San Luis Obispo Creek
9 x 12 inch oil painting
(this view features a bridge over the creek. I chose an angle that did not show the cement walkways, as I prefer the natural look.)
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San Luis Obispo Creek winds through the Central California city of San Luis Obispo, before emptying into the Pacific Ocean near Avila Beach. Numerous restaurants line the banks of the creek, and if you eat on one of their patios during the summer, you’ll be treated to the sounds of a chorus of frogs. Occasionally steelhead trout can be seen in the waters. An annual cleanup day keeps the creek in good condition, a source of pride for the community.
“Western Watershed – San Gabriel Mountains”
9 x 12 oil painting on plein air panel
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The last remnants of spring storms course through the upper Arroyo Seco, which separates La Canada from Pasadena. Just weeks before the sandy riverbed was overflowing with a coursing river. Now, the willows and sage will take over, until winter rains come again.
Walker Basin Creek
12 x 16
oil on canvas
Last summer we spent several pleasant days with other California Art Club artists at the Rankin Ranch in the Southern Sierra in Kern County. This oil painting was inspired by that trip. The hills are used for grazing by the range cattle owned by the ranch. This small stream serves as a water source for part of the herd. The tree growing by the water didn’t seem to be a willow, but no doubt it was a water-loving species. I liked the way it made a spot of lush green among the dusky tones of the surrounding hills. The area is not far from Bodfish, Caliente and other Southern Sierra towns.
(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.
11 x 14 inches – California Sierra landscape oil painting
(Sierra Creek, eastern Sierra Nevada, California)
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As the summer heat melts away, fall comes to the Sierra, and the cooler nights start to turn the creek-side willows from bright green to gold. The spires of evergreens catch the last light of the day.
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Bishop Creek Reflections (near Lake Sabrina)
6 x 6 inch oil painting
Sierra Nevada fall color art
When the aspens turn, they are never lovelier than when their color is reflected in a mountain stream, as it is in this view of Bishop Creek, in the Eastern Sierra.
My husband and I have been visiting Yosemite since we honeymooned there (a very long time ago) and it never fails to captivate me, no matter the season or the weather. One of my favorite views is that of Yosemite Falls from the valley floor. The water is roaring more than ever this year, with the melting snow waters. With autumn on the way, it won’t be long before these peaks are snow clad again. We were told that many of the trees are going to be removed from the valley floor because their growth is obscuring the geological features that people come to see. I hope they don’t remove too many, though. The stately pines and deciduous trees add to the overall beauty of the park.
6 x 8 inches
Two California icons – eucalyptuses and California poppies, gathered together around a quiet stream. One historical account recalls that in the springtime the hills of Altadena (above Pasadena) were covered with soft green grass and poppies. Streams flowed out of the hills to merge with the San Gabriel River at its confluence.
11 x 14 oil on canvas
Autumn. My favorite time of year. It reminds me of back to school, fresh pencils and crayons, an imminent coolness in the weather, Halloween, football games and the bluest skies of the year. Here in southern California, at least when I was growing up, the summer heat trapped a layer of haze in the sky. But spring and fall were crystal clear. When you put the blue of the sky against the warm complements of orange and gold – well, it’s just magical, and who could resist painting it. By December, the sycamores have turned and the first rains bring forth new green grass. Autumn comes late around here.
Update: This painting was done a few years ago, but I just drove through the area a few days ago and it looks exactly like this.
The June Lake loop (off highway 395, in California) has several areas where you can pull off the road and look down onto meandering streams. This viewpoint of Rush Creek (between Silver Lake and Grant Lake) was on a bright overcast day, and the hazy whitened sky made the stream look more white then blue. I liked the striking contrast with the straw colored marsh-meadow and the deep blue shaded mountainside in the distance. I used a very limited palette for this study – mostly ultramarine blue, yellow ochre and cadmium yellow light. A few tiny bits of burnt sienna and cad red added warm notes.
I have it on good authority that all those little nooks and crannies along the creek are filled with hungry rainbow and brown trout. Is it true? Fisherfolk, do tell!