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Cabrillo Tide Pools


Yesterday, I returned to Cabrillo National Monument Park, which is at the tip of the Point Loma peninsula in San Diego.  On the coastal side of the park, they have paths down to the tide pools, which are great place to set up an easel and paint. I entered the park at 9:01am, just a minute after the gate opened and drove down to the second parking lot.  As I hiked down to the water’s edge, I had to stop to snap a few photos of the birds–Pelicans!


There were lots of them.  I think they were flying back home after a feeding foray because this is where they were all roosting.  Pretty amazing, huh?  I think the dark birds on the left are cormorants and the lighter colored and larger birds on the right are Pelicans…or maybe the smaller birds are juvenile pelicans.  I’m not enough of a “birder” to know the answer on that one.  You can tell this is a favorite spot 🙂


It was windy and cold but after driving all that way to paint, I wasn’t going to quit.  Here is a shot of the easel and painting in progress at the waters edge.  You can see the birds in the background.


You can see in the photos the water is really disturbed because of the high tide.  It was mostly just a lot of white foam from the crashing waves.  Because that would be too much white for my painting, I took artistic license and depicted a calmer ocean.  I’m putting the finishing touches on and will post the completed painting later.

All in all it was a great day for painting!



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Hawaii Whirlwind Tour

Recently, Jackie (my beautiful wife) and I went to Hawaii to carry out the last wishes of Jackie’s long time friend, Brian Levi. Brian was the recording engineer who recorded Jackie’s music and she kept in touch with him over the years, eventually becoming his attorney and the executor of his estate…you see, unfortunately, Brian passed away recently after a long battle with cancer (smoking). His last wish, codified in his will, which left the entirety of his estate to Saint Jude’s Children’s Hospital, was for Jackie and I to take his remains to Maui and have a burial at sea, which we did last week on Brian’s birthday, spending three days on the Island.

The burial at sea was beautiful, with a Hawaiian ti-leaf wrapped urn for Brian, flower leis, and rose petals. When Jackie dropped in the urn and the lei, a big puff of wind came and made a circular mark on the surface of the water around the lei and swirled the rose petals, which danced across the water in the whirlwind. A huge humpback whale fully breached from the water, tail and all when Jackie mentioned Brian’s love of flying model planes in the eulogy. She said, “You loved flying, and today is a good day to fly. Happy Birthday, Brian!” and the whale leaped out of the water, on cue!

Brian loved art and was a big fan of my artwork. I am sure he would be happy to know that I took my paints to Hawaii and did a couple of paintings while I was there. In fact, I felt his presence more than once as I painted. Thanks to him, I had the opportunity.

The Maui Plein Air Painters invitational competition was just wrapping up when we arrived. I got to see some of the paintings (the ones that hadn’t sold yet) at the Village Gallery in Lahaina. There were some top-notch painters there for that week. Maybe one day, I’ll be invited. We’ll see. Hawaii is amazingly beautiful with a clear light that really makes the colors vibrant and full of life. Here are some images and shots of the paintings I did while I was there.

The first night there, the moon was full. I got a shot of it above the palms and Cook Pines of Kapalua.


My first painting was in the morning at D.T. Fleming Beach, in Kapalua, West Maui.


You can see the finished painting, here  After painting, I took some photos of foliage on the way back to the hotel room.


And on the next morning, I found a place to park my pochade (small painting box for those who’ve never heard that term) and work until I got rained out. In Kapalua, in February, showers come and go with frequency. They never last too long and create some beautiful rainbows. In any case, I had to pack up the kit before I finished and had to complete this one back in San Diego. Here are some pics:


And the (almost) finished painting…there have been a few more minor touches since this photo.


I hope to go back some day, pay Brian a visit, and paint a few more things.


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Hacienda Carrillo, Plein Air Paintout in Carlsbad, California

Yesterday started with another bright and beautiful, Southern California, morning. A little chilly (34 degrees) at dawn but nothing compared to temperatures some other parts of the country are experiencing in Mid-January. Got to paint in a new locale (for me) up in the Carlsbad area of San Diego’s North County. The Leo Carrillo Ranch is a 27 acre historical park that preserves the early California adobe architecture and landscaping. It has very nice walking trails and colorful botanical gardens, as well as preserved and restored buildings from the long working history of the Rancho. It was last privately owned by Hollywood actor, Leo Carrillo, who was friends with many of the A-list stars of Hollywood’s golden era. For example, Clark Gable was a friend who often vacationed with Leo at the Ranch. Here is the brand logo and motto of the Rancho: carillo_logo …and here is what part of one of the trails looks like… carillo_pillar …and a little farther down the trail… carrillo_trail …and these guys are roaming all over the place, I must have seen thirty or forty of them… peacock IMG_0078 …I found a view that made a nice composition for the canvas (in this case a 12 X 12 cradled gessobord panel)… cropview …so I set up my easel and painted it, which came out like this… hacienda_carrillo I received many complements on this one by passers by and fellow artists at the park. For now, I’m calling it “Hacienda Carrillo,” but if you can come up with a more compelling name, let me know and I’ll consider it. Here is a link to this one at my online gallery:

All in all, a great day for painting outdoors.

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Winter Swell, Cabrillo

I got out for a plein air session last week-end. Had been sick for some time with a nasty flu that left me with a persistent nasal drip and cough. It was good to get out and the day was absolutely gorgeous. I’ve been meeting up with a painters group that uses online social media to designate places to have painting sessions. This morning, I was the first to show up (as usual), and I arrived early at the Entrance to Cabrillo National Monument on Point Loma in San Diego. It was a crystal clear and chilly December morning. As I drove into the park and headed down the hill to the lower parking lots where there is access to the tide pools, a magical thing happened…

…a Peregrine falcon swooped down not more than five or ten yards in front and to the left side of my slow moving truck–and without flapping soared down the hill about three feet off the blacktop pavement…it was almost skimming the tops of the buckwheat and sage bushes at the side of the road, leading me into the park. It was so magical, I was laughing as I drove behind my escort. I followed it all the way to the bottom of the hill–nearly half a mile. What a great way to start the day.

When I parked, I got out with my easel and bucket and took some photos as I went…I’ll share them with you…

First I got out and took a photo of the view from the parking lot…

Then, I walked down the trail a ways and saw this…

and this…

and I painted this…

which came out like this…
(apologies for the phone photo)

And then I packed up, hiked back to my truck and drove out of the park but had to stop and take some shots because it was just too beautiful to resist…

looking West…

…and looking East…

A very quiet and emotional place.

What a great day it was.

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Why Purchase Fine Art?

You may decide to patronize a particular artist and purchase an original work or limited edition print because the image pleases, moves or inspires you–or, you may believe the artist’s work will appreciate in value as a long-term investment–or it may simply match the colors of your couch. Whatever the reason–purchasing original and limited edition art is a satisfying and rewarding experience unlike any other, with the dual benefit of capturing and preserving the enjoyment of the beauty in the work but also in rewarding the artist, who will continue to create works and expressions of their creative spirit and inspiration.

While Fine Art originals and limited editions may seem expensive, consider that they are extremely rare, and are the culmination of many years of an artists observations, experiences, and practice. Jewel-like, Artworks are multifaceted expressions of human existence that bring a special satisfaction each time your eyes gaze upon them. They are indeed, more rare than jewels, which are merely accretions of minerals dug from the earth, while Art is mined from human consciousness and soul and is the medium through which they are shared.

These truths make Fine Art a fool-proof investment, because not only does it immediately bring such great joy and enjoyment, but it will also hold or appreciate in monetary value over time. Inevitably, when the time for personal enjoyment has passed, the art remains as a tangible asset to be left for others, conferring a reciprocal benefit in the joy of holding it for a time as steward and then in the joy of passing it on.

There is truth in the axiom that “a thing of beauty is a joy forever.”

Fine Art of collectable quality will endure the test of time and will remain long after you are gone. Others, possibly heirs, unto posterity, will have the opportunity to feel the same sense of wonder and emotion that inspired you to collect the artwork. By purchasing Fine Art, you become part of the legacy of preservation in this cycle of inspiration for generations to come.

Purchasing Fine Art is a reward for everyone.

Meyer Lemons Plein air painting by RLOArtist
Meyer Lemons Plein air painting by RLOArtist