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.

Poppies In The Vineyard

22″ x 30″ oil on heavy weight gesso’d watercolor paper

Finally finished! I have completed 12 vineyard paintings and now plan to photograph and make prints to sell. I will add more to this collection at a later date but for right now it’s time to move in a different direction and on much smaller canvas’.

I chose to do an impressionistic style with this painting and still managed to put way too many hours into it. Working large just takes too much time and I get bogged down with detail. Although I am pleased with how this turned out, it was a struggle because the surface of the paper felt like working on a chalkboard so from now on, I will stick with oil on canvas.

Here are photos of the progress:

Among the Wildflowers

10″ x 14″ watercolor 

Some paintings go smoothly while others are a struggle. Originally, I began this subject using a different perspective, in oil and on a much larger canvas but from the start, it was just plain boring! I should have listened to my inner voice but I didn’t and after the 3/4 mark I decided to scrap it and begin again. I chose to work much smaller, using watercolors and in a looser style.

Process of this simple watercolor: