Great Golden Spaces California rolling hills impressionist landscape painting


Great Golden Spaces
15 x 30 inch oil painting on canvas
(California Central Coast, near Cambria)

This is the next in my series of California rolling hills paintings. This one is from the country around Cambria, and west of Paso Robles wine country. Painting these sculpturally curved places is a bit like putting together a complex jigsaw puzzle, but so much fun!  You should see it in its gold frame which was custom made for it. Stunning!


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Teton Sunshine, Grand Teton oil painting

“Teton Sunshine”
9 x 12 oil painting
SOLD, now in a private collection

One of the highlights of our Wyoming trip was seeing Grand Teton National Park, which is beautiful any time of day. This view occurred at sunset, with the cottonwoods backlit. In the morning (which I will also paint) they were front lit by the rising sun, creating wonderful alpenglow. Moose and elk were foraging nearby and we were advised to be noisy so we’d alert them to our presence.


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Stormy slope – Yellowstone Lamar Valley oil painting

“Stormy Slope – Yellowstone’s Lamar Valley”
9 x 12 oil

A few years ago we visited Yellowstone in the fall and enjoyed the beauty of the landscape just before the park closed for the year. The skies were dramatic almost every day as a storm was moving through. One of those days, the dark clouds parted just enough for a slash of light to hit the golden hillsides surrounding what has been described as “America’s Serengeti.” The scene was visually very exciting to me. Just out of view are numerous bison as well as pronghorn antelope.

I can’t wait to get back there again and capture some of the beautiful scenery.


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Cottonwood breeze Owens Valley Sierra California landscape painting

“Cottonwood Breeze”
14 x 18 inches

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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.

Los Olivos Twilight, with oak tree California impressionist oil painting

“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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Red Fox portrait oil painting

“Red Fox”
9 x 12 inches, oil painting

It’s not uncommon for me to do pet portraits of dogs or cats, but I think this is the first wild animal portrait I’ve done. The fur was challenging but the eyes were the most fun. The native plants in the background are apricot mallow, a drought tolerant California native plant indigenous to high desert and chaparral areas, as well as valleys.


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California Golden Hills and Oak Trees oil painting

California Golden Hills and Oaks
18 x 24 inches, oil on canvas

This is a theme and location that I will keep returning to — California’s beautiful rolling hills, studded with majestic live oak trees. The rain has been light this year, so the hills are not as green as we have seen them in the past; which means the swaying grasses will not be as tall this summer and fall. But it’s all a cycle and will be repeated again and again. I’ve even seen some of the local oaks starting to re-sprout that were scorched by last fall’s fire. Nature renews itself endlessly.


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Yosemite Chapel in Autumn oil painting California impressionist contemporary art

Yosemite Chapel in Autumn
10 x 8 inches
oil painting

Autumn is one of the most beautiful times of year at Yosemite, and this little wedding chapel is never more charming than when framed with fall color. The deep afternoon blues of the walls are a perfect complement to the warm colors of the trees. I wonder how many thousands of weddings have been celebrated here?


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Naturally Napa – California vineyard impressionist oil painting

“Naturally Napa”
12 x 16 inches
Oil on canvas

This recent painting was completed before the terrible wildfires swept through the Napa and Sonoma areas. I was afraid to look at the fire maps for fear that this beautiful vineyard, quite close to the city of Napa, had been harmed. Thankfully, it seems to have survived just fine. I look forward to my next painting trip to the area.

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El Capitan Summer Yosemite oil painting

El Capitan Summer
9 x 12 inches
oil painting on oil primed linen

The view of El Capitan from the Merced River is one of my favorite sights in Yosemite. I always enjoy returning to paint there, any time of year. One of these days I’ll brave the elements and do a winter painting with snow capping the rocks. For now, the summer greens decorate the scene.


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