“Avalon Harbor – Taking the High Road”
9 x 12 pastel painting
Avalon Harbor, Catalina Island
(Available at Segil Fine Art beginning August 28 for the “Colors of Catalina” Group Show)
A high road winds up, up, up around Avalon Harbor. At every turn, stately eucalyptus trees provide foreground interest for the tranquil scene below. I have been enjoying doing some pastel paintings along with my usual oils. This one was painted on archival museum board and framed like an oil painting using anti-reflective museum glass. I used to mat my pastels, but I haven’t done that for my most recent projects.
“Avalon at Night”
Catalina Island Oil Painting
12 x 24 inches
Oil on Canvas
See more Catalina Island paintings here
This painting will be included in a group show at Segil Fine Art, themed “Colors of Catalina.” The artists’ reception will be September 11 from 5 to 7 pm. At night the lights of Avalon Harbor gleam against the deep blue ocean. Catalina has been a popular getaway spot for Southern Californians (and many others) for a century. We’ve enjoyed visiting from before our kids were born. Camp Fox provided other reasons for family getaways. Now it beckons again – its own unique charm is wonderful for painters.
Moonstone Beach, Cambria
“The Wind from the Sea”
10 x 20 inches
This panoramic painting of Moonstone Beach, in Cambria is a larger piece based on the field study I did several months ago. Moonstone Beach is one of our favorite places to go when we’re in the Central Coast area. The Hamlet Restaurant has wonderful jazz performances, and walks along the beach are so romantic. I would imagine it’s been the site of countless weddings and marriage proposals.
If you enjoy visiting the Cambria area, you should discover the Milford Haven books of my friend Mara Purl who writes wonderfully about a fictional Central California town with a strong resemblance to Cambria.
Yosemite Falls from the Swinging Bridge
11 x 14 oil painting
The Swinging Bridge across the Merced River in Yosemite connects the two sides of Yosemite valley. From the bridge, or a little south of it, where I was, you can see Yosemite Falls cascading down the granite face. Yosemite Falls is the highest waterfall in North America. When we visited, in the summer, it was not at its most intense flow, but it was impressive all the same.
“Montana de Oro – Spooner’s Cove”
14 x 18
This painting came out of one of our recent San Luis Obispo trips. I had often wanted to visit Montana de Oro, having heard about its beautiful seashore. Finally, I had the chance to paint it. The stormy sky added to the drama of the incoming surf, pounding the sharp shale rocks. The name of the park, Mountain of Gold, derives from the golden wildflowers that cover the hillsides in the spring. Can I resist the mental image that conjures up? I think a springtime painting trip will be a must.
12 x 16 oil
Dogs playing on a leash-free beach in Santa Barbara
This is another of the paintings that I did for the “Art for the Animals” show at Gale’s Restaurant in Pasadena, which sold yesterday. The show closes this coming Friday night, August 27. So if you’re in Los Angeles there are still a few days to see it. A portion of the proceeds go to benefit the Pasadena Humane Society and SPCA.
Painting animals is such a pleasure, I should really do it more frequently. These two buddies were having a good time chasing a tennis ball around in the surf. The little Corgi was pretty fast on his or her feet. I took a lot of photos that day, including some of an English bulldog romping in the surf. I’ll probably be painting that one, too.
The holidays are coming soon. If you’re thinking about a painting as a gift for someone special, this is a good time to make plans.
“For the Love of the Land”
Los Osos Valley Road, California Central Coast
12 x 16 inches
California landscape oil painting
This painting is one of the works that resulted from my spring trip to the San Luis Obispo area with the California Art Club. I just got the news yesterday that it has been selected for inclusion in a special exhibition at the CAC gallery at the Old Mill in San Marino. The show, named Capturing California’s Preserved Lands and Historic Districts: Gems from the Central Coast will open August 31 and run through January 2, 2011. All of the paintings are for sale.
There will be an artists reception Thursday, September 2 from 5:30 to 7:30 pm. This is the first time that I’ve been eligible as an Artist member to submit work for this gallery and I am delighted that this piece was chosen for the show.
The painting depicts a spot along the Los Osos Valley Road, toward sunset. The green grasses of spring were drying out and starting to turn that characteristic California gold.
I have more paintings which came out of that trip, and will be posting them here soon.
6 x 8 oil painting on linen panel
Plein air field study
An old farm building is surrounded by lofty eucalyptuses in Cambria. The marine layer had started to roll in, softening the contours of the landscape that day. Another quick study from our Central Coast California trip, with the California Art Club.
Cambria Lupine Flowers
8 x 6″ oil
Last spring, when we were in Central California with the California Art Club, we wandered through the countryside in search of wildflowers to paint. We came upon this beautiful hillside just covered with lupine and small orange flowers. The scent of the lupine was heady and I think the bees must have been drunk with it. As I painted this small study there was a constant buzzing sound around me. This study will provide information for a larger painting.
9 x 12 oil
Not too long ago I was at a botanical garden for an art show and a wedding was about to take place. It seemed like a beautiful romantic scene to paint, so we asked the wedding party if they would allow me to paint discreetly from the side. They graciously said yes and this was the result. The framed painting was delivered today to family members who are giving it as a gift. (You’ll notice I’m not mentioning the name of the garden or the family. Shhh, it’s a surprise.)
Usually when I do a plein air painting I try to portray an exact moment as it is – a shadow pattern at a specific time, a certain quality of light. Wedding paintings are somewhat different in that they are idealized renditions of an entire event. In this painting, by the time the bride and groom arrived after taking their pictures, there was little light left on plaza. Some of the guests said they were sorry that the wildflowers in the background were not blooming as they had been a month before. I told them – in my painting they’ll be blooming. Milford Zornes, the watercolorist, once said “paint it the way it could be.” When it comes to event painting, that is very good advice.