Small Paintings

6×8″ oil paintings– Tangerine Falls and the Santa Ynez River– It’s amazing how quickly Cold Springs Canyon is healing after the fires and mudslides.  New pools are forming and the chaparral is sprouting from roots and seeds in a riot of canyon sunflowers, morning glories and monkey flowers.   We made it up the west fork to below tangerine falls and saw salamanders and frogs in the pools.

Sunrise over Santa Barbara

15×30″  oil on linen– So nice to watch the glimmer on the water as the sun rises over our fair seaside town on a morning between the fog cycles…  The kids are out for summer and it won’t be long before the last of the June Gloom evaporates and these beaches are full of people playing in the surf.

Watercolor Sketches– Santa Barbara Backcountry

The pencil is there for scale.  The crack in the sidewalk reminded me of what they say– that when you find a fault, you shouldn’t dwell on it.  But here we are dwelling in earthquake country and quite happy about it.   I had fun backpacking Memorial Day weekend with a fun group, several of whom are geologists and point out really cool things about the shape of the land and the fossils hiding in plain sight.  Here are a couple of watercolor and gouache sketches that I snuck in between the rains.

China Cove Seals

18×36″ oil on linen– Happy Mother’s Day weekend!  Can you spot the mom and baby seal who were swimming around like real-life mermaids in China Cove last week?  Point Lobos is such an ideal landscape I felt like I was plein air painting in Neverneverland– the windblown pines, the turquoise inlets, the colorful plants clinging to the rocky cliffs… I love it.

Big Sur Coast–Morning and Sundown

 Garrapata Dawn– 8×16″ oil on panel–  This was painted on a lovely Big Sur morning.  This is by far one of the prettiest parts of the planet I’ve ever experienced.  Late Afternoon Glimmer– 6×8″ oil on panel– This small study of light on the water was painted at Limekiln State Park where I slept in the overflow site, under the bridge at the edge of the sand listening to waves roll in all night and the rain falling at one point.

Slant of Light- Ellwood Bluffs

15×30″ oil on linen– I hiked my easel out to the cliffs for a particularly beautiful afternoon last weekend… The backlit mustard glowed an electric yellow and the softest marine layer was rolling in from offshore playing lovely tricks with the light.  Come out to the Bacara this Friday from 2-8pm for and Saturday 10-5pm  for SCAPE’s “Visions of the Gaviota Coast” show which benefits the Gaviota Coastal Conservancy!  Opening Receptions is Friday from 5-8 pm.

Butterfly Beach

18×24″ oil on canvas– Thanks to all the people who brought beach umbrellas that nice afternoon at Butterfly Beach.   They were just the right colors and in just the right spots to create a strong design… The orange frisbee was a nice touch as well.  And you all wore the perfect swimsuit colors to add accents– nice work everybody.   Now, if you would just hold still for a couple hours and not move around so much…   : )

Hiking to Seven Falls– Painting Process

I’m excited to share this large oil painting (36×48″) that I created from memory, plein air sketches and photos of the hike up the creek to Seven Falls.  I really wanted to try to show the feeling of coming out of the golden dappled-light of the oak canyon to the sun-drenched opening where the rocks and falls rise up.  I had to invent the view a bit since the trees and geography get in the way as you are hiking up… it’s a truthful lie.   I’m including some process images for the painters out there who would like to see how a painting like this develops. It starts with a sketch… I was thinking of the composition on this one as being kind of like a tunnel where the focal point of the cliffs and falls is circled by a ring of trees.   My first block-in is really general with simple shapes that describe big features in the landscape.  I was thinking of having the color palette on this one be triadic, with warm versions of green, violet and orange.  The progress of the painting is starting to bring things out of the “fog” and describe them in smaller and smaller shapes.  I’ll attach a couple of details below.  Enjoy your day!