Thursday, March 31, 2011

Ojai Quansett Hut

This is one of the many quansett huts in Ventura County.

Ojai Creek Bridge

This time of year there is snow on the mountains above Ojai. We can even see it through the canyon while surfing.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

My Setup

For anyone interested in my painting set-up here's a picture on location. I use an old french easel, a dozen oil colors, and a couple brushes. I paint from 8x10 to 24 x30 and spend about an hour and a half on the larger paintings. The small ones take 20-40 minutes. I have a VW camper, the best painting investment I could have made. It lets me stay on location with all my supplies and a free place to sleep!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Ojai View

Ojai is a little town 13 miles inland from Ventura. It has beautiful views and a variety of architecture. Here is a view of the post office and arches which lead to the Libby Bowl.

Mission Entrance

On Saturday, April 30th, the first Ventura Plein Air Event is being organized by the Red Brick Gallery. For more information you may visit If you would like to have a link to your website and be a part of the event contact Jen at

There will be scores of painters in and around the Downtown working in a variety of mediums. Mission Entrance is one of the many subjects you may choose to paint.

I will be contributing by doing a quick demonstration in oils at my loft at 10 o'clock sharp.

Shortly after, we will be on location in front of the Mission. I will help those who sign up for instruction in the courtyard. There are wonderful scenes to paint and I plan to work along with others until 4 p.m..
A reception will be held at our loft at the WAV from 5pm thru 10pm. You may show your paintings from the Mission Area. This is the evening of the Ventura West-side Art Walk.

I have a suggested donation of $10 for the demonstration, $20 for instruction and to show your works that evening.

I think this will be a fun event for everyone and I hope it will be the first of many.

Feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

Ray Harris
65 W. Thompson Bl #104
Ventura, Calif. 93001

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Los Olivas Adobe

This was an amazing location to paint until they decided to restore the building and surrounding walls. I only wish I had done more sketching there. The bell tower was missing plaster and showed years of neglect. Now it is pristine and not as interesting.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Iron Works Building

Patagonia occupies the Iron Works Building in Ventura. The snow capped mountains above Ojai can be seen in the distance. This is two blocks away from our loft.

Fruit Stand Study

This is a sketch of the fruit stand I frequently visit. It has been a challenge because of the simple construction of the building. In this attempt, I chose to create a tighter framing which seems to work better.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Garden Street

Garden Street in Ventura is also near the fairgrounds and freeway. This is another 30 minute study which is 8x10".

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Cloud study

Here's a simple cloud study. I wish it had a focal point. I guess my signature acts as one!

Ice Cream Shop

This is now a Baskin and Robbins ice cream store. I wonder if at one time if it might have been a Weinersnitzel hot dog or Whataburger.

Freeway Overpass

This is a quick study of an ordinary view near the Ventura fairgrounds. The light changed frequently due to the partly cloudy day.

Grasshopper or Dinosaur

Up the Avenue is an area of oil equipment and working pumps. This is one I painted on a Sunday. Some locations merit special times or days.

Cellular Tower

Here's a plein air painting of the railroad tracks looking east next to the fairgrounds. It was painted quickly and with both brushes and palette knives. Like most of these posts, it is 8x10".

Catering Truck On Thompson Blvd.

-Here's a catering truck that was parked on Thompson Blvd. across from the Corner Cafe. I painted it as the sun was setting.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Anacapa Pavillion Fog Bank

This is walking distance from our loft and a block from the beach. It is an 8 " x 10" oil on canvas board. They have repainted it, so I am glad to have the original color.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Ventura Farm Workers

Farming is growing strong in the county. I painted this en plein air by using binoculars and composing a character from bits and pieces of the various workers. This painting is 16 x 20. I met several of the workers as they finished working.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Ojai Post Office

This is a view of the working dock of the famous post office. It is 20 x 24 inches oil on canvas board.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Victorian Rose in Ventura

Here's an old church at 896 E. Main Street in Ventura that is now a bed and breakfast. It is over 110 years old.

Santa Paula Train Depot

Santa Paula is a wonderful area of the county to paint because of the variety of historical buildings and mature vegetation.

Plein Air Ventura

Hello Everyone!

I am starting this post to help build appreciation of plein air painting in Ventura County.

This is a 9 x 12 inch sketch of the China Gate across from the San Buenaventura Mission.