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.
12×12″ oil on canvasboard– This was a study of Rattlesnake Canyon Creek playing with weaving brushstrokes to get the impression of light shimmering on water.
Oil on Canvas 20×24″ — This is the crossing by “Kevin’s Bench” where the east and west forks of Cold Springs Creek meet. The water is cold and clear and the entire canyon is green and full of life.
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!
16×20″ oil on canvas– I am so grateful to have water flowing in our local creeks again. This painting started with the small casein sketch below that I made hiking with my family last weekend.
A plein air sketch is much more useful for me when making a painting than a photograph which can be a lot harder to interpret. Photos aren’t as true to our experience as we think they are. Here is a photo of the scene.
And here is a sketch of the abstract concept… the bones under the image that help me simplify the concept and focus on the essential shapes that make it easy to read.
12×24″ oil on canvas– You can see a lot of the raw canvas toned with raw sienna at the bottom of this painting. I was painting Romero Creek yesterday when the rain began to fall and I had to abandon painting. Lauren, my best and most important art critic said “leave it unfinished, I like it that way.” Usually her advice is more along the lines of “why didn’t you paint all the way to the edges and could you add more flowers or butterflies or eyelashes on that bird?” I like how the few expressive strokes at the bottom help guide the eye to the focal point without demanding too much attention. What do you think? Is it done?
24×30″ Acrylic on Canvas– I hiked up San Ysidro Canyon last week to paint this prismatic pool. Yesterday in Cold Springs canyon my daughters found three California Newts in similar pools– so nice hiking up a canyon in the spring!