Saturday, February 26, 2011

Santa Cruz Island

Recently I have been making day excursions out to the local channel islands with a painting buddy {she joined me in January for the outdoor painting workshop}. Holli and I have been masquerading as plein air painters but more so, island loving day trippers. The last trip we were left off at Scorpion Bay where we hiked up the eastern slope to this look out and parked ourselves for most of our stay.

We were warned by the naturalists that the island crows have become extremely crafty and are most curious creatures. They have taught themselves how to unzip backpacks where they know most certainly the hikers will have carried their days rations. We were not expecting to be joined at lunch time by the wee island foxy.

He must have sniffed us out the moment we cracked our lunch pails. He crept up from the side of the cliff where we were seated and proceeded to nose the air for what might be on the menu. He then strolled a few feet down the trail and parked himself in the grass where he could keep a close eye out for falling crumbs.

He sat sunning himself while we ate but crept away into the tall grass when he realized his cuteness was getting him nowhere. It wasn't until we packed to go that he popped back up from his hiding place to circle back around us and check for anything left at our site. Sneaky, crafty little guy.

To know more about these darling little critters {about the size of a large cat} the Nature Conservancy Magazine has just published a wonderful article about the gal who is responsible for helping these wonderful animals return from near extinction, right here in our own backyard. Bravo.

Santa Cruz Island Fox at the Nature Conservancy

Friday, February 25, 2011

Rainy day painting

First and second coats of paint on a 40x58" panel. Dreaming of the break in the weather and another great low tide.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Snow Day in Santa Barbara

All the kids got play in the snow yesterday! East Camino Cielo was beautifully draped in white. A super treat for the coastal California kids.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Another stunner

Winter light is the best! AND tomorrow, one of the lowest tides of the year at 3pm. Check your local tide guide.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Team Minnie

I had the great pleasure of working on my very first officially commissioned pooch stamps. Miss Minnie, loved by all, recently ailing, newly healed, pooch extraordinaire is now immortalized in several flattering versions of herself, ready to be stamped on any and all surfaces!

Minnie, who stole into the hearts of many during a recent illness, is beloved companion to the fantabulous jewelry designer Erin Balint of ERB designs.

I was very excited by the challenge to capture the dear expression of sweet Minnie and after the first go I realized what a challenge it would be. One wrong little flick of the carving tool and Minnie was no longer Minne but rather some other dogness looking back at me. I had to be far more careful when making choices about what to leave and what to remove on the block... tricky when dealing with a 1"x1" piece of rubber!

Yet there she was, all cuteness revealed. I made several attempts so that Erin could choose which was the true Minnie spirit.

Minnie Sit! Minnie Stay! Minnie roll over!

Minnie's many minis.

Thrilled that the Minster is on the mend and back to her frisky self. Team Minnie has many loyal fans, all rooting for a full recovery. Thanks Erin! What a treat for me.
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