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.
To see prices, please go to the pages for available artwork at the top of this page.
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…
A closer view of the Vanda sp.
A view of the Odontoglossum sp.
And a look at the Burrageara intergentic…
Looking for more orchids to draw and paint…maybe in oils or pastels. Their brilliant color always make me feel so good in winter.
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.
The creeks from the county finally flow into the bay, then down to the ocean…
Ducks galore will be arriving from the north as the weather cools and daylight becomes shorter.
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.
Sand dunes reaching for Morro Rock…
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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, 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.
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.
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.
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.
Finally, I have a little oil painting which I put in a gold plein air frame.
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…
In January, Morro Bay puts on a Winter Bird Festival. Because of the king tides pushing the birds on the bay close to the boardwalk where I walk, it was spectacular. People took trips to see birds at the Carrizo Plains, Owling at Night, Birding by Bicycle, Osos Flaco, Sweet Springs and did a Big Day and Little Big Day bird count !
I recalled many years ago as a child, I had painted a Ruddy Duck for my grandmother. (Listen to podcast) I was about 10 years old. In honor of that time, I decided to paint a Ruddy Duck in courtship mode slapping its bill against its chest making a myriad of bubbles. You may see it on exhibit at the Morro Bay Art Center on Main Street.
I, also, entered a Common Loon with a Chick riding on its back and a California Quail which I have yet to photograph, but you may see them all until they take the show down on the 6th of February 2017.
After many days doing other things*, I went to Sunny Acres*, a place where people live, farm, chop wood and grow pumpkins, to paint a John Deere 510. Sometimes machinery can have grace and charm. This one did.
Then off to see the sea… a view into the glaring light at Avila Beach, CA.
Then a view from the top of Black Hill in Morro Bay, one of the nine volcanic peaks forming a string of mountains going into San Luis Obispo.
Until the next sketch…peace, Heather
*things – Recovering from the shocking 2016 Election results and planning my focus on having lots of work to do on healthy lifestyle and healthy planet for all of us. My view is to live and vote with a 100 year perspective in mind.
* Sunny Acres is a clean and sober living facility located on the beautiful Central Coast of California. It sits on a 72-acre ranch at the edge of the city limits of San Luis Obispo, CA.