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 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

 

Wrapping up 2016…

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.

John Deere 510 at Sunny Acres
John Deere 510 at Sunny Acres

Then off to see the sea… a view into the glaring light at Avila Beach, CA.

Glaring light
Glaring Light 

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.

Bright Light
Bright Light from Black Hill

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.

Success… Open Studios Tour

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.

Pastels and watercolor on display
Pastels and watercolor on display

People loved my pastels of seascapes, Morro Rock, the CalPoly Arboretum and were fascinated with my birds painted on elk hide for wall hangings.

img_5095
My studio

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.

Oil paintings in the studio with feathers
Oil paintings in the studio with feathers where I work

Until the next sketch…peace, Heather

Interview on KCBX.org

Just in time for the Open Studios Tour, I was interviewed by two artists who have been participating in the Tour for years. Below is the link to our PBS station to hear what I had to say.

http://tinyurl.com/hr574on

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!

Common Loon with chick on elk hide
Common Loon with chick painted on elk hide*

Please know that any purchase you make of my work, a 25% donation will given to the Pacific Coast Peregrine Watch. http://pacificcoastperegrinewatch.org

Peregrine with new chick Photo by Cleve Nash
Peregrine with new chick                                               Photo by Cleve Nash

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.

Morro Rock, home to two pairs of peregrine falcons
Morro Rock, home to two pairs of peregrine falcons

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.

Open Studios Tour 2016…

This year, a very exciting opportunity presented itself. The ArtsObispo Open Studio Tour happens every October and I jumped at the chance.

postcard
Postcard invitation

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.

Crissa Hewitt and Steve deLuque Photo by Heather O'Connor
Crissa Hewitt and Steve deLuque        Photo by Heather O’Connor

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.

Birds on elk hide
Birds and a Monarch butterfly on elk hide

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.

Wild Trees
Wild Trees – pastel

Until the next sketch… peace, Heather

Marine layers…

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.

Morro Bay Estuary
Morro Bay Estuary                                                                                                                      © Pastel 12″x16″

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.

Marine Layer Covered Cabrillo Peak Pastel 12"x16"
Marine Layer Covered Cerro Cabrillo                                                                                    © Pastel 12″x16″

It looms over Morro Rock like a halo or fluffy bonnet, but sometimes smothering it almost completely.

Morro Rock in The Marine Layer Fog
Morro Rock in The Marine Layer Fog                                                                                    © Pastel 12″x16″

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.

Steaming Pickleweed Marshes Pastel 12"x16"
Steaming Pickleweed Marshes                                                                                                   © Pastel 12″x16″

Until the next sketch…peace, Heather

 

Steamboat Springs visit…

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!

IMG_4534.jpgThe Flat Tops often seen with virga pouring from the high clouds. All is this is easily viewed from Adam’s house.
IMG_4497.jpgThis 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.

Until the next sketch… peace, Heather