California desert wildflowers landscape painting – Anza Borrego

“Desert Wildflowers”
14 x 18 inches, oil on canvas
Anza Borrego State Park, California

Down a dusty desert road and up a canyon in Anza Borrego State Park, we came upon a beautiful scene tucked out of the way. The desert was blooming with color. Although the rain had not been plentiful it was enough to germinate the seeds that brought these flowers. And they were fun to paint …

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California landscape eucalyptus painting – Beside Still Waters

“Beside Still Waters”
18 x 24 inch oil painting
On the road to Yosemite, through California’s Central Valley

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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.

California impressionist flower field landscape painting

“California Flower Fields” (Heritage Valley)
8 x 10 inches, oil on linen plein air panel
Available

It’s a glorious springtime in Southern California. Last weekend we were wandering in an agricultural area near Ventura and happened upon a field where the farmer was growing flowers. He invited me in to take a closer look – it was only partly visible from the road. This was the result …

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Mariposa Meadow – Sierra foothills California landscape oil painting

“Mariposa Meadow – Trabucco Gardens with wildflowers”
9 x 12 inches, oil on plein air panel

When spring comes to the Western Sierra foothills, the meadows light up with color. Goldfields, a small yellow flower, mixes it up with lupine and white popcorn flowers. Valley oaks, now garbed in green, provide a backdrop for the tapestry. This scene was from an area along the Golden Chain Highway, otherwise known as state highway 49, I believe. A nearby sign said “Trabucco Gardens,” so I believe they may be the owner of this spectacular property. This time of year you can set up an easel just about anywhere in California and find beauty to capture.

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California poppy oil painting – plein air poppies


“Plein Air Poppies”
6 x 8 inches, oil on plein air canvas panel

This was painted in Lancaster near the Poppy Reserve in Southern California’s Antelope Valley. It was late in the day and the colors were just getting more and more intense as I kept working on it, making changes and modifications.

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Below, a few pictures of the work in progress



Asilomar – Monterey seascape plein air oil painting – California impressionist art

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.

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Truckee snowbank – Lake Tahoe river landscape painting

“Truckee Snowbank”
12 x 16 oil painting on canvas

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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 – California eastern sierra Mt. Tom autumn oil painting

“Bishop Poplars, 2014″
14 x 18 oil on canvas

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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.

Overlooking Ojai Valley California landscape oil painting

Overlooking the Ojai Valley
8 x 10 oil on linen plein air panel

This new painting features a view of the beautiful Ojai Valley, a verdant agricultural area northwest of Los Angeles, in Ventura County. The viewpoint is looking southward from the north part of the valley. Orange trees are in abundance there. It’s late afternoon, a few hours before sunset.

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California high desert Valyermo oil painting “High Desert Color”

“High Desert Color”
9 x 12 inches, oil painting on plein air panel
Valyermo, California
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’.

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