Time and again I return to this area of the Eastern Sierra where the Mt. Whitney Portal road crosses the Owens Valley and leads up to the trailhead to Mt. Whitney. Many of my collectors have climbed that awesome peak once or more. November brings out a wonderful wildflower show which is worth seeing in person.
This painting was intended to be a centerpiece of spring 2020 shows, before the pandemic got in the way.
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“June Lake Beach – Eastern Sierra, California”
11 x 14 inch oil painting
You would think that with all the painting I’ve done in the Eastern Sierra that I would have spent some time at June Lake Beach, but this is a new location for me.
The autumn colors were starting to fade, but it still looked beautiful this year. I am hoping that with another good snowpack that the trees will be just as magnificent next year, and the lake at a high water mark, a welcome sight after all the drought years.
Our family has fond memories of the June Lake area as it was where we went skiing when our children were growing up. We haven’t been back to ski in many years, but I enjoy it still for painting and relaxing. Especially the Tiger Bar in town, right?
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18 x 24 oil painting on canvas
Early autumn on the June Lake Loop, Highway 395, Eastern Sierra
SOLD … but I have more Sierra paintings at Sierra Paintings
This painting is another in a series exploring the dramatic lighting effects that occur in the later afternoon when clouds form over the Sierra Nevada, casting shafts of light into the Owens Valley below. I love the interplay of warm and cool colors dancing across the near-autumnal landscape. The ever changing patterns create interesting compositional challenges which can best be solved in the studio.
14 x 18 inches
I recently read that because of the great deal of rain and snow the Sierra Nevada has received this past winter, that the melting snowpack may actually flood the Owens Valley, causing a different kind of disaster than the drought. Plans are being made to bring in equipment and experts to prevent flooding at Owens Lake. The surplus water may mean lower water bills for Southern California if the DWP doesn’t have to purchase extra water from the Metropolitan Water District.
I’m hoping that the extra water will bring relief to the suffering cottonwoods and aspens, which have been suffering these past years. When we travel through the area we see broken branches laying at the roots of many of these beautiful trees. I don’t remember seeing that in past years.
El Capitan Summer
9 x 12 inches
oil painting on oil primed linen
The view of El Capitan from the Merced River is one of my favorite sights in Yosemite. I always enjoy returning to paint there, any time of year. One of these days I’ll brave the elements and do a winter painting with snow capping the rocks. For now, the summer greens decorate the scene.
16 x 20 inches, oil on canvas
This painting is quite special to me as it was the 1000th one I completed. I thought I had posted it on my blog last year, but discovered that I missed it.
If you’ve been to Yosemite Valley, you’ll recognize the view from Sentinel Bridge, with Half Dome reflected in the calm waters. With our current snowmelt, I’m guessing that the Merced River is anything but calm right now.
See more Yosemite paintings at the link below:
Mt. Tom Springtime – Bishop, California
9 x 12 landscape oil painting on plein air panel
This was the first time I’ve been up in the Sierra to paint this season. I always look forward to seeing the first wildflowers blooming as the snow recedes.
I painted this along one of Bishop’s many agricultural canals. I set up under a cottonwood tree for a little shade, but as the wind picked up, I decided to move. There were too many broken branches on the ground for me to feel safe.
Stone and Stillness –
Twin Lakes, Mammoth Lakes, CA
9 x 12 oil on hardboard
This is a painting from this past summer when we visited Mammoth Lakes, California, which is probably now covered in snow.
The huge granite cliffs towering over Twin Lakes attracted me to the scene. If you’ve ever taken a canoe or small boat on the lake or gone fishing from the bridge, you probably have fond memories of the place, too. Every time we’ve been there – except in winter – there are always people enjoying the recreation.
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.
8 x 10 inches
oil painting of Sierra peaks
This painting is SOLD, but I have more … see the Sierra Nevada link below.
This small oil painting reminds us that sometimes the Sierra really is packed with snow, bringing water to all of California. I sure hope we get some rain soon – the drought is terrible now.
The location of this part of the range is in the upper Owens River Valley, not far from the Owens Gorge. The dry grasses and the cool snow shadows create a natural complementary color scheme.
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