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)
15×30″ oil on canvas panel– It’s feeling like autumn out on the bluffs– southern California mediterranean autumn, that is. Breezy and hazy and sunny… the smell of dry grass and eucalyptus oil fills the air and the big, calm ocean lies there warm and turquoise.
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.
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)
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.
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.
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.