Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Vermont: Lawnmowers & Raindrops

Side Street Parking, 14 x 11, watercolor

I spotted these wonderful old red buildings on a side street in North Bennington, Vermont. Spilling out of the doorways of this lawnmower repair shop were a quirky assortment of snowblowers, lawnmowers and even an exercise cycle. While I am sure this haphazard assortment of metal and tires mixed in with weeds and spare parts is an eyesore to some, it was something I really wanted to capture.
Partway through the sketch it started to rain pretty hard so I jumped under the overhang of a back door entrance to a shop. The rain was on and off, and each time it stopped I stepped out to work on the painting more. I loved the rain spatters in the tree foliage (far right)... and it worked great with wet washes in the roadway. 
I love the ink pens I use... Faber Castell PITT artist pens. They are waterproof and archival ink quality. Great for plein air sketchers!
I finished up my painting and with the help of the beauty salon (my back door shop!) I dried it with their dryers!

I walked across the street to join my friends Mary and Andrew who were painting under umbrellas and car hatchbacks. Loved Andrew's set up with a big tarp covering his easel and keeping his legs and feet dry. A board props up the hatchback of his Volvo station wagon so he can sit further back. 

Plein air painters have to improvise all the time! It's part of the adventure!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Vermont: Barns & Vistas

I just returned from a week in North Bennington, Vermont -- one of 25 juried artists participating in the 2011 North Bennington Plein Air Event. What a great event! Vermont offers endless subject matter and even though we had uninvited guests – Hurricane Irene (before) and Lee (first two days) – the artists prevailed and painted 100+ paintings in just four days!

How great to reconnect with Mary Byrom and Andrew Orr (whom I met in last year's event!). And to meet new artist friends like Bruce and his wife Janice. On the second day of the event we went in search of a painting spot along a road that Andrew had discovered just within the boundaries of the little town of North Bennington. We set off, caravan fashion, all four cars making our way in the grey misty morning.

We stopped to survey the road ahead and spotted a farm high on a hill in the distance. We had to get there knowing we would find great views and painting opportunities! Andrew and Mary studied the map and we set off to find the farm.

We did! But it was set way off the road down a long, winding driveway. Both Mary and I have no qualms about asking to enter private property (we're fearless women!).  So we parked along the road and went up in one car so as not to spook the poor man who we could see was peering out our way.
We were greeted by Mr. Browe and after a bit of friendly chatting, he finally felt comfortable to allow us on to the property to paint. He was a third generation farmer, struggling to keep the land and farm. It took a little bit to warm up to the idea that we wanted to paint... a little bit of a foreign concept to him. We went back out to the others anxiously waiting on the road and then all drove in and set up to paint.

I chose a spot down by a babbling brook with a sweeping view up to the barn. The others set up alongside their cars and painted the magnificent view of sweeping farmland, mountains and dramatic skies. Halfway through the sun began to shine through the clouds. The rain was finally lifting!

We spent a memorable morning on that lovely farm and worked feverishly to finish our paintings. Mr. Browe drove by and stopped to look at my painting. He remarked how, indeed, it was a great old barn and that I made it look better than he thought it did. I love that aspect about plein air.... to be able to remind someone of the beauty that surrounds their everyday place. The extraordinary in the ordinary.

Browe's Barn On Coulter Road, plein air watercolor, 12 x 9

A few hours later, we finished and then packed up to head back to town for a quick lunch break. On to the next painting spot.. which was actually a cluster of barns down the road owned by the same farmer. Bonus! Two painting venues from one inquiry. Loved that!
Painting plein air in out-of-town locations is always a great adventure. It takes a willingness to explore and a love for discovery! You have to find the scene that speaks to your heart and then the painting is pure pleasure... immediately you have a story to tell.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Pioneers & Landmarks

 These are some sketches from an afternoon side trip to the little town of Somers on Flathead Lake created during our visit to Montana this summer.

Driving south on the Highway 93 towards our lake house rental, I saw the signs for Somers and caught a peak of a quaint little street with older buildings. I knew I had to go back with my sketchbook and paints to spend an afternoon exploring and sketching.

The main street was tiny, with just a few buildings dotting the roadside. Further back I spotted this tall building in the rear of a lumber yard. I parked and walked back to the get a closer look. What a striking building... it's elongated proportions and rich patina of the wood siding were marvelous. So textural! It was an old cold storage building where they cut blocks of ice from the lake and stored them to load onto wagons.

The main road leading into the town had a wonderful array of small buildings with similar siding and proportions. I loved this small structure with the front washed in glowing light and old rose bushes still growing along its side. I wondered what the building had been used for... and thought about all the changes it had observed as it stood near the entrance to this little town.
Somers played an integral role in the expansion of the Great Northern Railway as they increased their tracks throughout the west. From 1900 to 1949 the Somers Lumber Company produced thousands of railroad ties.

I love these "relics" - they speak of a rich past and stand as testaments to pioneers who settled small towns and created small communities in the rugged west. They live on in my sketchbook and fond memories.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Big Skies On a Big Lake

Montana is big skies, vivid blues, enormous clouds that seem endless. It's the kind of"big" that brings everything immediately into perspective for me. You feel small. You are in awe. You realize that creation is indeed magnificent and we are privileged to behold its glory.

My favorite time of day was early morning. The light streaming in the cabin's window would beckon us to awake and, with coffee cups in hand (and my sketchbook!), we would walk down to the shoreline. This morning an enormous bank of clouds moved over the Mission Range and enveloped the lake beneath it in shadow. The sun was piercing through the edges making the rocks near the dock sparkle. The promise of another new day on Flathead Lake.

Day's end brought a whole new light show with clouds backlit by the setting sun. The deep purples and vibrant pink highlights made for a dramatic display with their shadows moving across Wild Horse Island in the distance. After supper, family members gravitated down to the shoreline and we watched until the light faded and the moon appeared in the sky.
Then we made our way up the path, through the pines to the cheery lit windows of the cabin. The sound of gentle waves lapping up onto the rocky shore of a very big lake.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Big Sky & Flathead Lake

After an exhilarating month in California painting and sketching, we spent
the first week of August in Montana for a mini family reunion. We rented a
charming old lake house on Flathead Lake, an incredible glacier-fed lake in the
northwestern part of the state. These blog posts are pages from my sketchbook. 

I love taking a "vacation" from creating finished paintings and enjoy filling pages with sketches, studies and small vignettes. It enables me to explore and observe. To spend time with family and still make time for art! (I have a wonderful family that understands my need to draw and paint where ever we are!)

Our house was part of a 200 acre ranch, The Winkley Ranch. The summer house was built by family members in the 1950s and it was the perfect lake house with a charming screened-in porch for morning coffee or sleepovers (the young cousins bunked out there -- it was a like camping in the trees with the sound of the water lapping onto the shore!).  Just a short walk down the path lined with pine trees and we were down at the water's edge.

The shoreline was lined with rocks to secure the beach area and boat ramp. The lake is huge (the largest freshwater lake west of the Mississippi!) and the weather can change from calm to stormy with whitewater waves pounding the shoreline! I loved how the colors changed in the water depending on the water's depth or the sunlight touching its surface. I loved focusing on all the subtle colors and range of hues in the rocky ledge.

From the front of our vacation spot we looked out to grassy fields, cherry orchards and further up to the foothills thick with evergreens. The clouds were incredible... it was big sky country (and it is!). I loved watching them move across the expanse of blue. I loved the colors and textures of the pine bark and the range of colors in the grasses of the old ranch land.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

I filled a whole sketchbook while in California.... I love looking at my sketches and reflecting on all the wonderful encounters and experiences. I have had fun sharing them in the past few blog entries...this is the last set of sketches from my California sketchbook.

My daughter's passion for horses brought us to California -- to Monty Robert's Flag is Up Farm in the town of Solvang north of Santa Barbara -- where she is working on becoming a certified trainer. You can read more about Monty's program and his wonderful work with horses and humans... seeking positive connections and success through non-violent methods and learning the language of horse. http://www.montyroberts.com
I always have my sketchbook with me and enjoy sitting in the center courtyard area and watching all the activity while waiting for Caroline to finish her day's work. The ranch is lovely with rustic barns, beautiful gardens, mature trees and, of course, amazing horses.

The atmosphere is inspiring to watch the horses and see people from all over the world come to work and learn about Monty's methods of training.
It is thrilling to see my teenage daughter find her passion and pursue her goals for a lifelong career. And it has opened up opportunities for me to be able to paint and sketch in such a beautiful spot in California's Central Coast.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Sand & Surf

I filled a whole sketchbook while in California.... I love looking at my sketches and reflecting on all the wonderful encounters and experiences. I thought I would share a few over the next few blog entries.

One Friday evening I picked up Caroline and Lucia (a student from Germany who was also taking the training courses at Monty Robert's ranch) from class and we headed south on Highway 101 for a beach excursion. The ocean is just a thirty minute drive from Solvang. It was Lucia's first time to see the Pacific Ocean and a nice opportunity for new scenery!

It was surprisingly chilly with a strong wind but the girls were determined to get in the water. They ran right in and jumped into the waves. It was a short swim and after bundling up with every available towel and sweatshirt we had brought we sat and enjoyed a picnic dinner. The sea gulls stayed very close... determined to make their case for a morsel or two.

Afterwards, the girls went beach combing and I stayed to paint the panorama in front of me. Large wispy pink clouds rolled in off the ocean and hovered over downtown Santa Barbara in the distance. Huge flocks of pelicans zoomed overhead and swooped down into the ocean. The surf crept up the sand and began to form a channel in front of me that opened to a tidal pool to the left. Kids were having fun watching the water carve away the sand.

Caroline and Lucia returned from their walk and had fun taking picures jumping in the channel.

I finished the painting and then we packed up to go. But not before Lucia stopped to fill an empty soda bottle with sand to bring home to Germany for her little girl. A souvenir from a lovely evening at Refugio Beach.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Horses, Friends & Celebrations

 I filled a whole sketchbook while in California.... I love looking at my sketches and reflecting on all the wonderful encounters and experiences. I thought I would share a few over the next few blog entries.

My daughter and I were introduced to Agapito and Adrianna on our first week in Santa Ynez. While we watched our friend's lesson with Agapito, I sketched his barn. After seeing the sketchbook entry, he asked if I would like to do a larger painting and, in exchange, he would give my daughter some lessons.

People come into your life for a purpose... and you connect in a such a way that you feel as if you've know each other a long time. Such, is this encounter. I feel so privileged that Caroline and I met this special couple. I love how a simple entry in my sketchbook introduced us to new friends and experiences.

Over the next four weeks, we spent many days on their farm enjoying the sweeping views of the valley - vistas of vineyards, wheat fields and the mountains in the distance. Impromptu barbecues and wine tastings (from wine made on the farm) were special. Caroline rode many horses, took trail rides through vineyards and even learned how to herd cattle on horseback! She learned so much. Agapito's daughter Monet became Caroline's special new friend... what a sweet girl and quite a talented little rider! I enjoyed doing this little sketch of her as she ate lunch with us one day.

Towards the end of our visit we were invited to celebrate Adrianna's birthday. What an amazing party that evening! We gathered in the large wine making room in the back of the barn made festive with balloons and the warmth of family and friends. Isabelle and Jose set up tables and filled them with trays of amazing homeade Mexican dishes. Bottles of wine were uncorked and music filled the room.
Everyone from small children to adults joined in to sing happy birthday to Adrianna.

As the sun started to dip behind the distant hills, some left the party to go on a
twilight trail ride. Others stayed behind and enjoyed the music and the company of
friends old and new. It was a memorable night. 

I so enjoyed creating these two paintings for Agapito and Adrianna.
Thankful for our special times together in the Santa Ynez Valley.

"Agapito's Cows," plein air watercolor, 12 x 9

"The Perfect Spot," plein air watercolor, pen & ink, 14 x 11

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Color & Texture

There are 20 different species of oaks native to California. The oak trees in the Santa Ynez Valley are referred to as Valley Oaks, or by their scientific name Quercus Lobata. They are incredible specimens and their shape and form varies, making each tree unique.
I fell in love with their texture and color, which changed throughout the day. In the early morning hours they took on silhouetted shapes against the morning fog and as the sun rose in the canyon hills the shadows cast from the trees became one with the mass of the foliage above it. By mid-day, the light penetrated and revealed the interior branches and they appeared light and feathery. And at day's end, the oaks took on a more solid shape and the low evening light illuminated the massive trunks.
I was particularly inspired by their connection to their surroundings. I loved how the sprawling limbs of this oak framed the view of the vineyards and canyon hills beyond.
The contrast of the cool hues in the shadows and the vibrant warm tones where the sun pierced through the foliage captured my interest. As I sketched and painted birds popped in and out, perched on branches low and high.

This view caught my eye as I was driving along Refugio Road just outside of Santa Ynez. I stopped and got out to look. The tree loomed out over a steep hillside that led to meadows below. Standing by the roadside I felt as if I were soaring with those branches. The closeness allowed me to survey the bark... it had massive chunky ribs that were as hard as iron. The crevices were deep and snaked their way along the curving branches.
I never tire of drawing them... looking at them. These Valley Oaks are an integral part of the character that shapes this special place... The Santa Ynez Valley.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Visitors - Old & New

It was my last week in the Santa Ynez Valley in California and I was itching to get out and paint. What a nice surprise to get a call from a local artist Marietta and an invitation to go sketch at one of her favorite spots, "The Mills."
We piled my gear into her car and set off for the town of Solvang to a road on the outside of town behind the Mission Ines. We parked and would hike the rest of the way. The mills are currently being restored and are part of a historic preservation project and accessible only by foot and with permission of the Trust. Marietta had permission to paint on the property and I was so excited to see where we were headed.
We hiked along newly-planted olive groves and headed into a wooded area with a small creek running through it. All I could see was bright sun beyond the darkness of the wooded creek bed. We walked through the shallow part of the creek and up into the sunlit hills.

At the rise of a small embankment the clay tiled rooftops came into view and then the full view of this amazing structure. Two small buildings with uniquely shaped holding wells for water all built by hand with clay and rock. Amazing. Especially when you realize they were built in 1820 by hand. 

Built by the Mission Santa Inés in 1819, this water powered grist mill was constucted to increase agricultural production in the valley. Two stone reservoirs were built in to the natural slope of the hill with these incredible stone retaining walls.

A second mill was designed by an American, John Chapman from the New England area. Chapman was sailing towards Hawaii and captured by the Argentinian pirate Bouchard and then forced to go to the Central Californian coast where Bouchard and his men raided Spanish settlements. Chapman was captured in the Refugio Canyon raid and sentenced to the firing squad. His life was spared and he was sentenced to a lifetime service at the Mission Ines in the Santa Ynez Valley.
It was there that he brought his knowledge of the New England textile industry and worked with the mission workers and indians to build this second mill.
This fulling mill created tightly woven woolen cloth by removing the excess lanolin and forcing the woolen fibers to interlock. It was a mill process that he had seen while growing up in the Boston area. This new technology was a huge advancement to the settlers in this region.

What a unique history -- and a great story. 

What an amazing spot -- sketching and painting these humble structures with an amazing panoramic view of the Santa Ynez mountain range and fields. It was a surreal experience.
Looking out across the fields was an old barn bathed in the evening sun. I worked quickly to capture the light and colors.

I was so grateful to Marietta for showing me her special place in the Santa Ynez Valley. We had a great evening of sharing and sketching... she remarked how good it was to be reminded how lucky she is to live in the valley. Indeed.

You can read more about these historic structures and the preservation work being done by the Santa Barbara Historic Trust at http://www.sbthp.org/mills.htm


Thursday, July 28, 2011

Lettuces to Harvest

I returned to Helmut's special farm -- Coast Organics just off Hwy. 101, south of Buellton. He was so generous and invited me back to paint in the fields. The rows of lettuces, broccoli, carrots, dill and onions stretched across the distance towards the golden fields and mountains. The soil was warm and soft, the texture of talcum powder, it shifted underfoot and made puffy little clouds of dust.
The cows shuffled along the hillsides, the grasses and underbrush crunching as they made their way to the water trough. The steady breeze from the coast moved through the valley and hawks drafted in the air current overhead. The sun was intense and there was no shade to be found... I set up in the lane between the two large sections and began to paint. A tractor worked in the fields behind me as I painted and some of the workers stopped by to look at the painting.
I love this very aspect of plein air... being immersed in sounds, sight, color, smells... it it hard to describe but time stands still for that moment. I think of nothing but the painting and the emotion of the experience.
As I packed up to leave, Helmut asked if I was done. I replied yes, thinking he needed to close up the fence gate. No, he remarked... it is time to harvest all the lettuce and he was waiting for me to finish. Oh, I felt so bad that I had delayed his task for the afternoon! He told me no, the lettuces needed to be painted.
He was so very right. They did.
The next day I drove in to buy some produce and the fields were brown and barren. I am so grateful to Helmut and humbled that he allowed me to capture this moment at his farm.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Meadows & Meandering

"Refuge. A safe place."
That is the Spanish translation for Refugio and also the name of a fairly major road through the Santa Ynez Valley. As Refugio Road leaves the valley and begins it's ascent up the coastal mountains, the road changes from a two lane road to a narrow unmarked paved road to a dirt/gravel road where only four wheel drive vehicles travel.
A local resident encouraged me to go past the signs marked "roadway ends" and continue on to find wonderful painting venues. Wow. Spectacular vistas appear as the roadway winds through vineyards, ranches and open spaces.
Just before the road enters the woods and steep foothills there is a sweeping meadow. The wind is blowing and the tops of the grasses move as soft waves. Red tailed hawks soar above and swoop down into the grasses for their meal. Eagles soar high above, their shadows travel across the land with arching movement. Horses nicker in the distance. It is dusk and feeding time.

As the sun dips lower in the sky the meadow is infused with light and color. The foothills in the distance begin to soften and fall into shadow. It is quiet and serene with only the sounds of the wind and birds... A trailing fenceline moved along the meadow and disappears into the grasses.
"Day's End on Refugio Road"... a fitting name for a special road in the Santa Ynez Valley.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Sunsets & Shadows

It's that golden hour, when the sun is just about to sink behind the hills and the contrast of light and shadow is so dramatic. I love painting in that time slot but time is of the essence so I keep my paintings small and work quickly. I often use the open trunk of my car to block the intense low light from my eyes (a makeshift umbrella!).
This is a little stretch of road leaving Los Olivos and heading up Ballard Canyon Road. By day, it is ordinary. At dusk, extraordinary with the tops of grasses illuminated and the rolling hills and oaks in the distance take on a soft glow. I loved the lyrical movement of the barbed wire fence as it trails through the grasses in its disheveled state.

I painted this one last night. It is a scene I have seen several times heading out of Buellton on Hwy. 246 where the road crests at the top of a big hill. There is a vineyard to the right with a farm road. Every time I have seen this view at dusk there are birds perched on every fence rail and the tops of the vines as if they are watching the sunset. They sit quietly for at least twenty minutes rimmed in light. The light becomes so intense as it slips behind the hills and the shadows are just luscious with color.
Flocks of birds fly by and, after the sun has disappeared behind the horizon, the birds in the vineyard all rise up and join them. It's magical.
These are the aspects I love about plein air. The observation of nature and the wonderful harmonies found within.
I titled this one "Evening Takes Flight," packed up my gear and headed back into the valley, now blanketed in the cool shades of night.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

No More Chicken Dinners

Peggy, a local gallery owner and artist, told me about an old diner in Buellton that I needed to check out... so I ventured down the road to look for it. A couple of miles from the busy intersection of Hwy 101 and Rt. 246, there it stood. It sits along the old highway 101 (now just a simple two lane road) facing out to the new freeway. It's weathered facade all wrapped in plywood and fencing -- the owner is looking for a buyer to move it to a new destination.

I loved it's quirky proportions and great vintage signage with peeling paint and broken neon tubing.

The cheery red roofs of the dining cars with curved glass window fronts were covered in various pieces of lace and sheets to obscure the interior. They are actual dining rail cars with a roof overhead and a center structure joining them. What a great re-use for old rail cars. This must have been one happening place!

As I sketched and painted I thought about all the motorists who had pulled off the road from their travels to sit and dine. How welcoming this place must have looked to them. All the people who went through those doors and found chicken dinners and breakfast being served. No munching on fast food on your lap behind the wheel!

I went back the next day and did another painting of it with morning sunlight washing over the front of the diner.

Now, forgotten and boarded up, it sits facing the new freeway (that was its demise) with no opportunity for motorists to pull off and have a bite to eat. I hope it finds a new home... and can, once again, serve chicken dinners.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Highways & Byways

Driving back from Santa Barbara through the mountains I spotted the rooftops of old barns off in the distance. I was just entering the Santa Ynez Valley and wasn't very far from the exit to Buellton.  I noticed a sign for Classic Organic Farms and figured I would find my way off Highway 101 and see where it took me. I saw the sign and went from 65 to 30 in a flash... amazing that right off this major highways was this old road that led me right to the barns I had spotted from the distance. I love taking chances and seeing where roads take me!

I pulled up to the roadside stand... it was an old barn with an awning out front protecting mounds of strawberries from the hot sun. Inside there were shelves overflowing with the most amazing produce. Heads of lettuce that were as large as basketballs. Carrots, onions, garlic and stalks of celery with the most abundant display of leaves that were tender and fragrant. Artful arrangements of antiques mingled with fruit and delicate bouquets of herbs for sale. It was really a visual feast.

A friendly border collie turned the corner and came to greet me. I deposited my money into the big oak barrel and put my selections in the car. Returning to paint was top of my list for the next day. I did a couple of sketches in my sketchbook and scoped out the perfect painting spot.

I returned the next day mid morning and set up in the shade of a tree to paint. People stopped to make purchases and it was fun watching them sample and savor their purchases before they had even reached their cars. Behind me were the self-pick strawberry fields where people were filling their baskets with berries galore.

This little farm was surrounded by mountains. I looked it up on Google maps when I got back and It is amazing how it is this little land mass tucked into the mountains.

I worked on my painting for few hours... I loved the rich texture of the barn and the variations in colors. You could see remnants of old stains and paints of varied colors - red, brown, mustardy yellow. The clouds were amazing and they were moving quickly coming in off the ocean. I loved the bend in the road and wondered where that would lead to.

To the left was an old covered area for cattle. The owner, Helmut, stopped by to talk and look at my painting and we chatted about the history. It had once been an old dairy farm and the road I was painting alongside was the old Coast Highway, and before that a wagon path. The farm used to make cheese that was carried by horse and wagon down to Gaviota (11 miles away through the mountain pass) and then put on boats to San Francisco. 

Now this farm, an organic vegetable and fruit farm, continues the tradition of working the land and preserving the heritage of this valley. I will go back and do some more painting before I leave... I loved this little spot of green paradise ... just off Highway 101.

To read more about Helmut and his farm Classic Organics check out...

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Shadows & Vines

I returned to one of my most favorite painting spots in Los Olivos... I still remember the first time I saw the stunning vista of the Saarloos Vineyards along Ballard Canyon Road. The road winds along the ridge and then takes a dramatic turn and suddenly you are climbing the hill and looking out over this incredible canyon vista with tiers of vines. Truly, it takes your breath away. Everytime.

In fact, it was the first painting spot on my inaugural visit to the Santa Ynez Valley three years ago. I immediately pulled over and set up to paint and an hour into the painting Keith Saarloos pulled up and introduced himself. The painting became part of his collection, and a friendship began. The Saarloos family is so gracious and allows me to roam the vineyards and paint! I love discovering new vistas and scenes to paint among the vines.

When I set out to paint this week's painting, I discovered an opening in the fence line along the road... I ducked under the climbing roses and baby oak tree branches! It was like a secret garden moment! When I looked up there was this wonderful new viewpoint... a long and winding road going deep into the vineyard. Lined with pink roses and olive trees. The long deep shadows crept along the earth reaching towards the vines.

After a small sketch to explore the composition and view... I set about painting and decided to expand the view to the left to reveal the steep slope of the vineyard.

It was an incredible late afternoon into evening painting. A herd of steer came down the hillside behind me and I could hear them snorting and eating ... the grasses and brush crunching under their hooves as they lumbered up and down the slopes. Hawks soared in the sky above me casting large shadows over the vines. The wind picked up as the sun began to make its way deep within the canyon and the colors intensified. The occasional creak and soft moan of a windmill above kept me company.

Larry Saarloos stopped by to say hello. I loved his reaction as he stooped under the opening and came up to see the painting. He zeroed right in on the sweeping path and the play of light and shadow along the road... he loved it. It thrills me when people see in my painting the very thing that inspired me to create the painting. It's the best compliment.

"Shadows & Vines"... another painting for the Saarloos collection. I am honored. Grateful to be able to share their special spot in the Santa Ynez Valley.

Oh, and did I mention they create and craft incredible wines. Artists of a different medium.