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Big Sur and Mothers Day picnic 036

McWay Falls in Julia Pfeiffer Burns Sate Park, Big Sur, California

Two of my paintings are being shown at a local gallery this month. They are part of an exhibition titled “For Love of Central & Coastal California.”

One is a view of iconic Morro Bay Rock as seen from the top of Highway 46, not far from where we live. It is one of my favorite views, especially in the spring with the green hills folding down to the sea. In the actual view from the highway, Morro Rock can barely be seen, even on a clear day. But one of the wonderful things about painting is that you can move things around and make them smaller or larger to fit your vision and what you want to capture.


View of Morro Rock from Highway 46, watercolor by Deborah J. Brakset

This painting was a composite of the following two photographs that I took not long ago. I tried to capture the intense green hills and their shadows from the first photo, and more detail of the ravines that spider up the far hills in the second. I made the hills steeper than they actually are and emphasized the road dipping into the folds.


The second painting on display is a view of a hidden sea cave as seen from Highway 1 near Big Sur.


Sea Cave, Big Sur, from Highway 1 – watercolor by Deborah J. Brasket

It is a composite of the following two photos, the first featuring the yellow wild flowers that grow near the highway overlooking the sea, and the second shows the cave itself in its private cove. You can barely make out the fence and pathway leading down the cliff toward the ocean in the photo.

Big Sur and Mothers Day picnic 047Big Sur and Mothers Day picnic 088

This last painting is not part of the show but shares the theme. It is a painting of a pathway lined with oaks leading to the river near our home. A “California dreamer” leans against a tree trunk.

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“A Splash of Sunlight” watercolor by Deborah J. Brasket

This is the reference photo, sans the mountain and the “dreamer” I added.


I was trying to use the colors and the looser style found in the following painting, one of my favorites by Henri Manguin.

Henri Manguin - The Parkway, 1905 at Pinakothek der Moderne Munich Germany by mbell1975, via Flickr

“The Parkway”, 1905, by Henri Manguin

Mine isn’t as successful as I had hoped, but it still captures enough of that “dreamy” feeling of late afternoon, with the sun filtering down through the leaves, to want to keep it.

I hope you enjoyed this brief stroll with me through California’s  sunlit and sea-splashed hills. May you savor the natural beauty that lies in your own backyard, wherever that may be.