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.
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.
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.
36×48″– oil on canvas– This is the painting that emerged from the sketches I posted in my last post. When you paint a canvas this large or larger, it really feels like you can step right inside and inhabit the scene. I was trying to recreate the feeling of walking up our coastline in this beautiful season when the sun is starting to set over the water again and the tides are starting to pull the sand from the rocks underneath.