Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Gold and Blue Unite

Even though I was initially enamored with the purple-gray background I painted behind this sunflower a while back, my husband told me to change it to blue. I have no idea if he even read my blog post that day, but he's  typically got great advice even though he's not a painter himself. I must say that it resonates much better now and I'm happy to take it home and hang it in my 'French' room if no one snags it! 
On a side note, I resisted my husband's advice for many years. So much pride involved. I just wanted to have this one little area of my life where he couldn't barge in and say anything. I was dumb. I am now more open to his suggestions because his track record for good advice has pretty much topped the charts. Team playing is a good way to live.  

Monday, March 25, 2013

Heavenly Headlands

This is a scene I marvel at as I come and go each day and I know, poor me. One day I'll break down and tell you some stories about the challenges of living here, but you'd much rather hear the glowing reports right? And frankly, it's the visual feast that makes it all worthwhile as it serves to replenish my weary heart and soul on a regular basis. 

Friday, March 22, 2013

Mendocino Splendor

There is a roadway that winds along the north western edge of Mendocino and by car it is  beautiful, but on foot it is out of this world. As you peer over the edges of the cliffs there, the rock formations are spectacular in any weather and at any time of day. However, sunset is probably my all time favorite. It's all those yummy, warm colors and that fiery orb as it slips away signaling the end of another glorious day in paradise. Ok, so the water gives you hypothermia unlike the waters of Hawaii, but it's still downright fabulous.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Just had an idyllic time with my buddy Jennifer over in the Ukiah Valley before the new rains set in, painting the billowing yellow mustard blossoms. The carpeted vineyards seem to shout far and wide that Spring is upon us and boast the craziest, loudest color in my paint box, Y.E.L.L.O.W. , glorious yellow. It was actually hot enough to bare my arms and it felt great to be in the elements after a long winter. The bees were buzzing and it made me feel like VanGogh all over again. Boy am I blessed to have this job or what?

Sunday, March 17, 2013

South end of the North Coast

This spot on God's green earth has to be one of the most photographed and gasped over views ever. It just happens to be in my neck of the woods and gives me goosebumps each time I'm blessed to see it up close and personal. I've taken my own quote of photos and can find one in just about every one of my albums, boxes or digital files, so it's always at my disposal when I have the hankering to paint it. The scrufty fences that grace our coastline only add to the drama and delight of the haystack rocks and receding bluffs. We love the silver grays of these weathered beauties and feel sad whenever we see them falling down or giving way to rebar and wire. All in all, I live a life of visual ecstasy over here on the western edge.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Ode to Van Gogh

Several years ago I had the supreme privilege of painting in this sunflower field in the south of France. Bees were buzzing and the sun was beating down as I crouched down amongst the faces of these magnificent blooms. I so admire Van Gogh's work and felt close to him at that moment since I was struggling against the elements, fumbling with my equipment whilst being captivated by my surroundings. I wasn't so frustrated that I wanted to cut my ear off, only supremely blessed to be there.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Westport Bound

The sleepy burg of Westport has to be one of my favorite galivants along this stretch of the coast. This particular ribbon of highway and its views are akin to the west coast of Ireland and take my breath away each and every time. Thankfully, Lee and Doreen have revitalized the old hotel and have made it a very special place to land once you've endured all those curves and scary cliff edges. Dinners Thursday-Saturday nights, high tea on Saturday afternoon and brunch on Sunday make Westport and honest-to-goodness destination nowadays. 
The reason I've been rather sporadic lately is that my cold has been hanging on AND we moved into the house next door. Never a dull nano-second around here, so I also get to escape when I paint these visual vacations.........

Monday, March 11, 2013

Gold & Gray Unite

Rifling through my vast stash of inspirational photos, I came across one of a single sunflower and it pulled my trigger. In the photo though, the background was of a blue house in shadow. Typically blue and yellow are a hit, but my panel today was the color of a brown paper bag and it spoke to me. I mixed up a purple version of that same value and it causes the yellows and greens to speak for themselves, rather than compete with a bunch of blue. The result is more subtle with less contrast and something I might say is quiet and calm. I can use those qualities right about now since my computer is giving me fits................

Friday, March 8, 2013

Aimless Amble

While the last chicken was bound and determined, this one seems to just enjoy the sunlit green grass and his trip across the yard. I've learned in the last week that chickens are smarter than I thought, or at least that is what one chicken owner told me so I must now give her the benefit of the doubt. Either way they are rather delightful creatures, just looking farmish, colorful and carefree whilst they are laying eggs that we relish at our breakfast table. Simple pleasures in the seeing and the sustenance. 

Friday, March 1, 2013

Pt. Cabrillo Sundown

Similar to the chicken, this is another painting with a big, bold shape. I was working on a large commission today and using my palette knife, so decided to try it on a small piece too. This is our local lighthouse just as the sun is setting and the glass is gleaming with the last rays of sunlight. It's pretty much a silhouette save that dash of shiny glass and the red highlights on the roof and grasses, so it is simple indeed. Crazy yummy sky color too, kind of like split pea soup dontcha think?