Monday, August 22, 2011

Oasis by the Shore

This week I am working on a painting of the Saint Francis of Assisi church in Taos, New Mexico. The amazing photographer Paul Gill granted me permission to attempt some paintings from his photos, and this painting is one derived from his photo. Paul is one of the most talented photographers in our region, and has a wonderful knack for finding the most drama and color in our Southwestern Landscape. Visit his website at:

I wanted to write a brief note to share a wonderful place that I was fortunate enough to visit a few weeks ago; Torrey Pines State Reserve. ( ) This is a stunning place where a large stretch of Southern California coastline has been set aside because it is one of the few remaining habitats of the rarest pine tree in the United States, the Torrey Pine. This 2,000 acre preserve sits right on the coastline within the city limits of San Diego, CA. My wife and son and I went there in the early morning and hiked several trails - one leading down to the coast, above beautiful cliffs that plunged right down into the blue of the sea. It was really special - and all the while I was there I kept telling my wife what a great treasure it is to have an unspoiled stretch of Southern California coastline - very valuable real estate - kept wild and natural as it would have appeared before the rapid development of the area. I urge anyone with some time to visit Torrey Pines and take a walk there. It was a beautiful little oasis in a Southern California that is frequently little more than a sea of cars and fumes and crowds of people.

Also, for those of you who are closer to my area, you should try to visit Catalina State Park - the Arizona Poppies are blooming along with several other species of wildflowers and the banks of washes and other areas are now coated with lovely shades of pale-pastel orange and yellow. Even some purples and whites mixed in. If you can brave the heat before the monsoon rains, there are some amazing scenes to be sketched, painted, or photographed.