Huntington Gardens Temple of Love oil painting San Marino

Huntington Gardens Temple of Love
9 x 12 inch oil painting
San Marino, California

This California plein air impressionist landscape painting features the Temple of Love on the grounds of the Huntington Museum Botanical Gardens.
Adjacent to the famous Rose Garden, the temple is framed by a Montezuma Cypress (not a weeping willow). The seeds of the tree came from Argentina – yes, it was grown from seed in the early years of the garden.


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Bishop Moonrise Owens Valley Sierra nocturne oil painting

Bishop Moonrise
9 x 12 inch oil painting
Near Bishop, California, Eastern Sierra

We were out by the Owens River, close to some seasonal ponds, when we saw the moon rise over the White Mountains.
I loved the beauty and serenity of the scene and this painting is the result. The pale light illuminated the sage and other native grasses and shrubs. Only the quiet gurgling of the river and nocturnal birds could be heard.


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Delphinium Dance – Huntington Botanical Gardens oil painting San Marino

“Delphinium Dance”
Huntington Botanical Gardens, Scott Gallery, San Marino, California
16 x 20 inches oil painting on canvas

The Huntington Library is beautiful any time of year, but I have a personal preference for spring when everything is in full bloom.
The Rose Gardens are legendary, but I was also attracted to this meandering path to the Scott Gallery. Tall delphiniums in white, lavender, blue and rose bend and sway in the gentle breezes.


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Almost Sunset – Eaton Canyon Altadena California landscape oil painting

“Almost Sunset – Eaton Canyon”
16 x 20 inches
Oil painting on canvas

Eaton Canyon has been our local go-to place for walking and hiking ever since our children were little.
We remember the wildflower walkabouts in spring, the crisp air in fall. And oh, the beautiful oaks.
We’re seen some old oaks fall away and be replaced by new saplings, the circle of life.
I think it’s most beautiful at sunset when the warm western glow lights up the San Gabriels.


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Cottonwood breeze Owens Valley Sierra California landscape painting

“Cottonwood Breeze”
14 x 18 inches

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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.

Los Olivos Twilight, with oak tree California impressionist oil painting

“Los Olivos Twilight … with oak tree”
Backroads California impressionist oil painting
11 x 14 inches, oil on plein air linen panel

We attended a friend’s wedding in Los Olivos many years ago, and while we were in the area, we saw this remarkable sunset with incredibly vivid pinks, oranges and violets. The silhouette of the old oak tree made a lasting impression on me, and I’ve always wanted to paint the scene. If you look carefully, you can see golden grapevines on the left side of the road.


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California Golden Hills and Oak Trees oil painting

California Golden Hills and Oaks
18 x 24 inches, oil on canvas

This is a theme and location that I will keep returning to — California’s beautiful rolling hills, studded with majestic live oak trees. The rain has been light this year, so the hills are not as green as we have seen them in the past; which means the swaying grasses will not be as tall this summer and fall. But it’s all a cycle and will be repeated again and again. I’ve even seen some of the local oaks starting to re-sprout that were scorched by last fall’s fire. Nature renews itself endlessly.


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Naturally Napa – California vineyard impressionist oil painting

“Naturally Napa”
12 x 16 inches
Oil on canvas

This recent painting was completed before the terrible wildfires swept through the Napa and Sonoma areas. I was afraid to look at the fire maps for fear that this beautiful vineyard, quite close to the city of Napa, had been harmed. Thankfully, it seems to have survived just fine. I look forward to my next painting trip to the area.

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El Capitan Summer Yosemite oil painting

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.


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Sunny Day, Laguna Beach seascape oil painting

“Sunny Day, Laguna Beach”
12 x 16 inches, oil painting

This plein air style painting was fun to paint, capturing the breezy, easy warmth and salt spray of Laguna Beach, California. Marine paintings and seascapes always take me to a happy place.
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