Mt. Tom Springtime – Bishop, California
9 x 12 landscape oil painting on plein air panel
This was the first time I’ve been up in the Sierra to paint this season. I always look forward to seeing the first wildflowers blooming as the snow recedes.
I painted this along one of Bishop’s many agricultural canals. I set up under a cottonwood tree for a little shade, but as the wind picked up, I decided to move. There were too many broken branches on the ground for me to feel safe.
Cathedral Beach, Yosemite Valley Autumn
12 x 16 inches, oil on canvas
This painting was done last fall based on my visit to Yosemite. As many times as we’ve been there through the years, I’d never caught it at exactly this time, and it was certainly glorious.
Cathedral Beach is on the left side of the Southside Drive, just beyond the El Capitan Bridge. It’s a popular picnic and swim area, with wide sandy beaches.
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.
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.
“High Desert Color”
9 x 12 inches, oil painting on plein air panel
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’.
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.
8 x 10 inches
oil painting of Sierra peaks
This small oil painting reminds us that sometimes the Sierra really is packed with snow, bringing water to all of California. I sure hope we get some rain soon – the drought is terrible now.
The location of this part of the range is in the upper Owens River Valley, not far from the Owens Gorge. The dry grasses and the cool snow shadows create a natural complementary color scheme.
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San Gabriel Sunset Glow
12 x 16 inches
oil on canvas
This is a view of the upper arroyo seco area of Pasadena that I never tire of, whether it’s in the morning when the mountains are cool and blue violet, or the late afternoon when they turn ruddy shades of gold and orange. This is painted from the point of view of the San Rafael hills, on the west side of the arroyo.
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Half Dome, Yosemite
6 x 8 inches
oil on canvas
Almost everyone I meet in California knows someone who has climbed Half Dome or they’ve done it themself. In our family, my husband did the climb in college, and our son did it just a few years ago. It’s a rite of passage, and a beautiful one at that. I’m too squeamish about heights to attempt it myself, but I admire those who have.
This little painting is the perfect size for a holiday gift, to commemorate a friend or family member’s climb to the summit.