Warm December at Ellwood

15×30″ oil on canvas–  I’ve painted this view before, and each time the painting is so different depending upon what the light and water and seasons are doing.  I think I could paint here every day and never get bored.  I’ve had the Counting Crows line in my head, “It’s been a warm December and there’s reason to believe maybe this year will be better than the last.”  This is a good time of year for horizon gazing and planning for brighter futures.

Watercolor Sketchbook

I have been playing with watercolors recently.  I can make a study of a painting in a fraction of the time it takes to make an oil painting, so it gives me a great way to explore compositions and experiment with design ideas.  It has been a great way to get out my creative energy when I don’t want to commit to a whole canvas.  

Fellow artists might enjoy this way of making an inexpensive watercolor sketchbook.  I cut a bunch of paper types that I like working on and took them to the copy shop to have them spiral bound.  I mask the frame with painters tape so it leaves clean edges when I pull it away.  

You can see on these first two that I often make a pencil sketch before I start painting to figure out the design and value patterns before I begin splashing color.  I used to paint with watercolor a lot when I was in high school, but haven’t used it much since.  It is fun to rediscover and I think that doing these is going to help me discover new ideas for my oils.    

Refuge

12×16″ oil on canvas– The wildlife was unusually still this week… it is rare that these marvelous creatures stay in one place long enough for me to approach and paint them.  I am particularly fond of these wild animals and the lovely habitat they inhabit.  Some of our favorite trails are in flames right now, but I’m comforted knowing how quickly the chaparral can spring back after a fire.

Ledbetter Beach and Art Openings

I’d love for you to join me and enjoy some wine and art at two openings this week.  This painting of the warm autumn light at Ledbetter beach will be on display as part of the 100 Grand opening on this Thursday evening at Sullivan Goss at 11 East Anapamu.   Then Sunday afternoon at 2pm there is a public opening for a dual show with my buddy Chris Potter in the Pritzlaff Conservation Center Gallery at the Santa Barbara Botanic Gardens.  (I’ll post more details later in the week.)

San Marcos Pass Sunset

Oil on Canvas Panel– The skies have been incredible these evenings and mornings as the sun has been sweeping a lower arc across the sky and lingering longer in the golden zone.  I attempted to freeze this one in paint from a turn out on San Marcos Road last weekend.  Next time I think I’ll bring three tiny canvases to try to catch those subtle color shifts that are just minutes a part, but so different from each other.

Dawn on the Bluffs

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Oil on Canvas— 16×24”— I was really honored to be invited to be a new member of the Oak Group last week.  I have great admiration for the artists in this group— not only for the awesome art made by the members, but also for their environmental agenda of using their art to raise awareness and funding to protect wild spaces.  I really look forward to showing with them in the future.