Thursday, December 19, 2019

Benicia Tapestry

"Benicia Tapestry," Acrylic on Canvas 12" x 12", © Nancy Roberts

Relics of old fishing piers cast fractured reflections and distant hills shimmer on a quiet Benicia afternoon. Started from life, finished (and tweaked) in my imagination.

Thursday, December 12, 2019

Cottage Garden

"Cottage Garden," Acrylic on Canvas 12" x 12", © Nancy Roberts
Started this in the garden behind the historic Fischer-Hanlon House in Benicia, CA, and finished at home in my cozy studio. This painting was color therapy for me on a cold, grey December day. Joy!

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Peaceful Cove, Benicia

"Peaceful Cove, Benicia," Acrylic on Canvas 8" x 24", © Nancy Roberts

It was a joy to paint this glorious view from Matthew Turner Shipyard Park on a sparkling Benicia day, looking south toward Mt. Diablo.  This painting is now available at Benicia Plein Air Gallery as part of their special 10th anniversary group show, "Celebrating Benicia."  Learn more at

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Indian Summer, Black Diamond

"Indian Summer, Black Diamond," Acrylic on Canvas 12" x 12", © Nancy Roberts

I love painting the historic Rose Hill Cemetery at Black Diamond Mines, where tall pointy cypress trees rise like exclamation points. On this serene, sun-drenched October day the terrain was a glowing tapestry of gold and turquoise.  It was a joy painting there with friends!

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Stagecoach Lookout, Diablo

"Stagecoach Lookout, Diablo," Acrylic on Canvas 16" x 12", © Nancy Roberts

Painted this spectacular view from the old stagecoach route that used to take travelers to the summit of Mt. Diablo in Northern California. Imagined snow and poppies emerged as the design evolved.

Friday, November 15, 2019

Castle Rock Morning

"Castle Rock Morning," Acrylic on Canvas 16" x 12", © Nancy Roberts

Morning light silhouettes a stony ridgeline and bathes the valley in cool shadow on a crisp Autumn day at Castle Rock, near Mt. Diablo in Northern California.

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Castle Rock Spirit

"Castle Rock Spirit," acrylic on canvas 16" x 12", © Nancy Roberts

My friend Judith Kunzle helped me discover this special place tucked into the foothills of Mt. Diablo in Northern California. At the top of a rugged trail you come face-to-face with these magnificent stone cliffs -- overwhelmingly beautiful! I decided to carve out a design of strong shapes and brilliant color to convey the powerful spirit of this land, this sky, this day.

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Diablo Foothills

"Diablo Foothills", Acrylic on Canvas 12" x 12", © Nancy Roberts
This beautiful, peaceful valley nestles into the foothills of Mt. Diablo in Northern California.  On a hot, dry October day, Autumn color vibrated just beneath the surface and the calls of Peregrine falcons pierced the air.

Saturday, September 7, 2019

Summer Haze, Lake Chabot

"Summer Haze, Lake Chabot," Acrylic on Linen 12" x 12", © Nancy Roberts

On a hot, spare-the-air day in the San Francisco Bay Area, Lake Chabot and its cradle of hills were draped in a soft, smoggy haze. Marshy circles created a beautiful pattern across the water's surface.

Across the Strait

"Across the Strait", Acrylic on Canvas 12" x 12", © Nancy Roberts

All along Benicia's waterfront you get these fantastic views across the Carquinez Strait to the northern rim of Contra Costa County. The hills are still wild territory with a patchwork of tawny grass and rugged oaks that cast beautiful shadow patterns and reflections. Endless inspiration for painters!

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

August Afternoon, Benicia

"August Afternoon, Benicia", Acrylic on Canvas 8" x 10", © Nancy Roberts
Painted with friends Judith Kunzle and Barbara Tapp at a cozy little beach along the Benicia shoreline.  It was so peaceful painting to the gentle sounds of lapping waves, distant trains, shorebirds, and families playing with their dogs. The perfect way to spend a summer afternoon!

Barbara Tapp (left) and Nancy Roberts at work.  Photo by Judith Kunzle.

My set-up.

Sunday, August 25, 2019

Del Valle Spring

"Del Valle Spring", Acrylic on Linen 12" x 16", © Nancy Roberts
Lake Del Valle is the centerpiece of a beautiful regional park just south of Livermore in the San Francisco Bay Area. On the first sunny day after weeks of rain the lake sparkled with reflected color. It was a joy to paint in this lovely, peaceful location.

I started this one at the lake, but ran into some problems and decided to let it rest for awhile. After looking at it with fresh eyes this week I was finally able to pull it together.  Each painting is a puzzle!

Monday, August 12, 2019

Carquinez Afternoon

"Carquinez Afternoon", Acrylic on Linen 12" x 12", © Nancy Roberts
The Carquinez Bridge frames a sparkling bay view from 9th Street Park in the lovely waterfront town of Benicia, California, just around the bend from San Francisco.

Friday, July 19, 2019

Benicia Depot

"Benicia Depot", Acrylic on Canvas 16" x 12", © Nancy Roberts

This restored train depot graces a popular waterfront park in historic Benicia, California. It was a joy to paint there on a sparkling summer afternoon!

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Summer Garden

"Summer Garden", Acrylic on Canvas 12" x 12", © Nancy Roberts

Shapes shimmer and colors dazzle on a glorious summer day in the Ruth Bancroft Garden.

Sunday, July 7, 2019

Garden Fireworks

"Garden Fireworks", Acrylic on Canvas 16" x 12", © Nancy Roberts
Ruth Bancroft's magical garden comes alive on the 4th of July! (With the help of my imagination, of course.) 

Wednesday, June 19, 2019


"Fantasia", Acrylic on Canvas 12" x 12", © Nancy Roberts
A joyful playground of shape, space and color! I always love painting at the beautiful Ruth Bancroft Garden in Walnut Creek, California.

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Firehouse Arts Center

"Firehouse Arts Center", acrylic on canvas 16" x 12", © Nancy Roberts

It was fun painting with the California Art Club at the Firehouse Arts Center in Pleasanton yesterday! The paint-out was a kick-off for the CAC's "Bay Area Parks: Outdoor Treasures" exhibition at the Harrington Gallery inside the arts center.  My painting "Above Ground: Black Diamond Mines" is part of that show, and my new painting of the arts center is being featured in the lobby.  The exhibit runs through July 20. Learn more at

"Above Ground, Black Diamond Mines", acrylic on canvas 12" x 12", © Nancy Roberts

Sunday, June 9, 2019

Hide and Seek

"Hide and Seek", acrylic on canvas 12" x 12", © Nancy Roberts
A bright coral King Protea flower was holding court amidst spikes of yellow-green aloe and dusty turquoise agaves on this early summer day at the Ruth Bancroft Garden in Walnut Creek, CA. I knew what my painting's title would be when I heard a happy child shout "Let's play hide and seek!"

Friday, May 24, 2019

Chava in Red

"Chava in Red", acrylic on canvas panel 16" x 12", © Nancy Roberts
Here's the beautiful model Chava posing for our figure group at Randy Sexton's studio last night. It was such a joy to paint her!

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Orchard Fantasy

"Orchard Fantasy", acrylic on vinyl banner, 48" x 24", © Nancy Roberts

Finished my banner today!  As part of the City of Brentwood's Banner Up! project, this will fly from a downtown lamp post during the summer, then be auctioned off to benefit the Brentwood Library in September.  If you're interested in purchasing this banner, e-mail me at and I'll give you information about the auction. (We are Brentwood CA, 94513 in Northern California.)

Friday, May 17, 2019

Quiet Cove, Benicia

"Quiet Cove, Benicia", acrylic on linen 16" x 12", © Nancy Roberts
At this lovely cove nestled into a quiet Benicia neighborhood, a decaying old fishing pier zigzags its way out into deep water and the sundrenched hills of Contra Costa shimmer across the Carquinez Strait. At low tide the old timbers cast an intricate, lacy pattern of reflections.

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Benicia Open Studios 2019

Benicia Open Studios
Sat & Sun, May 4 & 5

Please drop by and see me at Benicia Plein Air Gallery this weekend during Benicia Open Studios!  My show "Color Journeys" is still up and I'll be there both days doing an informal acrylic painting demo and chatting with visitors. I'm Artist Number 7 on the Open Studios map. Click here for the guide: Benicia Open Studios 2019 Catalog

Benicia Plein Air Gallery, 307 First St., is in the heart of historic downtown Benicia. Learn more at

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Mitchell Canyon Revisited

"Mitchell Canyon", acrylic on linen 16" x 12", © Nancy Roberts
Here's a newly-revised version of a painting I started a few months ago at Mitchell Canyon, a beautiful valley at the base of Mt. Diablo in Northern California. I liked the painting's structure, but felt it needed some lightening and brightening to really bring it to life.  I love having the freedom to give my paintings a make-over when they ask for it!

Monday, April 15, 2019

March Peach Trees

"March Peach Trees", acrylic on canvas 12" x 16", © Nancy Roberts

Every year the peach orchards in Brentwood burst into bloom with spectacular pink flowers. It was a joy to paint there with friends on a sunny Spring day!

Thursday, April 4, 2019

Color Journeys

I'm happy with my new show "Color Journeys" at Benicia Plein Air Gallery! My opening reception is this Saturday, April 6 from 4 to 6 pm. If you're in the Bay Area this weekend I hope you'll drop by!  "Color Journeys" runs through May 5 at Benicia Pleiln Air Gallery, 307 First St. in historic downtown Benicia, CA 94510, open Thursdays through Sundays noon to 6 pm. Learn more at

Monday, February 11, 2019

Diablo Between Storms

"Diablo Between Storms", acrylic on canvas 4" x 12", © Nancy Roberts

A rare chilly day in East Contra Costa County, with storm clouds hovering around Mt. Diablo. Snow from the night before was melting before my eyes as I painted this view from my studio window! 

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Vaqueros Spring

"Vaqueros Spring", Acrylic on Panel, 9" x 12", © Nancy Roberts
Los Vaqueros Watershed is a beautiful, peaceful valley near Brentwood in Northern California. On this early Spring day the terrain glowed with iridescent greens while icy blue hints of Winter still lingered in the shadows.

Monday, January 7, 2019

Black Diamond Winter

"Black Diamond Winter", acrylic on linen 12" x 12", © Nancy Roberts
I've been enjoying my studio time during this cold weather. Finished this one today, started at Black Diamond a few months ago. Hoping to convey the feeling of a mysterious terrain mantled in subdued colors and icy light.

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Mitchell Canyon

"Mitchell Canyon", acrylic on linen 16" x 12", © Nancy Roberts

Happy New Year!

Started this painting alongside Judith Kunzle and Samantha McNally, and finished in my studio today. Mitchell Canyon is a trailhead in Mt. Diablo State Park with beautiful views up the mountain's northern slopes. I love the gentle rhythm of the foothill ridges folding back and forth as they climb toward the summit.