15×30″ oil on canvas panel– The water birds are celebrating the return of their swimming holes here at Devereux Slough.
15×30″ oil on canvas– I’ve painted this view before, and each time the painting is so different depending upon what the light and water and seasons are doing. I think I could paint here every day and never get bored. I’ve had the Counting Crows line in my head, “It’s been a warm December and there’s reason to believe maybe this year will be better than the last.” This is a good time of year for horizon gazing and planning for brighter futures.
I have been playing with watercolors recently. I can make a study of a painting in a fraction of the time it takes to make an oil painting, so it gives me a great way to explore compositions and experiment with design ideas. It has been a great way to get out my creative energy when I don’t want to commit to a whole canvas.
Fellow artists might enjoy this way of making an inexpensive watercolor sketchbook. I cut a bunch of paper types that I like working on and took them to the copy shop to have them spiral bound. I mask the frame with painters tape so it leaves clean edges when I pull it away.
You can see on these first two that I often make a pencil sketch before I start painting to figure out the design and value patterns before I begin splashing color. I used to paint with watercolor a lot when I was in high school, but haven’t used it much since. It is fun to rediscover and I think that doing these is going to help me discover new ideas for my oils.
16×20″ oil on canvas– I hiked to up above the Gaviota Tunnel to paint this one. It is always welcoming to drive through this pass and see the ocean again when approaching Santa Barbara from the north. The marine layer was hiding the background until the last half hour of the painting session when it folded back like a cloud blanket to reveal the sea.
12×24″ oil on canvas– I painted this in the San Marcos preserve… The black mustard is over six feet deep in places this year and can be found draped over the hills in brilliant yellow fields. You can gather the seeds and grind them with vinegar to make your own wild mustard.
14×18″ oil on canvas– The California Poppies are taking over the garden in an orange carpet. As far as herbal medicine goes, they are clearly good for the eyes– it makes you happy just looking at them. After finishing the painting we ate that ripe artichoke in the background… yum.
12×24″ Oil on Canvas– Not a bad place to spend a day… particularly one that happens to be a first day of the rest of your life. This was a commission for a couple that got married on these bluffs on historic Rancho Dos Pueblos. They picked a good spot to begin their adventure together.