Monday, October 31, 2011

Morning on Rock Creek

When you take the Tom's Place turn-off from Highway 395 and then drive about 10 miles along Rock Creek Road into the mountains, you will end up at this point. There are beautiful views of the Sierra, meadows, creeks and distant peaks. I didn't have to go 50 yards from the parking lot to this beautiful spot overlooking Rock Creek with the towering mountains in the distance. This was painted from about 8am to 11. The creek was in deep, deep shade. I loved how cool it looked in the shade, with a clear view through the trees to the mountain beyond.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Morning on the San Joaquin

I'm  back from the two week trip that started the last week of September in the Mammoth Lakes area. After that I spent a few days in Placerville, then Watsonville, finally ending up in Santa Barbara. It was a wonderful trip: I saw amazing scenery in Mammoth, painting with fellow artists and getting to know them better, visited with old friends and relatives along the way, and found out that even though traveling brings a wonderful fresh perspective to one's life, there really is no place like home. I've been working on finishing up 3 of the paintings I did on the Mammoth portion of my trip and will be showing them at the Mission Viejo Country Club this coming Wednesday November 2 for their Winter Artisan Show. This painting was one I did early in the morning on the middle fork of the San Joaquin River as it flows through  Devils Postpile National Park.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Mammoth Lakes Day 3

Today we decided to head out to Devil's Post Pile and to look at the surrounding areas. I found this spot right after we got there at about 8 in the morning. This creek is I think called Kings river, a distributary of the San Joaquin River, but I'm not sure of that at all. This photo isn't great but it gives an idea I hope of how beautiful it was there. We've had perfect weather so far, and being between seasons for this area, there are no crowds. After our morning painting we had lunch and then hiked the half mile to the Devils Postpile and took lots of photos. The altitude got me after that so today was a one painting day for me.

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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Mammoth Lakes Day Two

Today we all went to Convict Lake which is just a few miles south from Mammoth. It's a stunningly beautiful little lake nestled in the cleft between rising spires of rock.
I did two paintings and I sold the first one to a fisherman there who wanted a memento.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Day One - Mammoth Lakes

Here are two views looking South from the eyrie that is our host's vacation home. The weather is sunny and cool and tomorrow looks like it will be perfect painting weather.
Leaving at 5:00 am turned out to be not so hard at all, and once I hit highway 395 I was almost the only car on the road, (only a slight exaggeration).

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Sunday, September 25, 2011

Mandarine Peeled

This is the last painting for a couple of weeks. I'm off on an adventure and hope to come back with at least a few nice landscapes. I hope to post photos of where I am and what I'm doing.
This subject of peeled citrus has a rich tradition among the daily painters out there. I'm not sure I would have thought of it without there already being amazing paintings of peeled lemons, oranges, tangerines etc. to be inspired by. So here's is my newest entry into that genre.

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Saturday, September 24, 2011

Lemon on a Mexican Plate

Here is the same plate but looking down on it. I really love these plates. It's a good thing we stopped participating in the Rosarito-Ensenada Ride a few years ago, because I'd have more plates than walls to hang them. On Monday I'll be off on a trip for two weeks up to mid-state to paint in the Sierra Nevada, visit family and long lost and found friends. I'll try to post photos as I go, tho no paintings until I get back to photograph them properly.

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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Mandarin Oranges on a Plate

Here is a trio of little Mandarin Oranges resting in one of the Mexican plates I usually have hanging on the wall. I've been looking at all the things I have scattered around the house that would make good subjects for a still life. I have a whole collection of plates that I bought when my husband used to do the Rosarito to Ensenada Bike Ride. While he rode the 50 miles, I would shop in Ensenada. A very nice arrangement. I'll be using this plate some more I think.

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Sunday, September 18, 2011


Painting  Nectarines is a little bit like the peaches color wise, but the lack of fuzz changes completely the kind and color of reflected light or any specular highlights. I love painting the summer fruits, shopping more for how interesting or suitable they are for a portrait, than for how good I think they will be to eat. I catch myself at the market holding each piece up to the light, twisting and turning it, gauging the angle, tipping it this way and that. People must think I'm nuts picking fruit this way!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Red Onion

Here's another subject that's always on hand, always a challenge, and always filled with color and nuance.
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Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Red Peppers

Here are a couple of peppers that I absolutely love to eat grilled. And now I find that I like painting them a lot too. Trader Joe's sells them every summer, and they come from Holland, I think. They are much sweeter than regular red bell peppers, and now, alas, this  seems to be the last of them until next year.
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Sunday, September 11, 2011

Still Life with Tomatoes and Bowl

I couldn't resist painting these tomatoes again but with some company...

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Friday, September 9, 2011

Tomatoes from Friends

Here's some tomatoes from a friends garden, another wonderful sign of summer both the tomatoes and the giving of them, because our friends are probably drowning in them by now. They are so sweet it's easier to believe they are the fruit they are rather than a vegetable. The vase too is from an old friend, a rectangular chinese vase which I love.

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Thursday, September 8, 2011

Peaches at Summer's End

Here is the first painting I will be posting using the Daily Paintworks Auction. I haven't painted peaches yet this summer. It seems like I was never home, and now summer is almost over, at least officially. It's so hot here though that I get the feeling our summer will last well in to October. So here are some summer peaches. I love trying to get the fuzz right.
Another endless challenge.

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Saturday, September 3, 2011

Lemons and an Avocado in the Shadows

Still playing around with the lemons in the shadowbox, except I added an Avocado just
to break it up a bit.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Lemons in the Shadows

Whenever I feel stuck, I go back to Lemons. Here are two fairly large ones from a neighbor's tree, so they're not the perfect, slightly plastic-looking ones from the market, but lumpy and big and a bit coarse. I liked how this one looked in a frame, so I'm including an image of that too, just to give an idea what a change it is to put a painting in a frame.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

CHM Sunset - Remix

I decided to work a bit more on this view of the last rays of the sun raking along the little lane and lighting up the red wood cottages and wonderful pine trees. It has a little more punch now.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

August Afternoon at the Back Bay

Here's the first of a whole new series of Newport Back Bay in preparation of next year's big exhibition to benefit the Newport Back Bay Conservancy. If I had to choose, I'd say this is my favorite place to paint. It's peaceful & quiet, with endless colors and shapes in the cliffs and lots of variations as the incoming and outgoing tides cut through the reeds.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

CHM Sunset

Here is the last painting I did while staying at CHM. This was painted from around 8:00 to about 9:30 pm in the evening. The latitude where we were staying is very far north relative to us here in the U.S. It looks to be parallel with Nova Scotia or New Brunswick in Canada, hence the lovely long days with dusk lasting well into the late evening. The week we were there was blessed as well with warm days and only lightly cool evenings, so it was easy to stay out painting until it was almost too dark to see.
The next afternoon we were off, back to Bordeaux for the night, then up at 4 am in order to check in and catch the 8:30 flight to Paris, and from there back to the states.
Our stay in Montalivet was much too short...we hope to return, but who knows?

Friday, August 19, 2011

Late Afternoon at Avenue Californie

I love that the address of the cottage we stayed in was on Avenue Californie. I started this painting the same day I did the previous one. The light just kept getting better and better.
We came to CHM in Montalivet because my husband was participating in a photo workshop.  Every evening they headed down to the beach at 8:15 in the evening in order to shoot from 8:30 to 9:15, when the sun was just setting. So, while they were down at the beach, I did this painting, probably between about 7:00 and 9:00pm. When they came back we all would pile in to the car and go into Montalivet for pizza at 10! Amazing!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Blue Shutters in the Sun

I found so much inspiration in the path behind the cottage we were staying in, that I spent the next 3 days there painting. At one point, as I sat painting, dozens of runners in all states of dress and undress flew by me, running in a marathon. They each must have run passed me at least 5 or 6 times. Other times people would stroll by with their dogs or their kids or both. Many stopped to comment and chat, and I got plenty of practice with my German, and my execrable French. This painting and the next I gave as a thank you gift to our host, who was so generous in sharing his tiny cottage with us, and for going above and beyond in his role as host and workshop mentor by feeding us, and giving us incalculable help in a small emergency we had the second day we were there. We long so much to be back, although we heard that the rain has returned. It seems our week there was blessed indeed.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Cloudy Day in Montalivet

Our 3rd day at CMH started out with spectacular clouds as a storm system moved in. Our host told us that the entire month of July was pretty much one rainy day after another...very very unusual for that time of year there. Owing to ongoing jet lag I was up at about 5:30 am, and taking a walk when I photographed this amazing sky. Later on that day, I did another little painting behind the house, this time looking north. The sea there is due-west exactly, not like our slightly southwest facing beaches here in So. Cal. All the beautiful clouds of the morning gave way to a deep cool blue gray. It wasn't too cold though, so ok to paint.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Cottage in the Pines

Here is the first painting I did, the second full day we were at CHM, Centre Helio Marin.
The entire camp measures maybe 1/2 square mile, with many many small rustic cottages spread in a disorganized but orderly sort of way amongst hundreds of towering pines. The camp has been here since the 1950's and families from all over Europe, tho mainly from France, Germany and the Netherlands, have been coming here since then. Many if not most of the cottages have been owned by the same families for many years at a time. This is a naturist camp as compared to a nudism camp. The following definition from Wikipedia helps to make the distinction: "Nudism is the act of being naked, while naturism is a lifestyle which at various times embraced nature, environment, respect for others, self-respect, crafts, healthy eating, vegetarianism, teetotalism, non-smoking, yoga, physical exercise and pacifism as well as nudity." 

I must say that I have never felt more relaxed and un-selfconscious. There really was an other worldly feeling of innocence  and complete acceptance there. I would go back in a heart beat if I could.

I did most of the paintings near to the cottage we were staying at. The light there was lovely, and the clouds amazing. This view is from the path behind our cottage looking down the lane to the South.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Flying in to Bordeaux

We are back from our magical week in France. I had hoped to be able to post somethin everyday we were there, but overestimated how easy it would be to get to a Wifi spot in order to get online. So, now I'll put something up in the order I would have done if I had been able to post everyday.

I took these two photos looking out of the window just before landing in Bordeaux. The river is the Garonne, which flows through Bordeaux to the sea. Our final destination was a camping community just outside the seaside town of Montalivet, about an hour and a half northwest of Bordeaux.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Another Tahoe Painting

Here is a photo of the first painting I did in Tahoe that a very nice couple bought from off the easel! I was so caught up in talking with them that I forgot to photograph it. Luckily my talented photographer sister-in-law Stacy remembered and took this photo of the painting.
We are back home now, but will be leaving in a day for one week in France! I'm going to try to post from over there using my phone like I did this time from Tahoe, so stay tuned.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Lake Tahoe Summer

Here is a view I painted looking east toward the casinos. Every afternoon there are these beautiful mansions of clouds towering up from behind the mountains.

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Saturday, July 30, 2011

Lake Tahoe Thunderheads

We are here enjoying awesome weather at Lake Tahoe. I did this little 8x6 inch painting yesterday afternoon right before I almost keeled over from the heat! I had already painted another scene a couple of hours earlier and sold it right off the easel! Of course I didn't get a shot of it with this camera, but my sister-in-law Stacy did with hers, so I'll be able to post that when we get home.
Anyway, these afternoon thunderheads were a preview of even more amazing clouds and weather later in the early evening. Lake Tahoe is truly such a beautiful place.

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Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Goat Skull #2

Here's another view of the skull which we have hanging in our living room. Joel bought it a long time ago in Mexico, I think. We have a cow skull too, which is beautiful, and huge. I'd love to paint it as well, but have to figure out how to hang it in my tiny studio and light it so I can paint a decent portrait of it. Anyway, until then, here is the goat.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Goat Skull #1

Here is another object here in the house that I've wanted to capture on canvas for months and months. Feeling burned out on landscapes, this was another big, but fun challenge. I'll probably keep coming back to this guy...

Friday, July 8, 2011

Cute Little Espresso Maker

I seem to have fallen off the wagon, tho I'm not sure that's the right metaphor. Anyway, I have been painting, just not posting so here is my first post in awhile. What with all the shows in the spring and early summer, I didn't seem able to get back in the swing of things. So I made myself paint this humble little object. I've always loved looking at it, and of course it makes a wonderful cup of coffee...

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Crystal Cove from Above

Here is a little view of the cottages up on the cliff. I repainted this from an earlier version.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Wine Glass

It's been harder than I thought it would be to focus after all the deadlines have come and gone. There's a few more things coming up, but not the tidal wave of the last 2 months. So here I am back in the studio, seemingly at square one again. So, what better than a simple subject, my favorite glass. I did this once when I first started the blog and will probably do it again many times, but it's easy to start with something simple.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Empty Saddle

Here is a painting I did for a commission of the Empty Saddle Statue at the San Juan Capistrano Mission. Every year a mass and ceremony are held there to commemorate those members of the Viaje de Portola who have passed away the previous year. Here is a link which explains a little bit more about the ceremony:

I worked on this during the past crazy couple of months. Now that it is finished and all the shows are over I feel a little aimless. I'll have to zero in on some new projects.

Also at this weekend's show I was honored to receive a second place award for my painting Bell Canyon Creek.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Trabuco Creek Morning

Here is a little morning view from down in Trabuco Creek where it runs through O'Neill Park. It's amazing to me that this beautiful place lies practically out my back door. If I were a bird I could fly to this spot in about a minute. Amazing.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Sun on Bell Canyon Creek

I hiked down to Bell Canyon Creek in Caspers Park a couple of weeks ago, looking for places to paint for our Paint the Parks Show this week-end. I was surprised to see there was still water flowing in the creek. This was a really difficult painting to photograph however. It sort of looks like this, but not so orange, or so bright in the cliff shadows. Anyway, it was a beautiful afternoon, and that location and creek are becoming my favorite subject to paint.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

"Less is More" Show

If you've been wondering why I haven't posted anything for weeks, it's because I've been busy preparing for these 2 shows which are now finally here. This show will be opening at the same time the weekend show is ongoing. This show, titled "Less is More", is put on by the Laguna Plein Painters Assoc. which I just joined late last year. These are the 2 paintings juried into this show.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Paint the Parks Juried Paintings

Finally, our "Paint the Parks" Show is next weekend. Friday is the Artist's Reception and Gala where 60 of our paintings were juried in by nationally known Plein Air Artist John Budicin. It's all very exciting and I'm really looking forward to it all.
Here are the 2 paintings of mine that were juried into the show. Wish me luck

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Limestone Sinks

A few weeks ago, as part of a program to open up previously closed wilderness areas in Orange County, I traveled with about 10 other artists in a big truck with all our gear to an area in the Limestone Canyon Regional Park called the Limestone Sinks, named for a geologic event hundreds of years ago which resulted in a landscape some have called a Mini-Grand Canyon. The view was truly spectacular, and so far off the normal routes as to be almost pristine. It was beautifully quiet, the hawks flying overhead seeming somehow more wild than when we see them swooping over the freeway on the lookout for unsuspecting prey.
I didn't finish my painting there, having chosen too large a canvas, but I got a good start on something and I was able to finish it in the studio.
I'll be showing this painting, (and a bunch more that I'll be posting in the next few days), at our upcoming Paint the Parks Show and Sale on May 20-22 in Irvine.