Mariposa Meadow – Sierra foothills California landscape oil painting

“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.

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California poppy oil painting – plein air poppies


“Plein Air Poppies”
6 x 8 inches, oil on plein air canvas panel

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.

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Below, a few pictures of the work in progress



Overlooking Ojai Valley California landscape oil painting

Overlooking the Ojai Valley
8 x 10 oil on linen plein air panel

This new painting features a view of the beautiful Ojai Valley, a verdant agricultural area northwest of Los Angeles, in Ventura County. The viewpoint is looking southward from the north part of the valley. Orange trees are in abundance there. It’s late afternoon, a few hours before sunset.

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California landscape oil painting – Across the Poppy Fields

Across the Poppy Fields
6 x 8 inches, oil

How about a little brightness and color as we’re approaching winter? This miniature poppy painting will cheer up a quiet corner in your home or office. Perhaps a gift for a flower loving friend? This impressionistic landscape was inspired by a spring trip to the Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve, near Lancaster, California. What I love about painting poppy fields is the natural complementary colors (orange and blue) that are always present in this area. Framing available!

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Vintage oak – vineyard oak tree oil painting – California landscape

Vintage Oak – Vineyard oil painting
12 x 16 inches, oil on canvas

I never tire of painting oak trees, or vineyards, for that matter. So here’s a new painting that combines both in one composition. From a California hilltop, the vines stretch in all directions, resting after the “crush.” The late afternoon sun gives the vines and hillside a warm glow. Inspired by vineyards in Temecula and the California Central Coast.

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Gold Rush Country Ranch California landscape oil painting

Gold Rush Country Ranch
20 x 24 inches
oil on canvas

This new painting depicts a ranch on highway 49, not far from Murphys, California. There was something about the sculptural mass of the big oak tree that really spoke to me. Although I most commonly paint eucalyptus, I find live oak trees irresistible as well. I haven’t spent as much time painting Gold Rush country as I have the eastern Sierra and California’s Central Coast, but it’s really starting to grow on me. Maybe it’s all that gold?

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California vineyard landscape oil painting – A Taste of Sonoma

“A Taste of Sonoma”
Original impressionist oil painting of a Sonoma vineyard
18 x 24 inches

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This is another in my series of vineyards from around California. This time, Sonoma is the featured area. Some time this fall, I’ll be traveling to the mother of all beautiful vineyard-covered countrysides … Tuscany. And yes, I’ll be bringing the easel. I can hardly wait.

California landscape eucalyptus painting with poppies Scent of Springtime

The Scent of Springtime
8 x 10 oil painting
California Central Coast

I love the contrast of dark green eucalyptus trees and bright wildflowers. This California Central coast scene gave me the opportunity to paint both.

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Hillside Sycamores California landscape oil painting

“Hillside Sycamores”
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.

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California landscape – Eaton Canyon with San Gabriels oil painting

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Eaton Canyon with San Gabriels
6 x 8 inches
oil on canvas

This little study is from September, when the summer grasses were showing a wide range of colors. Water runs through this area and is collected into a settling basin which recharges a local aquifer. Nature’s soft pastels seem to harmonize under the late summer sun.