu, Santa Barbara, CA
Monday – Thursday 10:00 – 7:00
(closed Thanksgiving)
Friday & Saturday 10:00 – 5:30
Sunday 1:00 – 5:00

Painting at Home

8×10″ oil on panel

I’ve been painting a couple of pictures of just slices of life around the house. Lauren sweeping the front porch (apparently while her lazy husband sits around and paints). My daughter sketching at the table… I wasn’t concerned with getting a likeness, but rather with being playful and expressive in the brushwork and catching all the colors of the light. I think I want to experiment more with having figures in paintings.

12×12″ oil on panel

Painting in the Oaks

Rocky Nook Park– 14×18″ oil

Sandstone outcroppings and Coast Live Oaks… I’ve been spending several afternoons painting in oak forests the last couple of weeks. The acorns are ripening and the squirrels, scrubjays and a deer were all inspecting their progress as I was painting.

Sunny Oak Forest– 8×10″
Work in progress…