Oil painting

Smokey San Anselmo

Today would have been the kids third day back in school but this is 2020 so the school was closed because of bad air. The glass fire up in Napa is still raging and the smoke is now pouring into the Bay Area. Smoke means interesting landscapes though so I found my way to the El Camino Avenida overlook in San Rafael around sunset and painted the view looking back towards Red Hill and San Anselmo.

9×12 oil on panel
Artist view from perch on El Camino Avenida

In the shade of the oaks

It was very hot and dry in Alexander Valley yesterday. I spent my afternoon standing in the shade of an oak grove on the family ranch, painting one of the oak trees that survived last years fires. The threat of fire was everywhere, still. Ash scars and burned out stumps are in the foreground. Smoke from the glass fire currently raging over the hill near Mt. Saint Helena drifted into the Valley and filled the landscape with an ominous warm haze. Once again it is a tinder box.

Oil painting
Oil on canvas, 18x24in

Barber Ave Bridge

Walked downtown to paint and grab a burrito. Barber street looking west from the bridge over San Anselmo creek.

9x12in oil on board

Beach Drive

Post work painting session. Looking South on Beach Drive in San Rafael around sunset. I’m really glad I had my LED lights, the sun dropped faster than I expected.

oil painting
9x12in oil on board

Another Smokey View

It’s gross outside. Smoke from the Willits fire has turned the whole neighborhood a peach hue.

Oil on canvas 16x20in

Bald Hill Ridge Trailhead

Finally got away from my desk but I only had an hour before the sun set, so I quickly drove to the other side of San Anselmo, parked near the bald hill trailhead, walked a few feet past the gate and just started painting. The temperature started to drop, it’s the first time a while I needed a jacket while painting.

Oil on panel 9x12in
My setup

Morning Smoke

Looking out the living room window the air is heavy with smoke from the Napa and Sonoma fires. It’s a weird mix of purple and yellow greens. Strongly backlit in the morning light the view from my dinning room table continues to challenge me.

Oil on panel 9x12in

Mt. Tamalpais in the smoke

Rode my bike up the ridge above San Anselmo looking for something to paint. For me, painting Mt. Tam feels a bit like a Marin artist cliche and I usually try to avoid it, but this morning it looked very impressive in its veil of smoke from the fires in Sonoma and Napa.

Oil on panel 9x12in