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.
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.
Below, a few pictures of the work in progress
South Lake, Bishop, California
11 x 14 original oil painting on canvas
This is a painting of South Lake, west of Bishop, up Bishop Creek, in the Eastern Sierra Range.
Apparently fall is the best time for fishing at South Lake. We saw a lot of fisherman around the lake when we were there.
Trail to Bear Mountain
Sedona Plein Air Oil painting
9 x 12 oil on linen plein air panel
(Along Boynton Road, Sedona Arizona)
I painted this in February, just a few weeks ago, so the grasses are winter-white. The day I was there the Sedona Marathon was going on, and I believe this was part of the route. I painted late in the day after all the marathoners were finished. There is a trailhead in the meadow in front of me, which goes to Bear Mountain. I’d like to try that hike some time. I’ll bet it’s beautiful.
Below, painting by the roadside, while the sun played peek a boo all afternoon. It looks like I was standing in the middle of the road, but I was actually safely off to one side.
View From El Tovar
Grand Canyon plein air oil painting
9 x 12 oil on plein air panel
Another of my plein air paintings from Grand Canyon, South Rim. This one was painted near the El Tovar Hotel, the majestic old inn on the edge of the canyon. The time of day is near sunset. Below, some photos of the work in progress
Grand Canyon Afternoon
Plein Air Oil Painting near Hopi Point, South Rim
9 x 12 oil painting
See more Grand Canyon paintings here
The great thing about painting at Grand Canyon is that there’s a scene practically everywhere you look. The sculptural forms of the plateaus and cliffs constantly change color as the sun moves – which adds to its beauty and provides entertainment and frustration for the artist. Our first days at the canyon we looked for locations to paint, then returned on the third day to some favorite spots. My location for this painting was somewhere between Hopi Point and Powell Point on the south rim, rim trail.
The photo below shows a good example of the difference in color temperature between seeing a painting outdoors and indoors. The photo above was taken under indoor light (as it will be seen in a home or office.) Below, the painting as it appeared under natural (blue) daylight in shadow. As a rule I try to always photograph a painting as it will appear under normal home or office conditions.
Maricopa Point View
Grand Canyon Maricopa Point south rim plein air oil painting
8 x 10 inches
Oil on linen plein air panel
See more Grand Canyon paintings here
Just a few days ago we returned from a holiday trip to the Grand Canyon, one of the great natural wonders of the world. I had never seen it covered in winter snow, and I had planned ahead with all my plein air gear. It was near freezing that morning on the South Rim, which kept the snow crisp and fresh. Later in the day a cold wind moved in and I had to layer up even more. It’s surprising how cold you get when you aren’t hiking or moving around.
I set up my easel near Maricopa Point, on the South Rim, along the Rim Trail. In the distance you can see a bit of Wotan’s Throne, an enormous mesa that is adjacent to the north rim at Cape Royal. My husband shot some video of me working on this painting, which I’ll post when we get it edited.
Because I’m almost as passionate about nature and learning as I am about painting, I found it fascinating to know that the top layers of the Grand Canyon (from the Jurassic period) have already been eroded away, so the only fossils embedded in the rocks are from the pre-dinosaur era. One finds trilobites, ferns, dragonflies, etc. but no T-rex bones.
San Luis Obispo Creek
9 x 12 inch oil painting
(this view features a bridge over the creek. I chose an angle that did not show the cement walkways, as I prefer the natural look.)
Interested in this painting? See more of my California Central Coast paintings here
See more of my paintings on my website
San Luis Obispo Creek winds through the Central California city of San Luis Obispo, before emptying into the Pacific Ocean near Avila Beach. Numerous restaurants line the banks of the creek, and if you eat on one of their patios during the summer, you’ll be treated to the sounds of a chorus of frogs. Occasionally steelhead trout can be seen in the waters. An annual cleanup day keeps the creek in good condition, a source of pride for the community.
The Sweet Spot
Sweet Springs, Los Osos
14 x 11 oil painting on linen plein air panel
More painting at the San Luis Obispo Plein Air Festival. This lovely spot is Sweet Springs, a 24 acre nature sanctuary in Los Osos, California. Towering eucalyptus groves shelter a quiet pond where flocks of birds feed and rest from their migratory flights. I understand the grove is sometimes a shelter for Monarch butterflies, too.
12 x 16 oil painting on canvas
Cambria, Moonstone Beach, Leffingwell Landing area
This was painted during the San Luis Obispo Plein Air festival, 2012 where I was one of a select group of invited artists.
The colors of the beach and ocean really are amazing.