So many colors to paint out there and so little time! The morning mist was burning off as I made this painting from the top of Eling’s Park. The second was capturing the mustard bloom from the one of my favorite trailheads.
Tag: plein air artist
The Edge of the Season
18×24″ oil on linen– Happy Thanksgiving everybody! I have so much to be grateful for. One thing I’m thankful for is the time I get to spend outdoors with a paintbrush appreciating nature and I’m thankful for you for appreciating it, supporting it and encouraging me to continue creating it.
The inch of rain we had a couple weeks ago is bringing back the green as baby grasses and herbs are sprouting. In Southern California, all the stuff we learned about seasons in Kindergarten is horsefeathers. Rather than everything going dormant and dying in late fall and winter, around here the first autumn rains bring an early spring and new life to the landscape. So happy Spring in November, everybody!
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…
Portrait of Santa Barbara
What a cool little town! Here’s Santa Barbara resting at the base of its chaparral mountains that smell of bay and sage, with it’s red-tiled roofs and sunny gardens and the peaceful blue ocean protected by the Channel Islands. I tried to paint her portrait from an angle that accentuates her best features.
Spring Creek and Friendly Horses
I cropped out the sky and mountains and some great oak trees on this one to focus on this small mossy green falls in Cold Springs Canyon… I didn’t crop close enough to show you all the little grey frogs blending in perfectly with the color of the stones.
In the painting below I drove to the valley to paint grapevines for the Vino De Suenos fundraiser for People Helping People in Santa Ynez. I forgot that grapes have no leaves this time of year and look more like twigs, but these horses obliged to let me paint their portrait instead.
The Sunny Side of State Street
I set up my easel downtown a couple of days ago to paint the light and shadows and activity on State Street. It was a painting sprint: an experience in painting fleeting moments as people breeze by and the shadows lengthen every minute. Just as you start to get focused and absorbed in detail a person walking by will strike up a conversation, which is good for the art… it keeps you painting only what is essential before it is gone. At one point a crowd marched by in support of the people of Ukraine and protesting the Russian invasion. It is good to see people raising their voices and walking together in solidarity against this madness and senseless violence.
Two Paths– Ledbetter Beach
8×10″ oil on canvas
These wooden beach stairways are fun to climb and almost feel like pathways to a different environment above. Cliffside beaches like this mid tide are also romantic to walk on, navigating the waves as you walk from sandbar to sandbar. Which direction to do you feel like walking today?
I’ve been running at Lake Los Carneros many mornings this year, watching how the rising sun makes our local mountains blush.
It has been a wonderful winter for clouds this year, hasn’t it? Hopefully we can coax some more water out of them before the dry season.
Sunrise Before a Storm
8×16″ oil on linen panel– I love the rain. In our dry, crispy, chaparral climate the rain changes the landscape almost as dramatically as snow in the sierras, but instead of turning the landscape white, everything grows lush. I hope you all are enjoying watching the world turn green and the reservoirs fill.
Arlington Peak– Late Afternoon
9×12″ oil on linen panel– Arlington Peak always offers artists a mountain anatomy lesson… It’s fascinating the way the sandstone bones reach up and offer structure while the sinuous muscles of earth overlap and fold, forming rippling hills and canyons. And on top of it all the color and texture of the living, sprouting, growing skin of the earth.