Desert Artists League

Frances Nichols


Oil, Watercolor, Pastel

About the Artist

Visual experiences begin with light, and my intention is to portray the effects of light on the landscape. The California Impressionists, in whose tradition I follow, were determined to capture the true effects of light and its fleeting changes. Like them, I paint an “impression”, rather than fine detail, resulting in unfocused color and form creating the image.

The clear, intense California light is seen in my desert, mountain, and sea paintings. I also try to impart a sense of the solitude, spirituality, and lyrical creative beauty in the places I paint. With the advent of the digital camera, I do less “plein air” painting, and rely more on my personal photos and experience of a location to create studio works. I might use two or three photographs to make one image, or just part of a photo combined with on-site sketches. I like to explore the quiet, contemplative moods of nature, often using the long shadows and diminished light of early morning or late afternoon to express this.

Members Pages

Member Gallery

Above you can check the work of some of our members. Any member of our club can exhibit artwork on the web site for small fee. Please contact Julia Stepro at 760-495-2030 to display your work.


Whitney Portal Creek, Watercolor
White Iris, Watercolor
Poison Canyon, Oil
San Pedro Coastline, Oil
McGee Creek Autumn, Pastel
Summer Evening, Pastel
El Porto at Dusk, Pastel
Monache Morning, Eastern Sierras, Pastel