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.
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…
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.
My first chance to participate in the Open Studios Tour turned out pretty well ! Lots of visitors including friends, neighbors, mothers with artistic children and many new people who just decided to see what I was creating. If you have the desire to see any pastels, notecards or mitered corner napkins, to purchase for holiday gifts, please contact me in the form below my signature.
One of the most exciting things was that I raised $155 for the Pacific Coast Peregrine Watch on sales of mitered corner napkins, stuffed peregrine toys, peregrine pins, hats and t-shirts. People understood that 25% of any sales I made would go to the Pacific Coast Peregrine Watch which is a 501(c)(3) educational nonprofit who gives a $1,000 scholarship to a Cal Poly Wildlife Biology student.
People loved my pastels of seascapes, Morro Rock, the CalPoly Arboretum and were fascinated with my birds painted on elk hide for wall hangings.
The view out of my small studio over our raised bed garden with the Pacific Ocean in the distance was a pleasant surprise to many visitors.
As I continue to prepare for the first day of the Tour, October 8th, everything is coming in line…many pastels are mounted in frames, others are matted and put in clear bags, a Common Loon with a Chick riding on its back has been framed for the exhibit at Central Art Supply, 1329 Monterey St., San Luis Obispo. Please come to this reception on Friday, October 7 from 6-9PM. I’ll be there!
Bob Isenberg is at Morro Rock to educate the public about the life cycles, personalities and antics of these peregrine falcons, the fastest animal on the planet! This organization is close to my heart and keeps us in touch with the fragility of all lives in the natural world. Always a good way to keep us informed about how to take care of our planet.
Until the next sketch….peace, Heather
* Elk hide – Hunters who hunt for meat for the winter often will have the hide tanned to be used in many ways. My first elk hide was given to me by a Shoshone friend in Ward, Nevada after I showed him my sketch books. The majority of hides are often discarded by hunters who don’t bother to use the hide only to have them retrieved from the trash by the Native Americans and carefully tanned and used in a more thoughtful manner. I’m now participating in this by making artistic use of all pieces and the scraps. Knowing this, my son gave me one of his elk hides after providing meat for his family.
This year, a very exciting opportunity presented itself. The ArtsObispo Open Studio Tour happens every October and I jumped at the chance.
Word got around that I was new to this, so I was interviewed by Crissa Hewitt and Steven deLuque for our local PBS station KCBX.org. They are artists in their own right and were so nice to ask me questions that truly took me to the source of why I make pictures. You may listen live at 1PM Wednesday, September 7. To hear it later search my name (Heather O’Connor) at KCBX.org for the interview.
You may take a tiny peak into my tiny studio… in the upper left corner !
A friend, Alyce Broome, is joining me in displaying our artwork. Her oil paintings are aerial views of the California landscapes. Just like a bird would see when flying over our planet! Visit both of our entries in the ArtsObispo Directory. Just enter Alyce Broome’s name or mine (Heather O’Connor) and you’ll find what we posted for this year’s tour. Be sure to click on my “orchid” to see my other entries.
My acrylic bird paintings on elk hide will include 2 Common Loons, one with a chick on her back, a Painted Bunting, a Canyon Wren, and a Harlequin Duck. Others may be custom ordered and will benefit the Pacific Coast Peregrine Watch. 25% will go to a CalPoly Biology Scholarship.
My pastels include a series of seascapes including marine layers, kite festival, rough winter waves and offshore views from Montaña de Oro CA State Park and landscapes of the Nine Sisters in springtime and gnarly trees of the California Central Coast.
And please come visit me at my studio October 8-9 and 15-16, 10AM to 5PM.
This summer has been quite delightful if you like fog. Growing up in New Jersey and Southeastern Pennsylvania, I did get to experience fog frequently, but it’s quite different here in Morro Bay, California. All summer long as the inland valleys swelter, the Pacific Ocean cools the Central Coast of California.
Cold Pacific Ocean water and hot air over the land collide to produce vapors that hang around for at least a half a day.
It sneaks fingers of soft white over the rolling hills, the Morro Bay Estuary and two or three of the Nine Sisters Peaks within a few miles of the coastline.
It looms over Morro Rock like a halo or fluffy bonnet, but sometimes smothering it almost completely.
Looking towards Los Osos over the bay, I saw cool air and warmer water colliding in the early morning making a very mysterious floating vapor that transfixed me for quite a while. I just had to get my pastels to see if I could capture the vapors rising. In the distance, the landscape rose into more of the morning mists.
After visiting Bryce and Zion National Parks, I was on the way to see my son, Adam. He lives in Colorado ever since he left our family home in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. He has explored and lived on the Front Range, in Boulder and Lyons. Those were beautiful places, but the lure on snow country drew him westward so I followed to see what he’d gotten himself into. Snow, cycling, hiking and hunting activities were for him to explore while immersed in the grandeur of the Rocky Mountains. I got to visit often!
The Flat Tops often seen with virga pouring from the high clouds. All is this is easily viewed from Adam’s house.
This is his passive solar home on their 7600 foot mountain top where he, his wife, Rudy and daughter, Livia, live with views of Gambel’s oaks, Quaking aspens and Engelmann spruce before they see the distant mountains often with the alpenglow.