Well, another year gone by and although I’m still painting as much as ever (perhaps more than ever) I have been too busy to keep up with this blog. So I’ll try to do better in 2023.
I’ve spent a lot more time this year in the general area of Lake Tahoe, enjoying stays with family, so I’ll be showing more Tahoe work – in different seasons – than I have in the past.
The Truckee River is especially inspiring – from the upper Truckee to the part that goes along the River Road and ends up at the dam in Tahoe City.
This painting is of the Upper Truckee, with one of those dazzling Tahoe sunsets.
If you have a particular place you’re fond of in the area, I’d love to hear about it. I’m new to the region and don’t know all the choice viewing spots yet, especially out of the way ones.
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18 x 18 inches
Oil on Canvas
A year ago, we had the opportunity to visit Yosemite Valley in the midst of a beautiful snowstorm. We stayed for four days at the Yosemite Lodge and enjoyed seeing the park at its most magical. One morning, as we were hiking around, we came upon this scene where the sunlight had just come over the towering granite peaks to strike the new fallen snow. A soft mist began to arise and drift across the ground, while the bare trees glittered with frost. It was truly unforgettable, and something I’ve been waiting for awhile to paint.
You can see more of my Yosemite Paintings at this link: Yosemite Paintings
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.
Grand Canyon Afternoon
Plein Air Oil Painting near Hopi Point, South Rim
9 x 12 oil painting
See more Grand Canyon paintings here
The great thing about painting at Grand Canyon is that there’s a scene practically everywhere you look. The sculptural forms of the plateaus and cliffs constantly change color as the sun moves – which adds to its beauty and provides entertainment and frustration for the artist. Our first days at the canyon we looked for locations to paint, then returned on the third day to some favorite spots. My location for this painting was somewhere between Hopi Point and Powell Point on the south rim, rim trail.
The photo below shows a good example of the difference in color temperature between seeing a painting outdoors and indoors. The photo above was taken under indoor light (as it will be seen in a home or office.) Below, the painting as it appeared under natural (blue) daylight in shadow. As a rule I try to always photograph a painting as it will appear under normal home or office conditions.
Snowcreek at Mammoth
6 x 8 inches oil on canvas
The combination of autumn russets and deep mountain blues at Mammoth was a compelling late fall image to paint. The soft scattering of melting snow brought an interesting texture that reinforced this transitional season. Soon the glittering golds will be gone and all will be covered in a gentle white quilt. I’ll have to return to paint that scene, too.
Willows are blazing with color everywhere there is a stream or creek in the Sierra. The Inyo National Forest is glorious to behold right now.
Sierra Blush, (Autumn morning near Bishop, California)
12 x 24 inches
Oil on Canvas
(Commission – sold)
This is my latest Sierra Nevada painting, painted on commission for a lovely young woman who lives in Ohio and whose brother is a guide in the Sierra. It has been so much of a pleasure to get to know her through the painting process, knowing that the painting will be a part of her family for many years to come.
The location is near Bishop, California, in late October, after the first light snow of the season.We got up very early to observe this scene (like 5:30 am) and it was worth it. The alpenglow light on the snow was heavenly. I could hardly wait to paint it. I know that I will be painting scenes like this again, most likely in a larger size. I think the panorama format really works for this type of a landscape.
Although this painting is sold, if you’d be interested in owning a painting of the Sierra Nevada,
Snow on the San Gabriels
(Federal Courthouse with view of the Arroyo Seco)
12 x 16 oil on canvas
The winter storms, which may now be over, often leave rare snowcaps on our local mountains – for a few days. I took advantage of one of these unusual scenes last month. This is a view I have painted before, in the autumn when the sycamores are in full color – and will likely paint again through the years with different weather and seasonal looks.
More of my Pasadena area paintings are viewable at Pasadena Paintings
Thanks to everyone who came out to the Casita del Arroyo show yesterday – it was a great day! I’m now looking forward to spring painting in Central California and working on numerous commissioned projects.
Crystal Crag (view from Lake Mary)
Mammoth Lakes, California
5 x 7″
The first snow at Mammoth Lakes, California, dusted the Crystal Crag formation overlooking Lake Mary. More storms would follow creating tall drifts contrasting vividly with the blue of the water. This seemed to be a good subject for a winter scene, although the time was truly in late fall. The late afternoon sun gave a slightly warm glow to the white snow. In nature, white is rarely, if ever, pure white. It is always picking up color from the environment, including the warm light of the sun, or cool skylight in shade.
“Red Cabin at Mt. Pinos”
12 x 16 oil on canvas
We had another good rainstorm here in Los Angeles, which translates to snow in our higher mountains. I had been saving this painting for the next snowy occasion , so here it is. It’s a new one, of a cabin in the woods on Highway 95, through Fort Tejon National Park, northwest of L.A. on the slopes of Mt. Pinos.
I hear there’s another storm coming in a day or two. After that one passes we’ll probably make another snow trip, perhaps closer to home into the Angeles Crest National Forest.
Snow is interesting to paint because, being white, it picks up all the colors of the environment. When you look at this painting, there’s actually very little pure white in it. But it’s unmistakably snow, right?