15 x 30 inches oil painting
I don’t usually paint in series, but lately I’ve been focusing on different explorations of California’s golden rolling oak covered hills. This is the first wide-format one that I’ve done. The other most recent ones were both 20 x 24 inches.
This painting represents the California Central Coast region, near Cambria, Morro Bay, Cayucos and Paso Robles. I wonder how much the oaks have recovered this year following the several years of drought.
Carmel Bay Shimmer
8 x 10 inches, oil painting on plein air panel
Carmel Bay, Monterey County California
This new painting features one of my favorite ocean scenes – Carmel Bay on the Monterey Peninsula. This viewpoint is looking southward across the bay toward Monastery Beach. The Carmel River enters the bay on the left. I’m not sure what kind of rocks these are – they seem harder than sandstone or I think they’d be more worn away … but they are certainly rounded into interesting shapes via wave action. There’s something about them that reminds me of Henry Moore sculptures.
To Walk Through Hills of Gold
18 x 24 inches
California landscape impressionist oil painting
This is another in my series of California hilly landscapes. This one is in the Central Coast area and features a large live oak tree, as well as smaller oaks in the background. This is a typical look from late May through December. After that time, the earliest rains start to make the hills green. This year we may see green sticking around for a little longer.
“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.
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.
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.
“Oaks Guarding Oranges”
9 x 12 oil painting
California Central Coast, near Cayucos
Through the years, some of our most enjoyable travels have been along the many backroads that criss cross California. This small road goes inland from Cayucos, just a little north of Morro Bay. Closer to the water, the marine layer softens all the edges. The fog is soft and gray. As we drive inland, the fog burns off and takes on other colors. There are many orange and avocado groves along these country roads, which proves that the area does not often get frost. But it is hot as blazes in the summer. We will commonly see eucalyptus trees used as windbreaks to protect orange groves, but along this road the California live oak trees were doing the job.
9 x 12 inches
California impressionist plein air oil painting
In the springtime, the warmer weather invites me to do more plein air painting, and to visit areas where the trees and flowers are bursting with life. And nowhere is that more apparent than in California’s Central Coast, in San Luis Obispo County. These sycamores were growing in a little clump on the side of a hill, with last year’s sage at their feet. It was late in the day, and within a half an hour the trees were starting to be covered with shadows.
Oak Tree Meadow
12 x 16 inches
Oil on canvas
The area around Paso Robles is one of my favorite California locations – from the vineyards to the ranches to the oak covered hills. This new painting is from the area near Lake Nacimiento/Jolon. I think scenes like this look best in the late afternoon or in the early morning, when colors are their richest.
Cloud Shadows, Edna Valley
16 x 20 oil painting on canvas
In the early fall, the vineyards of the Edna Valley, in San Luis Obispo County, are heavy with fruit. Days are filled with blue skies and white puffy clouds racing across the sky.