This was done en plein air at San Jose's Buddhist Church Betsuin. I was intrigued by not painting to the edges of the paper, not touching the masked rectangle, and creating a shape of the painted area that enhanced the subject - the feeling of walking deep into the perspective, like an invitation from the temple.
A beloved icon in Los Altos, California, this is a small color study in preparation for a larger painting.
A complementary palette brings out the form of this beautiful church tower and makes it glow.
Changing the color palette to give this a more lazy, Spanish feel, this was a small color study done in preparation for a larger piece.
The brilliant mosaic of the water fountain reflects into the pool as a visitor lazes on the steps beyond.
The shift of the stalks in the water is what drew me to paint this from a photograph in a book.
The mostly neutral color scheme of the bridge brings out the warm spots of color in the stone giving it a historic touch.
The bright backlight coming in through the doors made the photograph I took almost black and white, so I had the liberty of playing with colors bringing out the interaction between the neutral stripes of the crosswalk and the bright stripes inside the museum.
A loose painting of San Francisco's Chinatown with the historic Empress of China building.
From a photograph taken from my car as I was waiting at a red light, this loose watery painting is reminiscent of rain.
The meandering trail through the luscious greenery drew my eye as I painted this en plein air.
Painted in monochrome, this is the narrow alley dotted with bright red Chinese lanterns that leads to the historic fortune cookie factory.
In May every year, I drag the family to do a 10 mile hike as a birthday present to me. This stunning cluster of buildings is Pierce Point Ranch at the head of the Tomales Bay hiking trail, my favorite hike in the world.
I took a picture of these two temples in Koyasan, Japan, from where Buddhism spread to the rest of Japan. It was a perfect composition, and the only thing missing was this figure that I added into the beautiful irregular space created between the walls of the two temples.
I was drawn to this very fascinating structure with shapes and shadows. Little did I know that it would start a series of paintings of aggregate crushing machinery units in other cities.
I saw this whizzing past on the freeway, and took a picture to paint from.
So far, this appears to be the last of the trilogy.
I've always watched workers precariously balanced on structures in construction sites and doing their work like ants on a hill. The golden color of wood stud framing against the blue of the sky while the structure is still open to the elements has intrigued me, and I have always wanted to paint such a scene.
The triangular shadows shapes falling on this portion of the Sunnyvale Heritage Museum were so striking as created miniature jogs on the horizontal wood siding.
My lovely friend Sharon visited a very frazzled me at my booth during my first Silicon Valley Open Studios weekend, carrying this beautiful pot of orchids.
The bright and dazzling spot of reflected sunlight in the shadow of the vase drew me to paint this arrangement.
A study of a single sunflower from the arrangement on the left, focusing on all the shadow shapes that make it what it is.
This was painted en plein air at the stunning Santa Clara University campus, full of beautiful Spanish architecture. A light drizzle for a few moments was startling before I realized that this was, after all, a watercolor.
Painted en plein air, I chose this asymmetrical profile of the gate against the backdrop of the trees.
This much looser version of the same gate was attempted later in my studio - I feel the values better set off the shapes.
Painted en plain air at Hidden Villa Farm in Los Altos Hills, this Hostel was hidden in the shadows of a tree and the forest beyond, and I almost passed it by. What drew me were the strong horizontals of the steps, the railing, and the gable vents.
So many architectural gems at Maryknoll, it was hard to pick just one. I must go back and do more.
A different style from my usual, I first did this drawing in pen and ink, and then lay loose watercolor on top en plein air.
Painted from a photo I took in Iceland, I remember this day when we were walking around until our restaurant reservation near this boat dock.
Painted from a photo taken from a taxicab on the streets of Manhattan, I painted this in my hotel room the same night.
The cerulean blue of the sky peeks from other parts of the painting, unifying the whole.
Done quickly with a big brush in limited time, I find that it is these constraints that bring about a freedom and freshness in my work.
The watermarks in this painting remind me of this hike and the 241-step climb to the San Juan Church at the top of the rock island, and hint at the mistiness of the coastal weather.
This was an unmarked building - I still cannot believe it is not on some historical register or even a chapel of some kind. It stopped me in my tracks twice as it presented very different shadows. over the course of the day.