Great Golden Spaces
15 x 30 inch oil painting on canvas
(California Central Coast, near Cambria)
This is the next in my series of California rolling hills paintings. This one is from the country around Cambria, and west of Paso Robles wine country. Painting these sculpturally curved places is a bit like putting together a complex jigsaw puzzle, but so much fun! You should see it in its gold frame which was custom made for it. Stunning!
“Los Olivos Twilight … with oak tree”
Backroads California impressionist oil painting
11 x 14 inches, oil on plein air linen panel
We attended a friend’s wedding in Los Olivos many years ago, and while we were in the area, we saw this remarkable sunset with incredibly vivid pinks, oranges and violets. The silhouette of the old oak tree made a lasting impression on me, and I’ve always wanted to paint the scene. If you look carefully, you can see golden grapevines on the left side of the road.
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California Golden Hills and Oaks
18 x 24 inches, oil on canvas
This is a theme and location that I will keep returning to — California’s beautiful rolling hills, studded with majestic live oak trees. The rain has been light this year, so the hills are not as green as we have seen them in the past; which means the swaying grasses will not be as tall this summer and fall. But it’s all a cycle and will be repeated again and again. I’ve even seen some of the local oaks starting to re-sprout that were scorched by last fall’s fire. Nature renews itself endlessly.
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.