Changing Moods- Ellwood Bluffs

14×18″ oil on canvas– Every day of the year is a sunny day…  if you can only get above the clouds.  I love days like this when just a few luminous spotlights find their way through the overcast… little patches of brilliant sunlight on an otherwise grey landscape.   Just like with moods, you can appreciate the sunny even more when you also know the melancholy.

Late Afternoon, Early Autumn

15×30″ oil on canvas panel–  The warm and cool color notes on the bluffs are beautiful in the afternoon this time of year.  Isn’t this a great season?  Things start to change really dramatically as the  nights are growing and the coolness, wetness and crispness of winter starts eclipse the warm, dry, hazy summer.

Between the Mountains and the Sea

36×48″–oil on canvas- At twelve square feet, this is the biggest painting that I’ve made in a while.  I made the sketch for this one from the breakwater looking back towards Stearn’s Wharf.  I really wanted to emphasize the scale of the mountains that rise behind our city and the atmosphere of the ocean air.  We’re so lucky to live in a place that you can easily hike up a wooded canyon to a peak and then play in the surf in the same day.

The Taste of a Place

20×48″ oil on canvas– I sketched this from a random dirt road up in the wine country near Los Olivos.  One nice thing about wine is people really stop and savor it at the end of a day and to really try to experience the flavor.  It could only taste better outdoors where it was grown and wine tasters are probably trying to bottle the location as much as the beverage… like this bottle which will surely have undertones of bitter oak, dry autumn grass, a rolling mellow smoothness  and some notes of bright golden sunlight.

Afternoon Meadow Glow

24×30″ oil on canvas– The landscape designers and gardeners at the Botanic Gardens are amazing artists… the palette of wildflowers and native plants changes colors so many times over the course of a year!  Next Saturday SCAPE is having a benefit show for the gardens.

Marmot Paradise and Painting Process

Oil on Canvas 25.5×34″  –This is the first backpacking sketch that I’ve turned into a finished oil painting.  Lauren named this place on the east side of Sawtooth Pass “Marmot Paradise” for all the happy groundhogs who call this place home who were whistling, running amok and eating the vibrant grasses in these high meadows. I took pictures of the original sketch and my backpacking painting kit so people can see the setup.  I used a lightweight sheet of corrugated plastic as a laptop desk with a clip-on water container.  Notice the wet paper towel that I squeeze my paints onto… it wicks water up into the paints to keep the dry mountain air from solidifying them.   No stand up easel this trip, but after hiking fifteen miles over a pass, who wants to stand?  

Space to Breathe

20×48″ oil on canvas– This is what finally emerged from the sketches in my last post.  I love running along this path on the bluffs above More Mesa and then dropping down the Thousand Steps to get to the beach.  The light spilling out of the canyon up the coast line is the spot where the Hope Ranch creek meets the ocean.  I’ll add a couple detail images as well.  Enjoy the cooler weather everyone!