Recent Paintings Blog

Arlington Peak– Late Afternoon

9×12″ oil on linen panel– Arlington Peak always offers artists a mountain anatomy lesson… It’s fascinating the way the sandstone bones reach up and offer structure while the sinuous muscles of earth overlap and fold, forming rippling hills and canyons. And on top of it all the color and texture of the living, sprouting, growing skin of the earth.

Holiday Season Open Studio

Sands Beach Surf– 20×48″ oil on linen

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!)

Chaparral Watershed

14×45″– Oil on Repurposed Cabinet Door– It has been a long time since I’ve painted on a repurposed cabinet door like this… I love the natural frame you get and the extreme vertical panorama that let’s you emphasize the scale of things, like this view of how our local sandstone peaks teeming with fragrant chaparral scrub catch moisture from the clouds and filter it down to our shady, sycamore and oak-filled canyons. You can see in the detail below I added a couple of travelers to enhance the sense of scale. These paintings look good on one of those skinny walls that you wouldn’t expect could hold a large painting.

Yin Yang Gulls–Malibu

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.

Ellwood Seasons

12×24″ oil on linen– Thanks to the rains yesterday, this will be the last painting of the bluffs with the late summer, early autumn color palette. We’ll be moving into the greens and yellows of wild mustard and grasses. I appreciate both seasons– they both have their own beauty, colored by the memories we tie to a place we know well.

Recent Gouache Paintings

I’m was out in the garden painting in my sketchbook with gouache today. That is my go-to medium when I don’t have a lot of time and just feel like drawing and moving some colors around. It is portable, cheap, versatile and fun to use. Working on paper without the commitment of a canvas, I find myself taking more chances and trying out compositions or subjects that I would otherwise shy away from. Here are a couple of recent gouache studies…


36″x48″ oil on canvas– $4200– This is a painting from an upper fork of Cold Springs Canyon that you cross before you make the final switchbacks up to the power line road on the way to Montecito Peak. It looks almost unrecognizable to what it did five years ago before fire and flood ripped through the area, but it is still stunningly beautiful to me. I titled it Regeneration because I am struck by the natural resiliency of this area and how quickly it has healed itself. Nature and people have a remarkable ability to adapt and that gives me optimism as we face challenging years ahead in response to our changing climate.

Regeneration (detail)
Regeneration (detail)

Open Studio this Weekend!

Daybreak in the Foothills– 18×36″ oil on linen

I would love to see you this weekend at my Open Studio event which is part of the Santa Barbara Studio Artists tour. You can come to my studio for free and if any of you are interested in going on the whole tour, I will have maps and tickets available. I will be there from 11-5 Saturday and Sunday and 11-2 Monday. I am offering free 6×8″ oil paintings or gouache paintings for anyone who buys a painting of $600 or more. It is mostly outdoors and I have a small airy studio so it is a COVID friendly event. 1128 Via Regina… all welcome– see you there!