Spring Garden Tour

The San Diego Horticulture Society held its 2023 Spring Tour today, and I was honored to be a featured artist in the Shades of Green & Circle Garden in Del Mar, a coastal city north of San Diego.

The garden’s design creates a sense of rest and contemplation. For example, a small yellow table and chair caught my eye because they would suit me perfectly for my morning coffee and journal writing. This first piece, painted before the crowds came, captures this feeling for me.

The garden’s simplicity made it easy to appreciate the plants and features. For example, as you approach the front door, these two pots with agave plants command the viewer’s attention.

As the day progressed, the garden filled with visitors. I enjoyed overhearing the talk of ardent gardeners, and it made me realize that the day was as much about the gardeners as the garden. This last piece is a sketch of people milling about as they enjoyed their gardenly discussions.

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Reader on the Couch

There are favored reading spots in our home, and one that remains special to our grown kids is reading on the living room couch. Our daughter was home for the weekend, and I had to smile when I noticed her all cuddled up in a red blanket on the couch, just like in the old days. I snapped a photo of her with my camera and later, after she left, painted this with gouache on a small sheet of toned Colourfix paper.

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This is Where We Will Plant It

I moved the potted azaleas around for a few days and think this may be the perfect place for painting them over the next few years.

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Narcissus on a Shopping Bag

Narcissus make me smile, I hope you get a smile from these too.

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Junípero Serra Museum

Junípero Serra Museum is an iconic San Diego landmark. It sits on a hill with views to the west of Mission Beach and Pacific Beach, to the southwest of our downtown, and to the north of Mission Valley. I usually paint one of the views, but today painted the building itself.

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Papaya on a Breakfast Tray

Our online Tuesday still life group painted two beautiful papaya halves on a breakfast tray. I liked my sketch but felt my composition needed something more, and today I painted in the azaleas and blue vase over the second papaya half.

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Embankment between Sky and River

We went to paint at the Old Mission Dam in San Diego’s Mission Trails Park. The sky was cloudy, the San Diego River was flowing, and there was a lot of movement in the sky and water, which I caught well enough to be satisfied. There was also a steep hill rising several hundred feet. It was a gorgeous morning, and I painted happily away.

Unhappily though, the painting did not do justice to the scene. The hill as I originally painted it was large, static, dominating, and wrong. After some thought, I lowered the sky, replaced much of the hill with yellow grassland, and made it curve and move a bit into the sky. I like this much better, but it is no longer a view of the landscape at the Old Mission Dam.

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