Craving Canada

We decided that spring break would be the perfect time to explore Vancouver and the Canadian countryside. We stayed at a great place in a neighborhood that was close to amazing hiking trails, parks, an easy drive to downtown, and only 10 minutes away from the ski slope. Natalie had her first introduction to skiing and even with a few tumbles, learned that she loved the snow and the adrenalin of downhill. We visited several different areas that had suspension bridges and were mesmerized by the colors of the water from the rivers in the gorges. We rented bicycles and rode around Stanley Park and also enjoyed the sight and scent of the cherry blossoms. We visited a nice church for Easter where everyone was so welcoming. We also were so impressed with all of the different cuisines from around the world and had to sample a bunch of ethnic restaurants. We had Balinese, Indian, Thai, and our first try with food from Afghanistan. We also fell in love with Canadian maple syrup and managed to finish off a huge bottle of it on our short trip. We visited the science center for Kate and a bunch of art galleries and art museums for me. The people were lovely, the landscape was breathtaking, and even the airport was awesome. We definitely plan on returning.

Biking Stanley ParkSuspension BridgeCanadian LandscapeHappyCherry BlossomsBridgeCanada SmilesTotemWater Color

Painting after the rains

With all of the recent rains, Ojai has turned green and the mustard has grown like crazy.

Big Island Beauty

We headed to the Big Island of Hawaii to deliver more artwork to the gallery and to paint and gather inspiration. Of course we also had to snorkel a bunch, eat a lot of delicious poke, watch some terrific hula dancers, and hike to some beautiful waterfalls. We arrived in a nice lightning storm and were threatened by flash flood warnings and a tremendous amount of rain. Thankfully, the next morning revealed a perfect blue sky and a great day to just relax at Mauna Kea beach. We then visited Kohala Coast Fine Art at the King Shops and delivered the new paintings. We were lucky to catch a restaurant tasting tour with samples from several of the Hawaiian dining establishments. We later traveled to our favorite little part of paradise on the other side of the island, the Kapoho Tide Pools, where we had rented a beautiful home with a great screened in porch. Natalie enjoyed seeing all the Geckos running around but also enjoyed a local puppy and neighborhood kitty that would come around to the balcony and want some love. Unfortunately, this area is now very popular from all of the write ups in guide books and has become quite crowded with tourists in the afternoon. We felt very lucky to have been able to experience this little gem for so many years without any crowds. We still managed to snorkel every morning before the crowds and in the evening, when we had the place all to ourselves. We swam with the sea turtles and were happy that Natalie could now snorkel by herself without any problems.

BIg Island BeautKohala Coast Fina ArtHawaiian SelfieSurf's UpThe waterfall pic

Christmas in Cambria

Even though the fire was a daily stress and still always on our mind, we tried to appreciate every moment we had together as a family and enjoy the beautiful coastline of Cambria. I had a painting demonstration already set for December at The Nest Gallery, and was happy to share my painting techniques in such a great environment. Our house that we rented was all decorated for Christmas and was located right next to a beautiful hiking trail. We visited the amazing light show and also explored Hearst Castle. I don’t think we could have had a better location to wait out the devastation of the Thomas Fire.

Boardwalk BeautNest Painting DemoChristmas LightsTree TimeHiking InspirationCambria StudyNatalie at sunsetChristmas Walk