Recent Paintings Blog

Coches Prietos Anchorage

18×36″ oil on canvas

Coches is a harbor on the west end of Santa Cruz Island that could awaken the inner pirate in anybody. The tide was low when I visited so I walked out to the point and caught this view looking back towards the sheltered beach. No sailboats were out that day but I had to throw one in thinking about what a timeless place this would be to sail into, pretending you were a lost explorer on an uncharted coast.

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

Coches Prietos from Above

18×24″ oil on canvas

The road down to Coches, a crazy drive on a dry hard packed day was a little too risky after the storm so we painted from above. Such incredible beauty with a variety of chaparral greens sprouting amongst the oranges and reds of the iron rich soil. The sun played peek-a-boo with the overcast haze. I finished in time to run down to the beach to explore the point and take a quick swim in the turquoise water. A few large turban and abalone shells rested on an expanse of sand marked only with fox prints…

Work in progress…

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

Seven Falls Spill

22×28″ oil on canvas– (available–please message me for details)

Such a beautiful sight to see the Seven Falls fully flowing and spilling down the mountains again… what a gorgeous green Spring it will be! We are so fortunate to be getting all of these rains this year and to see them quenching the thirsty drought. It’s good to think aboveground about our full reservoirs but also to consider ways we can design watersheds to slow and sink the run-off and fill our aquifers.

Dawn Patrol–Campus Point

25.5×34″ oil on canvas (available)

I rode my bike out to Campus Point one morning last week to be rewarded with glowing orange sandstone reflecting off a glassy ocean at high tide. Since this was a studio painting, rather than racing the sun trying to catch the color before it changed I was able to really think about composition and the abstract qualities of the painting, trying to make sure all the shapes and lines lead the viewer in.

I’m excited for the coming storm… enjoy the rain everybody!

San Marcos Sheep

8×10″ oil on linen panel (available)

This was definitely not a BAAAAA-d spot to spend a morning painting. I’m going to go out on a lamb and say this is my favorite season. Ewe agree, right? There are 400 sheep and lambs and a couple of goats in disguise out on the San Marcos preserve getting a head start on fire prevention season. I feels so pastoral walking up there. It’s amazing how quickly they eat. Good job, sheep.

Hold still please!
Pretty cute…

Salty Breeze

Seaside Eucalyptus Grove– 12×16″ oil on linen panel (available)

Can you still smell the aromas of eucalyptus leaves filtering salty breezes and hazy sunlight on the Ellwood Mesa, or have you been here so long the scents have become like background music? Growing up in the mountains the smell of pines faded with familiarity, but is there again when I return home. After a couple weeks backpacking in the Sierras, the eucalyptus and sea smells greet me again when I come to the coast.