Thursday, May 30, 2013

"Pink Ice Paradise, Pacific Grove", 12x16, oil on board

 "Pink Ice Paradise, Pacific Grove", 12x16, oil on board

One of the things that I enjoyed most about our recent trip to California, was painting the pink ice plants at Pacific Grove. So today and yesterday I set about to paint them again!

It was a cold and brutally windy April day, and as I set up I wondered if the wind would blow both me and my easel over the ledge and to the rocks below! In spite of the wind, I was totally enamoured with the idea of capturing these vivid pink carpets of spreading flowers, and set about to do so.

That's me in the distance painting away happily, as my hubby walked around taking photos of all the beauty:

In the end, I was really happy with my plein air sketch, and have already wrote about it on my blog here, but in case you missed it, here's the way my plein air painting came out:

I suspect that the plein air painting is closer to the local color than I depicted above, but I couldn't help myself in making a decision to push the color in the studio painting that I did today!

Here was the reference photo that I used. I decided to omit the sea wall and concentrate more on the pink carpet effect:

I really enjoyed painting this, and I hope that you enjoy it , too!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

"Cap'n Jake's Crab Boat", plein air, 12x12, oil on board

"Cap'n Jake's Crab Boat", plein air, 12x12, oil on board

Yesterday was one of those rare May days in Florida without much humidity so I decided to go back to Blackburn Point and see if the old crab boat was there. Surprisingly, it hadn't budged an inch since I was there back in March.

So I set up and started painting. The sun was bright when I started but then turned very cloudy. I managed to get enough info down before becoming distracted by the changed light, and decided to call it a day.

The first time that I painted this scene I used a 9x12. I must admit that I like the rectangular format better than the square. The light was much brighter that day as well, and it definitely influenced the light temperature I depicted in the painting.

 "No Crabs Today!", plein air, 9x12

So much about painting is trial and error. Why did the first painting come together more easily than the second, I wondered? Did the clouds affect my mood yesterday? Did I give myself too many color choices by not limiting my palette? The questions that go through my mind after a painting session are usually endless, and I often lay awake for hours trying to figure out what went wrong with a painting.

But I guess the most important question of the day is this? Where are the crabs? Poor Captain Jake is surely gonna go out of business soon if the crabs don't come back! And yes, there has been a dearth of them on the menus in area restaurants as well. Good luck Captain Jake. If you need cash maybe you should charge a modeling fee. I really do enjoy painting this old boat!!!!!!

This painting is available through Galerie du Soleil.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

"5th Hole- Pebble Beach Golf Links"-8x10, Pebble Beach Golf Course, paintings of pebble beach, leaning cypress, ice plants, pacific coastal art, golf pro art


"5th Hole- Pebble Beach Golf Links"-8x10

Pebble Beach Golf Course is world-renowned. The best golfers the world over have played this course, including Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods!  I could understand why after taking a drive along the famous 17 mile drive that stretches from Carmel to Monterrey and along the beautiful Pacific Coast that the Pebble Beach Golf Course calls home. As we passed the course, we ran into a couple deer that were taking their time sauntering among the holes along with the golfers!

There was an abundance of gorgeous objects for an artist like myself to feast my eyes on, in addition to the deer, which included the wind-blown cypress tress, the spreading pink ice plants and golden poppies as well. Overall, the Pebble Beach area is not just a golfer's paradise, It is an artist's paradise as well!

PS: I'm now thinking of taking up golf!

If you have a dad or hubby who is a golf enthusiast, this painting would make a great Father's Day Gift! If he can't play at Pebble Beach, he can at least imagine it! Right?  (Sigh.)

If you are interested in purchasing this painting, please send me an email at, and please check out my website here.

Monday, May 20, 2013

"Eventide" 12x24, oil on panel, eucalyptus trees, California impressionist art, California art, sunsets, colorist art


"Eventide" 12x24, oil on panel

I definitely left my heart in California- among the ice plants and cypress groves and majestic parades of towering eucalyptus trees! I can't wait to go back!

In the meantime, I'll have to be satisfied with painting from photos of our vacation.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

"Sarasota Bay View", plein air, 9x12, oil on panel

"Sarasota Bay View", plein air, 9x12, oil on panel

I painted this a couple months ago during the Morgan Samuel Price workshop but never posted it. I recall that during the critique Morgan said the painting had good depth.

This was what I was looking at that day, from the grounds of the Ringling Museum:
Must be nice to have views like that to look at every day!

Please email me at if you wish to purchase this plein air study.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

"Cypress Cove", 12x16, oil on board, Point Lobos, Cypress grove, cypress trees, Carmel art, Monterrey cypress trees

"Cypress Cove", 12x16, oil on board

This is the first painting that I did after returning home from California a couple weeks ago.  I never had a chance to post it because I've been busy with a large commission. I decided to take a break from the commission for a week or so, and now I need to catch up on my blogging!

Cypress Cove is a beautiful cove in Point Lobos where there are ancient cypress trees that literally hang from the cliff side! One of these is called Old Veteran. Here's a photo of Old Veteran that I took on the day we were there:

Note: Please do not use my photos with permission!

Further along Cypress Grove Trail are clusters of cypress trees rising above the headland above waters that are an almost unbelievable shade of bluish-green. That was the scene that was the inspiration for the painting above:

It's hard to appreciate the color of the water from a photograph, but even from the photo, you can see the strong viridian colors in the water!

It was a rather complicated scene to paint, but I did enjoy it , as it brought back such lovely memories of such a beautiful place! To learn more about Point Lobos State Reserve, you can read about it here.

Monday, May 06, 2013

"View from Cypress Grove Trail", 20x16, oil on linen

"View from Cypress Grove Trail", 20x16, oil on linen

This is the same scene that I painted en plein air while visiting Point Lobos State Reserve last week. I did not have the plein air sketch since it had sold, so I wanted to do a larger painting of that beautiful spot while the subtleties of the scene were still fairly fresh in my mind.

It's funny how much harder this one was for me to do than the plein air sketch. Painting from a photo just doesn't cut it anymore, once you are used to painting from life!

If you are interested in this painting, please contact Gallery 444 in San Francisco.

Friday, May 03, 2013

"Valley Sunset", 8x10, oil on panel, eucalyptus tree, California art, sunsets, mountains, Impressionist art

"Valley Sunset", 8x10, oil on panel

The third thing on my bucket list of things I absolutely had to paint while I was in California was a eucalyptus tree. In my mind, these tall, magnificent trees epitomize grace, mystery and resilience. Their wispy, lace-like leaves hang down in soft patterns, in much the same way that Spanish moss clings to the live oaks that we have here is the southeast.

On Saturday, we drove out to Julian, a western town  in San Diego county that came into being during the California gold rush. It hangs 4,000 feet above sea level and boasts bakeries, antique shops and old- Western style architecture  that attracts tourists. After walking around Julian and eating fresh baked apple pie, we drove back down the mountain to San Diego, just as a magnificent sunset appeared above magenta -colored hills. The sunset and surrounding countryside were breathtaking to behold and I did my best to memorize the moment as we traveled along the hillside.

On Monday, I went to Balboa Park to paint eucalyptus trees as there are literally dozens there. I only had an hour to paint so I wasn't able to complete the scene. Instead, I decided to encorporate my sunset memory with the wispy eucalptus tree  I had begun and what you see above is the result.

I cannot believe how inspiring the California landscape was for me. I do hope I can return there again before my days on earth are over!

If you would like to purchase "Valley sunset", please send me an email at

Thursday, May 02, 2013

"Pacific Grove Ice Plants", 14x11, plein air, ice plants, Pacific Grove, Lover's Point, pink flowers

"Pacific Grove Ice Plants", 14x11, plein air

Another "must paint" on my bucket list while I was in California were ice plants. These beautiful pinkish purple flowers covered the coast like a plush carpet in Pacific Grove last week. It was extremely cold and windy on the ledge next to the ocean when I set up my easel, so I had to work quickly. I loved having the cypress trees in the background as well.

Eventually my bag blew off the ledge and my easel almost went with it, at which point I decided to call it quits. If you'd like to know more about ice plants, here's a good link. If you would like to purchase this painting, please send me an email at

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

"Lonesome Cypress, Los Lobos", plein air, 9x12, Point Lobos, Cypress, Monterrey Cypress, Carmel


"Lonesome Cypress, Los Lobos", plein air, 9x12

I just returned from a 10 day trip to California where I had the chance to spend a few days in beautiful Carmel, on the Monterrey peninsula. The area is truly spectacular and boasts scenery that is guaranteed to whet the appetite of any artist!

We spent an entire day at Point Lobos Nature Reserve which is just a few miles south of the center of town which is called Carmel by the Sea. People wax poetic about Point Lobos and I could truly understand why! We took a nature walk  and tour with a very knowledgeable professor who helped us understand the botany of the area. The Monterrey Cypress tree is indigenous to the area and painting a cypress at Point Lobos was a must-do on my bucket list of things to paint while in California!  There was an abundance of these short, squat, bent and magnificent trees everywhere throughout the Reserve but it didn't take me long to find an area where I had a magnificent view of a cypress on a ledge above the ocean. Here's a photo from our tour of an ancient cypress called the Old Veteran, that literally grows from the rocks on the cliff wall:

We packed a picnic lunch and after our walk through the Cypress Grove we went down to China Cove to have lunch  and enjoy the beautiful weather. Afterwards I went back to Headland Cove and painted for the next few hours.

Just as I was finishing up a lovely couple came by and asked if I would sell the painting to them. They told me that they are art collectors and that they enjoy the spontaneity of plein air painting. Their daughter is a professional artist as well. So I sold the painting to them on the spot and was happy to know I had one less wet painting to worry about transporting!

I didn't get a photo of the final version, but my hubby took the photo at the top when it was pretty close to being finished.

I do hope I'll have the chance to return to Point Lobos again in the future. It was an incredible spot to paint, picnic and just enjoy the magnificent hand of the Creator!