These are the subjects of some of my recent paintings. I have been enjoying the challenge of creating a paintings every day for the month of September. If you want to see all of them, they can be found here on Instagram. I’ll share brief stories about each one below.
When I asked the Captain of the Sal-C if his boat was going to be parked for a while so I could paint it, he joked, “I painted it last week!” It is an awesome fishing boat that I learned has been out fishing in the Santa Barbara Channel for 91 years.
My favorite feature of our local mountains is Arlington and Cathedral Peaks, the rocks on which can be interpreted as an immense sleeping dragon.
Part of painting every day is sometimes having to squeeze in a quick session into a busy life. Often I don’t have time to be picky about a scene, but just pull out the easel and take what nature throws at this me. If I’m lucky, the wildlife cooperate.
I committed myself to the challenge of making a painting a day for the month of September. Each day I’ve been heading out and working on a variety of sizes depending upon the amount of time and energy I have left in me. (I’m not posting them all here because I don’t want to overwhelm people’s inboxes, but if you’d like to see them all they are on my Instagram and Facebook Artist pages.).
I’m hoping that the experience will take my technique to a new level. Already I’m seeing things a little differently and addressing canvases with a looser, more cavalier style. I always tell my students that there aren’t many things like painting that you can do your entire life and continue to improve. And just when you think you’ve figured it all out, the next day you are thrown for a loop and feel like a beginner again. Painting is a constant challenge and joy.
This is the view looking out towards Santa Cruz Island from near the San Marcos open space. It is striking on a hot day how much cooler it is beneath an oak tree, with its thick dappled shade and its leaves transpiring. I had fun stylizing the leaves, trying to get the variety of warm and cool greens they contain.
I love the variety of driftwood shelters you stumble upon while walking along the coast. This one that I painted at Ellwood had cords of kelp hanging like strings of lights, party streamers or Tibetan prayer flags blowing in the wind.
It was fun to be back in “class” today (online of course) and see my students again! I hope the school year is starting off well for everyone! This was a recent commission that was given by their kids to a couple that tied the knot at the Santa Barbara Mission 40 years ago. I wish them 40 more years at least!
The sketch for this painting was painted from the trail on the Wilcox Property/ Douglas Preserve as the dog walkers, joggers, birdwatchers, 5-year-old log balancers, stroller passengers, Pelicans, Canadian Geese and one lost college student started their daily parade.
Since moons are on a 29 day cycle, it reasons that they only occur on your birthday about once every 29 years (except leap years and other things change this a little.) I was lucky to spend my full moon birthday here at Evolution Lake this summer and enjoyed this view an hour or so after the sun went down. Coincidentally I’m 29 years old, give or take a decade and a half.
I’ve been going out and painting architecture this past week. I’ve realized there are so many great buildings in this town that I’d like to paint at some point. Here are a couple highlights from this week…
Snowmelt Journey— 15×30” oil on panel— This is the result of the other canvas that I hiked up to Lamarck Lake. I loved the way the warm morning light on the cliff wall reflected into the rocks across the creek and the meandering path the water takes on its journey to the lake.
This is probably the hardest earned outdoor painting I have made yet… It started with carrying all of my backpacking gear, oil painting gear, easel and two large canvasses a couple thousand feet up to Lamarck Lake. It wasn’t the most practical venture, but I had romantic visions of standing before this breathtaking view with a two foot by three foot canvas over two afternoons of painting. The first day, the wind nearly blew this sail of a canvas and my entire easel into the dirt. I lashed the easel to a heavy rock below and a pine tree windward and held onto it with my left hand (to keep myself from blowing away.) It wasn’t the peaceful experience I was imagining to say the least and the painting made a very effective mosquito trap, with hundreds of the little guys finding themselves impaled in shades of blue and turquoise. In the future, if they ever need to clone a foolish artist, they can extract my DNA Jurassic-Park-Style from this painting.
Day two I spent exploring the tributaries to this lake and anticipating painting like a storm tossed sailer again. Rather, there was a pleasant breeze all afternoon… the experience I was hoping for. To top it off, I made it back to the trailhead without tripping and face planting on my wet painting once.