Hamilton Lake Sunrise

20×48″ Oil on Canvas– This is a big studio painting I have been working on based on a sketch of Hamilton Lake in Sequoia National Forest this summer.  My tent was in a flat spot near the pines on the right and I woke up and watched the warm light crawl across this wonderland.  There is another lake at the top of the cascade in the center of the painting that was still snowbound… and miles and miles of mountains and lakes for us still to explore to the north and south beyond.     (Detail)(Detail)

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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)  

 

 

Hollister Ranch View

10×20″ Oil on Canvas–  This section of beautiful undeveloped coastline makes you feel like you are going back in time and seeing what early California looked like.   This was a commission for the wedding of a wonderful couple.  They have already been on some awesome adventures together and I’m wishing them many more.

Santa Barbara Botanic Gardens

18×36″ oil on canvas– The clouds were cooperating nicely and the California Poppies are still in bloom in parts of the meadow at the Botanic Gardens.  You can see the redwood trees from the grove popping up before the foothills– it is a great place to spend a day exploring the trails and learning about plants.

Trout Creek at Sundown

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.

Hamilton Lake

10×20″ acrylic–  So nice to watch the sun rise over the large snowmelt mirror of Hamilton Lake.  I wished that I could freeze time as the light and shadows creeped far too quickly across the granite faces.   Thanks to photographer Cameron Wolfe who I met backpacking up there for the pictures he took! 

Kaweah River Colors

10×20″ acrylic–  I was drawn to paint here by the colors of the underwater rocks in sunlight.  The melting snow on the mountain crests is leaving the creeks and rivers downstream gushing this year.  It is still early spring as far as the wildflowers and mosquitoes are concerned.