Lupines in the afternoon


It was a rare weekday afternoon that I was able to spend painting at Russian Ridge, just before a late spring storm. Last weekend I realized this little patch of lupine was about ready to pop into full bloom, and if I wanted to paint them in their full glory, I’d have to get out there soon. Wildflowers fade fast.

Such is the life of a plein air painter. Time and flowers wait for no man or woman, and I wanted to capture the feeling I got on this trail that a person could step from the edge of the lupine-purple earth into the glowing sky.


I love these hazy days with lots of high clouds in the sky. We don’t get enough clouds in the Bay Area. And soon we’ll have the eternal sunshine of the spotless California summer, with no cover from the sun for months and months. But for now, we’ve got clouds a-plenty.


Of course, we’ll always have the fog rolling over the ridgelines, even on most summer evenings.

6 thoughts on “Lupines in the afternoon

  1. Good to see the photograph alongside the painting, and it really makes you realise how much better the painting is!

    1. Thanks Jason. For me, paintings get to the feeling of the time and place better than photographs do (at least, better than my photographs do).

  2. Beautiful, Peggy! We’re a bit slower on the lupine-bloom here, but as I drove back from Kelseyville yesterday, I, too, enjoyed their purple profusion on those hillsides.

    1. Hi Chris! Yes, your lupine season is coming up in another month, isn’t it? Also allergy season!

      Lovely post on your blog today, btw.


    2. And I realized I wrote “Peggy” instead of “Maggie.” I have horrors of such things, especially when they actually occur. I hope you’ll forgive this slip-of-the-tongue.

    3. Thanks Chris. The difference in seasons from here to the Northcoast always delights me. Spring is earlier here, but your summer days are longer than ours.

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