14 x 18 oil on canvas
A few years ago, on our anniversary in March 2004, my husband and I were driving out to Malibu and came across a wonderful commercial nursery near Somis. It appeared that it was occasionally open to the public and, from what we could tell, was used for special events. We saw several lovely arbors and pergolas that seemed to be wedding bowers. As we were walking around the grounds, what caught my eye was an old derelict 53 Chevy pickup truck which a cat had made his home. He was proudly seated on some blankets or comforters and a pile of plastic bags and his lordly manner told us that he was the master of this domain. The lack of a door, windshield and windows didn’t bother him a bit. We didn’t disturb his rest and he gave us leave to take a few pictures and then, you know, suggested we move along. (I suppose the cat may have been a female, but I like the idea of calling him Tom.) The fact that there were blankets there led me to suspect that some kind human had done their part to give his bachelor pad a little creature comfort.
I wish now that I had written down the name of the nursery, but a little map research leads me to believe that it may be the Hartley Botanica and recent photos indicate it has grown even more beautiful through the years. There was a large aviary which held peacocks at the time we visited, and I don’t know if it is still there. I would like to think that “Tom” probably had a good time watching those birds every now and then. It’s been 7 years and I don’t know how old he was, but I hope he’s still prowling around.
6 x 6 inches, oil painting on canvas
Last weekend we spent some time up in San Luis Obispo for the opening of the California Art Club’s “Gems of the Central Coast” show at the San Luis Obispo Museum of Art. We had a great time seeing old friends and making some new ones, too. Once you get out of Los Angeles you really begin to appreciate the rural beauty of the state and the quiet moods of hills, pastures, marshes and mountains. Driving up the 101 we saw many ranches with scenes just like this.
Grazing in Paradise
8 x 10 oil painting
A herd of cattle grazes peacefully in a region called “Paradise” near Bishop, California, in the shadow of the Eastern Sierra.
If I were a cow I’d think this was a pretty heavenly place to graze, especially in the late afternoon when everything is warm and mellow.
12 x 16 oil
Dogs playing on a leash-free beach in Santa Barbara
This is another of the paintings that I did for the “Art for the Animals” show at Gale’s Restaurant in Pasadena, which sold yesterday. The show closes this coming Friday night, August 27. So if you’re in Los Angeles there are still a few days to see it. A portion of the proceeds go to benefit the Pasadena Humane Society and SPCA.
Painting animals is such a pleasure, I should really do it more frequently. These two buddies were having a good time chasing a tennis ball around in the surf. The little Corgi was pretty fast on his or her feet. I took a lot of photos that day, including some of an English bulldog romping in the surf. I’ll probably be painting that one, too.
The holidays are coming soon. If you’re thinking about a painting as a gift for someone special, this is a good time to make plans.
(by Pasadena’s Colorado Street Bridge)
12 x 16
oil on linen panel
The previous painting in this series sold very quickly at Gale’s Restaurant during the Art for the Animals show, so I decided to paint another version of it, this time horizontal. There are always ducks paddling around down there, as we’ve discovered from our frequent walks, so this may not be the last exploration of the theme.
This past weekend we enjoyed some time closer to home and our own natural habitat, which we had been sorely neglecting as I’ve been painting all up and down the coast. So we cleared off the porches, gave the Boston ferns a good haircut and deep watering, trimmed back the geraniums and took cuttings to propagate new plants. I’m hopeful that all of these projects will provide abundant plant material for future still life paintings, or, at the very least, for our enjoyment.
This Saturday from 9-4 you’ll find me at the Montrose Artwalk in Montrose, at the corner of Honolulu and Ocean View – see map below. I’m on the sidewalk next to the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, where they have great iced coffees! You might even find me doing some painting.
View Larger Map
Saturday evening from 5-7, I’m delighted to be at the artist’s reception of Segil Fine Art’s First Annual Works on Paper show. Address is 110 West Lime in Monrovia. I’m honored to have my pastel painting “Wildflower Sunset” included in this inaugural show.
“Morning Swim in the Arroyo Seco”
16 x 12 inches
oil on canvas
Ducks gently paddle in the pond beneath Pasadena’s Colorado Street Bridge … a scene of rural tranquility in the heart of Pasadena’s Arroyo Seco. Readers of this blog will remember the great duck adventure a few years back, as we watched a mother lead her ducklings up the flood control channel to the safety of the pond – including scaling a 45 degree incline covered with moss. But all the ducklings made it eventually, safe from hawks and owls. Perhaps some of these paddlers are those little ducks, all grown up with families of their own.
Sold at the Art for the Animals show at Gale’s Restaurant in Pasadena this past week, benefitting the Pasadena Humane Society and SPCA.
“His Eye is on the Sparrow”
11 x 14 oil
This painting is a tender subject that I have painted before, in watercolor, but this time I decided to paint it in oil for the Art for the Animals show at Gale’s Restaurant. (452 S. Fair Oaks, Pasadena.) The reception is this Sunday, June 27, from 3-6 pm. A portion of the proceeds of sales will go to benefit the Pasadena Humane Society and SPCA. The SPCA will also be bringing their adoption wagon with lots of lovable animals looking for forever homes.
For those field biologists who are interested in technical accuracy, I think the bird is actually a baby robin. But the familiar spiritual hymn is “His Eye is on the sparrow” so there you go (disclaimer.)
Thirteen artists are participating in the Art for the Animals show. I have 8 paintings hanging and am also happy to discuss commissioned animal portraits. If you attend, please mention that you read about the show on my blog.
“Show me the Scampi”
9 x 12 oil
This charming cat is named Pita, and I don’t think it refers to mediterranean flatbread. The kitteh haz attitude – but then, don’t all cats? I’ve painted a lot of animals in preparation for the Art for Animals show at Gale’s Restaurant in Pasadena. The reception is this Sunday, and a portion of the proceeds will benefit the Pasadena Humane Society and SPCA. Come enjoy the animals, animal lovers, animal art. The SPCA will have pet adoptions as well.
Interested in a portrait of your cat or dog?
Grazing at Lone Pine
(Eastern Sierras, California, near the city of Lone Pine)
12″ x 16″ oil on linen panel
Sierra Nevada oil painting
See more of my Sierra Nevada Oil Paintings at this link.
This new painting will be exhibited at Gale’s Restaurant in Pasadena beginning tomorrow as part of the Art for the Animals Group Show and Sale. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Pasadena Humane Society and SPCA. A select group of artists were invited to explore the theme of animals for this special event. The reception will be June 27 from 3-6 pm. I hope that some of my local friends will be able to attend. The animals show will be on exhibit until September.
The eastern Sierra is a subject that I am especially fond of, and most particularly in the fall when the cottonwoods and aspens turn into deep shades of orange and gold – the perfect complement to the blue-violets of the Sierra under cloud shadows. I had been wanting to paint this scene for awhile, and Gale’s animals show gave me the perfect incentive. Between the Sierra range and the foreground (Owens valley ranch in Lone Pine) lie the Alabama Hills. The weathered reddish-brown rock formations are volcanic in origin, but have undergone metamorphosis. Scientists suggest they’re between 150-200 million years old. Early California miners named these hills for the warship, the USS Alabama.
Thanks to those of you who came out to Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden this past weekend for the annual Artists in the Garden show and sale. I enjoyed seeing old friends and collectors and making new friends, too.
Cormorant Rock, Malibu,
Leo Carrillo State Park Beach
5 x 7 oil painting
At Leo Carrillo Beach, I came across a rock that had a flock of cormorants roosting briefly before their next fishing mission. Their silhouettes against the fading sun intrigued me, and I thought they made a nice composition. A wedding was underway just the other side of a big rock structure, a beautiful sunset setting. I thought at first they were pelicans, but I was mistakden.
This limited palette painting was fun to do. The rocks take on different colors depending upon the lighting conditions and time of day, which presents a lot of creative possibilities.
California’s Brown Pelicans have been in the news recently as sick and dying birds have been found a distance from usual home. Their feathers are often discolored with some unknown substance. Whether is the result of red tide (algae bloom) or some other pollutant is unknown. A similar die-off happened around February of 2009. One supposition is that weather and oceanographic influences may disrupt the pelicans usual feeding patterns, causing them to starve and weaken. El Nino conditions may be a contributory factor. These birds were on home turf and looked well-feathered and plump. I love to watch them flying just over the waves, single file.