Mariposa Meadow – Sierra foothills California landscape oil painting

“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.

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California poppy oil painting – plein air poppies


“Plein Air Poppies”
6 x 8 inches, oil on plein air canvas panel

This was painted in Lancaster near the Poppy Reserve in Southern California’s Antelope Valley. It was late in the day and the colors were just getting more and more intense as I kept working on it, making changes and modifications.

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Below, a few pictures of the work in progress



California poppy fields landscape oil painting – One Brilliant Moment

“One Brilliant Moment”
9 x 12 inch oil painting
California poppies, Lancaster Poppy Reserve

This past week was peak bloom time for the poppies of the Lancaster Poppy Reserve, just north of Los Angeles. Painting there is an annual pleasure for me and in spite of the drought, the poppies didn’t disappoint. This is one of the paintings that came out of that trip. Another will be posted here soon.

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Truckee snowbank – Lake Tahoe river landscape painting

“Truckee Snowbank”
12 x 16 oil painting on canvas

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For the last several years, we’ve headed up to Lake Tahoe between December and February to take in the beautiful sights. This year we spent Christmas there with our family, and although there was a fair amount of overcast and snowy skies, the blue peeked through now and then. I am always a pushover for strong complements in landscapes and this riverside scene provided some of the colors I love best.

Bishop poplars – California eastern sierra Mt. Tom autumn oil painting

“Bishop Poplars, 2014″
14 x 18 oil on canvas

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We try to visit the eastern Sierra every fall/winter … sometimes several times if we can. One of the highlights is seeing the cottonwoods and poplars turning gold in the area near Swall Meadow/ Round Valley, just to the north and west of Bishop. In this painting, the iconic triangular Mt. Tom can be seen in the distance.

Overlooking Ojai Valley California landscape oil painting

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.

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California high desert Valyermo oil painting “High Desert Color”

“High Desert Color”
9 x 12 inches, oil painting on plein air panel
Valyermo, California
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’.

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California landscape oil painting – Across the Poppy Fields

Across the Poppy Fields
6 x 8 inches, oil

How about a little brightness and color as we’re approaching winter? This miniature poppy painting will cheer up a quiet corner in your home or office. Perhaps a gift for a flower loving friend? This impressionistic landscape was inspired by a spring trip to the Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve, near Lancaster, California. What I love about painting poppy fields is the natural complementary colors (orange and blue) that are always present in this area. Framing available!

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Moonstone Mist – Cambria beach seascape oil painting miniature

Moonstone Mist
Moonstone Beach, Cambria
6 x 8 inch miniature oil painting

Seasons come and go, but Moonstone Beach seems to look pretty much the same through the year (with the exception of some of the dune foliage, that is.) This is a place that I love to paint often. The first time I came here was during a paintout with the California Art Club, and I’ve returned many times through the years.

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Batiquitos Mist – miniature California lagoon landscape oil painting

Batiquitos Mist
5 x 7 inch oil painting on plein air panel

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This miniature oil painting features a part of the Batiquitos lagoon near Carlsbad, California. The mist was hanging around the water on this cool day, and I loved the atmosphere it created. Miniatures make great Christmas presents.
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