Cottonwood Breeze Owens Valley Sierra fall oil painting

“Cottonwood Breeze”
Owens Valley 14 x 18 inch oil painting
Eastern Sierra, California

Owens Valley was a blaze of color last fall. The cottonwoods fairly glittered in the sun. This is one of my favorite locations to paint, near Swall Meadow, Round Valley.
The blues and golds complement each other so well.

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Golden Panorama California rolling hills oaks oil painting

“Golden Panorama”
15 x 30 inches oil painting

I don’t usually paint in series, but lately I’ve been focusing on different explorations of California’s golden rolling oak covered hills. This is the first wide-format one that I’ve done. The other most recent ones were both 20 x 24 inches.

This painting represents the California Central Coast region, near Cambria, Morro Bay, Cayucos and Paso Robles. I wonder how much the oaks have recovered this year following the several years of drought.

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To Walk Through Hills of Gold California rolling hills oil painting landscape

To Walk Through Hills of Gold
18 x 24 inches
California landscape impressionist oil painting

This is another in my series of California hilly landscapes. This one is in the Central Coast area and features a large live oak tree, as well as smaller oaks in the background. This is a typical look from late May through December. After that time, the earliest rains start to make the hills green. This year we may see green sticking around for a little longer.

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Peak Performance – Mt. Emerson, Bishop, Sierra oil painting

Peak Performance
Mt Emerson, Bishop, California, Sierra Nevada range
California impressionist landscape oil painting
9 x 12 inch oil painting

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This plein air painting was painted last spring up in “Buttermilk Country” west of Bishop, in the foothills of the Eastern Sierra. We had as our guide a friend of ours who grew up in the area and knew every back road and one lane gullied path through the sagebrush. Eventually we ended up at this beautiful wilderness location.

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December Dawn, Bishop Sierra winter oil painting

“December Dawn, Bishop, Eastern Sierra”
15 x 30 inches, oil painting on canvas

The inspiration for this new painting came one frosty morning on December 27, 2016, on our way home from a Christmas vacation with our family. My husband and I promised each other that as long as the sky was clear, we’d get up before dawn to see the alpenglow on the Sierra range. We were not disappointed. It was about 19F outside, but we were bundled up, and it was worth the effort. Ducks and coots were skimming over the water where it was not icy. We learned today that some eastern Sierra areas, namely Mammoth Lakes, received 18-19 feet of snow, to the joy of skiers. I’m glad that the mountains were not totally snow-covered when we were there. I like the way the sun turned the granite pink in contrast to the white of the snow.

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Oak forest trail, California landscape, Tejon Ranch painting

Trail into Springtime
Tejon Ranch plein air oil painting
9 x 12 inches, oil on linen panel

One of California’s unspoiled treasures is the Tejon Ranch, north of Los Angeles and south of Bakersfield, up in the Los Padres Forest.
I had the pleasure to do some plein air painting there, and this is one of the pieces that came from the trip. Free range cattle roam through the hillsides, and you’re as likely to meet a steer as a rattlesnake or a cottontail rabbit. It’s Old California in the very best way. I’d love to get back there again sometime to paint.

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Remembering the Light – California Central Coast eucalyptus landscape oil painting, plein air style

Remembering the Light
California Central Coast eucalyptus sunset oil painting
16 x 20 inches, oil on canvas

There’s a place I like to go traveling up highway 101, where the eucalyptus trees grow so gracefully, sculpted by ocean breezes. No matter the time of day, the light seems to do amazing things with these trees. This one, in particular, catches my imagination with every visit.

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California landscape Santa Barbara Lagoon sunset oil painting

SOLD
Song of Still Waters
16 x 20 oil on canvas
Devereux Slough, Santa Barbara area

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Gold Rush Country Ranch California landscape oil painting

Gold Rush Country Ranch
20 x 24 inches
oil on canvas

This new painting depicts a ranch on highway 49, not far from Murphys, California. There was something about the sculptural mass of the big oak tree that really spoke to me. Although I most commonly paint eucalyptus, I find live oak trees irresistible as well. I haven’t spent as much time painting Gold Rush country as I have the eastern Sierra and California’s Central Coast, but it’s really starting to grow on me. Maybe it’s all that gold?

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Russian River oil painting

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.

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