Sunday, December 30, 2012


A quiet corner of the house with a couple of guitars.  

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Breakfast at Neptune - La Jolla

I was able to get a painting in this morning before the storm came on shores.  This is along Neptune again, love this area.  The tide was starting to go out so I was able to set up on the rocks.  

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Three by Four

Each painting is a an individually painted 6 x 6.  I love to paint persimmons, and went on a bender so I made a 'quad' photo of them here. Three by four because there are 3 persimmons in each composition. The top left I call "Hug it Out".  Too cozy...

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Foggy High Tide

Foggy morning at Torrey Pines with incredibly high tides.  

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Poinsettia Bowl

The Poinsettia Bowl is coming to town in a couple of weeks.  SDSU Aztecs v BYU.  Looking forward to this game - hope the weather is good.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Foggy Torrey Pines Morning

Foggy morning - just as the light was coming up.  I recently read an article by an artist about how to find wonderful compositions to paint in plein air.  The artist recommended all the standard tips and also suggested turning around because you never know what's behind you.  I was hiking at the reserve and I thought the entire area was too fogged in to snap any photos (I didn't have my gear with me) but then I turned around and there was this view.  I didn't have my camera either so I had to take a photo with my cell phone. I am still working on this one. 

Monday, November 26, 2012

A Pair of Pears

Layin' down on the job.  These pears should ripen into a nice warm color in a few days.  Love that this is pomegranate season now.  Cool days and evenings for the most part.  But not as cool as Minneapolis, where it is 12 degrees tonight, yes that's farenheit.  I love living in San Diego!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Fall Persimmons

It was too foggy in the morning to paint at the beach - I was hoping that it would burn off and warm up but no luck.   So I shopped for some fruit and came back home to paint a still life.  I love persimmons, they have a lot of personality and such rich color.  And so it's Sunday - back to work tomorrow, the beginning of the end of November, which means I need to start planning the whole Christmas decoration scheme and think about what to cook, bake and eat during the holidays!  Right, off to the gym in the morning.    

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Morning Stroll at La Jolla Shores

Ahhhh.  Quick sketch today of La Jolla Shores and the Scripps Pier, just returned from a trip spent with family for Thanksgiving.  Lots and lots of laughter, mixed in with a spattering of passionate debate around politics, religion and money.   And we all know how much fun that is, especially when there are political polar opposites participating in the debate.  What's that old saying about topics not fit for the dinner table?  My family didn't get the memo.  But all in good fun, no blood was drawn, dinner was fabulous, and feisty spades tournaments proceeded with gusto.   The most wonderful part of the holiday was the new baby girl to ooh and aah over, to dote and coo over, and the stunningly bright and beautiful older sister (10 yr old), who is in her own right a budding artist and baseball player.  And of course seeing my beautiful niece and her 'honey buns' (Husband)!

Sunday, November 18, 2012


It's that time of year again where the days are shorter, fewer hours to paint in plein air.  Time to start painting still life compositions so I can continue to paint from real life as frequently as possible.  I've been painting outside so much this year, it will be interesting to see if it has changed my studio painting, theoretically is supposed to be a positive influence.  I find that it is easier for me to use more paint when I paint still life compositions.  The studio composition is more controlled, and so there is more comfort and playfulness, fewer composition challenges and environmental elements not under one's control.    

Monday, November 12, 2012

Sometimes You Ride the Wave, Sometimes the Wave Rides You

Overworking the work again!  This is from the beach at Del Mar and should have been left alone much earlier than I finally did! Oh Well, another opportunity to learn that lesson.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Morning at Del Mar

I started this painting on site and brought it back to the studio for some finishing touches, which is alway a challenge and not necessarily always a good idea.  I wanted to work on the cliffs in shadow, bring out some of the warmth in the shadows but also keep the cool early morning shadows.  I finally put the paintbrush down long after I should have but if learning is the point, it was a very successful exercise!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Sonoma on my Easel

Getting some paintings ready for the C-Note at the Museum of the Living Artist in Balboa Park.  The last day to enter is tomorrow! Nothing like getting them in under the wire...  I have four paintings, from different places I traveled to this year.  The above from Sonoma, another from the Setauket Mill Pond on Long Island, one from Boston and one from Cambria, California.  

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Saturday, November 3, 2012

The California Tower

This is the California Tower, or almost all of it, in Balboa Park with the Old Globe peaking out from behind it.  It was a beautiful, sunny afternoon in the park - this was the 2nd of two paintings.  I am learning to pack lighter when painting in plein air. After taking a workshop from Lori Putman in Carmel, I started using lighter canvas panels and loading up my palette with enough paint, and leaving the tubes behind (I do bring my tube of white).  I had to replace my umbrella, the last one broke and the new one is probably a lb heavier but has a longer reach and can adjust 360 degrees.  Now if I could just reduce the number of brushes I pack!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Balboa Park

Time to get back to painting!  This is from Balboa Park, warm, sunny day in the park - it was nice to paint in the shade next to the promenade.  This view is looking east, with the fountain out to the left. 

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Morning at North Torrey Pines

It rained hard the last couple of days - this morning was clear and sunny so I got over to the beach early and tested out my new Plein Air umbrella.  My old one was starting to break up, and the new one has an arm that has a 360 degree range.  

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Grand Canyon Study

I'm working on a study of the Grand Canyon, trying to get the design where I want it so I can paint this much larger.  This is a 12 x 16, painted from a photo I took last week while on the ride down to the bottom of the canyon on a mule.  I'm sure the guide could name these buttes but I have since forgotten, there were so many, so much beauty.  

I've been painting in plein air a lot lately, so much so that painting from a photo has become difficult because it renders the scene flatly on many levels.  The camera can not capture the full spectrum of color, not to mention the atmosphere between the south and north rim.  I think I will just have to go back there to paint on site!  Just in September there was a Grand Canyon Plein Air Festival, some of the painters hiked down to Phantom Ranch and sent their gear down on mules.  I don't know if I would take that 5 hour journey to the bottom again and then back up, what with Jesus Corner and Skeleton Pass, but then again...

Saturday, October 6, 2012

San Elijo Lagoon

A 12 x 16 study at the Lagoon, it was a beautiful morning and the fish were jumping!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Last Summer Heat at Torrey Pines Beach

Quick study of the beach at Torrey Pines, in the last hot days of September.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012


I was able to catch this wave in my camera the other day at Windansea Beach in La Jolla while I was painting.  It was such a beautiful afternoon. It started out as an overcast day, then the sun broke through - and I didn't have my umbrella up to shield my setup, so I started chasing a painting - I didn't stick to the value sketch I did at the beginning, and I had my palette in direct sun so I started using colors and values that - well who knows what I was doing - I couldn't see!  Couldn't see the value on the canvas, couldn't see for the reflections on the palette.   But I thought, hunky-dory, this will be great!!!  It was almost a good thing that the one I painted in plein air flipped onto the dirt patch where I was, because when I got home and looked at it - what a mess I had made of it.   The dirt and pebbles that were stuck to the surface didn't really ruin anything, quite the opposite.  All said and done, I moved on to paint this from reference, and in the process learned something about crashing waves.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

"Wild" Morning at San Elijo Lagoon

The Plein Air group painted at the San Elijo Lagoon this morning, and what a beautiful location, there is so much to paint.  There is foundation now and a Parks and Rec building with a guide (no sign of Amy Poehler).  There are tours by volunteer docents and wild life scavenger hunts for kids.  A lot of progress since I lived up the street in the early 80's.

And this morning was full of wild life.  A young Osprey was right across this creek from where I set up.  Its mother circled above at one point, high in the sky while the young one chirped to get her attention but the mother went on her way.  Then of course, there were the jumping fish.  What fun that was to watch, and then I was able to catch the landing of an egret.   See the video below for all the action.  (Bear with me on the wobblies, my little camera, I agree, could zoom with more grace).

The audio is a song that came to mind when seeing the Osprey.  p.s I apologize for that first frame, didn't realize what was going on or I  would have given the bird some privacy.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Late Afternoon Round at Pacific Grove

It was late in the day, and a bit overcast at Pacific Grove.  This is the municipal golf course just south of Monterey, and this hole is right next to the lighthouse with the ocean behind me.   The road winds around the coast here, so that the lighthouse is also facing toward the Pacific.  It is such a beautiful scenic area, Monterey, Pacific Grove and Carmel.  And this such a beautiful golf course.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Under Cover at the Beach - Torrey Pines

It was another hot and sunny day, the only place to be was at the beach.  This beach is just north of the golf course at Torrey Pines, just south of Del Mar.  One of my most favorite beaches. 

Below is a short video of the beach that was taken before I started painting.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Setauket Mill Pond - Red Barn

I did a study of this barn in the Reboli Wet Paint event this spring, which was sponsored by Gallery North.  I have wanted to get back to it, do a larger version of it using the study.  This was, I recall, the only sunny day of the 3 day event, it was a cold and rainy week!  But it was fun and I got a lot of reference material.  

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Dog Days at Sunset Cliffs

What a morning, I think it was near 80 degrees at the beach by 9 this morning.  It was hot and sunny - not too windy so I setup on one of the rocks or 'cliffs'.  I am trying something new here on my blog, when I can do so (and remember to do so) I will add a very short video taken on location so you can get a feeling for the setting.  I hope you enjoy it - and of course your comments are welcomed!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Sunflowers and Marigolds - Earthbound Farms, Carmel

It was a chilly, overcast day in Carmel.  Day one of the recent workshop I took with Lori Putman last week.  This is the 2nd painting/study of the day, of the garden.  Sunflowers and marigolds, and as I was painting one of the men who worked the fields was ripping up the marigolds so I painted fast!  

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Figure Drawing

I dropped in at a Figure Drawing session at "Monday Night Life Drawing" at the Museum of the Living Artist in Balboa Park.  I do NOT have a drawing background, never took fine arts in highschool or college, I draw only to paint.  Which made this such fun!  The evening starts with 1 minute poses, there were 10 of these.  Followed by four 5 minute poses, then 2 ten minutes, which I have posted here.  I had to leave before the 20 minute poses but I will be back.  

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Birdrock at Low Tide

My setup this morning was in the stairwell down to the beach.  I perched my easel on the cement railing on a landing before the last set of steps down to the water.  The beach below had no beach, no level ground - just large rocks making setup there impossible.  This is Birdrock, the area is named for it.  It is just south of Windansea, two of my most favorite spots in the world.  I grabbed a cup of coffee from Birdrock Coffee Roasters and one of their fresh croissants from the French Gourmet, the sun was out and so were the birds.  There were several birds sunbathing on the rock but I didn't put them in this painting. Perhaps next time.  After I painted, I went south a few blocks for a dip in the ocean.  The water was divine, the warmest I can recall in years.  Oh - I changed the poem on my blog, I recently came across the lyrics which were written by a Norwegian from Minnesota, and I found such a connection. 

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Overcast at Windansea Beach

Beautiful day at the beach, a bit overcast but the weather was lovely.  The tide was coming in but I could still catch the rocks and all the action going on there.  This beach is a bit south of the cove.  The plein air group was painting closer to La Jolla cove today, however I didn't find them, they were somewhere off Coast Blvd, and I landed south from there, off Neptune.  I found this spot while I was winding my way north from Bird Rock.  Early this morning I dropped my daughter at the airport to make her return to school on the east coast, then I went to get a croissant, the best croissant in San Diego at the French Gourmet on Turquoise.  As luck would have it, French Gourmet was not open yet so I headed north to Bird Rock to grab a coffee at Bird Rock Coffee Roasters.  While I was there the French Gourmet delivery truck pulled up with fresh croissants!  Merci!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Ebey's Landing - Whidbey Island

Ebey's Landing on Whidbey Island.  This painting is from reference, from my recent trip to Washington.  I traveled along through Whidbey Island, where there are two art schools (very impressive for such a sparsely populated area).  I stopped along the way several times to take photos, grab coffee and visit a gallery or two.  This house is actually facing Puget Sound, which is behind me.  A beautiful beach with lots and lots of bleached driftwood and a few fishermen at the shoreline.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Midday Sun Splash

I did two paintings yesterday at Sunset Cliffs, this is the second painting, done around 11 or so, when the midday sun was very strong.  There are a few changes I would like to make but it will do for now!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

A Big Splash - Sunset Cliffs

The San Diego Plein Air Painters were painting at Sunset Cliffs today.  I got there early and finished two paintings.  It was a gorgeous day at the beach, the only place to be on such a hot day.  

I'm attending a workshop at the end of the month in Carmel (!), and the instructor, Lori Putnam, recommended a palette, as is usually the case.  And I find that I get the most from workshops if I use the same materials as the instructors.  Instructors will usually talk about why they use the materials they do, the palette they work with and other materials and it's really good to see what other artists use.  All of the instructors of the workshops I have attended use a limited palettes themselves or recommend a limited palette for workshops so purchasing the paint is not a huge investment.  Lori Putnam uses Blue Ridge Oils out of Asheville NC,  oils made by hand.  I got my order, unpacked the box to find each tube with a hand written label, at that point I was intrigued. I broke them out today at the beach and LOVE them, they are very buttery. And as we all know, every thing is better with butter!  I also really like the palette - it is Ultramarine Blue, Pyrol Red (never heard of this), Warm Rose (didn't try it yet), Indian Yellow (like Cad Yellow Deep), Cad Yellow Medium, and Thalo Turqoise (new to me but love it), there is no Alizaron Crimson which has always been a staple but I did just fine without it!  

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

On a Wild Snowgoose Chase

My Cousin, Cindy, and I left Anacortes on our way down to Bothell via Fir Island.  We were on a quest to find Snowgoose Produce, a local produce stand that purportedly has the best ice cream and yes, very good produce.  I really, really, wanted one of the cones which are served in freshly bakes waffle cones, with a softball size scoop of ice cream on top.  But alas, I didn't go for it - this time.  Instead we picked up some local Dungeness crab and corn on the cob for a BBQ later in the evening.  Back to the painting above, this is one of the farms in the valley, a spot we pulled over to turn around (again and again) before we finally found Fir Island and Snowgoose Produce.  Well worth the trip!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Whidbey Island - Greenbank Barn

I worked in the bushes to the right of the barn or house, whatever it may be - and added dimension in the foreground then worked on the tree line in the background.  I plan to put it aside for a few days to see if I need to work on some bits here and there.  

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Whidbey Island Farmhouse

The above picture is the start of a sketch from my trip through Whidbey Island.  I was driving on the 20/525 through Greenbank and had to pull over to take this photo.  I'm still working on this but have gotten it blocked in below.  So if you are driving through Greenbank to Langley, stop at Timbuktu - great cafe with tantalizing morsels and great coffee and great vistas.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Salmon-chanted Evening - Sammamish Slough

This is such a beautiful little spot in the town of Bothell, north of Seattle, it's down the street from my cousin's place.  There is a kayak hut on the shore to the left, where I rented a kayak and paddled down the river after I painted one afternoon.  

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Red Barn, Sonoma

Finally near finished -  this from my trip to Sonoma - a visit to my daughter at the end of May.  It is so beautiful there, by far one of my favorite areas in California.  I have been wanting to work some of the scenes from that trip but have been so busy this summer.  It feels like days since I've posted a painting but I've been working on this one over quite a few days, but then of course I was also out of town.  Back from Washington and Vancouver with lots of material to work from, can't wait!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Ferguson Point, Third Beach in Stanley Park, Vancouver

Quick study at Third Beach in Stanley Park. Started the day with a walk along the seawall, then breakfast at a small cafe called the Red Umbrella in the West End. I headed to Stanley Park, I did a few laps around in t he car to find where I wanted to paint. I settled here to do a quick sketch, by the Teahouse. What a beautiful park!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Pouring in Vancouver?

Is it pouring? No. If you do the conversion to metric, divide pouring by 2 and subtract raining = drizzling. None the less, it is a beautiful and walkable city. Reminds me of Boston and San Francisco, and the food! Stephos in the West End, Mouth watering Greek food. Tomorrow's weather is supposed to improve and I hope to bring my easel and take the water taxi around the city and find a spot or two to set up and paint.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Sammamish River, Bothell Wa

This is the Sammamish Slough, not to be confused with Seattle Slew. A beautiful river in Bothell that connects to Lake Washington. Staying with cousins in Bothell, just north of Seattle which is closely located to St. Michelle Winery, which is a wonderful concert venue.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Bird of a Feather

A quick study from  Lake Poway.   Boy - it has been warm these past few days.

Monday, July 9, 2012

The Beach at Calafia

A view from San Clemente State Beach at the end of Calafia.  It's a plein air piece I did during the San Clemente paint out. We got some beautiful weather for painting for the week.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Lake Poway

Quick study of Lake Poway.  This is the north west side of the trail head that goes around the lake.  Ramona in the background.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012