Category Archives: Landscapes

Highway One Near Jenner California

Highway One near Jenner California

View of the Northern California coastline from Highway One near Jenner – Oil Painting by Pat Meier-Johnson

One of our very favorite places for romantic getaways: the Northern California coast just above where the Russian River spills into the Pacific Ocean.  My birthday is just around the corner and Russ suggested we head out there again. I never grow tired of it. The light is different every time of the year and with clear weather ahead for next weekend I can’t wait to see the coastline bathed in autumn light.

Some people say California is too dry, and certainly with the drought this is no laughing matter. But I do like the silvery grasses with feathery tops that catch the wind and reflect back in whites, lavenders, frosty greens, and gold as the sun prepares to go to sleep.  Typically by this point in the day we are heading to the open pit fireplace to enjoy a bottle of good wine and some nibbles at the Timber Cove Lodge, right near where this picture was painted.

On one occasion when we stayed at the lodge we stopped at Korbel Winery first on the way to the coast, picked up some sparkling wine and chunks of sinfully good salami that we couldn’t finish (though we gave it a good try). We returned to our room after a lovely dinner, fell asleep to the sound of the ocean, leaving our deck door slightly ajar. In the middle of the night I thought I heard Russ rummaging around and called out to him, only to hear his voice in bed on my left. Well if that was Russ, who was that in our room. I switched on the light in time to see the greasy hasty footprints and furry hindquarter of a local raccoon who obviously made off with the last of our salami.  Maybe I should paint the raccoon next time.

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Also posted in Oil Paintings, Uncategorized, Wine Country Art Tagged , , , , |

Kerala Beach in India

KeralaBeach600

Kerala Beach India – Oil Painting by Pat Meier-Johnson (Original NFS)

My husband Russ and I went to India several years ago and loved the colors and atmosphere of Kerala. We enjoyed touring the coastline and learning of its history as an important spice trading center of great interest to Portuguese and Dutch who left their indelible imprint on the region.  We saw this scene from a bluff above the ocean. Locals wading in the surf looked like confetti. This was one of my favorite images and I finally painted it.

The late afternoon sun shone through the women’s saris and glanced off the calm waters. Mostly young families were enjoying the mild weather. We would love to revisit this area where we also enjoyed ayurvedic massage treatments and cruises down the Kerala canals in rice boats that had been turned into houseboats with our friends from Ibex Expeditions. Truly beautiful.

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Also posted in Oil Paintings Tagged , , , |

View of Mount Tamalpais from St Vincents in Marin

Here it is and there it went.

View of Mount Tamalpais from St Vincents Marin - Oil Painting by Pat Meier-Johnson NFS

View of Mount Tamalpais from St Vincents Marin – Oil Painting by Pat Meier-Johnson
NFS

I painted this late summer afternoon picture of Mount Tamalpais to reflect the warmth of the northern Marin fields and the late hour of the afternoon.  This was the view south from the eucalyptus-lined road leading up to the lovely St. Vincent’s School for Boys.

I remember this field fondly ever since I was a little girl and traveled up highway 101 with my brother, Bob, parents and grandparents, often for weekend kayak trips to Johnson’s Beach on the Russian River.  I think I may go back there and paint a picture of the building itself and trees one of these days.

LATEST NEWS: I am so tickled because I brought the painting in to swap out with one in a group show and it sold immediately, even before it went on display!

 

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Also posted in Oil Paintings, Uncategorized

Plein Aire Painting in Marin County

This is my favorite time of year.  No, let me rephrase that. I don’t really have a favorite time of year, but this is certainly the nicest time to be outside painting.

Plein Aire painting at St. Vincent's School for Boys in San Rafael, California

Plein Aire painting on a Friday afternoon in August at St. Vincent’s School for Boys

My instructor, Carol Smith Myer, offers Plein Aire classes on Fridays, choosing a different location each time. This time she chose St. Vincent’s School for Boys in northern San Rafael, in Marin County, California.

We set up our easels and during the course of a couple of hours painted the landscape. (Actually hoping some cows would make their regular appearance around 4pm but they took a different route, it appeared.)

The thing I love about painting is the way colors, highlights and shadows make themselves known the longer I look at something, be it a flower, a field or a form. And light changes too, warming colors, cooling them, lengthening or shortening shadows. It changes constantly. And that’s magic.

I’m putting the finishing touches on this painting and will post it in the next day or two.

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Spring at the Valley of the Moon Winery in Sonoma

 

Valley of the Moon Winery by Pat Meier-Johnson 16 x 20 oil painting on panel

Every year after several months of cold gray weather the dark grape vines of Sonoma are touched with flecks of bright green. Within a few weeks, vineyard by vineyard, leaves emerge as a salute to spring. Grasses grow and wildflowers play a happy tune. I captured this oil painting of the Valley of the Moon Winery in Sonoma in early 2014.

We discovered the “new” Valley of the Moon Winery (originally planted in 1863) at a tasting in the Sonoma Lodge presented by Dan Zepponi, winery president and co-proprietor. Dan Zepponi is a third generation Sonoma vintner, having worked in the family business of ZD Winery since the age of five. He left to study engineering. But the vineyards called and he became involved in operations for Beringer, Chateau St. Jean, Stags’ Leap, and more and finally bought Valley of the Moon Winery and Lake Sonoma Winery.

We were so impressed with his Barbera, Pinot Blanc and Pinot Noir that Russ and I made it a point to visit. Just 10 minutes from our house, the Valley of the Moon Winery has a spacious tasting room that led us to a lovely outdoor seating area. Just beyond is an outdoor oven and adjacent bocce court.  The day was perfect and we took a walk around the grounds behind the winery. I caught a glimpse of this view and just had to paint it.

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Pat Paints Lanterns for Audubon Fundraiser

Pat Paints Lanterns for Audubon

What fun I had researching salamanders, quail, egrets and flowers to paint my lanterns for auction at The Art of Eating Audubon fundrasier for Nature Education Programs at the ACR Bouverie Preserve in Glen Ellen. Numerous Sonoma artists were asked to decorate paper lanterns with motifs portraying the flora, fauna and environments of the ACR Preserves (including the Audubon Canyon Ranch at Stinson Beach and the beautiful Bouverie Preserve in Glen Ellen). The Art of Eating fundraiser took place Sunday May 18 2014 at the Bouverie Preserve in Glen Ellen and I heard that my lanterns helped raise considerable money for the organization’s worthy youth education programs.  The event raised more than $122,000!

The famous food author, MFK Fisher spent her last 20 years at the Audubon Canyon Ranch Bouverie Preserve where David Bouverie provided a house for her on beautiful property. The five ACR Preserves in Marin and Sonoma Counties total more than 5,000 acres and are home to herons, egrets, quail, salamanders, and much more wildlife and flora.
Interested in finding out more about the preserves and the Audubon fundraiser?  http://www.egret.org/art_of_eating

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Also posted in Acrylic Paintings, Articles, Uncategorized, Wine Country Art Tagged , |

Two Girls in a Boat – Oil Painting

Two_Girls_in_a_BoatTwo Girls in a Boat by Pat Meier-Johnson 14 x 20 oil painting on canvas

This oil painting, Two Girls in a Boat based on a trip Russ and I took the summer of 2012 when we went to Maine to take a week-long photography course at the Maine Media Workshops. Instructor, Joe Baraban, a well known commercial photographer taught us to “follow the light” and did not allow us to crop or otherwise alter our photos. So we really learned how to line up our shots, compose, and get our settings right.

Joe himself was a painter before he became a photographer so his influence on my oil paintings is very strong as you can see. The students got up before dawn, once as early as 4:30am and driving far to catch the early light on a picturesque lighthouse. During the workshop we paid several visits to the Rockland Lobster Festival, early morning and early evening where there was no shortage of subjects from set-up crews to a diverse crowd of fair-goers to photograph.

After the photography course Russ and I traveled to Gloucester, Massachusetts where we continued our early morning schedule. We took photos of these two women out rowing on the water in Gloucester harbor. There’s something very different about the water on the east coast. The depth, color, the way it moves. The simple wood boat was a pleasure to paint.  I can see why so many artists painted in the New England area: Wyeth, Hopper, etc.

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Al’s Place Oil Painting accepted by Arc Gallery

Al’s Place – Sacramento Delta Oil Painting by Pat Meier-Johnson 11 x 14 on Canvas

How exciting. My first oil painting to be submitted to a gallery has been accepted into their catalog and will be featured online by San Francisco-based Arc Gallery in their “Like a Tom Waits Song” exhibit starting in early May.  I submitted this painting in response to a call from the gallery for art of any medium that is evocative of a Tom Waits song. So I  started to imagine places where Tom Waits would hang out and sing his songs.

Russ' photo was great to work from. The only thing missing was, well, a pianist. So I asked him to model for me in our hallway where a decorative entryway table was just about the right height.

Russ’ photo was great to work from. The only thing missing was, well, a pianist. So I asked him to model for me in our hallway where a decorative entryway table was just about the right height.

Fortunately Russ took a great photo at Al’s Place in Locke on the Sacramento Delta quite a few months ago. The locals’ politically incorrect name of the bar is “Al the Wop’s“.  You can see the name painted on the window of the restaurant and silhouetted onto the piano in this picture.

Originally a Chinese restaurant that opened in 1915, it became the only non-Chinese business in town when Al Adami and an associates bought it in 1934 from Lee Bing and continued in the business till 1961. It continues as a real Tom Waits-type whiskey bar and food joint in a run-down building.

I like the way the light streams through the window and casts letters on the face of the piano and filters through the beer bottles on the table. The buffalo head can’t be ignored either. The theme and the scene were great for a palette knife, pure oil colors and and gritty strokes.

 

 

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Also posted in Oil Paintings Tagged , , , , |

Two Cows Sonoma

Two Cows Sonoma by Pat Meier-Johnson 11 x 14 oil painting on canvas

Two Cows Sonoma by Pat Meier-Johnson 11 x 14 oil painting on canvas

I think there’s a unwritten rule that when you’re an oil painter in Sonoma you simply have to paint a cow or two. So I did. There’s something about seeing herds of cows on the rolling hills west of the town of Sonoma that make you feel that all is well with the world.

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Also posted in Oil Paintings, Wine Country Art

McCloud Cabin Near Mt. Shasta

McCloud Cabin near Mt. Shasta by Pat Meier-Johnson 8 x 10 oil painting on canvas

McCloud Cabin Near Mt. Shasta by Pat Meier-Johnson 8 x 10 oil painting on canvas

Our friend Bruce let us stay in his cabin in the tiny town of McCloud near Mt. Shasta in northern California. I listened to the water splash over the rocks as I painted this on a very peaceful warm afternoon in August.

This Shasta oil painting was doing with water miscible oils. More convenient but they feel a bit different. They’re not quite as buttery as traditional oil paints. Still the range of available colors was good and it made for a very easy plein aire painting experience.

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