Patterns

24×36″ oil on canvas (available)

Besides the thought of how nice it would be to sit in the shade of this oak and taste the wine grown from the grapes below, I was also thinking about the contrast between manmade and natural patterns. The geometric, efficient patterns of human developments often oppose the sinuous natural rhythms. Here the two blend: straight parallel lines of the vineyard roll over the organic contours of the hills in a beautiful way.

Light and Airy

18×24″ oil on canvas (Available)

Other titles I considered for this one were “Rent Free”, “Rock Stack Studio” and “An Abundance of Windows.” I wanted to put the viewer in the shade and breezy shelter of one of the beach shacks at Ellwood… those wonderful communal forms of real estate that we all can inhabit for a while when we find our paths meandering up the coast. Hung on the wall, it looks like a window out to a beach shack porch.

Painting at Extreme Altitudes

Beauty and Fear–From Seven Gables at 13,000 feet– gouache on paper

I was dizzy and wobbly with vertigo as I painted this one. I wished I could have stayed a couple hours on the peak to decipher the distant peaks that stretched for what looked like hundreds of miles before me, but cumulonimbus clouds were materializing by the minute and I wanted lower ground before the lightning started. I had a healthy amount of fear… can you sense the urgency in the sketch?

I was able to get down to this lake at the northern base of the peak and make this sketch before the raindrops fell. Dramatic holes of sunlight in a mostly clouded sky created spotlights on a dazzling stage. Every now and then they would find me and I’d be in the sun for a few short moments as rain fell in the distance.

Before the Rain–Below Seven Gables– gouache on paper

Pedregosa Street

Pedregrosa Street Diptych– 5×14″

I love the variety of architecture, color and gardens in the downtown neighborhoods. A couple of the neighbors came out to say “hi.” One had lived in the house behind me for fifty years and said he remembered cutting the 50 foot tall palm tree with a six foot step ladder. I definitely saw many more houses with character that I want to paint portraits of…

left panel
right panel

Pleasant places to paint…

Los Olives Summer Day– 8×10″ oil on linen panel

Here are a couple of pleasant painting locals from the past week. The top one was made after a walk around Lake Los Carneros and a delicious sandwich with my family in Los Olives. (We brought a couple more small works to show at the Los Olivos General Store if you find yourself up that way.)

The second was made at El Refugio State Beach at the moment when the sun burns through the marine layer and it’s time to jump in the ocean. I hope you are all enjoying your summer days!

El Refugio Beach Day– 9×12″ oil on linen panel

Minus Tide Plus Light Fog Equals…

16×20″ oil on linen panel

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…

Redwood Creek Studies

These are two studies for a new painting I’m currently working on attempting to get that enchanted feeling of being on a creek through a redwood grove, one of the most beautiful experiences I know. It’s fun to see what gouache and charcoal have to say about a subject before I work larger and speak in oil paint.

Theres’s just a week and a half until my open studio event. It will be Saturday, June 18 from 11-4 at 1128 Via Regina. I’ll have all my work out to make things easy to see. I hope to see you there!

Backpacking Paintings

These are some gouache backpacking sketches made while camping with friends recently in the San Rafael Wilderness. You find elevations of over 6000 feet just a condor’s flight from the coast. The “Sea of Clouds” one above is of a 4000 foot deep fog layer blanketing the coast… it was drizzly and grey at down at home, but we were up in the sun with the Jeffrey pines, Sugar pines and other pines whose names I couldn’t quite catch as they whispered in the wind.

Ellwood Expanse

24×48″ oil on linen

This was a recent studio commission that I made by reinterpreting the color, light and composition in a smaller plein air painting I had posted earlier this year. It is fun to elaborate on smaller ones and bring in more detail and space with the extra canvas. If any of you want larger paintings out there to go above your fireplace or somewhere, that is a good way to approach it by looking for a smaller piece that calls you that you’d like me to expand upon. : )