Artist-in-Residence, San Gabriel Mountains

2016: For my second Artist-in-Residence (AIR) experience, I was excited to return to the Angeles National Forest over Memorial Day week. I was stationed at Little Jimmy Trail Camp, which is located on the Pacific Crest Trail about 20 miles west of Wrightwood, CA. The week brought glorious, long painting days up on the ridge above camp and along surrounding woodland trails, where I absorbed spectacular panoramas and the rugged landscape. My encounters with the through-hikers on the PCT gave added inspiration. They were learning the landscape step by step.

Here is a gallery of that week’s work, presented in the order I painted them. Click on any image to enter the gallery and browse the paintings.

2015: I participated in my first AIR experience this year, sponsored by the Angeles National Forest and San Gabriel Mountains National Recreation Area, . Continue reading below for more information about my time in the forest. Click on any image to enter the gallery and scroll through the paintings.

During summer and fall 2015, I participated in the Artist-in-Residence program with the Angeles National Forest and San Gabriel Mountains National Monument. I was one of ten artists selected for the inaugural year of this program and spent two intensive periods of time painting out on the trails of the Crystal Lake Recreation Area.

Crystal Lake is located within a mountainous natural bowl at the top of San Gabriel Canyon (north of Azusa, CA). Many of the higher ridges are dramatically exposed due to loss of forest cover from the Curve Fire in 2002. The remnant trees, regenerating vegetation, and rugged slopes create dynamic patterns that change in color throughout the day. The canyon runs out towards the south, with the heavily developed San Gabriel Valley about twenty-five miles away. From certain vantage points, overlapping mountain ridges fill the space between the top of the canyon and the distant plain. Cloud formations can be dramatic, as they flow through the mountain passes and down the valley, or pile up against the peaks when the air flow reverses.

Painting on site, I used water-soluable oils and an impasto technique, layering paint while wet with a palette knife. Often I spent one or two days in an area and painted multiple views in a day. Some views beckoned for more than one attempt, in an effort to capture the effects of different time and weather or just to explore a slightly different technique or size.

My aim was to capture in paint the color, shapes, and energy of this stunning environment.