Windy Hill Preserve 40″x60″

Painted this view from the top of Windy Hill Preserve. Lots of lush greens after the spring rain in California. The grey road in the scene is highway 35, Skyline Blvd. On the forested drive up to this location there were two huge sink holes on the small road which Cal Trans was working on. The view is gorgeous up there you can see the ocean on one side and San Francisco bay on the other. A few purple wildflowers and orange poppies sprouted here and there but mostly a riot of greens covered the landscape. A completely majestic view with a few hikers reaching the top of a trail that begins at a lower entrance.

“Windy Hill Trail” 16×20

This trail leads to Hamms Gulch, a beautiful meadow with views of densely forested hillsides and open fields of lush green grasses. The lighting on the pathway caught my eye…..so I had to paint it. This oil painting on canvas has many greens with dappled purples, reds, and ochre. This Preserve is a day hikers dream.

Wildflowers 16×20 oil

I was inspired  to paint this scene because, after some spring rain, there were wild flowers everywhere in Southern California. Hillsides along freeways had beautiful displays of wild color. Near my home we had fields of yellow and purple flowers that lasted about a month before they faded. A lot of that dry bushery (not a word) stuff that looks like soon to be tumbleweed got deeply soaked and produced wild flowers and new color in unusual places. Dried brush and chapparel sprouted wild flowers that popped with color. In this painting I used thick paint and a palette knife to “cake” on the colorful folage. I wanted to create texture and the feeling of some of the plants. Some felt soft and billowy and others were brittle and dry. This oil painting has vibrant colors; mustards, browns, pinks, salomon, yellows, and many shades of green. It was a hazy or cloudy day so I kept the blue hill dark to suggest a cloud hovering over it. I noticed on cloudy days the ground colors  look lusher as if the contrast of grey skies intensify the local color.  This original oil painting has a slight suggestion of a walkway or trail though the flowers and traveling up the distant hillside. Keeping this oil painting loose, expressive, and impressionistic I chose to simplify the trees and foliage to their basic organic forms. The blues in the background  hill have some of the sky color in it…so I added some light grey mauve, greens, and purple to it.  It’s so amazing how a little rain water can turns a hillside into a glorious fiest for the eyes. I am hopeful that next years rains will bring many more luscious and juicy scenes to paint. This oil painting has a nice feeling of natures’ bounty.

Malaga Cove 16×20 oil

Impressionist oil painting of Malaga Cove, Palos Verdes, CA. I painted this scene on location a few years ago and this is a larger version of it done in the studio. I am glad I painted it on location first because the direction of the waves and the way the white foam flowed back into the sea is very different from other surfs I have painted. This is a famous surfing spot because of the height and length of the waves. The colors in it are sea foam green, pthalo blues and greens for the ocean, and ochre and burnt sienna for most of the hillside. The focus of this scene is the waves and action of the white water. There is dappled light on part of the hillside where the clouds parted.

California Beach Scenes: ” Umbrellas and Surf”, “Sunset”, “Surf Camp”

“Surf Camp” 16×20 oil painting. $1400

In this San clemente scene I was inspired by the activity of the group at this “surf camp”.  A few kids are having a conversation on the life guard tower, another is waxing his surf board, and others are huddled together following the instructors direction. Just getting the gist of the scene… with the crashing waves, and excited students…this scene has  a certain beach energy. Such a fun way for kids to spend a summer vaccation.

“Umbrellas and Surf” 16×20 oil painting.  $1400

In “Umbrellas and Surf” 16×20, I was inspired by the many vibrant colors of the beach umbrellas. I loved this scene because the activity of swimmers, walkers, and sunbathers seemed to vibrate with the sparkling water and warm sand.  Instead of trying to render each beach goer, I just placed the people in with very simple strokes of paint. This painting has warm ochres, Naples yellow, periwinkle, blues, and a variety of orange and reds. The bathers at a distance looked like tiny dots of peach in the water. And the wind, on this day, kept the waves coming in quickly one after another.

“Sunset” 12×24 oil painting.  $1200

On this evening the colors of the sunset were glorious and beautiful; yellows, pinks, and oranges. Using thick textured paint I was able to sculpt the billowy clouds into the deep grey-blue sky. Little bits of orange reflect sky into the water. Sunsets are heavenly…eveytime I go to paint one, or photograph one, there is always good amount of photographers and on lookers there enjoying it with me. Whenever I see gorgeous color in the sky and I am in the area I try to go to the ocean and get a quick sketch or take a photo. Once I get there I am reminded how peaceful and centering it is to just sit there and observe nature……and I am thankful for that.

“Tuolumne River” 24×30 oil painting

1920 tuolumne riverPainting of beautiful Tuolumne River in Yosemite National Park. Lots of greens and raw sienna in this depiction of a flowing river.  Hiking in the meadows and along the river is gorgeous. I painted this for the 100th year anniversary show for the national parks of California. The exhibit is at Wildling Museum in Solvang, California. The exhibit is up until October 3, 2016.

available  $2800

Balboa Park, San Diego 30×40 oil painting 

This painting of beautiful Balboa Park, San Diego shows the hustle and bustle of tourist season. Lots of vibrant color with the back drop of Spanish-Moorish architecture in the buildings. Keeping the painting loose and painterly I show some details in the buildings while staying impressionistic. Rich ochres in the building hues, blues and olives in the water, and lively pastel colors for the pedestrians.

Available $2400

How Art Collectors Place Art in their Homes

How do experienced art collectors arrange art in a home? Without a professional interior designer, it can be a bit difficult to know the perfect places to hang your art on your. Placing art of all types throughout your home is a learned skill. Below we have some beautiful examples and practical tips for making your home a place of balanced beauty and art.

 

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In this art collector’s home, above, a Laguna Beach seascape graces the entrance of the home above a table. The reds throughout the rustic table match the flowers in the painting, while the shell lamps go with the beach theme. It works so well because the painting is low enough to create a unit with the table. And the items on the table and shelf keep the eye moving around and back up to the painting. There is balance with the two lamps evenly placed and the painting centered over the table, and there is asymmetry with the way the rest of the items are placed on the tabletop and shelf. This creates a full and visually interesting look.

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In the above photo the art collector chooses simple modern frames to go with the clean lines of the room. Both paintings are spacious in imagery complimenting the large window view of a lush backyard. Beautiful woodwork throughout the home makes a perfect setting for the landscape and seascape.

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In the sunset painting placement, above, the art collector is making a dramatic statement. They put it above an antique family heirloom dresser in the entrance of the home. Placing the painting above the dark furniture with low lighting makes the painting “glow”.

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Available painting “Big Sur” 40″x60″

The above is an example of being bold in the placement of art. In this small living room the huge painting (available, big sur, 40×60) makes the room feel larger by placing it over a dining bench. This room has a neutral palette with bronze/black accents which makes the greens and blues of the painting pop.

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An oversized piece of art can create real drama and complete the room. Putting a painting above the fireplace finishes the room nicely and gives it a centerpiece. This piece works well with the darks in the room without competing with the florals.

 

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Creatively displaying all original art in the home, the top image shows how well beautiful glass art on tables tops mixes well with original oil paintings. The second image shows an example of beautiful color combinations in the room  with original art on walls completes the total look.

“Desert Gold” 24×30 desert oil painting

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Available oil painting

This original, desert oil painting, “Desert Gold” is an impressionist painting of a California desert near La Quinta, California. My family and I visit this desert several times a year and go hiking with my sisters’ family who lives there. I live on the coast, so I love the contrast of the warm and relaxing desert air. When hiking in this desert area, you can almost hear the native drums. So peaceful, quiet, and mysteriously healing. On this day the light hit the mountains and bushes in a way that felt soft and airy. I put this feeling of softness and atmosphere in the painting with loose brushwork and thick paint. This original desert oil painting has a variety of vibrant colors: golds, purples, blues, pinks, earth tones, and yellows. I painted this original desert oil painting from a series of photos I took on this day of hiking with family.

“I have always loved the desert, one sits down on a desert sand dune, sees nothing, hears nothing. Yet through the silence something throbs, and gleams…..” Antoine de Saint-Exupery, The Little Prince

Laguna Palm Tree, 12×16 original oil painting

laguna palms

Available oil painting

This palm tree painting has thick paint and a pastel color palette.  Impressionist painting of Laguna Beach, California. I painted this on location, plein air, at noon-ish. The texture of the paint makes the palm trees look like they are moving in the wind. Impressionist in style allows room for loose, juicy paint. I like to get the gist of the scene and let the viewers finish the painting with their own eyes. When I first started out painting, one of my favorite books was Oil Painting Workshop by Ted Goeshner. The author instructs how we should not paint down to the viewer. Everyone knows what a tree looks like. We don’t need to paint every leaf. I like this approach because it gives more room to focus on atmosphere, mood, and texture. Laguna Beach is gorgeous 365 days a year, even on the gloomy days. With palm trees everywhere swaying in the wind and the sounds of the surf pounding the shore one feels (if you’re a local like me) as if you are on a mini vacation.

Palm trees grace landscape                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Burst of pink laughter invades                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Blue sky and water

Dorothy (Alves) Holmes   #192 Haiku Palm Trees

 

 

 

Zion National Park 24×36

Zion National Park

Went to Zion National Park for the first time on a plein-air painting trip. Wow it was gorgeous! I was painting so I didn’t go on any hiking trails, but there are lots of YouTube videos on the many trails and hope to hike when I go back.  Really beautiful campground right in the entrance of the canyon. As a painter there are scenes everywhere to paint, one more gorgeous than the next. Stayed at Bubbleberry Inn in Springdale, Utah. The two paintings in this post are of the same scene; a small “on location” painting and then I used that for color reference to paint large one from photo. There is gorgeousness everywhere in Zion so I felt a little overwhelmed trying the find “thee” perfect location to paint! “Make a  #%** decision woman!” I said to myself.  This spot was relatively close to a bathroom so decision made! Walking around the location this scene struck me with its slivers of light hitting the cliffs. And the company of other painters and birds singing made it an absolutely lovely experience…. So where do you get good coffee in Springdale, Utah? Deep Creek coffee has excellent lattes, scones, and fresh juice.  For groceries we went to Sol Foods which had amazing  veggie soup daily in the deli in the back of the store. Lots of cute shops on the main drag in town. Can’t wait to go back!

12×16 Painted on location at Zion National Park

On Location at Zion

 

Valley of Fire 12×16

  Amazing rock formations at state park in Nevada. Little two lane road takes you all over the park. Feels like you are at a amusement park but the “amusement” is all nature and rocks. The deeper into the park the more amazing. I painted 3 on location and took some photos so plan to paint some larger canvases of this location.  Gorgeous scenic state park can’t wait to go back.

  8×10 “Colors of the Rainbow” (at valley of fire state park)

   

Big Sur 40″ x 60″ Oil Painting

Big Sur

Original oil of Big Sur, Ca. This painting was painted from small studies on location and photo reference. This piece depicts the quintessential northern California cliffs of Big Sur. Big lush green pastures and brushstrokes give this piece a feeling of grandeur. Done in the plein air style this landscape capturing the beautiful pastures of coastal cliffs.

Dusk, Avalon, Catalina 12×16 oil

20131015-161912.jpgThe perfect time of day! Certain times of day can transport you in a meditative way to another place and time. This Catalina scene remains me of my Irish ancestry. On my mother side they were from Cobh, Ireland. It’s a town on the south east side with a small cove and harbor a lot like Catalina in that the hilleside meets the sea and the town is all about the harbor. A must see town with great Bed and Breakfasts.

Catalina Lights 12×16 oil

Wow the night scenery in Catalina is breath taking! The lights look like jewels
Against the dark sky.

20131015-161319.jpgTwinkling white, yellow, and gold lights………lit like a Christmas tree!

Avalon Casino 12×16 oil

20131015-150329.jpgRecently spent time in Catalina. I always forget when away for a while how blue and gorgeous the water is. A pretty little cove. We found a great cafe with a delicious Indian cauliflower potato soup…..I think its Cafe Metropole…..or something like that. No Starbucks on Catalina, but at C.C. Gallagher they make a delicious soy latte! They also have yummy deserts.

Torrey State Park 8×10 oil

20130904-123819.jpg Torrey Pines State Park is a great place to hike. Amazing views of ocean and beach through the pines. Beautiful coastal setting in San Diego, California. The smell of the pines and ocean together is intoxicating? A must see for all travelers.

Victoria Beach Laguna 12×16 oil

20130904-121604.jpgVictoria Beach in south Laguna Beach has this old castle-ish looking structure built into the rock/cliff. Gives a medieval feeling to the sunny Laguna cove. The tide was so high this day we had to wait for surf to go back out before getting to the painting spot. Lots of beach attendees enjoying the coves this day.