Nothing but Gratitude…

20×48″ oil on canvas– Feeling Gratitude at Disappointment Lake

I finished a larger studio painting from the backpacking sketches on my hike this summer I wanted to catch a moment that stood out when the sun was just setting at Disappointment Lake and trying to decide what the opposite of disappointment is. (The made-up story in my head is that the lake was named by a bitter miner who either found gold and didn’t want others to look or didn’t find gold and was genuinely bummed. Either way– its a lovely lake that I hope will continue to disappoint those who like to profit off of exploiting wilderness areas.)

Want to see it and the other paintings I’ve created this year in person? My open studio is coming up the first weekend in September and I’d love to see you!

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The names of lakes…

Above Disappointment Lake–Gouache

I went backpacking for a few days last week up in a new pocket of the Sierras for me. I was intrigued by some of the lake names: Disappointment, Hell-for-Sure, Mosquito. Sometimes the less inviting the lake name, the more spectacular the lake… someone, in naming it, wanted to keep it from becoming the overcrowded Yosemite Valley. I couldn’t have been any less disappointed with Disappointment Lake and if that’s what Hell-for-Sure looks like, I know where I’m going. They were right about one thing, though. The mosquitos were hungry everywhere this season, as are all the late season wildflowers from the heavy snows this year.

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.

Up a Canyon

8×10″ oil on canvas– The water is still flowing beautifully through our local canyons and the salamanders and frogs are going strong despite the wildfires and floods last year.  When the weather gets warm most people head to the beach.  There is always also a nice breeze and some cool pools up a canyon.

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.

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.