“December Dawn, Bishop, Eastern Sierra”
15 x 30 inches, oil painting on canvas
The inspiration for this new painting came one frosty morning on December 27, 2016, on our way home from a Christmas vacation with our family. My husband and I promised each other that as long as the sky was clear, we’d get up before dawn to see the alpenglow on the Sierra range. We were not disappointed. It was about 19F outside, but we were bundled up, and it was worth the effort. Ducks and coots were skimming over the water where it was not icy. We learned today that some eastern Sierra areas, namely Mammoth Lakes, received 18-19 feet of snow, to the joy of skiers. I’m glad that the mountains were not totally snow-covered when we were there. I like the way the sun turned the granite pink in contrast to the white of the snow.
“Along Highway One”
9 x 12 oil painting on plein air panel
This California landscape impressionist painting is from recent travels in the Central Coast, along Highway One, just a little north of Morro Bay.
Cypress trees are abundant in that area, and mix it up with the local oaks. Although the hills are brown and golden, typical for the summer, there is more grass evident than in the past few drought years.
Along the River Road
20 x 24 inches, oil on canvas
(The old river road, Monterey County, near Salinas)
This stretch of road is one of the prettiest in Central California for classic views incorporating mountains, golden fields and majestic oak trees. I painted the similar area before in “Fields of Gold,” and will no doubt return to that section of the state again and again.
Cathedral Beach, Yosemite Valley Autumn
12 x 16 inches, oil on canvas
This painting was done last fall based on my visit to Yosemite. As many times as we’ve been there through the years, I’d never caught it at exactly this time, and it was certainly glorious.
Cathedral Beach is on the left side of the Southside Drive, just beyond the El Capitan Bridge. It’s a popular picnic and swim area, with wide sandy beaches.
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.