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.
That would be horrible– I try never to get stuck up a creek without my art supplies. It makes me so happy to be exploring our local watersheds and seeing the waterfalls flowing like the good old days. I’ve been making lots of plein air sketches and working on a large studio painting of one of my favorite sweet boulder falls. What I love about our little canyons in the oaks is how small patches of sunlight illuminate transparent pools here and there. It is not an easy effect to get and I’m playing around with different ways of doing it. These small paintings are both 6×8″.
Oil on Canvas Panel– The skies have been incredible these evenings and mornings as the sun has been sweeping a lower arc across the sky and lingering longer in the golden zone. I attempted to freeze this one in paint from a turn out on San Marcos Road last weekend. Next time I think I’ll bring three tiny canvases to try to catch those subtle color shifts that are just minutes a part, but so different from each other.
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.
I saw my box of casein paints lying around and realized I haven’t used them for a while. It is a quick and easy way for me to get outdoors and paint… my casein set-up weighs about ten pounds (lightweight cardboard and aluminum easel and all) while my oil painting gear is much heavier.
Grey Day on the San Marcos Preserve– 10×20″Bee Hives and Human Hives– 10×20″
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..
22×28″ oil on canvas– I’m savoring the sound of raindrops on the roof right now and smiling knowing we have more boulder hopping and creek painting days ahead of us this spring!
18×36″ oil on canvas (sold)– What a romantic seaside town for smitten, starry-eyed couples to be walking around in, enjoying a nice walk in the late afternoon light before dinner… Happy Valentine’s Day everybody!
18×24″ oil on canvasboard– This is trailing edge of our last beautiful storm. It was so beautiful painting as the sun would play hide and seek, illuminating various patches of iridescent greenery.
12×16″ oil on canvas board– My family and I hiked up San Ysidro Creek last weekend. I have missed flowing water in our local creeks deeply. When I first moved to this area, the creeks would flow year round… these days it seems we need to wait for winter. It is so nice to see, hear, smell and feel this one trickling through the canyon again.