9 x 12 inch oil painting
on wood panel
In late winter, California fields and meadows think it’s spring. The first bit of rain brings back the green grass and a scattering of flowers.
I decided to paint this one with a secondary triadic color scheme, ignoring some of the actual color in favor of adding a bit of harmony from a limited palette.
That means, in non art-speak, that I chose to impose a color scheme upon the scene rather than painting exactly what nature gave me. And the color scheme I chose uses not primary colors (red yellow and blue) but the secondary colors they can be mixed to produce – orange, green and violet.
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.
“Beside Still Waters”
18 x 24 inch oil painting
On the road to Yosemite, through California’s Central Valley
This scene has intrigued me from when I first saw it a few years ago, in the spring. California’s Central Valley was green with a plentitude of winter rain, and the distant Sierra foothills provided a beautiful cool contrast to the warm wildflower covered foreground. The pond, which seemed to be dammed up for cattle grazing, looked so inviting. If it wasn’t on fenced off private property, I would have liked to sit by it and dangle my feet in that cool fresh water. Eucalputus remain among my favorite trees to paint, although they are less plentiful the further you drive to the foothills. Oaks seem to dominate there. The day we were there, the clouds were drifting by constantly, creating beautiful shadows which I took full advantage of.
“One Brilliant Moment”
9 x 12 inch oil painting
California poppies, Lancaster Poppy Reserve
This past week was peak bloom time for the poppies of the Lancaster Poppy Reserve, just north of Los Angeles. Painting there is an annual pleasure for me and in spite of the drought, the poppies didn’t disappoint. This is one of the paintings that came out of that trip. Another will be posted here soon.
Asilomar Waves (Near Pacific Grove, Monterey Peninsula, California)
8 x 10 inches, plein air oil painting
In the past few weeks, I had the opportunity to travel up and down California’s west coast, enjoying the spring wildflowers and the clear skies over the oceans. One of my favorite painting spots is Asilomar, near Pacific Grove, on the Monterey Peninsula. My little Strada mini easel set up so quickly I was painting in no time. Whenever I paint ocean scenes, it takes more time to get into the rhythm of the scene. With other landscapes there’s little movement except for perhaps cloud shadows. The ocean is a whole different challenge and its dynamic nature takes more concentration.
For the last several years, we’ve headed up to Lake Tahoe between December and February to take in the beautiful sights. This year we spent Christmas there with our family, and although there was a fair amount of overcast and snowy skies, the blue peeked through now and then. I am always a pushover for strong complements in landscapes and this riverside scene provided some of the colors I love best.
“Bishop Poplars, 2014″
14 x 18 oil on canvas
We try to visit the eastern Sierra every fall/winter … sometimes several times if we can. One of the highlights is seeing the cottonwoods and poplars turning gold in the area near Swall Meadow/ Round Valley, just to the north and west of Bishop. In this painting, the iconic triangular Mt. Tom can be seen in the distance.
“High Desert Color”
9 x 12 inches, oil painting on plein air panel
Antelope Valley High Desert area
After our welcome rains that came a few days ago, my husband and I saw the sky was still filled with beautiful cumulus clouds – the kind we see around here too infrequently. So we decided to take a drive up to the high desert to see the wide open spaces. It was a picture perfect day and we found ourselves in the small community of Valyermo. Although the wind and rain may have taken away some of the glory of the cottonwoods, there was still some color left, and the paint brush took care of the bare spots.
This is a view of one of those cottonwood groves. I liked the contrast of the yellow golds against the blue violet mountains in the background. Those happen to be the San Gabriels, the closest range to our home. So now I’ve painted them from ‘both sides, now’.
Bluebonnets and Oak Trees
9 x 12 inches
oil on linen plein air panel
Another springtime painting, from my plein air travels in past years. I think the blues and violets of the bluebonnets (lupine) go well with the yellows and greens of fresh spring leaves.
Here’s how it might look in a nice dark walnut stained frame:
Moonstone Beach, Cambria
6 x 8 inch miniature oil painting
Seasons come and go, but Moonstone Beach seems to look pretty much the same through the year (with the exception of some of the dune foliage, that is.) This is a place that I love to paint often. The first time I came here was during a paintout with the California Art Club, and I’ve returned many times through the years.