20×48″ Oil on Canvas– I love how a canopy of trees creates little spotlights that highlight little parts of the forest floor. Sometimes these illuminate delicate plants that wait for their thirty minutes of direct sunlight a day and sometimes they make a pool in the creek glow like a lantern.
16×20″ oil on canvas– The pools up Cold Springs Canyon still have some flow and are teeming with tadpoles, frogs, water striders and those big flat underwater beetles that paddle around… you don’t need an ocean to go tide pooling. When I came up the creek the tree windows were just right that it was like a spotlight was on the mossy waterfall.
16×20″ Oil on Canvas– This bend in the creek was down the hill in my backyard growing up. I have known it for thirty-three years now. This winter the meadow flooded and I got to see first hand how oxbows form and a creek finds a new path. It could be seen as distress to the landscape or it could just be seen as change. I think of many of my favorite places over the years that have been subject to avalanches, forest fires and other setbacks and have realized that in most cases this is a way of setting the clock back and allowing those areas to spring back and regenerate. Nature is patient and distress simply provides a blank canvas.
10×20″ Casein– This was a casein study from a sandbar in Rocky Nook Park– Families with kids were wading up the creek and one twelve-year-old artist sat and watched and talked with me for a long time as I worked, just as I used to do when I was his age and saw someone out painting.
12×24″ Oil on Canvas– A great way to spend the afternoon last weekend– swimming in the Santa Ynez river with good friends and then painting the colors reflected in the water. How about if we all do a rain dance to bring on some weather this weekend and keep it flowing?
12×12″ oil on canvasboard– This was a study of Rattlesnake Canyon Creek playing with weaving brushstrokes to get the impression of light shimmering on water.
20×24″ oil on linen– It is so good to see the Santa Ynez River flowing again and knowing the thousands of gallons of sweet water that flowed past me as I painted this are on their way to Lake Cachuma. I really hope people use the drought as a learning experience and keep conserving water even though the storms have been good to us. This was made just before the first crossing on Paradise Road, which is completely washed out at the moment..