Remembering the Light – California Central Coast eucalyptus landscape oil painting, plein air style

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.

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Zion National Park, Utah, plein air landscape painting


“Virgin River, Zion National Park”
9 x 12 oil on plein air panel

A beautiful summer day in Zion National Park, Utah, down by the river. The water level was low, but flowing. We had just returned from a hike up to the Emerald Pools, and the water looked so refreshing. This was the first time I’ve visited Zion, but it won’t be the last.

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California impressionist flower field landscape painting

“California Flower Fields” (Heritage Valley)
8 x 10 inches, oil on linen plein air panel
Available

It’s a glorious springtime in Southern California. Last weekend we were wandering in an agricultural area near Ventura and happened upon a field where the farmer was growing flowers. He invited me in to take a closer look – it was only partly visible from the road. This was the result …

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California poppy fields landscape oil painting – One Brilliant Moment

“One Brilliant Moment”
SOLD
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.

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 vineyard landscape oil painting – A Taste of Sonoma

“A Taste of Sonoma”
Original impressionist oil painting of a Sonoma vineyard
18 x 24 inches

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This is another in my series of vineyards from around California. This time, Sonoma is the featured area. Some time this fall, I’ll be traveling to the mother of all beautiful vineyard-covered countrysides … Tuscany. And yes, I’ll be bringing the easel. I can hardly wait.

Norfolk Terrier Dog Pet Portrait

“Jack and Lucy”
Norfolk Terrier double portrait
12 x 16 inches, original oil painting
SOLD

These adorable dogs were the subjects of a recent portrait commission for a long-time client and friend of mine. Her two dogs are getting up there in years, and she thought it was a good time to have their portraits done for posterity. Lucy, on the left, is the younger of the two. Jack, on the right, is eleven, I believe. Jack had already had his summer haircut, but Lucy had not.

Now, there’s no way you can get two dogs to pose and hold a pose with the light on them “just so” … so every portrait begins with a photo session. That involves a fair amount of crawling around on the ground to shoot them from the right angle. My husband and I were shooting simultaneously, to maximize the number of reference photos we’d get before the dogs ran out of energy or patience with us. The next step was to edit the pictures in Photoshop to put together a composite where the light and direction of their gaze was consistent. After client approval of the reference composite, it just comes down to the painting, which was very enjoyable.

If you’re interested in having a portrait done of your favorite pet, please write.

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Spirit of the Sunset – California landscape lagoon oil painting sunset tree reflections

Spirit of the Sunset
18 x 24 inch original oil painting
California Central Coast
Available for sale

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I’m getting a lot of enjoyment from painting reflected trees in still water, like this scene from a California slough. Only a heron stands by to watch the enchantment.