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.
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.