Santa Barbara Botanic Gardens

18×36″ oil on canvas– The clouds were cooperating nicely and the California Poppies are still in bloom in parts of the meadow at the Botanic Gardens.  You can see the redwood trees from the grove popping up before the foothills– it is a great place to spend a day exploring the trails and learning about plants.

Trout Creek at Sundown

16×20″ Oil on Canvas– This bend in the creek was down the hill in my backyard growing up.  I have known it for  thirty-three years now.  This winter the meadow flooded and I got to see first hand how oxbows form and a creek finds a new path.  It could be seen as distress to the landscape or it could just be seen as change.  I think of many of my favorite places over the years that have been subject to avalanches, forest fires and other setbacks and have realized that in most cases this is a way of setting the clock back and allowing those areas to spring back and regenerate.  Nature is patient and distress simply provides a blank canvas.

Painting in Redwood Country

These paintings are around 10×20″ acrylic sketches I made on a road trip on the Northern California Coast.  I love redwood forests… the way the light filters through the leaves and illuminates fluorescent moss, yellow banana slugs, fractal ferns and the soft red earth.   It is so awesome how these old giants gather rain and make an environment where plants are growing on plants who are growing on other plants…  long after they die their sweetly rotting wood is still pushing up gardens of huckleberries, ferns, mushrooms and mosses.

 

Sisquoc Loop Part 2

Alcove– 10×20″ acrylicWhite Ledge– 10×20″ acrylic

These are a couple of 10×20″ backpacking paintings.  I enjoy looking back at these– when you paint a spot, you are really present for an hour or two, completely absorbing the scene and letting it all in.  For an artist, a painting is like a time machine that brings you vividly back to a place and time.

Backpacking the Sisquoc Part 1

Morning Glow at Cliff Camp– 10×20″ acrylicSisquoc River View– 10×20″ acrylic

On Memorial Day Weekend I went backpacking with some friends on the Sisquoc River loop.  The river was flowing well and it was a fun adventure of creek crossing, rock scrambling and wading through fields of foxtails looking for the trail.  I brought my ultralite painting kit and waited each day for a good view to  sketch.

Lucky Cows

Oil on Canvas 12×24–  I had to pull over on my drive south on the Big Sur coastline to paint the early sun warming these cows.  One of the cows pointed out to me, “Moo.”  Translation:  “They’ve got the best grass here… its delicately seasoned with sea salt from the misty ocean breezes.”  I meant to try a bite, but was too busy painting.  Next time…