Through Sun and Shadow

24×36″ oil on canvas

Imagine walking this path through Cold Springs Canyon and feeling the warmth of the sun, then the cool of the shade and then the radiance around the bend again… I love that feeling and its what this painting is about: passing through shadow areas and experiencing the coolness and dark and then stepping again into the sunlight.

Sea of Clouds

oil on linen 18×36″

I was running on Camino Cielo early a couple of weekends ago, high above the fog and overcast and happy to watch the sun spill over the top and warm the east sides of the mountains. I was struggling with the sunlit sides of the mountain on this painting, trying to put too much detail in but losing the feeling of the radiant warmth. In the end, I just wove some strokes of pure color that I’ll include a detail of. I always appreciate paintings that look somewhat lifelike from a distance, but upon walking up to them image dissolve into abstract strokes of paint.

detail…

Happy New Year– San Ysidro Canyon

18×36″ oil on linen

For my last painting of 2019 I hiked a large canvas up San Ysidro Canyon. It makes me optimistic to see how well nature heals. This area has been hammered with drought, then fire, then flood and debris flows and yet here it is recovering beautifully. Trees and chapparal shrubs have sprouted from their roots and new pools and falls are being carved out in the new stream path. The insects, lizards, birds and deer are all tending the wilderness and stitching it together. The community of Montecito downstream is also recovering from the tragedy of those slides and like nature is showing love and resiliency.

I’m optimistic for healing, resiliency, connection and love in this new year… they are clearly characteristics found in nature and so, as living strands in the web of life on this planet, are characteristics of our selves.

Clouds Parting–Stearn’s Wharf

12×24″ oil on panel– The city was washed clean and sparkling after the last storm. Out on the wharf was a great place to take it all in. A magnificent rainbow appeared and I was tempted to paint it in, but usually paintings of rainbows look about as convincing as paintings of unicorns. I went with the unicorn instead– can you see him hiding behind the palm tree?

Brilliant Sea from the Courthouse Belltower

18×36″ oil on canvas

The deep bell chimes were ringing in my chest and counting 8 on the morning when I made the sketch and took the photo that led to this painting. I love the perspective from the clock tower… since 1929 people have climbed the steps to see the horizon and watch present moments tick away one by one.

Painting in the Oaks

Rocky Nook Park– 14×18″ oil

Sandstone outcroppings and Coast Live Oaks… I’ve been spending several afternoons painting in oak forests the last couple of weeks. The acorns are ripening and the squirrels, scrubjays and a deer were all inspecting their progress as I was painting.

Sunny Oak Forest– 8×10″
Work in progress…

First Touch of Light–Lake Los Carneros

18×36″ oil on linen

I was running around Lake Los Carneros a couple of weeks ago and enjoying how the red light climbed across the mountains. The time of the sunrise is subjective, depending upon where you are on the mountain or in a canyon. I saw two sunrises that morning on different sides of the lake.

Arc of Palms– Refugio Point

12×24″ oil on panel

This palms in this iconic line arcing elegantly around to Refugio Point have been falling one by one the past few years as more extreme tidal events eat at the soil holding their roots. I’m grateful for the young people who are marching and standing up worldwide to try to wake our policy makers and business leaders up to the truth that we live in relationship with the natural world and that we need to honor and tend to the delicately balanced ecosystems that we are an inseparable part of.