“Eaton Canyon Hike”
Eaton Canyon, Altadena – San Gabriel Mountains
9 x 12 oil painting on linen plein air panel
In fall, when the sycamores turn, Eaton Canyon reveals its dusky side. We’ve recently had some beautiful cloud formations – it’s an early harbinger of fall. Soon the chaparral will put on its own fall finery. This trailhead starts near the parking lot, skirts the west side of the canyon and continues northward for several miles.
“When Day is Done”
8 x 10
California landscape oil painting on plein air panel
Pasadena Arroyo Seco – Hahamongna Park – eucalyptus trees grow against a backdrop of the San Gabriel mountains, glowing in sunset light.
“San Gabriel Springtime”
18 x 24 oil painting on canvas
San Gabriel Mountains – near Claremont Wilderness Park, Padua Hills
Although this painting is sold, I have other landscapes.
Click this link to write me. See more of my paintings on my website
Spring arrives with new growth in the chapparal. Clouds race across the sky, allowing shafts of sunlight to illuminate the blooming hills, bright with wildflowers. Trails wind through the landscape, offering new views at every turn.
The moon serenely rises over a pond in the Arroyo Seco, San Gabriel Valley, CA. I intentionally kept this within a limited color range to capture the twilight mood. I’ve really been enjoying painting a lot of water lately. Look for more of those paintings here soon.
San Gabriel Mountains
8 x 10 inches oil on plein air panel
California is colorful all year long, not only in the springtime. Summer and fall wildflowers include buckwheat and other chapparal natives. It’s an earth-tone palette, full of greens, russets, umbers and golds. The buckwheat, when it dries, is a good match for burnt sienna.
I never tire of painting the tapestry of plant life that covers our rolling hills and mountains. The California Native Plant Society is a good resource for learning about our drought tolerant beauties.
Here’s how the painting might look in a dark frame that picks up the colors in the painting, with warm touches of coppery-gold.
I haven’t talked about framing too often here, but it’s true that the frame can have a big impact on how a painting looks. Compare how the same painting, on the same colored background appears in a gold carved frame. The dark frame creates a more rustic look, which might be appropriate for a home with western accents. The gold frame creates a lighter, more elegant appearance. Which do you think works best? Do you like seeing one of my paintings with framing suggestions, as opposed to just seeing the painting by itself?
“Trail through the Foothills”
9 x 12 oil painting
The sunlight floods the Crescenta Canada Valley in the early morning. Oak trees and other chapparal scrub frame a view of tranquility. Down below, people are gearing up to get to work. Up here, it is a reminder of how the valley used to look before it was developed, back when the early California impressionists painted. it. Remnants of buckwheat provide a warm contrast to the cool blue shadows.
“The Canyon Calls”
(Eaton Canyon, Pasadena/Altadena area)
9 x 12 inches oil painting on canvas
Nourished by the waters gushing out of the San Gabriel Mountains, Eaton Canyon explodes into delirious bloom – the wild mustard in shades of yellow and purple duking it out with penstemon and purple nightshade. With each bend of the trail – through the nature center area or up in the wilder parts, new vistas are revealed. Watch out for rattlesnakes and poison oak, though. This is wild country – and only partly tamed by trailbuilders.
11 x 14 oil painting on hardboard panel
Eaton Canyon, near Pasadena, California
I started this plein air painting a few years ago and got distracted with other things and didn’t finish it up. Now that it’s almost springtime again, it seemed like a good time to revisit it and complete it. Since then, I’ve bought an artworks essentials EasyL which is much easier to transport, and doesn’t require a separate easelmate to hold things, like this Yarka did. I like the fact that I can raise the tripod with the Easy L so I’m not looking down at the painting. I’m tall and I always ended up with a backache at the end of the day from slightly bending over at the waist. A good friend of mine said that the Yarka is great for carrying pastels outdoors, however, so I might set it up with that. Almost every plein air painter I know has a collection of easels that they try, in search of the perfect one. The biggest advantage of this old Russian Yarka is that it’s light and sets up in about 1 minute. The down side is its height and lack of adaptability to carry wet panels of all sizes.
“Can Spring Be Far Away?”
8 x 10 plein air oil painting on linen panel
San Gabriel Mountains, California native plants
Near La Canada Flintridge
These days the sycamores are beginning to show a little color. (Those trees in the background with white trunks.)
The buckwheat is putting on green growth (the shrubby bushes in the foreground) and the live oaks even look a little fresher around the edges, even though they never really lose their leaves like their deciduous friends. (Oaks are on the right side.)
Yup, the signs are all there that spring is on the way – which arrives earlier in California than most of the country, sorry about that. The joggers have abandoned their heavy sweatshirts, and a few souls are running in shorts.
11 x 14 inches – oil on canvas
This is a plein air painting that I did a few years ago, and somehow it escaped being photographed and posted to my blog. A recent conversation prompted me to revisit it and I discovered that it was missing from my site.
Not too long ago we renewed our Huntington membership and I’m looking forward to visiting again when the camellias are in bloom. On a trip a few weeks ago, they had a California landscape exhibit which I enjoyed, along with other permanent collection work in the Paul and Heather Sturt Haaga gallery. If you live in Southern California and you’re not a member of the Huntington, what are you waiting for?