Santa Ynez River Flow

24×30″ oil on linen–  I created this studio painting from the sketch I posted a couple of weeks ago of a view off Paradise Road.  I love seeing the river which has been dry save for a few pools from the droughts over the past years flowing strong and steady.  The road is under swift water and closed at first crossing, but I can’t wait to get back there and do some exploring of the canyons and pools this spring.

Ultralight Super Portable Oil Painting Kit

I’ve got just the thing for fellow hiker artists who like to wander with very little weight and then pull out their oils and make a quick little haiku oil sketch.  At under five pounds for the whole set-up, it even offers protection for the wet painting on the hike down.  I’m really happy with this portable thumb box I built out of an old wooden palette.  It eliminates the need for an easel and can hold two wet paintings for a full day of exploring and artmaking.  I haven’t ventured too far with it… yet…  but here you can see some of the small 6×6″ paintings that I’ve made so far with it.  

Refuge

12×16″ oil on canvas– The wildlife was unusually still this week… it is rare that these marvelous creatures stay in one place long enough for me to approach and paint them.  I am particularly fond of these wild animals and the lovely habitat they inhabit.  Some of our favorite trails are in flames right now, but I’m comforted knowing how quickly the chaparral can spring back after a fire.

Three Views of Third Lake

So, the lakes out of Big Pine don’t have the most creative names.  (First Lake, Second Lake, Third… through Seventh.)  This has nothing to do with their beauty, though.  Don’t judge a lake by its title.  My daughters took the liberty of renaming them all and swimming in most on a recent backpack adventure.  I snuck away three times to paint Third Lake, our base camp.   (all are 10×20″ acrylics)  

 

 

Sisquoc Loop Part 2

Alcove– 10×20″ acrylicWhite Ledge– 10×20″ acrylic

These are a couple of 10×20″ backpacking paintings.  I enjoy looking back at these– when you paint a spot, you are really present for an hour or two, completely absorbing the scene and letting it all in.  For an artist, a painting is like a time machine that brings you vividly back to a place and time.

Backpacking the Sisquoc Part 1

Morning Glow at Cliff Camp– 10×20″ acrylicSisquoc River View– 10×20″ acrylic

On Memorial Day Weekend I went backpacking with some friends on the Sisquoc River loop.  The river was flowing well and it was a fun adventure of creek crossing, rock scrambling and wading through fields of foxtails looking for the trail.  I brought my ultralite painting kit and waited each day for a good view to  sketch.

Flowing Water

sanysidrocreek-gleason-1

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.