Category Archives: Masters

Wheeler Canyon

Wheeler Canyon is in Santa Paula (Ventura County). It’s a really beautiful area, much of it unspoiled farms and ranches. In the 30’s and 40’s it was often visited and painted by some of the great early California impressionsists, including Cornelis & Jesse Arms Botke (who lived there).

I was inspired by the fact so many artists visited the canyon and found so much to capture. I’ve listed below some links to other artists’ works.

My partner, Mike, grew up in Santa Paula, and was always aware of the art history of the town. If fact, the town banker, Douglas Shively, wanted to be an artist but was forbidden by his father to do so as he was told he needed to run the family business. Nevertheless, Douglas Shively continued to paint, and has done some wonderful work. We have a large painting of his of Morro Bay. Some day, maybe I’ll do a post on him. He led an interesting life.

In the meantime, I hope you enjoy my painting of this historic location.


The power of subltey

I’ve just finished Kevin MacPherson’s new book, “Reflections on a Pond“, and like all great art books it will be re-read many times until dog-eared and worn.  That’s a complement!  The book contains one painting for every day of the year of the view of a pond outside his home in New Mexico.  Imagine, trying to come up with 365 paintings of the same scene!  He pulls it off, and in so teaches a lesson about observation. 

You can look at the same site, day after day, and see something different.  Of course light changes, weather, and so on–and those changes are obvious.  But the series of images demonstrate how the artist really brings the subject to life, by conveing a point of view, or an emotional response.  I also found the book a good lesson in subtlety.  You can see how incredibly sensitve the artist as by the careful observation and emotion in every paitning.  I’ve been thinking of painting a similar series because I can see there are some real lessons to be learned here.  There’s a good spot off 280/Edgewood Road that I’m considering, although it’s a rest stop, so not open 24×7.  We’ll see.  In the meantime, in the coming weeks, I’ll post some of my own paintings that hopefully show I’ve learend something from this great American master.