Santa Barbara Mission
(unframed) 16 x 20 in.
(framed) 23.5 x 27.5 in.
The old Mission Santa Barbara is considered the Queen of the California missions. It was the tenth mission in a line stringing up and down the California coastline, all founded in the mid-1700s by Franciscan priests. The last to be built, Mission Santa Barbara was founded in 1786. It still stands as one of the finest examples of adobe architecture in the world. The beauty and simplicity of the structure continues to influence American architecture even today. It represents one of the greatest engineering achievements of its day, utilizing the skill of Spanish, Native American (Chumash), and Mexican artisans.
Over the years I have focused on a series of works depicting the early California missions. In part this was due to the encouragement and inspiration of a wonderful friend and mentor, the late John Geraghty. I had mentioned my interest in the California missions one time while visiting with him at the Autry’s Masters. By the time I returned home from the show, a box full of books was waiting for me at my studio as a generous gift from Mr. Geraghty. The box was packed with historical information and books on the early California missions and included a kind note of encouragement. Over the years, the old mission has become a sacred haven for my wife, Maria, and I. In our eyes it’s a place of incomparable beauty, magic, and mystery.