“Grazing at Bishop”
9 x 12 inches
California landscape Oil Painting
A horse grazes in a small pasture in Bishop, California, in the Owens Valley at the foot of the Sierra Nevada. The sunlight burns through the clouds surrounding the distant Sierra mountains.
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(Antelope Valley Lancaster Poppy Preserve)
oil painting, 11 x 14 inches
Our winter rains remind me that it won’t be long before the Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve will be in full bloom, as it is in this 11 x 14 painting. The difficult thing about painting in the poppy area is the strong winds, which I experienced a few years ago painting out at the Tejon Ranch (the south side of the ranch property, facing Antelope Valley.) This year, if I go out there to paint again, I’ll have my new Soltek easel, which has a much wider stance than my favorite EasyL. At the Tejon I had to hold onto my EasyL with one hand to keep it from going over, but the painter next to me had a Soltek and it was rock solid. The disadvantage of the Soltek, however, is that the palette is much farther away from the painting. So, there are tradeoffs, as with most things.
Quiet Day on Carmel Bay
11 x 14 inch oil painting
It was a quiet day when we were on the Monterey Peninsula. There was a slight mist in the air which softened some of the colors. The waters of Carmel Bay truly reflected the word “Pacific” – peaceful. This view of Carmel Bay looks slightly to the south and Point Lobos, where I have painted before.
Grand Canyon Afternoon
Plein Air Oil Painting near Hopi Point, South Rim
9 x 12 oil painting
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The great thing about painting at Grand Canyon is that there’s a scene practically everywhere you look. The sculptural forms of the plateaus and cliffs constantly change color as the sun moves – which adds to its beauty and provides entertainment and frustration for the artist. Our first days at the canyon we looked for locations to paint, then returned on the third day to some favorite spots. My location for this painting was somewhere between Hopi Point and Powell Point on the south rim, rim trail.
The photo below shows a good example of the difference in color temperature between seeing a painting outdoors and indoors. The photo above was taken under indoor light (as it will be seen in a home or office.) Below, the painting as it appeared under natural (blue) daylight in shadow. As a rule I try to always photograph a painting as it will appear under normal home or office conditions.
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.
San Luis Obispo Creek
9 x 12 inch oil painting
(this view features a bridge over the creek. I chose an angle that did not show the cement walkways, as I prefer the natural look.)
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San Luis Obispo Creek winds through the Central California city of San Luis Obispo, before emptying into the Pacific Ocean near Avila Beach. Numerous restaurants line the banks of the creek, and if you eat on one of their patios during the summer, you’ll be treated to the sounds of a chorus of frogs. Occasionally steelhead trout can be seen in the waters. An annual cleanup day keeps the creek in good condition, a source of pride for the community.
Tournament House Rose Garden painting
(Home of the Tournament of Roses Association, Rose Parade organizer)
11 x 14 oil
Painted on commission
This new painting is intended as a Christmas gift from the lovely woman who commissioned it, for a very special gentleman. The rose garden was where they first met. Built in 1906, the Tournament House was purchased by chewing gum magnate Wm. Wrigley in 1914. The home was given to the city of Pasadena in 1958 for use by the Tournament Association. The centennial rose garden (seen here) is spectacular in full bloom. The painting represents it in early morning light.
Don’t you just love romantic stories? I know I do, and I get a special joy from making paintings that commemorate special events – like first dates, first meetings, places where proposals happened, and so forth.
If you’re considering giving a painting as a holiday gift, this is a very good time to get in touch as things get busier as the season draws closer.
Rancho Camulos Orange Grove
14 x 18 inches
oil on canvas
In the Santa Clara River Valley just northwest of Los Angeles (also known as Heritage Valley), there are numerous reminders that the old California of orange groves and agricultural fields is still very much with us. This scene was inspired by an orange grove growing near Rancho Camulos, along the highway 126 corridor.
I grew up in a house near orange groves, and I walked by them every morning on the way to the bus stop. There is something intoxicating about the scent of orange blossoms. I’m fortunate that our neighbor has numerous citrus trees in her back yard, and I still benefit from that wonderful smell whenever they are in bloom.