On the Embarcadero…

Recently, I’d gone down to visit and  to wish Paula Radke success at her new gallery location at 701 Embarcadero, Morro Bay, CA. Luckily for me, she wanted to see my pastels of the Central Coast of California, so she came up to my studio and chose eleven pieces of my artwork to hang in her gallery. Also, she wanted notecards of my pastels and oils .

Here are some of the pieces of my artwork that she’s showing with her Art Glass creations.  She is inspired by the colorful iridescence found in beetles, butterflies, bird feathers and fish. It translates into her work in Art Glass with grace and beauty. It turns out that we both love brilliant and iridescent color!

If you are waiting to have lunch or dinner at Dutchman’s Seafood House drop in to see Paula Radke’s Art Glass and my pastels and oil paintings. My notecards of  Morro Rock and surrounding areas are available too.

Her gallery location is near the SubSea Tours dock where whale watching is the best there is in Morro Bay, CA.

Until the next sketch… Peace, Heather

P.S. Remember to sign in for notices on my WordPress website here and also, on my Facebook page which can be found under “Heather O’Connor @wandering.illustrator”

 

Morro Rock exhibit…

Everyone visiting “the Rock” is aghast at the immensity of the leftover volcanic plug that is often called the “Gibraltar of the Pacific” from 26 million years ago.

As iron is drawn to a magnet, artists are drawn to ‘the Rock.” Here is my entry this year in the Morro Bay Art Association exhibit while I have many more of “the Rock” in my studio. You may even contact me for a box of notecards which I amusedly call “A Box of Rocks.”

Over the Dunes – oil

Until the next sketch…peace, Heather

 

New artwork…

It’s spring and I’m ready to show you a few more pictures!

Santa Barbara fire colors flow north – Pastel

The one of the biggest fires in California’s history raged and drove towards Santa Barbara, CA and the nearby wealthy area of Montecito.  As it did, the sky over the Morro Bay State Park turned colors!

This will be in my Open Studio Tour shown along with other pastels and oils. Some a bit more calm and peaceful like this one below.

Southside light on one of the Morros – Pastel

Morning light always pleases the Nine Sisters, a group of volcanic eruptions in San Luis Obispo County. I live at the most western end of one. It’s Morro Bay well known for Morro Rock.

Until the next sketch, Heather

Bird Festival show…

This month of January, the Morro Bay Art Center is showing artists’ work focusing on the birds that we’ve seen locally and afar. I have entered three oil paintings and notecards. The Morro Bay Winter Bird Festival takes place every year In January when the birds migrate into and through Morro Bay. A very exciting time!

The show is open January 11 – February 19, 2018.

The duck display of courtship can be quite amusing or showy. Videos capture it very well, but since I paint stills you’ll have to enjoy and imagine what might be next. Lots of feathers flapping in display intrigue me.

Pintail Courtship Display                                © Heather O’Connor
Ruddy Duck Courtship II                              © Heather O’Connor
Western Gulls at Rest                                       © Heather O’Connor
California Quail in the Arboretum                                 © Heather O’Connor

To see prices, please go to the pages for available artwork at the top of this page.

Until the next sketch…Peace, Heather

A few orchids…

During the Open Studios Tour in October, I showed several pieces of artwork that are not pastels. Orchids !   Watercolors and colored pencils suited their brilliance. Only a fascination with orchids stirred me to share these with visitors. Here are what they saw…

 

Five Orchids

A closer view of the Vanda sp.

Vanda sp.

A view of the Odontoglossum sp.

Odontoglossum sp.

And a look at the Burrageara intergentic…

Burrageara intergenetic

Looking for more orchids to draw and paint…maybe in oils or pastels. Their brilliant color always make me feel so good in winter.

Until the next sketch… peace, Heather

2017 Open Studios Tour… 2 weekends!

First, I wish to invite you to my studio both weekends, October 14-15 and 21-22. Come visit for trees, a duck, several orchids, pastels and a few oils from anywhere!
Please pick up a catalog to see my location, Studio #41, in Morro Bay.
I’m looking forward to seeing you!

Second, Facebook followers remember to press the hyperlink to get to my website and sign up to follow me.

Marshlands of the Sweet Springs Preserve

The creeks from the county finally flow into the bay, then down to the ocean…

Over the Montaña de Oro dunes

Ducks galore will be arriving from the north as the weather cools and daylight becomes shorter.

Until the next sketch…peace, Heather

Looking North…

Facing the Pacific Ocean and Morro Bay, the views are always inviting me to gaze at the ever changing moody skies and brilliant colors. Tides rise and fall making the pickle weed marshes like chameleons. Light never is quite the same.

Overlooking Morro Bay

 

Sand dunes reaching for Morro Rock…

Looking North over the sand spit

From one of the first pull offs in Montaña de Oro, I overlooked the sand spit reaching for Morro Rock. I was high up and could look down on the native woody shrubs as late summer faded them into a golden hue.

Morro Rock from the “Pit”

A surfers’ more northern access to the Pacific Ocean via the wide Estero Bay when looking  to capture the southerly breaks… I often notice the power and weight  of Morro Rock, a long eroded volcanic peak formed 23 million years ago.

Until the next sketch…peace, Heather

Exploring trees…

I’ve been gathering together some of my tree pastels  for the San Luis Obispo 2017 Open Studios Tour. Here are just a few that are available in the “original” pastel form. They’ll be framed.

Gnarly tree trunk beside Laguna Lake

Laguna Lake is a special place for birders, energetic runners, hikers, walkers and bloggers. A friend, Joyce Cory, is a keen observer at Laguna Lake. Follow the link.  Also, one of my favorite eucalyptus trees is there. You may have seen it in a previous post.

Heron Rookery in the eucalyptus taken over by Cormorants

The Heron Rookery near the Windy Cove and  Morro Bay Museum is a great viewing location for Great Blue Herons, Great and Snowy Egrets along with the ever present Cormorants.

Looking into the Sweet Springs woods

Sweet Springs is one of the best locations for birdwatching…ducks, herons, eagles, raptor, owls, etc.

If you prefer the note card size, I’ll make some for you too.

Until the next sketch…peace, Heather

A Morro Rock summer…

This summer, showing my paintings in the Morro Bay Art Association was great success… It was a show of the favorite places that visitors to our town love to see… “Morro Rock.” I’ve sketched and painted it numerous times. We all love the “rock” in all its personalities. The one below is a bright day with a bit of the marine layer in the distance. It often creeps in gradually…

Morro Rock Over the Dunes

Morro Rock, a State Historic Landmark, was formed about 23 million years ago from the plugs of long-extinct volcanoes. Morro Rock was an important navigational aid for mariners for over 300 years because the rock is approximately 576 feet tall which made it the most visible, however not the tallest,  in a chain of 9 peaks. Portuguese explorer, Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo named the rock “El Morro” in 1542. In Spanish “Morro” means crown shaped hill. Morro Rock, sometimes called the “Gibraltar of the Pacific,” is the last peak of the Nine Sisters, which extend from San Luis Obispo to Morro Bay.

The rock itself was quarried on and off until 1963. Morro Rock provided material for the break waters of Morro Bay and Port San Luis Harbor and other coastal jetties in addition to walls and houses in San Luis Obispo. In 1966, a bill was introduced which transferred the full title to the State of California. Later the San Luis Obispo County Historical Society and the City of Morro Bay succeeded in getting the Morro Rock declared as a California Registered Historical Landmark #821. Morro Rock, also, became State Landmark #801 in 1968. The rock has since been designated a bird sanctuary for the peregrine falcon and other bird species. Bird enthusiasts may follow the peregrine activities on the website Pacific Coast Peregrine Watch.

Morro Rock Across the Dunes

This painting has a marine layer building over the cold Pacific Ocean while the foreground where I stood is bright and sunny. No wonder that we all love it so much and see artists gazing at it and painting it frequently.

These two oil paintings were SOLD. That put my spirits and bank account in a very positive mode. If you ever see a piece of artwork that you’d like to have, please contact me. Many can be made into notecards.

Remember that the San Luis Obispo County 2017 Open Studios Tour is coming up in October 14-15, 21-22.

Until the next sketch…peace, Heather

A tree…and many visits…

I’ve been looking at a eucalyptus tree at Laguna Lake in San Luis Obispo and thinking I could focus on it. I’ve never really been content to practice on one specific subject to draw or paint. Don’t know why… the variety of numerous subjects was more fun…so many things, all sizes, all shapes, all textures, many colors to choose from…

The idea of focusing on one tree didn’t seem that exciting. But this time, I did one pastel, then another, then a third, then a monochromatic value study, then a partial area of the eucalyptus.

Eucalyptus #5 at Laguna Lake, San Luis Obispo, CA
Eucalyptus #5

Different days, different light conditions, different weather, sunny, cloudy, windy, calm.

All in pastel, then a black and white scratchboard and lastly the oil. I kept thinking and thinking and am still thinking there is more to get to know about this tree.

Eucalyptus, scratchboard, at Laguna Lake, San Luis Obispo, CA
Eucalyptus – scratchboard

Finally, I have a little oil painting which I put in a gold plein air frame.

Eucalyptus, - oil, 5"x7"
Eucalyptus at Laguna Lake – oil, 5″x7″

Every time I went to see this tree, some new thought popped into my head. This is fun and not boring as I had thought it might be.  It was like getting to know a new friend, each minute spent with the new friend another layer of the acquaintance expanded the personality of my new friend.

Curiosity always pays off. Now it’s time to go back to visit my new friend by the lake again…

Until the next sketch…peace, Heather