The road down to Coches, a crazy drive on a dry hard packed day was a little too risky after the storm so we painted from above. Such incredible beauty with a variety of chaparral greens sprouting amongst the oranges and reds of the iron rich soil. The sun played peek-a-boo with the overcast haze. I finished in time to run down to the beach to explore the point and take a quick swim in the turquoise water. A few large turban and abalone shells rested on an expanse of sand marked only with fox prints…
Category: plein air
Seven Falls Spill
Such a beautiful sight to see the Seven Falls fully flowing and spilling down the mountains again… what a gorgeous green Spring it will be! We are so fortunate to be getting all of these rains this year and to see them quenching the thirsty drought. It’s good to think aboveground about our full reservoirs but also to consider ways we can design watersheds to slow and sink the run-off and fill our aquifers.
This was painted up Jesusita Trail catching the glowing pockets of light peeking through the canopy into the cool flowing creek. Today the creek must be gushing after all that rain last night!
Dawn Patrol–Campus Point
I rode my bike out to Campus Point one morning last week to be rewarded with glowing orange sandstone reflecting off a glassy ocean at high tide. Since this was a studio painting, rather than racing the sun trying to catch the color before it changed I was able to really think about composition and the abstract qualities of the painting, trying to make sure all the shapes and lines lead the viewer in.
I’m excited for the coming storm… enjoy the rain everybody!
Spring Flow–San Ysidro
I love views where I can see the water in the creek twisting and turning on the path back home to mother ocean. The sun was getting low this afternoon causing that play of light and shadow that I enjoy so much when I’m painting. The canvas almost blew away on this one as the winds whipped up the canyon, but my reflexes dropped my brush to grab the easel.
I had scoped out the site the day before hiking with my daughter. I’ve been forgetful lately and didn’t bring a panel, but she kindly tore a page out of her sketchbook for me to paint on…
If you’ve scrambled up the rocky ledge to the east of Mission Canyon you might recognize this sandstone tower that is getting ready to burst with chaparral flowers like sage and ceanothus… it is going to be a gorgeous spring!
Some of the distant rocks that make up the bones of our local mountains turn out to be striking monoliths when you encounter them close up, abstractly sculpted by wind and rain and roots and time. What is the hole? Is it a window, a keyhole, a peephole, an eye, a passage, a feature in a pirate’s map, an ancient observatory, a sundial, a blue circle, a sky pizza, a frame for a hawk, a lizard’s flytrap, a bird’s playground? This one had at least a dozen possible titles but I’m a sucker for alliteration.
Light and Airy
Other titles I considered for this one were “Rent Free”, “Rock Stack Studio” and “An Abundance of Windows.” I wanted to put the viewer in the shade and breezy shelter of one of the beach shacks at Ellwood… those wonderful communal forms of real estate that we all can inhabit for a while when we find our paths meandering up the coast. Hung on the wall, it looks like a window out to a beach shack porch.
Life After Death–Hoh Rainforest
This fallen spruce tree has become a landscape in itself as the forest reclaims it and it’s decomposition feeds ferns and mosses, beetles and butterflies and even young trees seeding in its layers of life. If you want to experience life after death, check out the rainforest. Here plants grow out of plants and embrace trees and rotting wood like sprouting verdant carpet. Since almost all the organic material is in the canopy rather than in the soil in a rainforest, a dead tree fall means the start of a new fountain of living greenery. It rained the day before we got here, but we got to see the rainforest in sunlight!
I love the variety of architecture, color and gardens in the downtown neighborhoods. A couple of the neighbors came out to say “hi.” One had lived in the house behind me for fifty years and said he remembered cutting the 50 foot tall palm tree with a six foot step ladder. I definitely saw many more houses with character that I want to paint portraits of…