Mt Emerson, Bishop, California, Sierra Nevada range
California impressionist landscape oil painting
9 x 12 inch oil painting
This plein air painting was painted last spring up in “Buttermilk Country” west of Bishop, in the foothills of the Eastern Sierra. We had as our guide a friend of ours who grew up in the area and knew every back road and one lane gullied path through the sagebrush. Eventually we ended up at this beautiful wilderness location.
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.
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.
Descanso Rose Garden, Summer Pathway
11 x 14 inches, oil on plein air panel
Painted at Descanso Gardens, La Canada, California
Descanso Gardens is the closest botanical garden to our home, and it’s my go-to place whenever I want to do some plein air painting in an expansive and beautiful setting. This pathway is one that I have painted through the seasons and from different viewpoints. The San Gabriel Mountains can be seen in the distance, which also tower over our own home. The international rosarium is not only a rose garden but also contains many other perennials and flowering shrubs. It’s just a peaceful place to visit, and in which to picnic on selected summer evenings.
“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.
“Colorado Cloudy Day”
8 x 10 inches, oil on plein air panel
I painted this as we were on the way from Monte Vista, Colorado to Gunnison. It was just a turn off the highway into a campground, but when I saw it I knew I had to stop. The sky was clear when I started blocking in the scene, but before long large clouds starting rolling in and completely filled the horizon. I had just finished when raindrops started to fall, so we scrambled to get everything under cover and into our car. Not long after, the storm blew through and the sky was sunny again. Then more clouds and raindrops, more sun. It was like that for our whole trip. I guess that’s what they mean by Monsoon Season!
“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.
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.
Autumn at McGee Creek
8 x 10 oil on plein air panel
Just north of Mammoth, McGee Creek winds up into the Sierra. Its banks are lined with aspens, now turning every shade of yellow and gold.
This original oil painting features the coming of autumn at its most colorful.
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.