That would be horrible– I try never to get stuck up a creek without my art supplies. It makes me so happy to be exploring our local watersheds and seeing the waterfalls flowing like the good old days. I’ve been making lots of plein air sketches and working on a large studio painting of one of my favorite sweet boulder falls. What I love about our little canyons in the oaks is how small patches of sunlight illuminate transparent pools here and there. It is not an easy effect to get and I’m playing around with different ways of doing it. These small paintings are both 6×8″.
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.
15×30″ oil on linen– This is from the island trail on the lagoon at UCSB looking southwest towards Santa Cruz Island. Were you one of the lucky students like me who spent your time wandering these trails or exploring the beach between classes? No wonder those years fly by so quickly…
6×6″ oil on canvas– The supermoon last week brought some of the lowest tides of the year. It is great to see healthy anenomes and sea stars in their underwater homes. I took the miniature painting kit out to make this sketch out at Hendry’s last week.
20×24″ oil on canvas– Imagine living in one of these homes on Miramar. For all practical purposes your shiny blue backyard extends to China. Just think how aware you’d be of the moon and tides and moods of the ocean. Imagine sleeping at night with the windows open listening to the breathing waves of your own backyard ocean.
15×30″ oil on linen– I was thinking of what it would be like to be a plant on the canyon floor as I made this one. How much would you look forward to that one hour when the skylights in the trees finally line up with the sun and you get your fleeting daily shower of sunlight? How grateful you would be for the rare California storm that gets your creek flowing again. The sweetest things are the ephemeral ones… they arrive in a moment, then go.
18×36″ oil on canvas– This is possibly my favorite spot in the Los Padres National Forest. It lies on an exposed spine of sandstone that travels for miles over the landscape. For those who explore off the trail, there are all types of natural history mysteries waiting to be discovered, from amazing geology, plants, bears, cougars, birds and signs of the people who called this place home.
16×20″ oil on canvas– This is one of my favorite spots on the John Muir Trail– which is saying something because there are so many gorgeous lakes strung like turquoise beads on the path from Whitney to Yosemite. But these lakes just below timber line at the base of several granite peaks and the play of light on them is dramatic. Have you hiked this section of trail? You might recognize Glen Pass in the top right corner.
30×42″ oil on canvas– This was a commission for a friendly, adventurous family who wanted to take home a piece of Goleta. I was excited when they chose this spot– it is really special to our family as well. I wanted to capture the magic hour, that short sweet time of shifting colors that happens in the few moments before the sun drops over the horizon. This was a big studio painting that I made from a small plein air painting that you can see below. Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I’m grateful to all of you for sharing my art adventures with me.