Tag Archives: california

Seattle Sunshine

I want to extend my thoughts and prayers to all of those impacted by the wild fires up and down the west coast. I think of those who have lost their homes and/or evacuated from approaching flames to the fire fighters who have bravely been battling these fires.

My wife and I left Los Angeles August 31st for two weeks in Seattle (two of our daughters and their husbands live up there). At that point in time Northern California was battling significant wild fires and the smoke from those fires had migrated to Southern California. As we took off and started the flight north, there was a layer of brown smoke all of the way up the coast to Oregon. From Oregon on up to Seattle, the skies were clear and we were thankful to get out of the smoke.

Starting with our second week in Seattle, Oregon was now battling a number of fires and so was eastern Washington. Mid-week, the winds changed and the huge plume of smoke that had been blown out to sea from California and Oregon came inland and created the pictures I have attached.  I took these with my cell phone by one of our daughters house because I was blown away with how weird the sun looked. It actually got worse as the week went on with no sun getting through.

We returned to Los Angeles Sunday September 13th. On that day going to the airport in Seattle, the smoke was so thick you couldn’t even see the downtown high-rises as we drove right by them on Interstate 5 (the freeway literally butts up to downtown). Taking off from the airport was like rising through a thick layer of clouds that had a brown tinge to them. On the 2.5 hour flight coming south over Washington, Oregon and Northern California, looking out the window at 35 thousand feet, there was nothing to see but the brown cloud below us. It boggles my mind that there would be a smoke plume of that size. Think about any flight you have had of that duration and think about if there was nothing but smoke below you for the entire flight.

Seattle Sunshine

Street Scene

The air was so brown, these shots almost look like sepia photography.

Thoughts?

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Do Not Worry

From downtown Denver, we are popping over to the west coast for a sunset I took in Carlsbad, California located in the northern part of San Diego County. I added the quote from the bible as it seems an important reminder for all of us. I try really hard (and trust me it is hard), to take each day as it comes on its own merit. It doesn’t do any of us any good to worry about tomorrow as all that does is pull your attention away from the current moment. And the current moment is the only reality we truly live in.

Thoughts?

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Abstract Tropical Sunsets

From the winter forests of the Pacific Northwest in last weeks post, I take you all the way down the Pacific Coastline to Carlsbad, California. Carlsbad is located in the northern coastal area of San Diego County. The two sunsets I am featuring this week were along the coastline of Carlsbad just south of the downtown village. Carlsbad is probably best known anymore as the home of Legoland. The actual irony is that the featured prints were created from a photo shoot I did in February, so I’m actually still keeping the winter theme going……

For those of you that follow me, you know I like color and abstract techniques in my creation of art prints. These two were created using an abstract watercolor technique that highlights the bold colors of the sunset.

For this first print I kept the sun behind one of the palm trees for a not so typical rendition of a sunset over the coastal ocean.

This second one is more typical by centering the sun between the palm trees. I also added pedestrian walkers in the left portion of the scene.

Thoughts?

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Central California Coast – Excerpts from a Photo Shoot

I wanted to share a couple of shots I captured last weekend on a drive my wife and I took along the Central California Coastline. There are a number of “pull-offs” scattered along the coastline and these captures were from one of those.

California Central Coast 1

 

California Central Coast 2

 

California Central Coast 4

Thoughts?

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LA Hills – Excerpts From a Photo Shoot

In Last Weeks Post (The Jacaranda Tree), I mentioned that we were in Los Angeles for Memorial Day weekend visiting our daughter and son-in-law, but more importantly our first grandchild (just hit the 6 month mark). I had also mentioned that I volunteered to do the daily stroller outing into the neighborhood each day while we were there (she loves to be outdoors enjoying the fresh air, sights, birds, etc.). I was always wandering up into the hills with her as the climbing was good exercise for grandpa and the views were spectacular for both of us. At that point last week I talked about the Jacaranda Trees, but also mentioned I would come back to the views of that daily outing. This week I have attached 10 shots I took during that daily venture.

LA Hills 1

This capture gives you an idea of the typical hillside neighborhoods that dot the Los Angeles hills. The streets are narrow, windy and go up and down quit dramatically. On one side of the street you have the height of the home facing the street and the other side, just the top portion of that home with it’s height going down the backside of the house.

LA Hills 2

The homes represent a variety of architecture and mix in size. Interesting architecture and look as the next shot shows the same house from around the bend and down the other side….

LA Hills 3

Every few steps the scene is totally different.

LA Hills 4

Because land is so precious, there isn’t any space wasted as you notice the garages actually start just feet from the road.

LA Hills 5

Love the variety of architectural elements and color in the homes.

LA Hills 6

Creativity is necessary as the hillsides are quite steep.

LA Hills 7

As I alluded to earlier, the views between the homes (the views they actually have over each other) that you can see from the street are spectacular. This view looks southeast over Glendale, California towards the San Gabriel Mountains.

L.A. Hills 8

This view is looking in the same general direction as the capture above (you can barely see this facility in the far right portion of that view).

LA Hills 9

This is a capture of downtown Glendale, California which is located northeast of downtown Los Angeles and south of Burbank.

LA Hills 10

Then to the south of this location behind another set of hills is downtown Los Angeles. The final approach pattern to LAX takes planes just south of downtown and with the air traffic coming into LAX, not surprising that I captured a plane in this shot.  Thoughts?

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Evening Sunset Along The Walk – Featured Art Print

Evening Sunset Along the Walk is a wall art print I created using an abstract watercolor technique of an evening sunset along the walkway. This technique uses abstract shapes and bold colors to create a clean modern look.

The setting is Carlsbad, California along the coast highway. Carlsbad is located in the northern part of San Diego County and is a popular beach town. In this particular area, there is a sidewalk up on the bluff overlooking the beach and surf of the Pacific Ocean. It’s a great place to take a sunset stroll and enjoy the cool ocean breeze. In this print, the sun is just getting ready to dip into the ocean for the night. The setting is beautiful with not only the sunset, but also the palm trees in the foreground of this print. Thoughts?

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Mount Shasta – Excerpts From a Photo Shoot

I was on a quick two day road trip this week with my son-in-law traveling from Phoenix to Seattle. We had a short time frame to meet, so we had two very intense driving days to get up to Seattle (the good news for me, I flew back to Phoenix, so only had the drive one way). Anyone that follows my blog knows that I never go anywhere without my camera….you just never know!!

Because we had such a tight timeframe, there really wasn’t much opportunity to stop and take pictures, but I was able to grab some shots of Mt Shasta when we stopped for breakfast in Mount Shasta, California. With the amount of moisture that has been hitting the western US (much needed for California), the amount of snow on Mt Shasta was incredible, as you can see by the pictures. Tidbits about Mt Shasta: It is a volcano that sits on the southern end of the Cascade Mountain Range in Northern California and has an elevation of 14,179 ft. It last erupted in 1786.

Upon arriving back home and reviewing the shots, I thought that part of the series I hurriedly took would make a great example of framing a shot either while you are taking a picture or afterwards if you have the right software.


Mount Shasta One

Mount Shasta One

This first capture I created using the zoom feature of my lens to frame the shot. I was standing in a parking lot right outside of the restaurant.

Mount Shasta Two

Mount Shasta Two

This capture gives you the look and feel of what I was actually seeing in my line of site…..again, the first shot was my zoom lens framing the shot above the Shell gas station (notice the tree branches that were in the first shot).

Mount Shasta Three

Mount Shasta Three

Another approach if you don’t have a strong zoom lens or just didn’t use it, is this method. This capture is from the second shot….I cropped it in Photoshop to eliminate the “street noise” of the other picture.

I think both methods created the final image that I was looking for. Thoughts?


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Abstract Sunsets – Featured Art Prints

The wall art prints I wanted to feature this week come from my Abstract Watercolor Gallery. It’s a series of sunset wall art prints that are inspired by the same sunset in the same location. This allows me the ability to showcase a couple of elements as it relates to these prints. The first element is the use of an abstract technique and the second is the color changes that occur within one sunset.

 

So, lets start with the abstract approach in these prints. Not everyone is a fan of abstract art and the beauty of art is “that’s ok”. We all react a little differently to various looks, colors and styles. I like abstract art because I appreciate colors and shapes. I don’t need an art print to depict a realistic scene all the time; sometimes I just appreciate the use of colors and shapes. I approached these sunset prints with suggestive shapes and bold colors that were as true to the beauty I witnessed in the sky as I could replicate.

That takes me to the second element. The sunset in these prints was over the coastal area of San Diego County a few years back. The perspective is from a distance looking over the land towards the sea just after the sun has gone down. When you see one of “those” sunsets, you know that the color palette of the sky changes continually as it turns into dusk. This series follows such a sunset.

The first one is called Orange Ocean Sunset. The sun has just set and the bright colors dance off of the high clouds over the ocean. The ocean itself turns a bright orange reflecting the sky.

The second one I’ve titled Orange Hillside Sunset. The sun has sunk lower, beyond the horizon, creating deeper colors. The foreground in this print uses a hillside as a balance against the brilliance of the sky.

The third print is titled Blue And Red Ocean Sunset. The sun sinks even lower, creating darker hues of the numerous colors and the night sky starts to show as the deep blue towards the top.

The fourth print is called Red Ocean Sunset. Dusk has set in and the light fades, but not without a final burst of brilliant red lighting the sky and the ocean.

Thoughts?

I invite you to visit my Abstract Watercolor Gallery to enjoy these prints and many more.

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Pacific Sunset – Featured Art Print

My last post was focused on capturing the beauty of a sunrise. This post focuses on the beauty of a sunset. Just by chance, I had just added some new art prints to my Abstract Oil Gallery. I had just finished with a series of abstract sunsets and I chose to feature one of them titled “Pacific Sunset”. This is an art print done in an impasto oil style, which is known for large bold brush strokes and bold colors.

The setting is a sunset over the Pacific Ocean along the coastline in Carlsbad, California, which is located in the northern part of San Diego County. I tried to capture the essence of the explosion of color that occurs during spectacular sunsets. In this rendition, I focused on the blues, reds, oranges and golden hues of the sky after the sun has slipped below the horizon. The colors change so rapidly and wanted to present the sky as the light starts to fade and the dark night sky creeps in. I put this print in my Abstract Gallery because of the bold shapes and color that were used to create the full picture. The dramatic color and large brush strokes steal the attention, but to add a little balance, I pull your attention to the specific detail I captured along the horizon of the land. This helps to delineate between the land, ocean and sky. You see just a small sliver of ocean reflecting the colors from the clouds. Thoughts?

 

I invite you to come into the gallery to view the addition of Christmas Cards to the collection in Abstract Oil Gallery

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Ocean Sunset Between Two Palm Trees- Featured Art Print

I love sunsets, especially those that light up the sky with vivid colors. The clouds and the sun have to be just right and when it is, it’s colorful magic in the sky. As you watch the hues build into brilliant shades of orange, pink and purple, you think it couldn’t get any better, but wait…it does! The art print I am featuring today celebrates just such a sunset. I chose “ Ocean Sunset Between Two Palm Trees” from my Tropical Collection. This particular art print is a sunset over the Pacific Ocean in Carlsbad, California. Located in northern San Diego County. The city is known for its beaches and seaside flavor. Along the Pacific Coast Highway is a walkway on a bluff above the beach in this part of town. The print depicts a sunset along the walkway as the sun is setting between two palm trees. I used an abstract watercolor technique to pull out the vivid colors with the shapes as suggestions. Using an abstract approach creates different elements to a print. The abstract aspect is typically less dependent on detail and more on shapes and colors. You can create an art print of the same scene in a traditional oil style and an abstract style and come up with two completely different looks. I have examples of that throughout my galleries. I can see a scene in a variety of ways and present it as such throughout the galleries. I recognize that abstract prints are not everyone’s “cup of tea”, for example; my wife likes more realism and I prefer abstract. To me, it’s “what does an art print say to you”. I create both types knowing that tastes vary. At the end of the day….just enjoy the sunset! Thoughts?

I invite you to come into the gallery to view the collection in Tropical.

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