Small Watercolors and Working Ideas

Now that I am back in my studio, it is time to finish up a couple of watercolor paintings and work out the details for a couple of more. From early in my high school days to now, I have always loved working in the controlled environment of my own room as opposed to “En Plein Air”. Painting outside is fun and though I am getting to paint outside more, the illustrator in me needs to work on paintings at any hour of the day without worrying about the changing light. I also tend to work on several paintings at a time and below is a sketch of a painting I plan to do in watercolor as well as oil.

Blessings🎨

Scribbles From the Road (Part 3)

My husband and I began our road trip starting in Southern California and traveled through Oregon, Washington, Idaho and back home south through the south-eastern corner of Oregon and Nevada. The landscape was so varied and even though it was all beautiful in it’s own way, we loved Idaho the best. Besides Coeur d’Alene, we spent time in the mountain resort town of McCall, Boise and Caldwell. Here are some highlight photos of the different areas…

Our hike in Ponderosa State Park, view Payette Lake

We continued on Lily Marsh Trail

Strolled through the Ann Morrison Park in the city of Boise

Onward home through the Jorden Valley, mountain areas and deserts…

Dove Springs is a favorite area for so many So Cal people to motorcycle ride and as we made our final stop before getting home, we were able to watch the Memorial Day crowd of weekend warriors get themselves settled for what promised to be an amazing time to be out in the desert.

Though we spent a lot of time exploring the many different areas with our two Boxers, I managed to get in a few more “scribbles” in my sketchbook

As we enter the summer months, I wish you all a safe and blessed time no matter where the days find you.

Taft Gardens

Ojai, CA

Taft Gardens and Nature Preserve is a local treasure with acres and acres (264 acres to be exact), of plants, trees and paths to meander. There were so many beautiful areas to explore but since time was of the essence to start painting, my friend and I chose a place relatively close to where we parked to start painting.

There are over 20,000 different species of plants and trees and I only captured a very small percentage of them.

The recent California fires were devastating and it seems like no area was left untouched but firefighters were able to save so much of the gardens. The surrounding hills and nature preserve was a different story but thankfully new growth has already begun with the recent rains.

Tomorrow we are suppose to get another few days of rain so I plan to head back there soon to see even more wildflowers and green hills before the summer months turn it golden.

Until next time, take care and take time to enjoy your surroundings wherever that might be.

Vasquez Rocks Park

Vasquez Rocks Park, Agua Dulce, CA

Tuesday, March 6th, was a windy day but beautiful and the temperature was perfect for painting “En Plein Air” with a group of friends. I am a native Californian but have not been back to this area since I was a child and now that I have been back, I kick myself for waiting so many years to do so. This is a perfect area for so many sports along with photography, painting or just hanging out to enjoy the beauty.

Vasquez Rocks was home to the Shoshone and Tataviam peoples and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1972. These iconic rock formations known as “hogback ridges” are steeply ridged strata that sit along the San Andreas Fault system and of course, we as Californian’s have to deal with the occasional earthquake now and then because of this fault system.

This area has been used to film motion pictures, television and advertising since 1935 but prominently since 1963 with episodes of the Outer Limits, the Wild Wild West, Blazing Saddles, The Flinstones and Star Trek’s episode “Arena”, where Captain Kirk rolls a boulder on the reptiloid alien, Gorn. The prominent rock formation has been nicknamed “Kirk’s Rock” since it had been featured in a several Star Trek episodes. Taco Bell, Nike and Bank of America have shot commercials here and there are so many more, too numerous to mention but interesting to look up.

I continue to set aside days to paint outdoors and am loving the time but with all this amazing reference material, it’s time to head back into the studio. I consider myself a perpetual student and look forward to the challenge and practice of this technique. I am encouraged by what I was able to accomplish in a few hours and encourage any other studio painters to grab their gear and head outside.

There are so many wonderful sites to visit in Southern California and if you like the desert and are traveling in the area, definitely make a point to explore this area. Happy travels!

The Thing About Posting and Boasting

Harbor Village, Ventura CA

Some days just go into a 180 degree direction….

I met with a new group to paint the Tall Ships at Harbor Village. It was cold but beautiful and so I posted to share my day. I had planned only to be there a few hours so that I could get to my “chores”. Heading over there on the freeway, I ran over something metal that hit my car with quite a racket but by the time I got to the harbor all seemed well. So imagine my disappointment when I got back to my car and one of the tires was completely flat. I called and waited for AAA to help. The young man changed the tire and left and as I barely got 10 parking spaces away, my spare went flat! Ugh. Another call to AAA and more waiting then I was towed to a tire place to wait, yet again, for the tire to be replaced. It was a really long day but on the positive side of things, while I was waiting, I found a cute UV hat for my outdoor painting adventures, the tire was able to be fixed – costing only $10 and I made it home safely.😊

A couple of lessons were to make sure I don’t post just to boast and to take the good with the bad gracefully. Stay safe everyone!

Just Off of Mulholland Hwy

Rocky Oaks is a small nature reserve and wildlife refuge regional park located in the Santa Monica Mountains.

As we all have experienced, sometimes the time in your day does not belong to you – it gets chipped away by the busy-ness of life and/or the needs of others and this week has been one of those weeks for me. I needed a “mental health day” so I grabbed my art gear and headed off to this state park to meet up with a couple of other artists. The day was perfect and there was even a pond with ducks and various other birds. If Southern California doesn’t get anymore real rain, this little pond may be gone in a few months so I decided to set up my easel to capture the moment in oils.

A Sunny Winter Paint Day

Stoney Point, Chatsworth, CA

In Southern California, the month of January has some absolutely beautiful days and last Monday was a perfect example of it. I packed up my art supplies and met a few other artists to paint at the base of Stoney Point where we enjoyed plein air painting and watched rock climbers and hikers.