Creek Studies

Tangerine Falls– 6×8″ oil on panel

The fountains are flowing in our creeks. These paintings are both from areas hit hard by fire and storms the last few years. It has been fascinating watching how the water recarves new pools for swimming and how a couple of tumbled boulders can offer a stream a new sandstone diving board for a waterfall. We’ve got the two moods of spring represented here. Mysterious moody mist and bright sunny clarity.

The last painting was a cloud study I made a couple of weeks ago…

San Ysidro Creek– 6×8″ oil on panel
Spring Clouds– 14×18″ oil on panel

Ablaze with Wildflowers

Ablaze– 48×48″ oil on canvas (Available)

The Botanic Garden meadow is glowing with flowers and humming with bees right now from all of the rains this past year. I’ve had a very large 4-foot-square canvas that I’ve been waiting to paint at some point and the excuse to cover it with saturated oranges and greens was irresistable. This one will fill the wall with a sunlit garden. I took some process photos for fellow artists out there who, like me, enjoy seeing the steps behind the scenes of how the painting was created. Basically I start with big shapes of color and break them up into smaller and smaller shapes.

Painting in Boston

North Church– gouache on paper

I’m so proud of my wife Lauren for her training and run of the Boston Marathon on Monday. What an inspiring event with so many thousands of people coming together for the love of running. I had some paper and gouache in my backpack and made a couple of quick paintings while we were there. The top one is of North Church where Paul Revere hung the lantern in the middle of the night to signal the night riders that the British armies were approaching. It starts to feel as you are walking around like most of early American History happened in a couple square miles. The next is of South Church… the architecture was amazing with beautifully colored stones. The final one was made in the Beacon Hill neighborhood where an iron fence was perfectly designed to double as a standing easel.

South Church– gouache on paper
Beacon Hill– gouache on paper

Pockets of Sunlight–Coronado Butterfly Preserve

Pockets of Sunlight– 16×20″ oil on linen panel (Available)

I have so many fond memories from college of laying on my back on the fallen Eucalyptus trees and looking up at the orange spectacle of Monarch Butterflies riding wind currents in and out of the sunlight and shadows. Before the storms came, it was great to see that their numbers were once again on the rise in our area after a couple of really low years. Hopefully they escaped the wet winter in warmer southern climates.

Creek Moods

I tend to paint in the places I feel like hanging out and spending some time. Lately that has been up local creeks sitting on boulders and enjoying the sounds of falling water. The first was a small 6×8″ study catching the glowing water in Rattlesnake Canyon a bit off trail. The second was looking towards the mountains from San Ysidro Canyon and enjoying the colors of the afternoon shadows crossing the creek.

Plein Air Indoors and Island View

12×16″ oil on canvas panel

Plein Air painting means painting outdoors… but on this particular rainy day I set up my French easel indoors. It was warm and dry and I got to see the landscape outside soak up the cool water. Fascinating to realize the unexpected colors you find yourself painting the top of the oak table when the reflected light comes into play.

The painting below was painted from the interior of Santa Cruz Island and reminds me of an earlier California before development.

Island Valley View–8×16″ oil on canvas panel

Blue Banks–Santa Cruz Island

18×24″ oil on canvas

I was very fortunate to paint this weekend with a fun group of fellow Oak Group artists on Santa Cruz Island. The weather gave us some dramatic light with sun and clouds to interpret and the islands were so beautiful with their crenulated folds and bays and sheer rocky cliffs hovering over turquoise tide pools filled with colorful life. And, of course, the foxes were cute too.

Work in Process