Yosemite Falls in Summer
18 x 24 inches, vertical
Oil on canvas
At more than 2400 feet high, from the top of the upper falls to the base of the lower falls, Yosemite Falls is the tallest waterfall in the continental United States. Peak water flow comes in late spring to early summer, the time that this was painted. The falls are fed by Yosemite Creek, and after the water leaves the falls, it joins the Merced River on its course out of the valley.
The challenge in painting a waterfall is to capture the soft edges of mist that perpetually rise from the thundering flow. Paint the edge too hard and the falls look like a cutout. Paint the edge too softly, and it looks like a big cottonball.
“A Taste of Sonoma”
Original impressionist oil painting of a Sonoma vineyard
18 x 24 inches
This is another in my series of vineyards from around California. This time, Sonoma is the featured area. Some time this fall, I’ll be traveling to the mother of all beautiful vineyard-covered countrysides … Tuscany. And yes, I’ll be bringing the easel. I can hardly wait.
“Oaks Guarding Oranges”
9 x 12 oil painting
California Central Coast, near Cayucos
Through the years, some of our most enjoyable travels have been along the many backroads that criss cross California. This small road goes inland from Cayucos, just a little north of Morro Bay. Closer to the water, the marine layer softens all the edges. The fog is soft and gray. As we drive inland, the fog burns off and takes on other colors. There are many orange and avocado groves along these country roads, which proves that the area does not often get frost. But it is hot as blazes in the summer. We will commonly see eucalyptus trees used as windbreaks to protect orange groves, but along this road the California live oak trees were doing the job.
“Jack and Lucy”
Norfolk Terrier double portrait
12 x 16 inches, original oil painting
These adorable dogs were the subjects of a recent portrait commission for a long-time client and friend of mine. Her two dogs are getting up there in years, and she thought it was a good time to have their portraits done for posterity. Lucy, on the left, is the younger of the two. Jack, on the right, is eleven, I believe. Jack had already had his summer haircut, but Lucy had not.
Now, there’s no way you can get two dogs to pose and hold a pose with the light on them “just so” … so every portrait begins with a photo session. That involves a fair amount of crawling around on the ground to shoot them from the right angle. My husband and I were shooting simultaneously, to maximize the number of reference photos we’d get before the dogs ran out of energy or patience with us. The next step was to edit the pictures in Photoshop to put together a composite where the light and direction of their gaze was consistent. After client approval of the reference composite, it just comes down to the painting, which was very enjoyable.
If you’re interested in having a portrait done of your favorite pet, please write.
Click this link to write me.
Russian River Drifting
8 x 10 inch
Original oil painting on panel
The Russian River, in Northern California, near Guerneville, is a wide tranquil river (in summer at least) where people come to swim and float rafts, and to kayak. Our daughter did a 2 mile swim in it one July a few years ago when she was participating in “Barb’s Race” triathlon. A wet suit helped keep out the cold.
Napili Beach Waves, Maui, Hawaii
16 x 20 inches
oil on canvas
This painting comes from our vacation in Hawaii last year, where we enjoyed some time on Maui as well as Kauai. Napili Bay is a lovely lagoon on West Maui, a little north of Lahaina. It features a beautiful soft sandy beach, tide pools, shallow water for wading and excellent snorkeling. Across the bay you can see the island of Molokai, which I featured in this painting. I’m guessing that this is a popular wedding destination, it’s so beautiful.
What attracted me to this scene, other than the gorgeous turquoise water, was the huge thunderhead which was building up over Molokai.