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)

Moonlit Garden

20×24″ oil on linen

This is of the view from West Camino Cielo in the light of the full moon. These flowers have many names and are shrouded in mystery. It was a sacred medicinal plant for the Chumash who lived here, but is deadly poisonous when used without traditional knowledge. It is pollenated in the moonlight by the huge Hawk Moth, a mysterious insect nearly as big across as the large Datura flowers with a four-inch long coiled tongue for drinking their starlit nectar.

The painting above was created from imagination using this daytime view of the same location I painted on site last weekend as a reference…

West Camino Cielo– 9×12″ oil on Canvas

Goleta Train Depot

9×12″ oil on linen panel

Lots of reds and oranges here right now at the Goleta Train Depot where there are poppies sprouting between the railroad ties and the rusty patina of time on the antique boxcar. I was daydreaming about an earlier Goleta as I painted this one. I learned it was back in 1901 when these structures were built (though not on their current site). This was a stop when the first rail lines connecting San Francisco to Los Angeles were built. It would be seven years later before the Model T Ford was developed and cars became more prevalent. What a difference a century makes…

Morning Glow

36×48″ oil on canvas

I’ve been running at Lake Los Carneros many mornings this year, watching how the rising sun makes our local mountains blush.

It has been a wonderful winter for clouds this year, hasn’t it? Hopefully we can coax some more water out of them before the dry season.

Winter Skies at the Beach

Hendry’s Cloudcover– 12×24″ oil on stretched linen

This is that special kind of overcast where the ceiling of clouds is full of tatters and holes that light keeps leaking through. You get the grey reflective mood of a cloudy day with occasional dazzling spotlights of sunny day sneaking in. The top painting was a nice morning at Hendry’s beach last week and the one below was made that same afternoon out walking at low tide at Ellwood. It’s a beautiful world out there…

Sea, Sky and a Soon-to-be Obsolete Energy Source– 6×8″ oil on panel

Moody Skies and Minus Tides

Here are a couple of recent 9×12″ paintings of the Santa Barbara Coastline. The top one was painted under some dramatic skies from out on Stearn’s Wharf. The second was painted up the coast from Haskel’s Beach during a minus tide as the underwater eel grass meadows are revealed and the egrets are hunting for fish and crabs in the tide pools.

There is always something beautiful to paint, wherever I find myself. The tough part is deciding how to narrow it down…

Last Painting of 2021

Winter Rainswell–16×20″ oil on linen

I had my hopes down for much rainfall this year, with the meteorologists predicting a dry cold La Nina winter. It was an unexpected gift to get these last storms and when I took my easel out on the last day of the year I wanted to catch a local creek with the water spilling through the boulders and the sycamores starting to drop their orange leaves. It is the promise of another year of happy steelhead and salamanders, fresh water in Cachuma and beautiful hiking.

Work in Progress…