Big Sur Paintings and Open Studio Date

Rocky Coast Big Sur– 12×16″ oil on linen panel

Save the date: I’ll be putting my paintings out at an open studio event on Saturday, June 18 (Father’s Day Weekend) from 11-4 pm. I’ll post details when it gets closer and also announce it on my quarterly newsletter which you can sign up for on my website.

Here are a couple of other paintings I made when up the coast at Big Sur. It is so fun to paint the steep cliffs and fractal coastline with rocks, inlands and inlets of every size imaginable. The second painting was made up a fern-lined creek where the sunlight moves through spotlights in the redwood canopy.

Light Crossing the Creek– 16×20″ oil on linen panel

Trees I’ve Met

Cliffside Grove– 12×16″ oil on linen panel– (Available)

Here are a couple recent paintings of trees. Above I painted where the sea breeze rustles the eucalyptus scented leaves, dogs rest in the dappled shade on a hot day.   The old folks climb the cliffside trees overlooking the beaches and young kids watch them and think about how it will be to be old again.  

For the image below, I was walking around the Santa Ynez mission looking for something to paint and was drawn to this natural arbor of oaks that makes a small tunnel of shade for the path that descends into a valley.  I simplified this one down to the most basic composition, shapes and design.   I have several works in the Oak Group exhibit at the Faulkner Gallery. The opening is this Thursday from 5:30-7:30. We’d love to see you there!

Oaken Archway– 8×10″ oil on linen panel– (Available)

Portrait of Santa Barbara

24×36″ oil on linen panel– $3200

What a cool little town! Here’s Santa Barbara resting at the base of its chaparral mountains that smell of bay and sage, with it’s red-tiled roofs and sunny gardens and the peaceful blue ocean protected by the Channel Islands. I tried to paint her portrait from an angle that accentuates her best features.

Goleta Train Depot

9×12″ oil on linen panel

Lots of reds and oranges here right now at the Goleta Train Depot where there are poppies sprouting between the railroad ties and the rusty patina of time on the antique boxcar. I was daydreaming about an earlier Goleta as I painted this one. I learned it was back in 1901 when these structures were built (though not on their current site). This was a stop when the first rail lines connecting San Francisco to Los Angeles were built. It would be seven years later before the Model T Ford was developed and cars became more prevalent. What a difference a century makes…

The Sunny Side of State Street

16×20″ oil on linen (Available)

I set up my easel downtown a couple of days ago to paint the light and shadows and activity on State Street. It was a painting sprint: an experience in painting fleeting moments as people breeze by and the shadows lengthen every minute. Just as you start to get focused and absorbed in detail a person walking by will strike up a conversation, which is good for the art… it keeps you painting only what is essential before it is gone. At one point a crowd marched by in support of the people of Ukraine and protesting the Russian invasion. It is good to see people raising their voices and walking together in solidarity against this madness and senseless violence.

San Simeon Coastline

Foglight– 6×8″ oil on panel

These paintings were made on the same day, but when the sea and sky had completely different moods. In the one above at San Simeon State Beach the sun was finding clever ways to sneak through the fog. Can you find the elephant seals in the distance on the one below? You think are tiny dots of paint, but I promise you they have flippers, whiskers and funny noses if you walk far enough into the painting.

What Elephant Seals Never Forget– 6×8″ oil on panel

Morning Glow

36×48″ oil on canvas

I’ve been running at Lake Los Carneros many mornings this year, watching how the rising sun makes our local mountains blush.

It has been a wonderful winter for clouds this year, hasn’t it? Hopefully we can coax some more water out of them before the dry season.

Looking on the Bright Side

12×24″ –oil on canvas

So this is from healthy pots of succulents and imagination… no ceramics were injured in the making of this painting. I have had an idea to paint a crushed terra cotta pot, but with its inhabitants finding a way to thrive in the new situation. I find that sometimes titles are hard to pin on a painting, but for this one the metaphors were waiting in line in my imagination as I laid down the paint. “Catastrophe and Opportunity,” “Fragile Planet,” “Microclimate,” “Heroic Voyage,” “Hatched,” “Branching Out.” You get the idea… I let “Looking on the Bright Side” rise to the top.

Winter Skies at the Beach

Hendry’s Cloudcover– 12×24″ oil on stretched linen

This is that special kind of overcast where the ceiling of clouds is full of tatters and holes that light keeps leaking through. You get the grey reflective mood of a cloudy day with occasional dazzling spotlights of sunny day sneaking in. The top painting was a nice morning at Hendry’s beach last week and the one below was made that same afternoon out walking at low tide at Ellwood. It’s a beautiful world out there…

Sea, Sky and a Soon-to-be Obsolete Energy Source– 6×8″ oil on panel