Maricopa Point View
Grand Canyon Maricopa Point south rim plein air oil painting
8 x 10 inches
Oil on linen plein air panel
See more Grand Canyon paintings here
Just a few days ago we returned from a holiday trip to the Grand Canyon, one of the great natural wonders of the world. I had never seen it covered in winter snow, and I had planned ahead with all my plein air gear. It was near freezing that morning on the South Rim, which kept the snow crisp and fresh. Later in the day a cold wind moved in and I had to layer up even more. It’s surprising how cold you get when you aren’t hiking or moving around.
I set up my easel near Maricopa Point, on the South Rim, along the Rim Trail. In the distance you can see a bit of Wotan’s Throne, an enormous mesa that is adjacent to the north rim at Cape Royal. My husband shot some video of me working on this painting, which I’ll post when we get it edited.
Because I’m almost as passionate about nature and learning as I am about painting, I found it fascinating to know that the top layers of the Grand Canyon (from the Jurassic period) have already been eroded away, so the only fossils embedded in the rocks are from the pre-dinosaur era. One finds trilobites, ferns, dragonflies, etc. but no T-rex bones.
Pear Tree at the Old Mill
12 x 9 oil painting on linen
El Molino Viejo, in San Marino, California is an old adobe building where historically there was a grist mill. Growing around the far side of the building is a wonderful pear tree which continues to bear fruit in season. I’m guessing it’s a dwarf variety, and probably does not date back to the age of the building. But I think it adds a bit of old California charm to the location, along with the pomegranate trees. It suggests the kinds of trees that were abundant in California missions.
“Sunrise at Malibu Lagoon”
18 x 24 oil painting on canvas
Malibu Lagoon, in Malibu, California is currently undergoing restoration. There were heated arguments regarding whether or not this wetland habitat should be rehabilitated or left as is. I’m not a Malibu resident so I didn’t follow it closely, but it seemed as though good points were made on both sides. At any rate, I hope that one day it returns to its former beauty, as I visualized it here. Wildlife was abundant … and it was lush and beautiful at any time of day, but especially early morning and at sunset.
Morro Bay High Tide
Plein air painting 8 x 10 oil on canvas
Near Los Osos, Baywood, CA
This is one of my favorite spots to paint whenever I go to the San Luis Obispo area. I think it just captures the feeling of this quiet coastal area with eucalyptus trees, Morro Bay, Morro Rock and watercraft. This painting has the official stamp of the San Luis Obispo Plein Air Festival on the reverse side.