Joshua Tree Adventures pt. 1

There is something incredibly healing about the desert… My daughter and I both had colds when we arrived a few days ago and they dried up in the desert sun and clear air by the next morning. We spent the week hiking and enjoying the reptiles, superblooming wildflowers, stars and the massive boulder playgrounds. I painted two little 6×8″ paintings a day when we needed a rest from the elements in the shade of a palm oasis or boulder canyon. I’ll post the results over the next couple days…

After the Rain– Devereux Slough

9×12″ oil on canvas panel–  The first mustard seeds are sprouting yellow on the green hills beyond the slough.  It is a party for the frogs and birds out in the many vernal pools that have formed on the bluffs after the rains.  The equinox is next week– welcome spring!

Chard in the Garden and a Mountain Path

Here are two small recent oil sketches.  One was made in out backyard when the chard in the garden was looking like stained glass, the other is from the upper path at the Botanic Gardens and the third photo is just to give a sense of scale…

A couple of recent oil sketches…

 Can you see the tiny hikers in the meadow on below hiking up the Rattlesnake Canyon trail towards Tin Can Flat.  I loved how you can see the Santa Barbara harbor through the window of the canyon.  The sunset was painted with my artist friend Chris Potter at El Capitan State Beach.  Both small paintings are 6×8″ oil studies on panels.  

Between the Storms–Gaviota Peak

20×48″ oil on linen– It feels like ages since we’ve had a series of rainstorms stacking up…  I love it in so many ways.  The smell of wet earth is so satisfying, the sound of creeks flowing is music to the ears, the green landscape is refreshing for the eyes and the promise of water in the reservoirs is comforting for the heart and mind.  I snuck up Gaviota peak last week between storms and I created this from an oil sketch and some photos.

An Ocean in the Backyard

20×24″ oil on canvas– Imagine living in one of these homes on Miramar.  For all practical purposes your shiny blue backyard extends to China.   Just think how aware you’d be of the moon and tides and moods of the ocean.  Imagine sleeping at night with the windows open listening to the breathing waves of your own backyard ocean.

Ellwood Bluffs– Work in Progress

20×48 oil on canvas–  Happy New Year’s Eve eve!  I have been out for two mornings now trying to catch the beautiful winter light at Ellwood. The low angle of the sun makes it “magic hour” all day long.    It’s a work in progress and when the paint dries a little bit I look forward to adding the final accents and sharing the results next year.