12 results found.
12 results found.
It is August and around here in San Luis Obispo it looks like this:
How pretty is that view as the sun sets?
There are lots of baby goats hanging out right now….
…. working on those balance skills…
… and getting some naps in (growing up is hard work!)
The goats are pretty friendly and don’t mind us hanging out with them….
And then here’s their friendly protector:
I love hearing the baa-ing of the goats outside! Some of these kids are starting to jump around – they can have so much energy!
These goats are part of a local sustainable land management business. Goat herds can help with clearing land, managing noxious weeds, and even help lower risk of fire by creating firebreaks. Plus they are adorable.
You can read all posts about California here.
Cambria, California is a small, lovely seaside town about 20 minutes north of Morro Bay. It makes a great stop if you are driving between LA and San Francisco, and is close to some cool sites in the central coast area like Hearst Castle, the elephant seals at San Simeon, and the Paso Robles winery region.
We started our day with a visit to Moonstone Beach – a great place for a walk, a picnic, or to just enjoy the ocean. We’re visiting in April, so it was pretty windy + still a little chilly… but warm enough for a great walk. There’s a long boardwalk that makes the beach views accessible for everyone.
There are also lots of hidden coastal access points off of Highway 1. We stopped at one rocky beach outcrop to explore a bit of the seaside by ourselves…
In town, there are so many great restaurants, coffee shops, and boutique shops…
Plus plenty of art galleries to stop in, some antique shops, and a little playhouse connected to the Harmony cafe. We ate at the cafe, and if you are in town check the adjoining J. Buckley Theatre’s schedule for frequent events like live music, local plays, and retro movies…
Our favorite dish was the sea bass – really fresh!
We also ate at the Indigo Moon on the other side of Main Street.
We more or less ordered one of everything and it was all delicious!
I love hidden gem places like Cambria! Do you love little seaside towns, too?
I’m back with another update on my California Coastline art collection! In Part 1, I talked about some of the things that happen before any paint gets on the canvas. Here in Part 2, I’ll show some behind-the-scenes process for how I prepare canvases.
In general, I’ll prepare canvases with a couple of rounds of priming and sanding. I’ll do this even for canvases I buy “pre-primed” – because I like to get the texture of the cotton to a smoothness I like. It’s just personal preference.
For me, priming is an important step that helps prepare the canvas for oil paint. I use a white acrylic primer that you can find at most craft or art supplies labeled as gesso. Having the primer as the base for my painting creates a continuous seal over the canvas, preventing my oil paints from being absorbed into the canvas over time. The primer will also help prevent fine cracks in the paint surface as the painting ages.
I use a wide brush like the one of the left to spread my white acrylic primer over an entire canvas (including the edges!) as a first layer.
Once the primer is dry (it doesn’t usually take more than 15 minutes), I’ll sand it gently. For sanding, I use a fine grain sandpaper – either 220 or 420 (maybe both!).
Sanding the canvas between layers of primer helps me achieve the level of smoothness I want – the more layers of primer/sanding, the less texture when it is time to start the painting. I usually do two layers of primer with sanding after each layer because I like to strike that balance of a relatively smooth surface that also still has some tooth to it to grip my paint.
Earth tones are a popular choice for toning canvases – I especially like Raw Sienna or Yellow Ochre. For the ocean scenes I’ve been painting lately, my go-tos have been either Yellow Ochre or Naples Yellow – they give a nice warm feeling to the canvas and compliment my heavy use of blue in the final composition.
Here is an example of a canvas I toned with Naples Yellow from my recent time-lapse video:
Preparing the canvases overall is a step I really enjoy – it helps me get in the zone before painting. It also helps me feel more confident – like I’m setting myself up for success by providing a strong foundation.
And a quick update on how the collection is coming along — remember the rough sketches from Part 1 where my ideas usually start? Here is one of those alongside how it ended up translating to the canvas:
I love a good before and after. 🙂
I’m working on an art collection inspired by the Central Coast area of California in and around San Luis Obispo county. While I’ve been living in Morro Bay for a couple of months, I’ve been especially inspired by the ocean and the colors that form where the sky meets the water on the horizon.
I want to share with you guys the behind-the-scenes process. Part 1 here focuses on some of the things that happen before any paint gets on a canvas.
First things first, some inspiration! It’s where the fun starts. 🙂
An early afternoon by Morro Rock…
A late afternoon hike near Los Osos, CA…
Dusk on the first not-rainy day after a stormy week in Morro…
When I’m organizing my thoughts about a place, I like to make some quick and rough sketches to play with relative scale, feel, and overall architecture of places I like. Like these:
Spending this time translating the world onto the page helps me decide which direction to take the eventual paintings.
Along with the sketches (and before I start any work on the canvas) I like to play with mixing up colors to discover which tones I like, which hue best captures the feeling I’m trying to convey, and how well colors play together. I end up with a lot of splotches like these:
And alongside the color experiments, I’ll do some just-for-fun/warm myself up paintings that focus on how I want the paints to come together and play off each other. For these I will use either some thick paper or inexpensive canvas boards from Michael’s (great for practicing on when you don’t want to waste a whole canvas!).
Here are a couple of examples of fast practice paintings I did to see how my colors might look in a composition:
(When I work on these color studies, the kinds of questions I ask myself are: does the light seem right? Am I conveying the mood I want? Are the colors balanced?)
So that’s an overview of starting the painting process! Finding inspiration, sketching out forms and plans, and studying the colors.
In Part 2, I’ll talk about how I am preparing my canvases and I’ll show more of the collection!
And this Thursday, I’ll post a time-lapse of the process for this painting:
(I just love the clouds in that one.)
Let me know what questions you have in the comments!
I loved staying in Morro Bay, California for a couple of months. Wanted to share a few more photos from our time there this spring!
Love the view of Morro Rock – you can see it from everywhere along the waterfront…
And I just love that evening light over the ocean. 🙂
Hope you are having a good week,
is a 5’9″ right-handed left-brained project manager and arts entrepreneur. A tap dance enthusiast, chai tea devotee, and Roman history junkie. Loves paints, pizza, and piano.
Let’s go places, take pictures, and write home about it.
“narrow, uphill streets on this side of the river catch gorgeous shafts of light in the evening”
“home to the longest sledding route in Europe, and it was the most snow I’d ever seen in my life!”
“a video all about watercolor palette set-up… and an acrylic cloud painting tutorial for beginners”
is a project manager turned small business entrepreneur based in the arts.
In 2012, I graduated from Emory University. In 2017, I moved from a fast-paced job as an enterprise project manager to starting a small, handmade arts business from the ground up. I’m interested in artistic collaborations and supporting community arts.
Currently traveling through the US to find inspiration for new works in oils, watercolors, and photography.
art + travel vlogs
Earlier in March, we did a Sequoia National Park Day Trip from Morro Bay, CA. There are lots of cool things to see and do in both Sequoia and the nearby Kings Canyon National Park, but our mission was to see some of the tall sequoias in the National Forest and especially the General Sherman Tree.
My number one hot tip for journeying up to Sequoia Forest in March? Check the weather forecast first!
We were definitely caught off-guard to leave Morro Bay in the upper 60 degrees F and find ourselves in Sequoia facing this:
All the cloud/snow/fog in that photo is obscuring the mountainside – we were at an elevation of about 6,000 ft here.
We weren’t deterred. We rented some snow chains for our tires and my husband put them on. He is from Minnesota so I figured, he knows what he’s doing!
He told me afterwards he had never put snow chains on a car before, but he had put them on a lawn mower. Apparently, in Minnesota they attach snowplows to lawn mowers to clear snow in the winter! Me (from Atlanta) and the man renting the snow chains to us (from California) were both gobsmacked to hear this.
When we made it to the pull off for the trail to the General Sherman tree, the lot was sparsely populated and looked like this:
Still not deterred! We made our way to the tree in 6 inches of snow.
The General Sherman Tree is the biggest living tree by volume in the world – 275 feet tall, and 36 feet in diameter….
It was awe-inspiring to gaze up and take in the size of this tree surrounded by so many tall, beautiful sequoias in the forest.
We made it back down the winding mountain roads safely, turned in our snow chains, and headed on. On our way back we stopped at In-N-Out and chatted the whole way about what an odd but amazing day it had been.
This was definitely a unique experience for me and I think I will be retelling the story of our Sequoia National Park day trip for many years!
p.s. – But seriously… did anyone else know that there are places where they put snow chains on lawn mowers?? I learn amazing things all the time.
Hi guys, hope you are having great week so far! It’s *almost* Friday and I am excited about that!
Earlier this week, I wrote about the preparation steps that are part of the process for creating an art collection. Today I’m sharing a time-lapse video of one of the California Coastline paintings:
In the video, I talk a little about some of the inspiration for this painting, as well as some practical insight into how I set up my palette, what tools I used, and how I moved through the stages of the painting.
Let me know what you think!
Have a good weekend,