It is quite a rock scramble with a couple of sketchy sections these days to reach Tangerine Falls these days, but the view is as spectacular as ever. This was always my favorite hike in town before the fires and subsequent landslides. I still love it. Watching the creek over these past years has been a lesson in the resiliency of nature and the ability of water to carve new pools and find an ever-evolving, effortless and beautiful path to the sea.
Ablaze with Wildflowers
The Botanic Garden meadow is glowing with flowers and humming with bees right now from all of the rains this past year. I’ve had a very large 4-foot-square canvas that I’ve been waiting to paint at some point and the excuse to cover it with saturated oranges and greens was irresistable. This one will fill the wall with a sunlit garden. I took some process photos for fellow artists out there who, like me, enjoy seeing the steps behind the scenes of how the painting was created. Basically I start with big shapes of color and break them up into smaller and smaller shapes.
Can you smell the green grass on this one? I was standing knee deep in lush spring greens as I painted it. The cloud was very cooperative and just hovered right there for most of the painting session.
Focus– Coal Oil Point
I have been loving painting all of the spring greens, but for this studio painting I wanted to crack open the tubes of warmer hues to paint that warm colored light that can wash over our landscape at sunset. The title has multiple meanings, but one was that I was thinking of photography as I designed the composition and how I made the lines of clouds and the pathway of the water and shadows all lead the attention to the brightest yellow light seen through the aperture of the dark trees.
Coches Prietos Anchorage
Coches is a harbor on the west end of Santa Cruz Island that could awaken the inner pirate in anybody. The tide was low when I visited so I walked out to the point and caught this view looking back towards the sheltered beach. No sailboats were out that day but I had to throw one in thinking about what a timeless place this would be to sail into, pretending you were a lost explorer on an uncharted coast.
Seven Falls Spill
Such a beautiful sight to see the Seven Falls fully flowing and spilling down the mountains again… what a gorgeous green Spring it will be! We are so fortunate to be getting all of these rains this year and to see them quenching the thirsty drought. It’s good to think aboveground about our full reservoirs but also to consider ways we can design watersheds to slow and sink the run-off and fill our aquifers.
This was painted up Jesusita Trail catching the glowing pockets of light peeking through the canopy into the cool flowing creek. Today the creek must be gushing after all that rain last night!
Dawn Patrol–Campus Point
I rode my bike out to Campus Point one morning last week to be rewarded with glowing orange sandstone reflecting off a glassy ocean at high tide. Since this was a studio painting, rather than racing the sun trying to catch the color before it changed I was able to really think about composition and the abstract qualities of the painting, trying to make sure all the shapes and lines lead the viewer in.
I’m excited for the coming storm… enjoy the rain everybody!
States of Matter
Sometimes it flows low in the canyons, deftly weaving and gracefully twisting on the path of least resistance. Other times it drifts spaciously along like a vapor riding the breeze. And so do we, since it makes up the majority of our bodies.
Spring Flow–San Ysidro
I love views where I can see the water in the creek twisting and turning on the path back home to mother ocean. The sun was getting low this afternoon causing that play of light and shadow that I enjoy so much when I’m painting. The canvas almost blew away on this one as the winds whipped up the canyon, but my reflexes dropped my brush to grab the easel.
I had scoped out the site the day before hiking with my daughter. I’ve been forgetful lately and didn’t bring a panel, but she kindly tore a page out of her sketchbook for me to paint on…