Monday, February 28, 2011

Spring In California

"Spring In California"
24" X 30" Oil on Canvas
I painted this scene over a year ago on an 8"x10" canvas. The painting came out pretty nice so I entered it in a California Art Club show and it sold. I honestly didn't think it would sell and had planned on using the painting as a reference to paint a larger version. Luckily I had taken a good photo of it so the other day I got that out and used it as my ref. I went larger and also made some changes to the painting. The original had a lot of poppies in the foreground but the last few paintings I've done had poppies so I didn't want to paint those again. I like this version and think it is going to look very nice in a frame.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

California Landscape Painting

"California Spring Landscape"
12" X 16" Oil on Canvas
We've had rain for the last two days which I imagine has given me the inspiration to finally finish up this painting. I had started it before the new year arrvied but lost the inspiration to give it a good finish due to other things going on. Eventually it sat leaned against a wall drying and making me feel guilty for not finishing it every time I saw it. With the rain here I decided it was as good a time as any to finish up. Now the only guilt I have is in letting it sit for so long driving me crazy. Some paintings are after your soul.
No specific location for this one, it is just a typical scene of what the area looks like along the central coast of California. Oaks dominate the landscape of rolling hillsides and in spring the wildflowers will carpet the grass lined valleys.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Nipomo Eucalyptus Tree

"The Sappling"
20" x 24" Oil on Canvas
Another scene up in the stand of eucalyptus trees in Nipomo, CA. I love this spot for getting great shots of eucalyptus trees and grassy meadows. If you've ever driven up the 101 fwy towards headed for San Luis Obispo then you've driven right past this stand of trees. Many of the migrant farm workers during the depression used these tree stands in Nipomo for shaded camps to live in. Dorothea Lange stopped in this area to take pictures of these workers as part of her work showing the conditions caused by the depression for the Farm Security Administration. When I walk among these trees I feel a deep reverence for the farm workers and families effected by the depression. To imagine people living in tents or lean to's and out of cars among these trees and in the heat of the day working in the nearby fields is a very humbling experience. It reminds you to never take for granted the lives we live because it all can be taken away like it was for so many back during the depression.

Life went on even during the depression and adversity as well as back breaking work is what got most people through it. During the depression my grandparents picked pecans in Texas and to help get by my grandpa broke horses. Once the horses were somewhat gentled he had my grandma get on the saddle first because she was lighter than him.
People, like trees, carry on in life. As time goes by they are replaced by the young. This sappling reminds me of that cycle...that life will go on despite the experiences, and sometimes ordeals, life will throw at us all.

Monday, February 07, 2011

Mojave Desert Light

"Mojave In Gold"
24" X 30" Oil on Canvas
This was painted from reference photos taken near the town of Little Rock, CA up in the Mojave Desert. The plan was to go plein air paint that day but I kept stopping on the way there so by the time I got there it was late afternoon and super cold. Instead of painting I just took reference photos until the sun went down. Not a waste of time since reference photos would give me what I needed to do paintings here in the studio. This area is just above Pearblossom highway and sundown was bringing in some awesome light. I love the desert in the evening and enjoy what the light can do to the colors up there. I think I could spend the rest of my life trying to capture the colors of the Mojave...even the dirt looks good when the sun is just right.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Eaton Canyon At Dusk

"Eaton Canyon At Dusk"
36" X 48" Oil on Canvas
A large painting of Eaton Canyon just before sunset. This scene was down in the riverbed in Fall this last year. Being a riverbed in a canyon there were plenty of rocks to paint so I took the liberty of editing many of them out of the scene. This allowed me to add more of the sandy bottom of the streambed and keep things not so busy in the foreground area. Took a few days to paint this one due to the large size but it went pretty smooth. The mountain sides of the canyon are an area I'm still working out to get to the point of feeling comfortable painting them and really loving what I end up with there. I like the progress so far with that part of these canyon paintings because the San Gabriel mountains to me are very hard mountains to paint. Lots of rocks and scrub brush so it is sort of a nightmare to handle for a painter.