Saturday, November 28, 2009

Winter Morning at the Back Bay

I hope everyone had a fantastic Thanksgiving and that you are all prepared for the breakneck, hypersonic, headlong slide into the new year that we all know as the month of December. Seriously, each day seems only to have about six hours in it. And each day I seem to have about 24 hours of stuff to do. Actually it's not quite that bad, it's just my brain. It can only do about 4 things a day, and that's when I make lists!  Anyway, this is only a roundabout way to say that postings may be a bit thin the next few weeks. That's why I love that our painting group has Friday painting dates. I try and make myself do these as often as I can. Here is one from the Newport Back Bay, looking west this time, from a point on Back Bay Drive, which is a narrow road that skirts the bay's east side. (See September 19 for a view looking south.) It was breezy, cool and cloudy. A perfect winter day.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Heritage Hill Arbor

Well, finally I'm back. Why do the days seem to go faster and faster and faster as the holidays and the end of the year approach? Is it gravity? Anyway, our group met at a beautiful little park here in Lake Forest called Heritage Hill Historical Park. Several very old buildings from the earliest days in Orange County have been moved here to form a little cluster of history. There is a ranch house and church and several other buildings surrounded by wonderful native plants. It was an unexpected and pleasant surprise. I chose to paint this little gazebo which is apparently available to rent for weddings, just as the sun came raking through the trees.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Crystal Cove Garages - Redux NFS

What a beautiful day it was at Crystal Cove on Friday. I was able to do two paintings; this is the second one, a view you may recognize from way back in September when I posted a larger painting of these beautiful old garages. Or, at least I think they are beautiful. As I was painting this on Friday, two couples strolled by on their way back up to the parking lot. One of the guys said "I guess beauty is in the eye of the beholder", meaning I suppose that all he could see was some old ramshackle buildings. So that's why I'm the artist and he's not, because I see endless color, texture, line and shape, not to mention the history of these old sheds, built by the residents, and used for decades. All of us artists rue the day when they will be "restored". Granted they are falling apart, and need to be fixed. It's just that we will miss them.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Crystal Cove - Fisherman's Perch NFS

I finally made it outside to do some plein air work again. Our group met down at Crystal Cove, where I did a painting a couple of weeks ago. I never get tired of painting here, and a good thing too, since I have heard that I will be able to exhibit in the Gift Shop there next year. When I know which quarter I'll be showing, I'll post it up here. Here is a view of Cottage #37, "Fisherman's Perch", with just a glimpse of Cottage #32, "Painters Cottage" down the end of the path on the left. Here is a link to the Crystal Cove Alliance website where you can learn more about the park and the history there:

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Keyhole Rock & Double Raspberry Preserves

I am reposting two previous paintings which were not for sale when I first put them up, but now are. The Keyhole Rock painting was done for a commission but didn't fit the requirements so it's now for sale. The Double Raspberry Preserves are available now too.

Lots of bookkeeping and business to take care of the next couple of days, so this is it until next time.

I can't figure out how to attach a Buy Now Button for each separate painting so just email me if you are interested:

Monday, November 9, 2009

Two Persimmons

Another Autumn Fruit: Persimmons. I have always admired the beautiful colors and glassy smooth skins of this beautiful fruit, but have never managed to figure out how, or when to eat one. Any suggestions now that I've painted them?

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Mandarin Orange

November and December doesn't only mean gourds, and squash, and dried leaves, it also means Clementines and Mandarine Oranges. Why? I don't know. Anyway, here is a large Mandarine Orange, partially disrobed. These are very sweet and juicy; Thank you Costco.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

A Tumble of Apples

I mentioned a couple of days ago that I went crazy taking photos of all the beautiful fruits and vegetables displayed under the white canopies at the Santa Barbara Farmers Market.
It truly was like looking at gems, laid out in the soft shade, just glowing with color. I had already envisioned a sort of wallpaper like painting, so took photos close up so the whole frame was filled with shapes and colors, creating a bit of an abstract pattern even though the objects are recognizable. Here is the first of what I hope will be several paintings of the produce I photographed there. These are apples obviously. I was so wrapped up in getting the shot though that I forgot to note which variety they were. I've pumped up the color quite a bit because I could.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Autumn Sycamore Leaf - SOLD

Well, I finished this on Tuesday, but ran out of daylight to photograph it in. My goodness 5 pm comes early. I wish it were darker in the morning so we could have that extra hour of daylight at the other end of the day. Realistically, I'll have to find a way to photograph with lights that is quick and easy and doesn't involve transforming our garage into a photo studio, which is how we photograph the larger paintings I do, 4 or 5 at a time.

So, here is a lovely leaf. Our lake is surrounded at its north end by many sycamore trees. In autumn the color change is subtle, transforming from summer's bright green/yellow to autumn's  dusky gold and reddish brown. It's the shapes they contort into as they dry that is the chief attraction for me, presenting a classic problem of form and value, not dissimilar to painting drapery or crumpled paper.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Mama's Double Raspberry Preserves

During my visit to Santa Barbara, we went to the Farmer's Market on Saturday. There were rows of vendors with more fresh produce than I've seen in a long time. Crowds of people came to shop and to visit. I took photos of all the fruits and vegetables with my phone, I just couldn't help myself. I stopped by a booth that sold jams and preserves to take a few photos and admire their wares. When the woman tending all the beautiful jars of jam heard that I was a painter of food gathering some photo references for future paintings, she gave me a jar of jam!! So, here is my portrait of the Triple Raspberry preserves from "Mama's Preserves", located in Arroyo Grande, CA. Their website is:, in case you want to look at their online catalog.

I can't seem to get these photos lined up in a row, so here they are all stacked in a vertical.