Along Highway One – California landscape golden hills oil painting

“Along Highway One”
9 x 12 oil painting on plein air panel

This California landscape impressionist painting is from recent travels in the Central Coast, along Highway One, just a little north of Morro Bay.
Cypress trees are abundant in that area, and mix it up with the local oaks. Although the hills are brown and golden, typical for the summer, there is more grass evident than in the past few drought years.

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Fallbrook Eucalyptus California impressionist oil painting

SOLD
“Fallbrook Eucalyptus”
9 x 12 inch oil painting
on wood panel

In late winter, California fields and meadows think it’s spring. The first bit of rain brings back the green grass and a scattering of flowers.
I decided to paint this one with a secondary triadic color scheme, ignoring some of the actual color in favor of adding a bit of harmony from a limited palette.
That means, in non art-speak, that I chose to impose a color scheme upon the scene rather than painting exactly what nature gave me. And the color scheme I chose uses not primary colors (red yellow and blue) but the secondary colors they can be mixed to produce – orange, green and violet.

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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 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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Gold Rush Country Ranch California landscape oil painting

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?

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California impressionist landscape “Oaks Guarding Oranges” backroad oil painting

“Oaks Guarding Oranges”
9 x 12 oil painting
California Central Coast, near Cayucos
Available

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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.

California landscape eucalyptus painting with poppies Scent of Springtime

The Scent of Springtime
8 x 10 oil painting
California Central Coast

I love the contrast of dark green eucalyptus trees and bright wildflowers. This California Central coast scene gave me the opportunity to paint both.

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Canyon harmony – California Eaton Canyon landscape impressionist oil painting

Canyon Harmony
9 x 12 original oil painting on canvas
Available

This California landscape oil painting, in a plein air style, features one of my favorite painting locations – Eaton Canyon above Pasadena.
The sycamores have all of their leaves now, and the morning light is clear and fresh.

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Hillside Sycamores California landscape oil painting

“Hillside Sycamores”
9 x 12 inches
California impressionist plein air oil painting

In the springtime, the warmer weather invites me to do more plein air painting, and to visit areas where the trees and flowers are bursting with life. And nowhere is that more apparent than in California’s Central Coast, in San Luis Obispo County. These sycamores were growing in a little clump on the side of a hill, with last year’s sage at their feet. It was late in the day, and within a half an hour the trees were starting to be covered with shadows.

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