The Botanic Garden meadow is glowing with flowers and humming with bees right now from all of the rains this past year. I’ve had a very large 4-foot-square canvas that I’ve been waiting to paint at some point and the excuse to cover it with saturated oranges and greens was irresistable. This one will fill the wall with a sunlit garden. I took some process photos for fellow artists out there who, like me, enjoy seeing the steps behind the scenes of how the painting was created. Basically I start with big shapes of color and break them up into smaller and smaller shapes.
Coches Prietos Anchorage
Coches is a harbor on the west end of Santa Cruz Island that could awaken the inner pirate in anybody. The tide was low when I visited so I walked out to the point and caught this view looking back towards the sheltered beach. No sailboats were out that day but I had to throw one in thinking about what a timeless place this would be to sail into, pretending you were a lost explorer on an uncharted coast.
Can you still smell the aromas of eucalyptus leaves filtering salty breezes and hazy sunlight on the Ellwood Mesa, or have you been here so long the scents have become like background music? Growing up in the mountains the smell of pines faded with familiarity, but is there again when I return home. After a couple weeks backpacking in the Sierras, the eucalyptus and sea smells greet me again when I come to the coast.
Open Studio this Saturday
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.
Sea Guitar and the Forest Gardener
This old guitar has been sitting around half-strung and gathering dust for several years. A past art student of mine had begun etching it at one time and had never finished. I decided to paint in on a whim last week. I just worked from imagination and let the warm wooden surface peak through in the sky and sand. I bought some strings and tuned it up and it’s sound hole is ready to sing about coastlines and sea breezes… about time, timelessness and giving new life to things that would be abandoned.
The painting below is a small 9×12″ called the Forest Gardener. Scrub Jays hide thousands of acorns each year. Many are buried in shallow holes… head into an oak forest this month and if you see a Jay you’ll see it hiding a food cache for the winter. They have incredible memories to remember all the locations during the winter months. Those they don’t eat become tomorrow’s oak forests… when you enjoy a walk in an oak grove, thank a Scrub Jay.
Misty Morning Paintouts
Just one week until my big Open Studio Art Sale. On Labor Day Weekend, September 3-5 come by as my guest at 1128 Via Regina from 11-5 Saturday or Sunday!
I’ve been out painting on some of those misty mornings we’ve been having. It is fun to play with the subtlety of the greys and to try to catch that mysterious light.
Minus Tide Plus Light Fog Equals…
Such sweet June Gloom weather this morning on the coast. To top it off, last night’s Strawberry Supermoon pulled the tides way out. (Moons have so many more flavors and varieties now than they did when we were kids.) I set up with my feet in the sand to paint the colors of the cliffs and the light starting to burn off the clouds…
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.
Santa Cruz Island Reserve
These paintings are from the UC Reserve on the west end of Santa Cruz Island. Going to the islands is like going back in time 150 years and seeing what the California coastline looked like before development. The tide pools were full of diversity and life and we got to see the shenanigans of a few Channel Island Foxes and Scrub Jays.
The variety of colors and textures of the rock formations that make up the band of islands make me wish I’d taken geology classes when I was in school. Dry coriopsis flowers dot the hillsides— I’d love to see the blooms in early spring!
Color on a Foggy Day
6×6″ Oil on Panel– Ever notice how colors seem more saturated on an overcast day? The softer cool light allows the local colors to glow… Not that I’m complaining when the fog burns off and the sun comes out.
#pleinairpainting #junegloom #rosepainting