Capturing the Late Summer Light at Stemple Creek

October 17, 2013
In Progress:  Late Summer Light at Stemple Creek 2013

This is day three, working on a 12" x 24" commission for Lisa and Loren Poncia of Stemple Creek Ranch in Tomales, California.  Lisa Poncia found me on Twitter with Marin friends, Peggy Butler @iPeggy and "Sally Around the Bay" @Sally_K .  I had a wonderful day touring the Poncia's properties with them more than a month ago and saw a baby cow born in these honey colored grasses.

Loren is a 4th generation rancher and winner of the 2013 J.W. Jamison Perpetual Trophy at the Sonoma County Fair.  His sustainable practices were more than apparent in the landscape the day I spent with them.  As we drove up into these rolling hills, Loren pointed down to Stemple Creek.  All along his property, he has let the trees and vegetation grow in and around the creek and it is lush and green, even in this dry, late summer weather.  Next door, at a nearby farm, cows were down in the creek and the vegetation had all been cut down.  Removing the vegetation around a creek causes run-off to polute the creeks and letting cattle in the creek too frequently can also cause problems with waste pollution.  It was night and day to see the difference Loren's practices had made in just my one short trip.  His efforts in sustainable ranching are a big reason for his awards this year, and you can tell his entire family really loves what they do.

Lisa is a poetic writer and photographer, and does most of the communications work for Stemple Creek (  She is an avid Twitter and Instagram poster and I love seeing what's happening on the ranch in real time.

The image for this painting of the Burbank Family Ranch, at the end of Burbank Road in Tomales, was captured about 3 minutes before the sun dipped below the hills to the right side of the painting (aka "the west side").  A herd of cattle, about 40 in total, were grazing in the orange light on the rolling hills behind the barns.  I was very happy to capture that moment of peace and special lighting, as I knew it would translate well into a colorful painting.  Stay tuned for the final piece.  Please visit Stemple Creek Ranch online to learn more!

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