Saturday, December 11, 2010

Saratoga Vineyard and Oak Tree Oil Painting

Saratoga Vinyard and Oak Tree • 12" x 12" • oil on panel

Year after year the ride over the Golden Gate Bridge through the city and on the freeway is graced by the smell of my home-made cranberry ribbon apple pie. Listening to music and talking about Grandmas beautiful Thanksgiving table and meal. Off the freeway and into my parents neighborhood we know we are there when we see the gorgeous vines of the corner vineyard and the old oak tree. This year is unlike the others as we are having a late fall and the leaves are still lush on the vine. Soon they will shrivel and fall to the ground exposing the orange vines that lie beneath.

Back at my studio I paint the vineyard with its fresh and bright green grass against the red earth. A little cloud in the sky after the rains and the majestic old oak tree standing tall in the back as if guarding the grapes. I capture the feeling of this Saratoga vineyard so dear to my heart and so near to my family home.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Autumn in Sonoma

Autumn Vinyard and Trees • 12" x 12" • oil on panel

The race to the barn through the traffic is harried in the rain. I help my daughter saddle up the horse and as she jumps fences I wander the beautiful grounds. I walk through the vinyard watching birds splash in puddles and flutter through the trees and shrubs. I see a pair of deer disappear into the vinyard ahead of me. Each row of grapes is breathtaking as the angles change and the raindrops fall and drip from my face and from the leaves. The sky reflects on the wet leaves. The grapes left on the vine are shriveled but add to the rich colors my eyes are mixing. My fingers are frozen and the mud is caking on my boots but I can't get enough of the fresh air and the luscious colors and textures all around. I rush back to the barn in the dark to catch my daughters last round of jumps. I can't wait to get out my rich oil colors and a wood panel and paint this delightful day!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Sunny Day - Sunny Bike

Sunny Bike • 8" x 10" • Oil on Canvas

The weather is spectacular today! What a gorgeous day for a bike ride. People are riding everywhere. How can anyone resist? A ride in the sun! Fresh air, exercise, happy faces all around and great fun!

Then it's off to the studio to capture the feeling for all to enjoy.

What a lucky life I lead.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Almost Home

Almost Home • 8" x 8" x 2" • oil on canvas

My sketchbooks are loaded with sketches like this painting. They just seem to flow out of my mind. I can't say where this red barn is and I'm not sure who this person is, or the horse. I do know that I painted it without a reference photo. My first horse was a gorgeous grey Arabian who I rode through hills like these. This also looks like the hills I was riding through the last couple of years. I do know that my daughter and I both ride gray horses right now. I do know that my whole life I've had dreams of a red house on a hill. I would love to own a horse again. I am halfway there; I feel so fortunate to be able to lease 2 gorgeous grey horses who are completely different. An amazing giant warmblood hunter in the wine country and an adorable quarter horse in the headlands near the beach.

Today we had an earthquake. It was only a 4.2, but, my little dog knew it was coming and was hiding. The sea lions have disappeared again they believe it is because they can feel the earthquake coming. These animals are so in tune with nature. They really can predict earthquakes with a sense humans seem to be missing. I was up on the mountain with some friends and we couldn't feel the quake but all of our phones rang at the same time with calls from our family members who felt the shaking.

It was foggy and cold all day today; the sun never came out. Cold here is around 50 degrees. I am definitely a warm weather girl. My nose, fingers and toes were numb all day. I went on a mountain hike and all you could see was the golden grass, bushes, trees and rocks that were right in front of you. My friends and followed the trail out to the wrong street and walked home through the neighborhoods.

Today was my nephews first birthday. The time flies so fast. I couldn't get down to the south bay for his party but I got a fun video of it on email and he clearly had a great and happy time surrounded with loving friends and family. Happy Birthday Evan!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Window to a New Year - Daytime

New Years Eve Symphony • 16" x 20" • oil on canvas

This abstract that I painted on the last day of 2009 really sums up the way my days have felt this winter. Exciting and full yet I've been much calmer than the usual me. The colors seem to represent the weather we've been experiencing; cool and blue with a pop of sun. This painting feels like a window to a happy time. My friends that have seen it stood in front of it seeing things that really made me see them too. It is amazing how an abstract can just flow from you onto the canvas and different people can see different things. I love to watch the viewers and listen to them discuss my abstracts. The other wonderful thing about abstracts is that you can hang them in any direction and find a new interpretation of the same painting. When I turn this painting horizontal I see a landscape. As a vertical it seems to create a window. Although I used a limited color palette, there are many other things to be seen in this painting if you stop and stare.

Today I went to a perfect yoga class and left the gym feeling like I was floating. I played with my dogs and then went horseback riding. I saw the forecast for rain tonight so I worked on dressage in the outdoor arena while it was dry.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

January Trails - Lucky Me

January Trail • 6" x 9"• oil on paper

This morning was cold but my friends and I took the dogs and went on a steep January hike. It was clear and crisp. We shared stories of our holidays and hiked up and down the hills through the bushes and the mud but the sun never showed up. Luckily we had friendship and laughter to warm us.

Next I went out to the barn and took a trail ride. The sun was out, groups of students were hiking, exploring and studying. I remember when I went on the week trip to this camp with my daughters class years ago. We did the same hikes; today I was living a dream and riding the trails on horseback. The sun was popping through and I had a beautiful view of the ocean and hills. There was a hawk above that seemed to be almost flying with me; as he circled Smokey and I galloped up a hill on our way back to the barn. As we came down the hill 3 vultures were circling, searching for prey. I went on my way. What a beautiful January day!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Brrr! Happy Polar Bear

Happy Polar Bear • 4" x 4" x 2" • oil on canvas

It was a cold morning so I went to Yoga where I could enjoy the music, stretch and strengthen. When I emerged from the gym the sun was shining so I took the dogs for a walk down to a field and soaked up the warm rays while they ran and played.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

December 2009 Drifts Away

December Sea and Sky • 12" x 6" • oil on board

As 2009 drifted away and 2010 washed ashore I was putting the finishing touches on these soft waves of the cool December sea.

A memory of a stroll along the shore. The sound of the waves calms my mind and the dancing sunlight warms my face on a cold December day. I could stare at this painting forever.

I often want to be where the ocean meets the sky. In a boat just floating. I'm observing the light of the sky, birds are flying by, kelp is floating in the sea and life surrounds me. Sea lions play, otters feed and the jellyfish float. The sun dances on the water and all is quiet except the occasional splash of a bird swooping down to snatch a fish from a playful, popping school of bait.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year! 2010

New Year Symphony 2009-2010 • 16" x 20" • oil on canvas

Happy New Year! I am quite excited for 2010. In 2009 I started this blog and it inspired me to create a second studio in my home. My poor family, I have officially taken over the kitchen table and entire breakfast nook with my paints, easel, brushes, canvas' and my dogs. It allows me to work at all times without having to drive to my studio. I can also bring paintings back and forth and view them in different light and settings. I can follow my creative heart and paint in the middle of the night. I can add little details here and there as I see them in passing or I can leave paintings at my studio to dry.

I now have a studio and a horse in the same town. Both on the water and in old hangers. My studio is in a ship hanger and the indoor arena for Smokey is in an old balloon hanger. I now live work and ride in one of the most beautiful places in the world with spectacular views, astounding wildlife, and gorgeous weather. I have friends and family close by. Today I will be celebrating with my family. Lucky me! 2010 can only be a great year!