Trail into Springtime
Tejon Ranch plein air oil painting
9 x 12 inches, oil on linen panel
One of California’s unspoiled treasures is the Tejon Ranch, north of Los Angeles and south of Bakersfield, up in the Los Padres Forest.
I had the pleasure to do some plein air painting there, and this is one of the pieces that came from the trip. Free range cattle roam through the hillsides, and you’re as likely to meet a steer as a rattlesnake or a cottontail rabbit. It’s Old California in the very best way. I’d love to get back there again sometime to paint.
The Light in the Forest (California redwoods)
16 x 20 inch oil painting
These magnificent Sequoia redwoods are growing in the Armstrong Grove in Northern California, not far from Guerneville, which is on the Russian River. It is an old growth forest, protected, and will never be cut down. I love being in the redwoods and I love painting them, too. They impart a certain feeling of peace, grandeur and spirituality that is almost overwhelming. I try to capture the feeling of being there in every redwood painting that I do.
Let me know if you are interested in a redwood theme in perhaps a larger size. I do a lot of painting on commission, and the redwoods are one of my favorite subjects.
Descanso Rose Garden, Summer Pathway
11 x 14 inches, oil on plein air panel
Painted at Descanso Gardens, La Canada, California
Descanso Gardens is the closest botanical garden to our home, and it’s my go-to place whenever I want to do some plein air painting in an expansive and beautiful setting. This pathway is one that I have painted through the seasons and from different viewpoints. The San Gabriel Mountains can be seen in the distance, which also tower over our own home. The international rosarium is not only a rose garden but also contains many other perennials and flowering shrubs. It’s just a peaceful place to visit, and in which to picnic on selected summer evenings.
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.
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 …
“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.
“California Flower Fields” (Heritage Valley)
8 x 10 inches, oil on linen plein air panel
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 …
“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.
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.
Below, a few pictures of the work in progress
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.