New Year’s Oaks

After a few days of rain and gray, New Year’s Day brought us crisp blue skies, green grass and sunshine. It was absolutely lovely when I stepped out the door with my paints. I drove around the ranch looking for a creek to paint which led me to the spillways above my uncle Jim’s house. A short hike up the hill these oaks caught my eye and that was that. I was working with a larger panel and was only able to get a first pass in before the light changed, so I finished this one up at home.

18x12in Oil on linen panel

Figure Drawings

Every now and then I make it to the figure drawing nights at Rileystreet in San Rafael. Here is a gallery of my figure sketches from the last couple of months.

Corte Madera from Ring Mountain

It was a sunny day cast in a veil of thin fog. I hiked around the salt mash looking for a view to paint but the misty air made all the southern and easterly views blown out and a bit too contrasty for my tastes. That killed my painting options around the apartment so I drove up to the Ring Mountain trail head off Taylor road and found something north facing I could work with.

9x11in oil on linen panel

Salmon Creek

My brother wanted to go surfing out at Salmon Creek this morning so I tagged along to catch the sunrise. The offshore winds were really strong and stepping out of the car I could barely hold onto my painting panel. There was no way my easel was going to stand up in that wind. I came up with a pretty good workaround though, I clamped my canvas to one of the information signs next to the trailhead that leads down the cliff to the beach. That worked like a champ.

9x11in oil on linen panel

Bon Air Bridge

Sunset painting from the Bon Air bridge looking north towards Ross.

9x11in Oil on linen panel

Lucas Valley

A concerned friend texted me about the beautiful weather yesterday and very colorfully insisted that I better be outside painting, thankfully I was or I think I would have lost my street-cred. I texted back this painting from the Big Rock trailhead overlook above Lucas Valley and saved my rep.

9x15in Oil on linen panel
Artist’s View of Lucas Valley


Stunningly beautiful skies over Marin today. The light was just perfect. Rolling rain clouds dragged their shadows across the hills and set up a lot of really dramatic compositions. Anywhere in Marin would have been nice to paint but I had the good fortune of having a meeting up at Skywalker Ranch today. I showed up a little early so I could scramble up above the winery to catch the last of the days light. I’m so glad I did that because the southern view there was just fantastic.

9x11in Oil on linen panel

Corte Madera Rain

The weather was very dynamic today in Corte Madera. Dark rain clouds and blue sky. I didn’t want to get caught under a downpour so I just set up on the trailhead across from the mall and painted the view north towards Greenbrae.

9x11in Oil on Linen Panel

Terra Linda

I did this painting a while back, it was a really beautiful afternoon but blazing hot. I didn’t last more than an hour and a half in the direct sun. On the way down the hill I ran into an old friend I hadn’t seen in years. I need to remember to come back here with a larger canvas. There were some great panoramic compositions but they didn’t work on my little panel.

9x11in oil on linen panel
Artist View