Saturday, December 22, 2012

Captivating Crystal Cove

We discovered this gem of California about 10 years ago and have visited many times since. I've done several paintings in various sizes of the ramshackle cottages along this glorious stretch of coastline and never tire of this theme. The 1988 film "Beaches" with Bette Midler was filmed there and the feeling portrayed harkens back to a simpler time showcasing the quintessential beach cottage of all our dreams. It has now become a State Park and people can rent the refurbished cottages if they can navigate the website with it's lottery system. I've tried and have given up, but I continue to visit and while away the golden hours with my camera or easel and gooey paint.
You won't be hearing from me for about a week or so, but have yourselves a lovely time of slowing down and cherishing those you love. Please know that I'll be thinking of you with great fondness.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Awe and Wonder

Seem to be focused on heavenly visions as they provide balm for a troubled heart, and simply living on the western edge affords more than enough. Looking ahead to time with those fabulous boys of ours and making  another memory to tuck away for a rainy day. I love being in my studio and reflecting on stuff like that while I'm painting as it re-charges my emotional batteries. Moments shared, cherished and remembered create a golden pathway before us, giving us strength and joy. May each of you be blessed by the love and family and friends now and into the new year as we anticipate, pray for and create a better world. 

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Family Photo

I had a crazy day today, getting my hair done and sending out a few greetings, so decided to share this family shot with all of you in lieu of a painting. Our younger son Levi (far right) set up this shot at Thanksgiving with his new super duper Canon 5DIII camera and I just love the sunset glow of the Mendocino sky behind us. Levi works freelance in the film industry and Abe is a professional musician, so they both live in Los Angeles where the work happens to be. We'll be visiting them for a few days and wanted to let you know that I'm likely to be sporadic with posting paintings, but I promise not to disappear completely. Love to you all and may your Christmas and New Year be blessed beyond measure.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Looking Heavenward

I couldn't get that heavenly sky out of my mind, so decided to try and paint it and continue to work through the ache in my heart. Wouldn't you know that my husband and I had a bit of a tiff in the process. Learning to not lean on my own understanding and that involves relinquishing the illusion of control I have over 'things'. Learning to choose to accept each step as a gift, even if it's tough and thanking you for sharing snippets of this path with me. May your week be blessed with the love of family and friends and the coming year bring and awareness of all things bright and beautiful. 
I must share a wonderful quote I saw today on Facebook that I hope ties things together:

"When a train goes through a tunnel and it gets dark, you don't throw away the ticket and jump off. You sit and trust the engineer." - Corrie ten Boom

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Different Day

As I was busy painting a special commission for a friend to give as a gift, I realized that the sky was all lit up and rushed to the window. Just as I finished snapping the sky photo, I saw a new kind of Santa walking down the street with his little helper. This one had a police badge on his arm and the two of them were passing out blue candy canes and spreading good cheer and with it a message of safety. We all need this right now and it really touched me during a difficult week when I haven't been able to truly concentrate on much. The tragic loss of innocent lives has touched us all and I've been processing it with tears and prayers. I hope that these two photos bring a measure of comfort as you process and contemplate.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Local Landmark

Not long ago, I had a bunch of time to kill while waiting for a friend and was able to catch a slightly different angle of "Jessica Fletcher's" house. The arbor goes to the house next door, but certainly adds an element of grace and balance to the other whites in the painting dotcha think? I have to say that it's a bit of a challenge in a town this size to continue to find new things to paint, but thankfully the landmarks are worth repeating and this one in particular eh? One visual delight after another continues to make my life full and fabulous, that's for sure and for certain.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Snowy Blanket

Kinda felt like doing something fitting for the season, so here you have a snowy scene that is nowhere near Mendocino. I saw this lovely pastoral setting on a trip through Southern Oregon some time ago and shot it out the back of the car window as we were zipping by and it took my breath away, even at 65 miles per hour. I have no affinity for snow even though I grew up in South Lake Tahoe (sorry peeps) but I sure wish I saw more of it for purposes of painting the fluffy stuff with those wonderful pastel blue and lavender shadows......................

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Home Again, Home Again

Leaving yesterday's barns behind us we meander toward the coast through some very picturesque and memorable countryside. An oak tree up close and personal hangs over the roadway, creating a gold tinged  umbrella that creates yummy shadows while revealing dramatic shafts of light. It's much easier to drive home in the morning WITHOUT the sun in your eyes but not quite as inspirational, so I'll take the torture any day.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Warm Hills of California

Alright people, I have every right to bounce from one location to the other. After indulging in the garish colors of a Southern California sunset, I needed the calm and quiet of my local hills and meadows along highway 128. A bit reminiscent of the triptych I just did but this time with a few rustic old barns and fences. I love watching the animals wander about and the funky old buildings that house them, but must say that I'm happy to be a towny girl that enjoys keeping my hands and feet pretty clean.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

So SoCal

Don't crazy sunsets just get your heart a tickin' with a feeling of awe and wonder? It's hard to take one on in a painting because the colors are just so outrageous, but the reality is just plain like this if not better. This is from a photo I shot somewhere south of LA and north of San Diego and I have to say that palm trees are the ticket. They add a graceful vertical line and spell out 'Warm Weather' is here, so get your tushie here to enjoy it. Wish it wasn't such a long drive from Mendocino.........................................

Monday, December 10, 2012

Pair and a Spare

I have a step brother that got married this past weekend up in Graeagle, so I was out of commission for a few days. A perfectly delightful affair and a gorgeous step sister in law has now been added, much to everyone's delight. On the way home, we passed this location in Lake County (I think), in between Williams and Clearlake and remembered some photos I'd taken in the past. It was fun to discover the old photo today as the sun was blazing and having just seen the scene made it a great endeavor. Green is my favorite color and when these hills have had enough water, they look just like crushed green velvet. Ahhhhhhhh...........

Jesse Kalin Carson with Tomas and me and Krista Kline Carson from South Lake Tahoe

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Luminous Line Up

As if the view at Pacific Star isn't enough, Sally has this spectacular array of giant urns and pots full of glorious color near the entrance to the tasting room. You have seen another painting done from this same location but not quite like this one with different blooms and a new format as well. It is just so fun to play with shapes and shadows and then adding the colors and the LIGHT. I think it's her big stacked up barrels that are casting the shadows, and boy does it smell like squished up grapes around there.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

First Signs of Spring

Well, you must have figured out that my iPad is still giving me problems and that I've been out of town. I'm posting the painting I did as the demonstration in Napa and hope it inspires patient but joyful anticipation of the coming Spring. 
  Next I'm showing you the framed triptych and the lovely couple that commissioned me. We had a delightful time last Sunday night seeing it hung as Steve is quite the mathematical/woodworking superman. It adds a wonderful dimension of warmth to their entryway and ties all of their furnishings, various woods and adjacent rooms together beautifully. My husband had some challenges while framing it, but given the size of each canvas they were minimal and the results were great. What an honor to be trusted with such a project and something I've added to my gratitude list for sure and for certain. Thank you SO MUCH Steve and Susie!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

First Signs of Spring

I had the privilege of doing a demonstration painting before a group of people in napa today, at my friend Jessel's gallery. She has invited me to teach there and wanted her students to see how I paint so that they might want to sign up in the future. It was great fun to do a vineyard scene of mustard as this is what we are now looking forward to after the long winter that is still ahead. I am also posting from my iPad for the first time and feel like I'm all thumbs and quite the dim wit in the thinking department! Hope I can get in the swing of things with this new technology, so hang in there with me and we're sure to have more fun soon.