Remembering the Light
California Central Coast eucalyptus sunset oil painting
16 x 20 inches, oil on canvas
There’s a place I like to go traveling up highway 101, where the eucalyptus trees grow so gracefully, sculpted by ocean breezes. No matter the time of day, the light seems to do amazing things with these trees. This one, in particular, catches my imagination with every visit.
14 x 18 inches, oil on canvas
Anza Borrego State Park, California
Down a dusty desert road and up a canyon in Anza Borrego State Park, we came upon a beautiful scene tucked out of the way. The desert was blooming with color. Although the rain had not been plentiful it was enough to germinate the seeds that brought these flowers. And they were fun to paint …
“Beside Still Waters”
18 x 24 inch oil painting
On the road to Yosemite, through California’s Central Valley
This scene has intrigued me from when I first saw it a few years ago, in the spring. California’s Central Valley was green with a plentitude of winter rain, and the distant Sierra foothills provided a beautiful cool contrast to the warm wildflower covered foreground. The pond, which seemed to be dammed up for cattle grazing, looked so inviting. If it wasn’t on fenced off private property, I would have liked to sit by it and dangle my feet in that cool fresh water. Eucalputus remain among my favorite trees to paint, although they are less plentiful the further you drive to the foothills. Oaks seem to dominate there. The day we were there, the clouds were drifting by constantly, creating beautiful shadows which I took full advantage of.
“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.
Asilomar Waves (Near Pacific Grove, Monterey Peninsula, California)
8 x 10 inches, plein air oil painting
In the past few weeks, I had the opportunity to travel up and down California’s west coast, enjoying the spring wildflowers and the clear skies over the oceans. One of my favorite painting spots is Asilomar, near Pacific Grove, on the Monterey Peninsula. My little Strada mini easel set up so quickly I was painting in no time. Whenever I paint ocean scenes, it takes more time to get into the rhythm of the scene. With other landscapes there’s little movement except for perhaps cloud shadows. The ocean is a whole different challenge and its dynamic nature takes more concentration.
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.
“High Desert Color”
9 x 12 inches, oil painting on plein air panel
Antelope Valley High Desert area
After our welcome rains that came a few days ago, my husband and I saw the sky was still filled with beautiful cumulus clouds – the kind we see around here too infrequently. So we decided to take a drive up to the high desert to see the wide open spaces. It was a picture perfect day and we found ourselves in the small community of Valyermo. Although the wind and rain may have taken away some of the glory of the cottonwoods, there was still some color left, and the paint brush took care of the bare spots.
This is a view of one of those cottonwood groves. I liked the contrast of the yellow golds against the blue violet mountains in the background. Those happen to be the San Gabriels, the closest range to our home. So now I’ve painted them from ‘both sides, now’.
Song of Still Waters
16 x 20 oil on canvas
Devereux Slough, Santa Barbara area
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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.
Yosemite Falls in Summer
18 x 24 inches, vertical
Oil on canvas
At more than 2400 feet high, from the top of the upper falls to the base of the lower falls, Yosemite Falls is the tallest waterfall in the continental United States. Peak water flow comes in late spring to early summer, the time that this was painted. The falls are fed by Yosemite Creek, and after the water leaves the falls, it joins the Merced River on its course out of the valley.
The challenge in painting a waterfall is to capture the soft edges of mist that perpetually rise from the thundering flow. Paint the edge too hard and the falls look like a cutout. Paint the edge too softly, and it looks like a big cottonball.