When Lauren and I were first married we used to spend most of a day walking from the distant eucalyptus groves, out over the bluffs, around the slough, through IV and UCSB, down the bike trail, out on More Mesa, through the horse trails in Hope Ranch, through westside and finally downtown. There we’d sit our tired legs down at a cafe, eat a big meal and take the bus all the way back home. It was our favorite date… so simple but so full of interesting people watching, nature exploration and places to appreciate the many sides of our town.
20×48″ oil on canvas– I added the final touches to this painting made over two mornings at Ellwood. Here in Goleta, winter is really our spring when the seeds that have been drying in the clay soil for months finally get saturated with sweet rain. Here’s hoping for some more of it this weekend!
15×30″ oil on canvas– Available now! Spacious ocean-side home with unrivaled ocean views in Goleta, the good land. Open floor plan is airy and welcoming with plenty of natural light. Sustainable architectural design uses reclaimed timbers throughout. Exquisite natural landscaping by world-renowned designer Mother Nature. Fantastic curb appeal! (What’s more appealing than no curb at all?) Also notice the quaint heating and lighting system based on age-old technologies that are making a comeback. Experience to the ultimate in simple living…
15×30″ Oil on Canvas Panel– The weather has been perfect for heading to the beach lately once the morning marine layer evaporates off… When the grey clears today I bet it will find hundreds of people off work for the Fourth of July playing in the waves.
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.