This was a recent studio commission that I made by reinterpreting the color, light and composition in a smaller plein air painting I had posted earlier this year. It is fun to elaborate on smaller ones and bring in more detail and space with the extra canvas. If any of you want larger paintings out there to go above your fireplace or somewhere, that is a good way to approach it by looking for a smaller piece that calls you that you’d like me to expand upon. : )
Save the date: I’ll be putting my paintings out at an open studio event on Saturday, June 18 (Father’s Day Weekend) from 11-4 pm. I’ll post details when it gets closer and also announce it on my quarterly newsletter which you can sign up for on my website.
Here are a couple of other paintings I made when up the coast at Big Sur. It is so fun to paint the steep cliffs and fractal coastline with rocks, inlands and inlets of every size imaginable. The second painting was made up a fern-lined creek where the sunlight moves through spotlights in the redwood canopy.
I’ve been running at Lake Los Carneros many mornings this year, watching how the rising sun makes our local mountains blush.
It has been a wonderful winter for clouds this year, hasn’t it? Hopefully we can coax some more water out of them before the dry season.
The acorn that sprouted and started to grow into this Coast Live Oak many, many mornings ago sure picked a good spot to sink its roots. I wonder if it knew how many people would visit it for picnics and to share its grand view of Cathedral and Arlington Peaks, the rolling green hills and the Santa Barbara harbor on the horizon. I spent a pleasant morning before the easel trying to catch the atmospheric golden light we get on green winter mornings here.
9×12″ oil on linen panel– Arlington Peak always offers artists a mountain anatomy lesson… It’s fascinating the way the sandstone bones reach up and offer structure while the sinuous muscles of earth overlap and fold, forming rippling hills and canyons. And on top of it all the color and texture of the living, sprouting, growing skin of the earth.
12×24″ oil on linen– Thanks to the rains yesterday, this will be the last painting of the bluffs with the late summer, early autumn color palette. We’ll be moving into the greens and yellows of wild mustard and grasses. I appreciate both seasons– they both have their own beauty, colored by the memories we tie to a place we know well.
Sandstone outcroppings and Coast Live Oaks… I’ve been spending several afternoons painting in oak forests the last couple of weeks. The acorns are ripening and the squirrels, scrubjays and a deer were all inspecting their progress as I was painting.
When Lauren and I were first married we used to spend most of a day walking from the distant eucalyptus groves, out over the bluffs, around the slough, through IV and UCSB, down the bike trail, out on More Mesa, through the horse trails in Hope Ranch, through westside and finally downtown. There we’d sit our tired legs down at a cafe, eat a big meal and take the bus all the way back home. It was our favorite date… so simple but so full of interesting people watching, nature exploration and places to appreciate the many sides of our town.
12×24″ oil on panel– From this perch on Ortega Hill, you can see three points jutting out to the north. In the foreground Fernald Point encloses Shark Cove, which I’ve heard is named because in the mid 1800’s they used to butcher cattle nearby and then toss the remnants to the sea. Behind that is Hammond’s Point in the mid ground and way back there is Ledbetter Point at the far end of the Santa Barbara Harbor. For a painter, it’s a great lesson in atmospheric perspective, seeing the colors and contrast cool and fade as they fall into the distance.
8×10″ oil on panel– This sweet confluence is up Limekiln creek. I had just enough time to get it blocked in before the rain was falling– an hour later it was sunny again. You can’t beat a redwood grove for mystery and beauty in any weather…