The Taste of a Place

20×48″ oil on canvas– I sketched this from a random dirt road up in the wine country near Los Olivos.  One nice thing about wine is people really stop and savor it at the end of a day and to really try to experience the flavor.  It could only taste better outdoors where it was grown and wine tasters are probably trying to bottle the location as much as the beverage… like this bottle which will surely have undertones of bitter oak, dry autumn grass, a rolling mellow smoothness  and some notes of bright golden sunlight.

Afternoon Meadow Glow

24×30″ oil on canvas– The landscape designers and gardeners at the Botanic Gardens are amazing artists… the palette of wildflowers and native plants changes colors so many times over the course of a year!  Next Saturday SCAPE is having a benefit show for the gardens.

Marmot Paradise and Painting Process

Oil on Canvas 25.5×34″  –This is the first backpacking sketch that I’ve turned into a finished oil painting.  Lauren named this place on the east side of Sawtooth Pass “Marmot Paradise” for all the happy groundhogs who call this place home who were whistling, running amok and eating the vibrant grasses in these high meadows. I took pictures of the original sketch and my backpacking painting kit so people can see the setup.  I used a lightweight sheet of corrugated plastic as a laptop desk with a clip-on water container.  Notice the wet paper towel that I squeeze my paints onto… it wicks water up into the paints to keep the dry mountain air from solidifying them.   No stand up easel this trip, but after hiking fifteen miles over a pass, who wants to stand?  

Location, Location, Location

Location,Location--Gleason - 115×30″ oil on canvas– Available now!  Spacious ocean-side home with unrivaled ocean views in Goleta, the good land.  Open floor plan is airy and welcoming with plenty of natural light.  Sustainable architectural design uses reclaimed timbers throughout. Exquisite natural landscaping by world-renowned designer Mother Nature.  Fantastic curb appeal! (What’s more appealing than no curb at all?) Also notice the quaint heating and lighting system based on age-old technologies that are making a comeback.  Experience to the ultimate in simple living…

Space to Breathe

20×48″ oil on canvas– This is what finally emerged from the sketches in my last post.  I love running along this path on the bluffs above More Mesa and then dropping down the Thousand Steps to get to the beach.  The light spilling out of the canyon up the coast line is the spot where the Hope Ranch creek meets the ocean.  I’ll add a couple detail images as well.  Enjoy the cooler weather everyone! 

My most detailed painting yet…

My family and I recently visited the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the National Gallery.  I went looking for the best art that I could find and for inspiration to turn in a new direction with my work.  The impressionists excited me with their colorful light effects as usual and Joaquin Sorolla and John Singer Sargent dazzled me with their expressive brushwork, but the paintings that knocked my socks off this time were those of the Frederic Edwin Church.  In particular, the painting “Dream of the Andes,” has me staring for… well, I don’t know how long but, thank you Lauren, Ellie and Quinn for being so patient with me in art museums.  What blew me away was the incredible detail. He beautifully designed every fern in the forest, every termite in the trees, and the painting goes back into space at least ten miles.  Now I’m trying to paint a painting with exquisite detail.  I’m not at his level yet, but I’m happy with how it is progressing.   Here are the sketches for now… one from memory in the sketchbook and then a plein air color study.  MoreMesaBreathe-Gleason - 2

Summer Beach Day-Campus Point

18×24″ oil on canvas panel– We’re so lucky during heat waves like this to have the ocean so near.  The water today at Campus Point was filled with people cooling off in the surf.  I hope you are all finding ways to stay cool today… Here is a watercolor sketch from the same site down below on the beach a couple of weeks ago.