14 x 18 inches
I recently read that because of the great deal of rain and snow the Sierra Nevada has received this past winter, that the melting snowpack may actually flood the Owens Valley, causing a different kind of disaster than the drought. Plans are being made to bring in equipment and experts to prevent flooding at Owens Lake. The surplus water may mean lower water bills for Southern California if the DWP doesn’t have to purchase extra water from the Metropolitan Water District.
I’m hoping that the extra water will bring relief to the suffering cottonwoods and aspens, which have been suffering these past years. When we travel through the area we see broken branches laying at the roots of many of these beautiful trees. I don’t remember seeing that in past years.
Owens Valley 14 x 18 inch oil painting
Eastern Sierra, California
Owens Valley was a blaze of color last fall. The cottonwoods fairly glittered in the sun. This is one of my favorite locations to paint, near Swall Meadow, Round Valley.
The blues and golds complement each other so well.
Mt Emerson, Bishop, California, Sierra Nevada range
California impressionist landscape oil painting
9 x 12 inch oil painting
This plein air painting was painted last spring up in “Buttermilk Country” west of Bishop, in the foothills of the Eastern Sierra. We had as our guide a friend of ours who grew up in the area and knew every back road and one lane gullied path through the sagebrush. Eventually we ended up at this beautiful wilderness location.
Mt. Tom Springtime – Bishop, California
9 x 12 landscape oil painting on plein air panel
This was the first time I’ve been up in the Sierra to paint this season. I always look forward to seeing the first wildflowers blooming as the snow recedes.
I painted this along one of Bishop’s many agricultural canals. I set up under a cottonwood tree for a little shade, but as the wind picked up, I decided to move. There were too many broken branches on the ground for me to feel safe.
“Bishop Poplars, 2014”
14 x 18 oil on canvas
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.
Autumn at McGee Creek
8 x 10 oil on plein air panel
Just north of Mammoth, McGee Creek winds up into the Sierra. Its banks are lined with aspens, now turning every shade of yellow and gold.
This original oil painting features the coming of autumn at its most colorful.
South Lake, Bishop, California
11 x 14 original oil painting on canvas
This is a painting of South Lake, west of Bishop, up Bishop Creek, in the Eastern Sierra Range.
Apparently fall is the best time for fishing at South Lake. We saw a lot of fisherman around the lake when we were there.
(Wowona Tunnel view)
12 x 16 California impressionist oil painting on canvas
Iconic of California’s Sierra Range, the Yosemite valley is a treasure for all Californians. This painting depicts the valley in the summer, when Bridalveil falls is still putting out an immense volume from the previous year’s snowmelt.
El Capitan can be seen on the left. The Merced River (invisible) flows through the valley but is covered by the trees from this view. Half Dome is visible in the far distance, along with Cloud’s Rest. The large formations in the right foreground are the Cathedral Rocks.
“Fall at Convict Lake”
12 x 16
oil on canvas
Convict Lake is one of the most accessible High Sierra lakes – and in the fall, when the aspens turn color, it’s especially captivating. Some day I’ll spend the whole day there, just watching the light play across the faces of the granite mountains, as the clouds slowly drift, disappear and reform. I’m not sure what kind of fish were biting that day, but there were a lot of fishermen enjoying the freshness of fall.
“Blue Skies Ahead”
16 x 20 oil painting
(near Swall Meadows, historic Paradise Camp, outside of Bishop, California)
This road, I believe, is Lower Rock Creek Road, also known as the old Sherwin Grade Road, which parallels today’s Highway 395. I painted this a few years ago, and revisited it recently, since my work has evolved considerably since then. I find it interesting that sometimes when people ask (and they always do) “how long did that take you to paint?” That sometimes the answer is “years.” It certainly is in this case.
This is not an uncommon practice among serious painters. Sometimes you just need some time and distance on a painting to resolve certain areas, or to see color and value differently. Upon revisiting this painting, the sky is very much the same, but the land areas are completely repainted. Many influences move through our lives – teachers, books we read, shows we go to, artists we admire, experiences we have in working things out ourselves. Every painting is the cumulation of experience to date.