Stone and Stillness –
Twin Lakes, Mammoth Lakes, CA
9 x 12 oil on hardboard
This is a painting from this past summer when we visited Mammoth Lakes, California, which is probably now covered in snow.
The huge granite cliffs towering over Twin Lakes attracted me to the scene. If you’ve ever taken a canoe or small boat on the lake or gone fishing from the bridge, you probably have fond memories of the place, too. Every time we’ve been there – except in winter – there are always people enjoying the recreation.
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.
“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.
Russian River Drifting
8 x 10 inch
Original oil painting on panel
The Russian River, in Northern California, near Guerneville, is a wide tranquil river (in summer at least) where people come to swim and float rafts, and to kayak. Our daughter did a 2 mile swim in it one July a few years ago when she was participating in “Barb’s Race” triathlon. A wet suit helped keep out the cold.
Eaton Canyon with San Gabriels
6 x 8 inches
oil on canvas
This little study is from September, when the summer grasses were showing a wide range of colors. Water runs through this area and is collected into a settling basin which recharges a local aquifer. Nature’s soft pastels seem to harmonize under the late summer sun.
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.
Under Sunny Skies
24 x 30 inch oil painting
The Salinas, California area is famous for agriculture, exported worldwide. This tranquil strawberry field seems to stretch on forever … under sunny skies. Painted on commission.
Canyon Vision, Eaton Canyon, California
8 x 10 oil on plein air panel
As summer draws to an end, the grasses and trees of Eaton Canyon take on a dreamy, dusty glow that looks especially beautiful toward sunset. We have been trying to take at least one walk a day, sometimes two, morning and night. Eaton Canyon in Altadena is one of our favorite places to hike, and one of my favorite local painting spots.
Sunrise on Two Trees Hill, Ventura, California
9 x 12 oil on plein air panel
This new painting depicts very early morning in Ventura, California, with the sun rising over Two Trees Hill, a local landmark.
The plumbago bushes were in full bloom and there was quite a bit of mist in the air, adding to the interesting atmosphere.
(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.