Trail into Springtime
Tejon Ranch plein air oil painting
9 x 12 inches, oil on linen panel
One of California’s unspoiled treasures is the Tejon Ranch, north of Los Angeles and south of Bakersfield, up in the Los Padres Forest.
I had the pleasure to do some plein air painting there, and this is one of the pieces that came from the trip. Free range cattle roam through the hillsides, and you’re as likely to meet a steer as a rattlesnake or a cottontail rabbit. It’s Old California in the very best way. I’d love to get back there again sometime to paint.
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.
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?
“Oaks Guarding Oranges”
9 x 12 oil painting
California Central Coast, near Cayucos
Through the years, some of our most enjoyable travels have been along the many backroads that criss cross California. This small road goes inland from Cayucos, just a little north of Morro Bay. Closer to the water, the marine layer softens all the edges. The fog is soft and gray. As we drive inland, the fog burns off and takes on other colors. There are many orange and avocado groves along these country roads, which proves that the area does not often get frost. But it is hot as blazes in the summer. We will commonly see eucalyptus trees used as windbreaks to protect orange groves, but along this road the California live oak trees were doing the job.
“Eaton Canyon Stream”
9 x 12 oil painting
In the years when we have heavy rain, the stream coming out of Eaton Canyon is full and fast-flowing. Other years, not so much. At the headwaters there are several waterfalls, some of which are quite risky to get to.
This view of the stream is looking south, from the east side of the canyon.
11 x 14 inches
California Sierra foothill landscape oil painting
This is one of California’s magnificent oak-strewn valleys, in the Sierra foothills near Springville. Distant oaks are lost in the mist that settles in low places, while up in the craggy places, wildflowers flourish.
Oak Tree Meadow
12 x 16 inches
Oil on canvas
The area around Paso Robles is one of my favorite California locations – from the vineyards to the ranches to the oak covered hills. This new painting is from the area near Lake Nacimiento/Jolon. I think scenes like this look best in the late afternoon or in the early morning, when colors are their richest.
(near Willits, CA, along the Redwood Highway, northern California)
8 x 10 oil
The summer fields are fully golden, the perfect complement to the violet distant hills. The leaves of live oaks rustle in the breeze, waiting the coming of fall. It’s been a cool summer in So. Cal, maybe in Northern California, too.
A Day in the Vineyard
California vineyard landscape oil painting
9 x 12 inches, oil on wood panel
A sunny day and an old oak tree reigns over a peaceful vineyard scene, from California’s rich wine country. This plein air style painting invites the viewer to linger and hear the birdsong as the breeze ruffles the ripening vines.
Vineyard Country Road
8 x 10 oil painting
Fresh from last week’s trip to California’s Central Coast, this oil painting features one of California’s indigenous live oak trees towering over rolling vineyard hills. The vines are all leafed out, now, and look beautiful in the late afternoon light.