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?
8×10″ oil on canvas– The gardens are starting to dress up in their spring colors and the poppies are preparing to pop. I love this time of day there as the sun starts to fall and the shadows grow. I hope you all are out enjoying the warm weather!
Every UCSB student knows this path well. I stepped just off the trail to paint this one and enjoyed snippets of conversation coming from passing college students… walking, pedaling and jogging on their way to enjoy the last hours of sunlight.
So this is from healthy pots of succulents and imagination… no ceramics were injured in the making of this painting. I have had an idea to paint a crushed terra cotta pot, but with its inhabitants finding a way to thrive in the new situation. I find that sometimes titles are hard to pin on a painting, but for this one the metaphors were waiting in line in my imagination as I laid down the paint. “Catastrophe and Opportunity,” “Fragile Planet,” “Microclimate,” “Heroic Voyage,” “Hatched,” “Branching Out.” You get the idea… I let “Looking on the Bright Side” rise to the top.
This is that special kind of overcast where the ceiling of clouds is full of tatters and holes that light keeps leaking through. You get the grey reflective mood of a cloudy day with occasional dazzling spotlights of sunny day sneaking in. The top painting was a nice morning at Hendry’s beach last week and the one below was made that same afternoon out walking at low tide at Ellwood. It’s a beautiful world out there…
The acorn that sprouted and started to grow into this Coast Live Oak many, many mornings ago sure picked a good spot to sink its roots. I wonder if it knew how many people would visit it for picnics and to share its grand view of Cathedral and Arlington Peaks, the rolling green hills and the Santa Barbara harbor on the horizon. I spent a pleasant morning before the easel trying to catch the atmospheric golden light we get on green winter mornings here.
Here are a couple of recent 9×12″ paintings of the Santa Barbara Coastline. The top one was painted under some dramatic skies from out on Stearn’s Wharf. The second was painted up the coast from Haskel’s Beach during a minus tide as the underwater eel grass meadows are revealed and the egrets are hunting for fish and crabs in the tide pools.
There is always something beautiful to paint, wherever I find myself. The tough part is deciding how to narrow it down…
I had my hopes down for much rainfall this year, with the meteorologists predicting a dry cold La Nina winter. It was an unexpected gift to get these last storms and when I took my easel out on the last day of the year I wanted to catch a local creek with the water spilling through the boulders and the sycamores starting to drop their orange leaves. It is the promise of another year of happy steelhead and salamanders, fresh water in Cachuma and beautiful hiking.
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.