“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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Sunrise on Two Trees Hill, Ventura, California
9 x 12 oil on plein air panel
This new painting depicts very early morning in Ventura, California, with the sun rising over Two Trees Hill, a local landmark.
The plumbago bushes were in full bloom and there was quite a bit of mist in the air, adding to the interesting atmosphere.
8 x 10 oil
Carmel Valley Road landscape,
On our way back from the San Luis Obispo Plein Air Festival this year, we drove up highway 1 through Big Sur, spent a night in Carmel, then returned via Carmel Valley Road. This beautiful “back road” features wonderful hills covered with oaks. The day we passed through, the clouds were spectacular, so I decided to focus on them in this painting.
If you look to the left side of the blog, you’ll see I’ve gotten around to updating my sold painting list. I haven’t put my new sold paintings there since January, and this year’s almost 50 sold works are now featured. I sort of wish that I could see a pattern in what appeals to my wonderful collectors, but it appears that their tastes and interests are as broad as mine. Some paintings are large, some very small. There are seascapes, animals, genre paintings, flowers, fruit, landscapes … and the subject matter is from every part of California.
Before the Harvest
12 x 9″ oil on board
San Luis Obispo area
California Central Coast
I’m getting warmed up for the San Luis Obispo Plein Air festival with this study of some of the agricultural areas, under splendid skies. I love the skies over the Central Coast.
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.
Twilight on Back Bay
9 x 12 oil painting on canvas
I’m still catching up posting some of the paintings I did during the San Luis Obispo paint out early in October. This is one of my favorite semi-nocturnes, painted while the sun was in a cloud bank and was in the process of setting. Within a few minutes the sun emerged from the clouds and the whole scene was bathed in warm rosy hues, which I captured very rapidly. Then the sun dipped below the horizon and darkness came quickly.
As you can see in the photo below, I am literally standing in the marshy estuary. The prominent mountain in the distance is Hollister Peak. This work in progress photo was taken while the sun was in the cloud bank.
“Abode of the Desert Rat”
Mojave Desert, somewhere off the beaten path between Tehachapi and Rosamond
9 x 12 oil on linen
This painting was inspired by a trip back from Kernville a few months ago, coming back from a paint out with the California Art Club. The sun was starting to come out from under a cloud bank, and a storm was threatening. The brilliance of the sun contrasted with the dark shapes of the poplars. I imagined that some recluse was living in the trailer, enjoying the constantly changing weather patterns and quiet solitude. Not long after this the rains started coming. Those heavily rain laden clouds suggested a flash flood and we headed for high ground.
Here’s a closer detail shot:
Mornings First Light
8 x 10 inches – oil painting on linen panel
This dramatic small painting of eucalyptus trees on Malibu Bluffs will be available through Segil Fine Art for their 9th annual Small Works Show. The artists reception will be Saturday, December 3, from 5-7 pm. The Segil Gallery is in Old Town, Monrovia, CA
In Los Angeles you can look almost anywhere and see rows of palm trees in the distance, lining a street. This group just happens to be adjacent to my house, which comes in handy for painting. The sunset was spectacular a few nights ago – presenting a veritable rainbow of hues from blue violet through pink, yellow and orange. If there ever was a subject that said “California” – this is it.
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?