Sparkling Seas, Ellwood Coast

20×48″ oil on Canvas– I loved the patterns of sparkling lights that the sun was making on the glassy ocean the day I painted this commission of the Ellwood Coast.  The blue water was a nice foil for the reds and oranges in the winter iceplant hanging over the cliffs.

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Telling Time by Sundial

22×28″ oil on canvas–  Lauren and I like to play a game at the beach we call “Rock Jenga.” We take turns stacking a rock at a time until someone makes the tower fall.   Often aesthetics  get the better of us and we leave an attractive precariously balanced rock stack standing, declare ourselves both winners, and start a new one nearby.

I am excited to be teaching a plein air painting workshop through SCAPE in April this year.  There are still spaces available if anyone is interested in signing up.

From the Courthouse Clocktower

 12×36″ oil on canvas–  Usually when I paint, I lose all track of time…  I couldn’t tell you if I’ve been spreading colors for 30 minutes or a couple hours.  I kept the pace with this one because every fifteen minutes the immense bells below me would chime, counting off portions of the day.   Not many chimes left in 2017– Happy New Year everybody! Detail

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.