Why I can't paint Yosemite

Question for you artists out there:  What imagery are you drawn towards?  For me, I tend to love the landscape... but usually specific elements of the landscape really get me going.  The light at midday or big grand vistas don't usually do it for me.  Late afternoon is my favorite, when the colors deepen, shadows get long and the play of lights and darks offers plenty of contrast.  I have a soft spot for trees, particularly singular trees, in the landscape.  I am drawn to water, fog and where sea and sky meet.  To me, these moments are full of drama, but I tend to think of them as more intimate moments. 

Don't get me wrong...  big dramatic places like Big Sur are really beautiful, but I'm not as compelled to paint them.  I think perhaps if I found a little cove and if the light was just right... well, I'd paint that.  
I found myself thinking about this over Thanksgiving weekend when my family and I took a trip to Yosemite National Park.  I really enjoyed it all and took lots of photos. The Sierras are gorgeous and we visited Yosemite Valley, taking in the towering waterfalls and immense granite cliffs.  We also visited Mariposa Grove to see the ancient Sequoia trees.  All in all, breathtaking. 

What I will most likely end up doing a painting of is this one tree that I spotted on our road trip.  We came across a large reservoir in the Central Valley where we stopped to stretch our legs.  The light was gorgeous and I found myself drawn to this one wonderful tree down in the water.  

The closer I got to this beauty, the better it got:

Don't be surprised if you see this image come back in the form of a painting in the near future.

My husband snapped a photo of me at work, doing research for paintings.  You can see it on his blog here:

House on Bear Mountain 

This is me in Yosemite, at Tunnel View.

Art events: May & June

Moss Landing, 36x48", oil on canvas

My painting, Moss Landing, is part of a special exhibit that opens today at the Santa Cruz Art League. The show is titled Earth Portraits: Contemporary Landscape Painters of California. This is SCAL's 81st annual Statewide Exhibit featuring landscape painting. You can read more about the history of this special exhibit here. The show promises to be a good one. According to SCAL's website, you can expect to see "the best of the best in living California landscape painters. You can expect to see inventive, colorful, daring, sublime and refined artwork presenting the beauty of the State of California."

Beach Glass, 20x20", Oil on canvas

It's the final weekend for my solo exhibit at Regale Winery, here in the Santa Cruz Mountains. It's a such a beautiful venue with really wonderful wine. If you're looking for something fun to do this holiday weekend, be sure to stop by Regale's tasting room on Saturday or Sunday.

Approach, 6x6", Oil on panel

This little painting is on view at Many Hands Gallery, in Capitola, CA. I'm one of the featured artists for the months of May & June, 2011, with the themed show of Birds & Bees. There is lots of other wonderful work there as well in a variety of media. Definitely worth the trip!