Day 24: More hayfields…

I went back today to this favorite corner of the Valley; the hay was freshly mown and the scene appeared very different than the last time I painted it only ten days ago. The air was redolent of hay and cow manure. Red winged blackbirds hopped around, alighting on the roughhewn fence posts. A flock […]

Day 23 – second installment: Mountain Barn

This morning I drove north along the main road, where one picturesque barn follows quickly upon the one before it, an embarrassment of riches of wonderful painting subjects. I chose this one, set against the blue-purple mountains of the Warmer range. Mountain Barn, oil on linen, 11″ x 14″  

Day 23: Shadows on the Playa

This afternoon I painted this view that never fails to stop me: the afternoon sun lighting up the “playa” (the ancient dry lakebed that runs up and down the Valley), the clouds casting shadows on it and on the Hayes mountains beyond. Shadows on the Playa, oil on canvas, 12″ x 16″       […]

Day 22: Hay Harvest

It’s the time for cutting hay, baling it and storing it in hay barns. I came across this scene today of one such barn and freshly cut hay. The flies were buzzing as I painted. In a distant field a pair of Sandhill cranes strolled lazily. After a while they exited the scene, but their […]

Day 20: Surprise Valley Photo Journal – 2

Surprise Valley has been wonderful not only for the chance to paint this inspiring landscape, but for the visits with friends and the getting to know new friends. This weekend Sooz & Kevin  and Kazy & Max are in from the Bay Area and today we’re celebrating Sooz’s birthday. This morning shortly after dawn we […]

Day 19: The neighborhood cows

“To laugh is human but to moo is bovine.”  ~Author Unknown There they were when I went to paint them today, enjoying the sun and warm weather. The Neighborhood Cows, oil on linen, 11″ x 14″

Day 18: Hay Ranch, Morning in Surprise Valley

Clear skies and warm temps have returned. I went back to paint this scene I’d been eyeing since I got up here at the beginning of the month. Hay Ranch, Morning. Oil on linen, 8″x 16″  

Day 17: Crows Beak Barn

The pointed thing at the top/front end of some barns was used for lifting hay into the loft. Sometimes pulleys are still attached to them. They’re also known as Widow’s Peaks and Hay Hoods. This barn is at Sophie & Lynn’s farm in Lake City here in Surprise Valley. Rumor has it that someday it’s […]

Day 16: Ode to a Centenarian Poplar

My friend Barbara March supplied the title of today’s painting, taken from one of her poems of the same name. This morning’s painting was done at her and her husband Ray’s ranch in Cedarville. Rows of these giant old poplars line the main road in front of their property and the drive up to their […]

Day 15: Into the Valley

The wind gusted this morning. So much so that when I walked away from my easel for a few moments, I turned back around to see the whole set up crashed to the ground. My painting, which I thought had been going well, was lying in the dirt and covered with it. But no getting […]