Paintings inspired by Los Peñasquitos Canyon Preserve and Del Mar Mesa Preserve

I thought it was worth showcasing part of my ever-growing body of landscape art that celebrates views from the chaparral-covered mesas, hillsides and riparian corridors of Los Peñasquitos Canyon Preserve and Del Mar Mesa Preserve. These are unique and beautiful habitats that are becoming increasingly rare in San Diego County as shortsighted developers continue their attempts to level them.

These mixed media pieces were made by combining professional, transparent watercolor pigments and powdered soft pastels of the highest quality on 300lb Arches hot or cold press paper to imbue them with an ethereal, dream-like quality.

Los Peñasquitos Canyon XVII . 2019. Transparent watercolor and powdered soft pastel on 300lb hot press paper. 15" x 19" (38 x 48cm).

Los Peñasquitos Canyon XVII. 2019. Transparent watercolor and powdered soft pastel on 300lb hot press paper. 15" x 19" (38 x 48cm).

Los Peñasquitos Canyon Preserve I . Watercolor and pastel on 300lb hot press paper.  14" x 19.75" (36 x 50cm).

Los Peñasquitos Canyon Preserve I. Watercolor and pastel on 300lb hot press paper.
14" x 19.75" (36 x 50cm).

Chaparral Path To Black Mountain I.  Watercolor and pastel on 300lb hot press paper. 12" x 18" (31 x 46cm).

Chaparral Path To Black Mountain I. Watercolor and pastel on 300lb hot press paper. 12" x 18" (31 x 46cm).

Afterglow.  Watercolor and pastel on 300lb hot press paper. 14" x 19" (36 x 48cm).

Afterglow. Watercolor and pastel on 300lb hot press paper. 14" x 19" (36 x 48cm).

Crepuscule (Los Peñasquitos Canyon XIV) ". Watercolor and soft pastel on 300lb cold press paper. 14" x 19" (36 x 48cm).

Crepuscule (Los Peñasquitos Canyon XIV)". Watercolor and soft pastel on 300lb cold press paper. 14" x 19" (36 x 48cm).

Los Peñasquitos Canyon VI.  Watercolor and pastel on 300lb cold press paper.  14" x 19" (36 x 48cm).

Los Peñasquitos Canyon VI. Watercolor and pastel on 300lb cold press paper.
14" x 19" (36 x 48cm).

Los Peñasquitos Canyon VII (Approaching Storm).  Watercolor and soft pastel on 300lb cold press paper. 13" x 19" (33 x 48cm).

Los Peñasquitos Canyon VII (Approaching Storm). Watercolor and soft pastel on 300lb cold press paper. 13" x 19" (33 x 48cm).

Los Peñasquitos Canyon with Black Mountain III . Watercolor and soft pastel on 300lb cold press paper. 14" x 20" (36 x 51cm).

Los Peñasquitos Canyon with Black Mountain III. Watercolor and soft pastel on 300lb cold press paper. 14" x 20" (36 x 51cm).

Los Peñasquitos Canyon VIII (the Swallows Return).  Watercolor and soft pastel on 300lb cold press paper. 13" x 19" (33 x 48cm).

Los Peñasquitos Canyon VIII (the Swallows Return). Watercolor and soft pastel on 300lb cold press paper. 13" x 19" (33 x 48cm).

Last Light with Moonrise over Iron Mountain . Watercolor and soft pastel on 300lb cold press paper. 14" x 19" (36 x 53cm

Last Light with Moonrise over Iron Mountain. Watercolor and soft pastel on 300lb cold press paper. 14" x 19" (36 x 53cm

Los Peñasquitos Canyon IV . Watercolor and pastel on 300lb hot press paper.  12" x 16" (31 x 41cm).

Los Peñasquitos Canyon IV. Watercolor and pastel on 300lb hot press paper.
12" x 16" (31 x 41cm).

Los Peñasquitos Canyon XI.  Watercolor and soft pastel on 300lb hot press paper. 13" x 19" (33 x 48cm).

Los Peñasquitos Canyon XI. Watercolor and soft pastel on 300lb hot press paper. 13" x 19" (33 x 48cm).

Los Peñasquitos Canyon XIII (Coastal Fog at Dawn).  Watercolor and soft pastel on 300lb cold press paper. 14" x 19" (36 x 48cm).

Los Peñasquitos Canyon XIII (Coastal Fog at Dawn). Watercolor and soft pastel on 300lb cold press paper. 14" x 19" (36 x 48cm).

Chaparral Path to Black Mountain II.  Watercolor and soft pastel on 300lb cold press paper.  15" x 19" (38 x 48cm).

Chaparral Path to Black Mountain II. Watercolor and soft pastel on 300lb cold press paper.
15" x 19" (38 x 48cm).

Coastal Preserve with Invasive Mustard Plant (Lopez Canyon I).  Watercolor and pastel on 300lb hot press paper. 15" x 19" (38 x 48cm).

Coastal Preserve with Invasive Mustard Plant (Lopez Canyon I). Watercolor and pastel on 300lb hot press paper. 15" x 19" (38 x 48cm).

Departure (Crows at Dawn).  Watercolor and soft pastel on 140lb cold press paper. 13" x 19" (33 x 48cm).

Departure (Crows at Dawn). Watercolor and soft pastel on 140lb cold press paper. 13" x 19" (33 x 48cm).

Asterism over Black Mountain.  Watercolor and soft pastel on 300lb hot press paper. 14" x 21" (36 x 53cm).

Asterism over Black Mountain. Watercolor and soft pastel on 300lb hot press paper. 14" x 21" (36 x 53cm).

Bank of Passing Clouds.  Transparent watercolor and soft pastel on 300lb hot press paper. 15" x 20" (38 x 51cm).

Bank of Passing Clouds. Transparent watercolor and soft pastel on 300lb hot press paper. 15" x 20" (38 x 51cm).

Los Peñasquitos Canyon Preserve XII (Walking with Bats and Owls).  Watercolor and soft pastel on 300lb hot press paper. 14" x 19" (36 x 48cm).

Los Peñasquitos Canyon Preserve XII (Walking with Bats and Owls). Watercolor and soft pastel on 300lb hot press paper. 14" x 19" (36 x 48cm).

Los Peñasquitos Canyon IX.  Watercolor and soft pastel on 300lb cold press paper. 13" x 20" (33 x 51cm).

Los Peñasquitos Canyon IX. Watercolor and soft pastel on 300lb cold press paper. 13" x 20" (33 x 51cm).

Westbound at Dawn.  Watercolor and soft pastel on 300lb cold press paper. 14" x 20" (36 x 51cm).

Westbound at Dawn. Watercolor and soft pastel on 300lb cold press paper. 14" x 20" (36 x 51cm).

Los Peñasquitos Canyon XV.  Watercolor and soft pastel on 300lb cold press paper. 14" x 20" (36 x 51cm).

Los Peñasquitos Canyon XV. Watercolor and soft pastel on 300lb cold press paper. 14" x 20" (36 x 51cm).

Crepuscule II.  Transparent watercolor and soft pastel on 300lb cold press paper. 13" x 19" (33 x 48cm).

Crepuscule II. Transparent watercolor and soft pastel on 300lb cold press paper. 13" x 19" (33 x 48cm).

Waxing Moon with Chaparral and Power Lines.  Watercolor and pastel on 300lb hot press paper.  8" x 16" (20 x 41cm).

Waxing Moon with Chaparral and Power Lines. Watercolor and pastel on 300lb hot press paper.
8" x 16" (20 x 41cm).

Winter Storm (Mammatus Clouds over Black Mountain).  Transparent watercolor and powdered soft pastel on 300lb hot press paper. 14" x 19" (36 x 48cm).

Winter Storm (Mammatus Clouds over Black Mountain). Transparent watercolor and powdered soft pastel on 300lb hot press paper. 14" x 19" (36 x 48cm).

Los Peñasquitos Canyon XVI.  Transparent watercolor and powdered soft pastel on 300lb hot press paper. 14" x 20" (36 x 51cm).

Los Peñasquitos Canyon XVI. Transparent watercolor and powdered soft pastel on 300lb hot press paper. 14" x 20" (36 x 51cm).

A bouquet of southern California wildflowers.

Sunshine has been a bit of a stranger here in coastal San Diego as of late. Our typical May gray and June gloom months have brought moisture that we typically only see in the form of heavy fog at this time of year. It’s a perfect evening to gather together a few of my favorite wildflower photos from this spring and summer as the bloom continues, albeit in a more subtle way than that which made national news. The desert “super blooms” attract large crowds, but there are always plants present to be appreciated no matter the time of year, particularly if you enjoy the hunt as I do.

California poppies (Eschscholzia californica), beach sand verbena (Abronia umbellata) and common phacelia (Phacelia distans) overlook the Pacific Ocean at Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve in La Jolla.

California poppies (Eschscholzia californica), beach sand verbena (Abronia umbellata) and common phacelia (Phacelia distans) overlook the Pacific Ocean at Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve in La Jolla.

Ground pink (Linanthus dianthiflorus) growing in Los Peñasquitos Canyon Preserve in San Diego.

Ground pink (Linanthus dianthiflorus) growing in Los Peñasquitos Canyon Preserve in San Diego.

Desert or Ajo lily (Hesperocallis undulata) is both beautiful and wonderfully fragrant. I spotted this one growing in the Coyote Canyon area of Anza-Borrego Desert State Park in Borrego Springs.

Desert or Ajo lily (Hesperocallis undulata) is both beautiful and wonderfully fragrant. I spotted this one growing in the Coyote Canyon area of Anza-Borrego Desert State Park in Borrego Springs.

Desert five-spot (Eremalche rotundifolia) is a favorite desert sight of mine and one I got to enjoy during multiple trips to Anza-Borrego Desert State Park this spring. Unfortunately, my attempts at growing it from seed myself weren’t as successful as they were last year due to wildlife interference. I’ll sow more seed when winter rains arrive.

Desert five-spot (Eremalche rotundifolia) is a favorite desert sight of mine and one I got to enjoy during multiple trips to Anza-Borrego Desert State Park this spring. Unfortunately, my attempts at growing it from seed myself weren’t as successful as they were last year due to wildlife interference. I’ll sow more seed when winter rains arrive.

Rays of sunshine and Parish's poppies (Eschscholzia parishii) are framed by the ever sculptural and graceful ocotillo (Fouquieria splendens) along the Cactus Trail at Anza-Borrego Desert State Park.

Rays of sunshine and Parish's poppies (Eschscholzia parishii) are framed by the ever sculptural and graceful ocotillo (Fouquieria splendens) along the Cactus Trail at Anza-Borrego Desert State Park.

California centaury (Zeltnera venusta) glow in the setting sun on Del Mar Mesa Preserve near my studio.

California centaury (Zeltnera venusta) glow in the setting sun on Del Mar Mesa Preserve near my studio.

Giant coreopsis (Leptosyne gigantea) blooming on Santa Cruz Island, part of Channel Islands National Park off of the coast of Los Angeles.

Giant coreopsis (Leptosyne gigantea) blooming on Santa Cruz Island, part of Channel Islands National Park off of the coast of Los Angeles.

The citrusy fragrance of Sacred Datura (Datura wrightii) blends with the scent of ocean air at Torrey Pines State Beach just after dawn.

The citrusy fragrance of Sacred Datura (Datura wrightii) blends with the scent of ocean air at Torrey Pines State Beach just after dawn.

A splended mariposa lily (Calochortus splendens) glows in Los Peñasquitos Canyon Preserve.

A splended mariposa lily (Calochortus splendens) glows in Los Peñasquitos Canyon Preserve.

Calico cactus (Echinocereus engelmannii). Mojave National Preserve between Las Vegas and Los Angeles.

Calico cactus (Echinocereus engelmannii). Mojave National Preserve between Las Vegas and Los Angeles.

I watch for the emerging leaves and developing buds of Weed's mariposa lily (Calochortus weedii) every spring in nearby Los Peñasquitos Canyon Preserve, Del Mar Mesa Preserve and at Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve, the latter being where I took this photograph.

I watch for the emerging leaves and developing buds of Weed's mariposa lily (Calochortus weedii) every spring in nearby Los Peñasquitos Canyon Preserve, Del Mar Mesa Preserve and at Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve, the latter being where I took this photograph.

I believe the featured cactus here is Mojave prickly pear (Opuntia erinacea). A strangely cool for late May day that was mostly cloudy made for a memorable walk in Mohave National Preserve. It was exploding with colorful desert flowers and I wish I’d had many more hours there to explore.

I believe the featured cactus here is Mojave prickly pear (Opuntia erinacea). A strangely cool for late May day that was mostly cloudy made for a memorable walk in Mohave National Preserve. It was exploding with colorful desert flowers and I wish I’d had many more hours there to explore.

Switching gears a bit, two of my mixed-media paintings inspired by California wildflowers I admired in situ were featured in “The Art of the Wildflower,” an exhibition during Wildflower Week at the Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden in Claremont, California. From their website: “Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden is the largest botanic garden dedicated to California native plants, promoting botany, conservation and horticulture to inspire, inform and educate the public and scientific community about California's native flora. The Garden is a living museum with curated collections of more than 22,000 California native plants, some of which are rare or endangered. Spread across 86 acres in Claremont, California, the Garden is located approximately 35 miles east of Los Angeles. The Garden displays about 2000 taxa of California plants and includes those native to the California Floristic Province.”

As with the wildflower photographs above, you will find prints of these paintings for purchase in a wide range of sizes and on different surfaces by clicking on the images. Please email me if you’re interested in owning one of the original paintings.

Thanks for supporting living artists.

—Robin Street-Morris

Weed’s Mariposa Lily (Calochortus weedii) . 2019. Transparent watercolor and powdered soft pastel on 300lb hot press paper. 13" x 19" (33 x 48cm).

Weed’s Mariposa Lily (Calochortus weedii). 2019. Transparent watercolor and powdered soft pastel on 300lb hot press paper. 13" x 19" (33 x 48cm).

California Poppy ( Eschscholzia californica ). 2018. Transparent watercolor and powdered soft pastel on 300lb hot press paper. 19" x 13" (48 x 33 cm).

California Poppy (Eschscholzia californica ). 2018. Transparent watercolor and powdered soft pastel on 300lb hot press paper. 19" x 13" (48 x 33 cm).

A new landscape painting and two upcoming exhibitions.

I'm pleased to share that my mixed media painting titled Crepuscule (Los Peñasquitos Canyon XIV) was selected for inclusion in the 89th Annual Statewide California Landscapes Exhibition in Santa Cruz by artist and juror Ed Penniman . This piece was inspired by my evening nature hikes to look for owls and other fauna in the beautiful nature preserve that surrounds my home and studio here in San Diego.

The exhibition will run from Friday, March 1st through Sunday, April 14th, 2019. The opening reception is during First Friday Art Walk on March 1st from 6 to 8 pm at the Santa Cruz Art League located at 526 Broadway.

Robin Street-Morris.  Crepuscule (Los Peñasquitos Canyon XIV) . 2016. Watercolor and soft pastel on 300lb cold press paper. 14" x 19" (36 x 48cm).

Robin Street-Morris. Crepuscule (Los Peñasquitos Canyon XIV). 2016. Watercolor and soft pastel on 300lb cold press paper. 14" x 19" (36 x 48cm).

My mixed media painting titled Cloudburst at Sea, inspired by an incoming storm I witnessed over the Pacific Ocean, was selected by juror Gregory Jecmen, Associate Curator of Old Master Prints at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., for inclusion in the 2019 Art on Paper exhibition at the Maryland Federation of Art's Circle Gallery in Annapolis.

This exhibition will be on view from March 28th to April 27th, 2019. The reception is April 7th from 3-5 p.m. at 18 State Circle in Annapolis, Maryland.

Robin Street-Morris.  Cloudburst at Sea . 2016. Watercolor and soft pastel on 300lb cold press paper. 14" x 19" (36 x 48cm).

Robin Street-Morris. Cloudburst at Sea. 2016. Watercolor and soft pastel on 300lb cold press paper. 14" x 19" (36 x 48cm).

It’s been a decidedly wet winter here in San Diego, so getting out on our trails and even getting shots of my paintings in natural sunlight has been a challenge. When the wider trails in the canyon have been traversable, there have still been stretches with pools of water to navigate like the one that inspired the reflected sunset in this mixed media piece. Coyotes, owls and frogs were calling all around me.

Robin Street-Morris.  Los Peñasquitos Canyon XVI . 2019. Transparent watercolor and powdered soft pastel on 300lb hot press paper. 14" x 20" (36 x 51cm).

Robin Street-Morris. Los Peñasquitos Canyon XVI. 2019. Transparent watercolor and powdered soft pastel on 300lb hot press paper. 14" x 20" (36 x 51cm).

Prints of all three of these landscape paintings may be purchased on a variety of surfaces by clicking on their images. Originals may be inquired about by sending me an email. Thanks for looking and supporting living artists.

—Robin Street-Morris

Three birds

Two of these pieces are mixed media paintings, one a photograph. All are inspired by birds I’ve met recently while continuing to explore nearby Los Peñasquitos Canyon Preserve and Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve here in San Diego, California. Prints can be purchased by clicking on the individual images.

Walking Among Barn Owls . 2018. Transparent watercolor and soft pastel on 300lb cold press paper. 14" x 20" (36 x 48cm).

Walking Among Barn Owls. 2018. Transparent watercolor and soft pastel on 300lb cold press paper. 14" x 20" (36 x 48cm).

Raven with Torrey Pine Branch and Cold Moon . 2019. Transparent watercolor on 300lb cold press paper. 14" x 19" (36 x 48cm).

Raven with Torrey Pine Branch and Cold Moon. 2019. Transparent watercolor on 300lb cold press paper. 14" x 19" (36 x 48cm).

Great Horned Owl with Winter Moon II.  2018. Digital photograph.

Great Horned Owl with Winter Moon II. 2018. Digital photograph.

Crystal Cove State Park

Until recently, my experiences at this California state park had been limited to snorkeling. Winter is a great time to explore the tide pools a bit while the water is too chilly for many of us who don’t own wetsuits to swim in comfortably. I hope you’ll enjoy this brief photo essay about this beautiful park; I’ve only scratched the surface of what it has to offer visitors and will surely return to it.

Getting to watch this western snowy plover foraging in the outgoing tide was an utter delight. This is a threatened shorebird species that has been helped by the Endangered Species Act. You can learn more about this important protection  here  at the Center for Biological Diversity’s website.

Getting to watch this western snowy plover foraging in the outgoing tide was an utter delight. This is a threatened shorebird species that has been helped by the Endangered Species Act. You can learn more about this important protection here at the Center for Biological Diversity’s website.

These golden cliffs are filled with native vegetation that sustains wildlife.

These golden cliffs are filled with native vegetation that sustains wildlife.

Because the tide pools are part of the Crystal Cove State Marine Conservation Area, collection is prohibited, but I made an exception for this plastic water bottle cap. I remove a great many of these from our beaches and parks.

Because the tide pools are part of the Crystal Cove State Marine Conservation Area, collection is prohibited, but I made an exception for this plastic water bottle cap. I remove a great many of these from our beaches and parks.

You can see both solitary and aggregating anemones here at low tide with sea jewels applied to their backs.

You can see both solitary and aggregating anemones here at low tide with sea jewels applied to their backs.

We humans are a part of nature. Its condition reflects our behaviors and values.

We humans are a part of nature. Its condition reflects our behaviors and values.

The inflow and outflow of tides create striking compositions in the sand.

The inflow and outflow of tides create striking compositions in the sand.

This lone sanderling and I stared at each other for awhile.

This lone sanderling and I stared at each other for awhile.

With the sun setting over Catalina Island, it was time to drive home to San Diego. Prints of this soothing photograph are  available . Feel free to send me a message if you’re interesting in owning another piece I’ve shared here. Thanks for supporting living artists.  —Robin Street-Morris

With the sun setting over Catalina Island, it was time to drive home to San Diego. Prints of this soothing photograph are available. Feel free to send me a message if you’re interesting in owning another piece I’ve shared here. Thanks for supporting living artists.

—Robin Street-Morris

New works, the 2018 Comic-Con Art Show and a published piece.

Having lived most of my life so far in the Midwest before moving to San Diego, fireflies are something I look forward to seeing every summer on my visits back.  I still typically make at least one firefly-inspired piece each year.  Hotaru-gari VII is my most recent in this series.  I framed it and a handful of other pieces for inclusion in the 2018 San Diego Comic-Con Art Show at the Manchester Grand Hyatt Hotel.  This sale and auction will run July 18th through the close of the convention that Sunday the 22nd.  You don't need to have a badge to stop in to enjoy the art show and bid on a piece if you're taken with it.  

Robin Street-Morris.   Hotaru-gari VII . 2018.  Transparent watercolor and soft pastel on 140lb hot press paper. 9" x 16" (23 x 41cm).

Robin Street-Morris.  Hotaru-gari VII. 2018.  Transparent watercolor and soft pastel on 140lb hot press paper. 9" x 16" (23 x 41cm).

What San Diego lacks in the way of fireflies it makes up for in another form of bioluminescence.  Our periodic algal blooms, known as red tides, can make the waves glow blue.   I got to see this spectacular natural phenomenon for the first time this year and made two mixed media paintings inspired by it.     

Robin Street-Morris.   Luminescence at Torrey Pine s. 2018. Transparent watercolor and soft pastel on 300lb hot press paper. 14" x 19" (36 x 48cm).   

Robin Street-Morris.  Luminescence at Torrey Pines. 2018. Transparent watercolor and soft pastel on 300lb hot press paper. 14" x 19" (36 x 48cm).

 

Robin Street-Morris.  Luminescence at Torrey Pines II . 2018. Transparent watercolor and soft pastel on 300lb hot press paper. 14" x 20" (36 x 51cm).

Robin Street-Morris. Luminescence at Torrey Pines II. 2018. Transparent watercolor and soft pastel on 300lb hot press paper. 14" x 20" (36 x 51cm).

Finally, it's an honor to have Coastal Walk VII, a piece inspired by my beloved Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve, included in Reed Magazine's California Edition. Issue 151 is dedicated to fine art and literature inspired by the Golden State and may be purchased directly through their website.    

--Robin Street-Morris

Greetings.

StreetMorrisArt.com came to be shortly after I graduated from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor with a BFA in painting and photography. I made and long maintained my website with the dinosaur that is Netscape Composer and it became a sprawling creation that I finally had to accept was nearly inaccessible to mobile users, so I stepped up to making some big changes this spring. The latest of them is the addition of this blog that will include images with a bit of background and news about my work. When I'm not in my San Diego-based studio, I'm often out hiking in our regional, state and national parks with my camera or tending my informal, wildlife-friendly garden. I look forward to sharing my love of nature with you.

--Robin Street-Morris

Walking beneath young-leaved Western Sycamores (Platanus racemosa) and Coast Live Oaks (Quercus agrifolia) in spring.  Los Peñasquitos Canyon Preserve; San Diego, California.  

Walking beneath young-leaved Western Sycamores (Platanus racemosa) and Coast Live Oaks (Quercus agrifolia) in spring.  Los Peñasquitos Canyon Preserve; San Diego, California.