Recent Paintings Blog

Big Sur Paintings and Open Studio Date

Rocky Coast Big Sur– 12×16″ oil on linen panel

Save the date: I’ll be putting my paintings out at an open studio event on Saturday, June 18 (Father’s Day Weekend) from 11-4 pm. I’ll post details when it gets closer and also announce it on my quarterly newsletter which you can sign up for on my website.

Here are a couple of other paintings I made when up the coast at Big Sur. It is so fun to paint the steep cliffs and fractal coastline with rocks, inlands and inlets of every size imaginable. The second painting was made up a fern-lined creek where the sunlight moves through spotlights in the redwood canopy.

Light Crossing the Creek– 16×20″ oil on linen panel

Painting Point Lobos

China Cove–16×20″ oil on linen

It feels like painting a mermaid cove in Neverland here at Point Lobos. The cypress trees, sculpted rocks and sea caves, turquoise water, circuitous shoreline and sandy beaches with lounging seal pups… if people haven’t been there they’d think you were making it up. So much fun to paint!

Blue Fish Cove– 12×16″

Spring Morning–Goleta Slough

A small painting that I snuck into a busy week… I went to Goleta Beach and realized there were dozens of paintings to be made looking in all directions. I painted several of them in my mind, imagining compositions, colors and designs made of imaginary brushstrokes– I daydream like that a lot when I haven’t painted for a few days. If only my real paintings were as successful as the ones I imagine.

8×10″ oil on linen panel

Trees I’ve Met

Cliffside Grove– 12×16″ oil on linen panel– (Available)

Here are a couple recent paintings of trees. Above I painted where the sea breeze rustles the eucalyptus scented leaves, dogs rest in the dappled shade on a hot day.   The old folks climb the cliffside trees overlooking the beaches and young kids watch them and think about how it will be to be old again.  

For the image below, I was walking around the Santa Ynez mission looking for something to paint and was drawn to this natural arbor of oaks that makes a small tunnel of shade for the path that descends into a valley.  I simplified this one down to the most basic composition, shapes and design.   I have several works in the Oak Group exhibit at the Faulkner Gallery. The opening is this Thursday from 5:30-7:30. We’d love to see you there!

Oaken Archway– 8×10″ oil on linen panel– (Available)

Portrait of Santa Barbara

24×36″ oil on linen panel– $3200

What a cool little town! Here’s Santa Barbara resting at the base of its chaparral mountains that smell of bay and sage, with it’s red-tiled roofs and sunny gardens and the peaceful blue ocean protected by the Channel Islands. I tried to paint her portrait from an angle that accentuates her best features.

Painting in the Shade

9×12″ oil on linen panel– Haskell’s Beach Eucalyptus Hill (Available)

These are both paintings that I’ve made recently, when I have the luxury of a couple of free hours to head outdoors, relax, and study the way light falls on something beautiful. The top one was from the path that goes up the hill on the west side of Haskell’s Beach. The image below was painted in Tucker’s Grove, trying to capture the wonderful quality of filtered forest light while appreciating the oxygen it produces.

Filtered Forest Light–9×12″ oil on linen panel –(Available)

Radiant Sunset–Devereux Point

18×36″ oil on linen

We know that last moment of light that brings everybody outside while simultaneously bringing them inside themselves. We grow silent like at a performance and contemplate the day behind and the one to come as the sky, illuminated by the light of our favorite star, fades through a spectrum of colors from green to yellow to orange to pink. I particularly like this brilliant tangerine shade and the warm light it casts on the surrounding landscape.

Spring Creek and Friendly Horses

Spring Creek– 12×16″ oil on linen panel

I cropped out the sky and mountains and some great oak trees on this one to focus on this small mossy green falls in Cold Springs Canyon… I didn’t crop close enough to show you all the little grey frogs blending in perfectly with the color of the stones.

In the painting below I drove to the valley to paint grapevines for the Vino De Suenos fundraiser for People Helping People in Santa Ynez. I forgot that grapes have no leaves this time of year and look more like twigs, but these horses obliged to let me paint their portrait instead.

Death Valley–Small Paintings

Prospecting–Mosaic Canyon– 6×8″

We spent a couple of days exploring slot canyons and dry washes in Death Valley over break. And we spent a couple of evenings in a collapsed tent with constant thirty-mile-an-hour winds flapping across our backs. The desolate beauty in the day made the sleep-deprived nights worth it. It is a geologists dream here, to see a multi-colored barren landscape stripped almost to the bones (or to the stones) of life. And yet life is there. We found hidden treasures: wildflowers, a jackrabbit, ravens, lizards and colorful moths hiding in the sheltered spaces.

Sidewinder Canyon– 6×8″