It is quite a rock scramble with a couple of sketchy sections these days to reach Tangerine Falls these days, but the view is as spectacular as ever. This was always my favorite hike in town before the fires and subsequent landslides. I still love it. Watching the creek over these past years has been a lesson in the resiliency of nature and the ability of water to carve new pools and find an ever-evolving, effortless and beautiful path to the sea.
Tag: Santa Barbara
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.
Ablaze with Wildflowers
The Botanic Garden meadow is glowing with flowers and humming with bees right now from all of the rains this past year. I’ve had a very large 4-foot-square canvas that I’ve been waiting to paint at some point and the excuse to cover it with saturated oranges and greens was irresistable. This one will fill the wall with a sunlit garden. I took some process photos for fellow artists out there who, like me, enjoy seeing the steps behind the scenes of how the painting was created. Basically I start with big shapes of color and break them up into smaller and smaller shapes.
Waist-deep in Wildflowers
The Canyon Sunflowers are in full bloom on the edge of the bluffs along More Mesa. The Mustardseeds and Wild Radish flowers are over head-high in places. My daughter’s middle name is Spring. The word has so many great meanings. Nothing beats an early spring morning– the time of beginnings and potential when everything is sprouting and vital and so full of energy and fresh life.
Pockets of Sunlight–Coronado Butterfly Preserve
I have so many fond memories from college of laying on my back on the fallen Eucalyptus trees and looking up at the orange spectacle of Monarch Butterflies riding wind currents in and out of the sunlight and shadows. Before the storms came, it was great to see that their numbers were once again on the rise in our area after a couple of really low years. Hopefully they escaped the wet winter in warmer southern climates.
Can you smell the green grass on this one? I was standing knee deep in lush spring greens as I painted it. The cloud was very cooperative and just hovered right there for most of the painting session.
I tend to paint in the places I feel like hanging out and spending some time. Lately that has been up local creeks sitting on boulders and enjoying the sounds of falling water. The first was a small 6×8″ study catching the glowing water in Rattlesnake Canyon a bit off trail. The second was looking towards the mountains from San Ysidro Canyon and enjoying the colors of the afternoon shadows crossing the creek.
Focus– Coal Oil Point
I have been loving painting all of the spring greens, but for this studio painting I wanted to crack open the tubes of warmer hues to paint that warm colored light that can wash over our landscape at sunset. The title has multiple meanings, but one was that I was thinking of photography as I designed the composition and how I made the lines of clouds and the pathway of the water and shadows all lead the attention to the brightest yellow light seen through the aperture of the dark trees.
Coches Prietos Anchorage
Coches is a harbor on the west end of Santa Cruz Island that could awaken the inner pirate in anybody. The tide was low when I visited so I walked out to the point and caught this view looking back towards the sheltered beach. No sailboats were out that day but I had to throw one in thinking about what a timeless place this would be to sail into, pretending you were a lost explorer on an uncharted coast.
Plein Air Indoors and Island View
Plein Air painting means painting outdoors… but on this particular rainy day I set up my French easel indoors. It was warm and dry and I got to see the landscape outside soak up the cool water. Fascinating to realize the unexpected colors you find yourself painting the top of the oak table when the reflected light comes into play.
The painting below was painted from the interior of Santa Cruz Island and reminds me of an earlier California before development.