18×24″ oil on canvas– There are encouraging signs that the Monarch Butterfly population is making a comeback. Last year I hardly saw a single butterfly. They are always suffering from habitat loss, but I heard that there was also a wildfire at one of their roosting sites in Mexico while they were there last year. This year they can be seen fluttering and forming clumps around Ellwood again!
Here are a couple of recent 9×12″ paintings of the Santa Barbara Coastline. The top one was painted under some dramatic skies from out on Stearn’s Wharf. The second was painted up the coast from Haskel’s Beach during a minus tide as the underwater eel grass meadows are revealed and the egrets are hunting for fish and crabs in the tide pools.
There is always something beautiful to paint, wherever I find myself. The tough part is deciding how to narrow it down…
I had my hopes down for much rainfall this year, with the meteorologists predicting a dry cold La Nina winter. It was an unexpected gift to get these last storms and when I took my easel out on the last day of the year I wanted to catch a local creek with the water spilling through the boulders and the sycamores starting to drop their orange leaves. It is the promise of another year of happy steelhead and salamanders, fresh water in Cachuma and beautiful hiking.
8×16″ oil on linen panel– I love the rain. In our dry, crispy, chaparral climate the rain changes the landscape almost as dramatically as snow in the sierras, but instead of turning the landscape white, everything grows lush. I hope you all are enjoying watching the world turn green and the reservoirs fill.
18×24″ oil on canvas– When the morning sun hits the surface of the cold lake little whispy clouds evaporate over the water. It is a little micro version of fog and clouds forming on the ocean. At this point I’m completely making this up, but imagine how these little lake weather systems pile up at the base of the tules and have micro rain storms that only the smallest bugs are short enough to experience, with really tiny lightening not much bigger than the spark when you rub your feet on the carpet and touch a doorknob.
9×12″ oil on linen panel– I know this is a local boat, but whenever I see people out sailing around I daydream about what it would be like to be sailing around the globe and pulling into our sweet harbor to shake off the old sea legs, hike up to the crest of the mountains and then get a burrito, of course. Next stop, Big Sur on route to Alaska….
On Sunday from 11-5 at 1128 Via Regina I’ll be hosting my seasonal Open Studio event. Would you like to have a small piece of the outdoors to hang on your walls? They’d look much better on your walls than in my studio. All paintings will be 10% off. Feel free to come by just to look for fun… all are welcome. I hope to see you there!
On Sunday, December 12, from 11 am-5 pm I’ll be hosting an open studio at 1128 Via Regina. In some ways paintings are like imaginary windows– we can hang them on our walls and fantasize that we are looking out into our favorite landscapes just beyond our walls. Of course our favorite places are always somewhere beyond our walls and are so rich in life and light and the ever-changing forces of nature that a painting could never capture the reality of these places. And yet, paintings are good reminders to us that these places exist and we should head out and see them as soon as possible. If you’d like to add some windows to your own walls, come by on the 12th and all artwork will be 10% off. (And of course you are welcome just to come hang out and look for fun!)
16×20″ oil on linen– The rock formations at El Matador State Beach are so much fun to paint– the sea sculpts them into fantastic forms undercut with tunnels and topped with hanging gardens of cliff plants that only the gulls can access. The title comes from the way the relative value of the gulls appears to change whether they are silhouetted against the dark rock or the bright sunset.
8×16″ oil on linen panel– Spent some time painting on the back patio last week painting succulents… I love their color, variety and design. Like all still lives, they hold still. They give me the opportunity to play with my paint handling and brushwork and to explore ways of simplifying and stylizing their complexity.