Los Peñasquitos Canyon Preserve

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.