On a Mountain Top

This is where I am right now. Though it’s hard to tell through the haze, that lower swathe of dark blue is the ocean, and the little streak of grey at the upper left of it is one of the Channel Islands. I’m house-sitting for friends right now, and this is the view from the road by their home.

Their house is one of a couple dozen nestled together on a shared property up in the mountains. Coming up here feels a little like stumbling into a fairytale. The people who live here share an appreciation for the natural world and an affinity for creation. Everywhere I turn, I see something being brought into being. They are raising animals, raising vegetables, raising houses. And doing so with pleasure, with humor, with pragmatism, with beauty, with community.

I’m breathing in all the inspiration and letting exhalations flow into abstraction as best I can. I’ve spent most of the last week working on paintings to submit to a juried show put on by Sylvia White, a gallerist in Ventura well-known for her work helping artists develop their careers. I put together a temporary studio on my friend’s porch, and I’m making pictures up on a mountain top.