Live Forever

10X8", o/panel.  This is Dudleya pulverulenta, one of my favorite plants, also known as Chalk Dudleya and "Live Forever".  It's a succulent, forming part of the extremely endangered coastal sage succulent scrub plant community.  This one is growing adjacent to some California Coastal Sagebrush (artemisia californica).  I love the chalky white stalks with small red leaves and red blossoms.  It has a ghostly beauty rising up out of the scrub.


Bayside Trail

6X8", o/cp (Sold, private collection).  This trail is part of Cabrillo Monument, and on a rare sunny morning, I took another stab at getting the color of this amazing coastal scrub.  Even in sunlight, the colors are very subtle.  The brightest green is Lemonadeberry, which has a Mediterranean growth pattern.  The leaves grow straight up (at a vertical angle) to minimize moisture loss by avoiding direct exposure to the sun.  As a result they don't reflect light the way most green shrubs do, so it's an interesting visual problem when painting them.  The orangey plants are Buckwheat, and much of the grey is Encelia which survives the summer by dropping all its leaves and looking really quite dead.  After the rains start again, it will green up and this scene will look quite different.

Another view, a couple hours earlier (8" X 6", o/cp; Sold, private collection):


Top and Bottom of the Tidepool Hill

6" x 8", oil on canvas panel.
Steps descending to the tidepools, looking back up toward the radar tower.

 6 x 8" oil on canvas panel.
The Tidepool Hill is a legendary stretch of road where groups of cyclists do a multi-climb morning workout.  I've crested this bend in the road many many times, gasping for breath.



This is the New Lighthouse, the less-glamorous but much more practical younger sister of the Old Lighthouse which gets all the attention.  The Old Lighthouse is a much more picturesque and beautiful building, but it was actually a bit of a failure as a lighthouse:  because it's so high on a hill, it can't be seen as well underneath the marine layer of fog which rolls in almost nightly.   The newer, more visible lighthouse shown here was built in 1891, at a much lower elevation.  In fact, it's near the water's edge, and the buildings around it currently house the Coast Guard members stationed here.   (6" X 8", o/cp.)