Sometimes it flows low in the canyons, deftly weaving and gracefully twisting on the path of least resistance. Other times it drifts spaciously along like a vapor riding the breeze. And so do we, since it makes up the majority of our bodies.
I love views where I can see the water in the creek twisting and turning on the path back home to mother ocean. The sun was getting low this afternoon causing that play of light and shadow that I enjoy so much when I’m painting. The canvas almost blew away on this one as the winds whipped up the canyon, but my reflexes dropped my brush to grab the easel.
I had scoped out the site the day before hiking with my daughter. I’ve been forgetful lately and didn’t bring a panel, but she kindly tore a page out of her sketchbook for me to paint on…
If you’ve scrambled up the rocky ledge to the east of Mission Canyon you might recognize this sandstone tower that is getting ready to burst with chaparral flowers like sage and ceanothus… it is going to be a gorgeous spring!
Some of the distant rocks that make up the bones of our local mountains turn out to be striking monoliths when you encounter them close up, abstractly sculpted by wind and rain and roots and time. What is the hole? Is it a window, a keyhole, a peephole, an eye, a passage, a feature in a pirate’s map, an ancient observatory, a sundial, a blue circle, a sky pizza, a frame for a hawk, a lizard’s flytrap, a bird’s playground? This one had at least a dozen possible titles but I’m a sucker for alliteration.
It was fun to explore some local trails this weekend to see how the rains have changed the landscape. There are side creeks and waterfalls flowing where I haven’t seen them for many years. It is going to be a beautiful spring with the deep soak that we have gotten.
Can you believe how much rain we’ve already gotten this year. (And in a year they were predicting a mild La Niña no less!) I’m hoping you all stayed safe and dry through the storm. I’m so grateful that the reservoirs, springs and aquifers are filling up. It will be nice to turn on the tap in the coming year and enjoy a glass of these January rains!
Happy New Year everyone! This was my first painting of 2023 on a hike up into the foothills on a grey pensive day. That is the Santa Barbara Harbor in the distance framed by a rock formation above Rattlesnake Canyon.
This time of year the color green starts to dominate our usually golden Southern California landscape…
The cool winter air is so clear I could easily see all the way south to Point Mugu on the horizon of this painting. The next point coming forward is Rincon and then the city of Carp is before that. The middle ground is Parma Park, an under hiked open space in town. What beautiful green and blue days we’ve been having!
Open Studio holiday sale this weekend! Saturday, December 10, from 12-4pm. Choose a free 6×8” painting withe a purchase of a 16×20” or larger canvas. Please email me for directions if you haven’t been before. Come by to say “hi” and see the most recent works in person.
This new 12×24” was used on a small 6×8″ study below that I made hiking recently.
18×24″ oil on linen– Happy Thanksgiving everybody! I have so much to be grateful for. One thing I’m thankful for is the time I get to spend outdoors with a paintbrush appreciating nature and I’m thankful for you for appreciating it, supporting it and encouraging me to continue creating it.
The inch of rain we had a couple weeks ago is bringing back the green as baby grasses and herbs are sprouting. In Southern California, all the stuff we learned about seasons in Kindergarten is horsefeathers. Rather than everything going dormant and dying in late fall and winter, around here the first autumn rains bring an early spring and new life to the landscape. So happy Spring in November, everybody!