(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.
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.)
Interested in this painting? See more of my California Central Coast paintings here
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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.
8 x 10 inches
I love paintings sunsets, and eucalyptus. These eucs near Pepperdine University at Malibu, California, were a natural subject choice for me.
San Luis Obispo Flower Fields
9 x 12
oil on linen plein air panel
This is one of the paintings that I did for the San Luis Obispo Plein Air Festival, sponsored by the San Luis Obispo Museum of Art.
It was painted the first day of the paint out, bright and early Monday morning, along a rural road. A photographer for SLO City News saw me painting by the side of the road and spent some time taking pictures of the work in progress. It was a nice surprise to find out that it made the cover of the paper …
8 x 10 oil on linen plein air panel
This painting was painted for the 2012 San Luis Obispo Plein Air Festival and hung in the San Luis Obispo Museum of Art.
The official festival stamp is on the back side. Sycamores are among our most beautiful California trees, and in the fall they are especially radiant as the colors change.
The active brushwork indicates the way the breeze stirs the leaves of the tree. The use of transparent color creates a luminosity that makes the leaves glow as though light was shining through them.
“Meanwhile, at the Hacienda”
9 x 12 oil on linen panel
plein air painting – painted at Mission San Antonio de Padua
California Central Coast area
During the California Art Club paint out at the mission, I came upon this small guest house which intrigued me as a painting subject. In the late afternoon light, I could imagine it as an old California adobe, cool inside in spite of the surrounding heat. Some early model chickens miraculously appeared where a late model car had been.
Mission San Antonio Morning
(San Antonio de Padua, California Central Coast, northwest of Paso Robles)
9 x 12 inches
Oil on linen plein air panel
In early June 2012, I joined a group of other California Art Club artists to paint at Mission San Antonio de Padua, a California mission that is the most “untouched” of the chain. Although some outbuildings and residential quarters have been added, the setting is very much as it might have been hundreds of years ago. This side of the building, the facade where one enters the church, remains much as it was in the early years. By mid day this was all in shade, so morning is the time to catch it. We were up before dawn getting set up to capture the light. We were warned several times to watch out for rattlesnakes. It’s easy to become so focused on what you’re painting that you might not notice one that’s emerged from a hole while you are painting. I didn’t see one, thankfully, but I was certainly careful where I stepped.