Linda Mutti‘s luminous landscapes rendered in pastel are based on the Santa Barbara, Calif., environs in which she lives. Mutti is a half-hour or less drive from a variety of beautiful vistas—mountains, oceans, bluffs—that inspire her paintings. “I like scenes that have big shapes,” she says. “A view has to speak to me on an inner level. Mornings and afternoons are my favorite times to paint, because the color is more saturated. When I find the scene that moves me, I can feel that excitement. I call it ‘the dream of my painting.’ All the excitement and the hope is still there, alive and well.” Sometimes that dream involves trees reflected in the water or craggy ocean cliffs, but it’s usually the feel of the day that moves Mutti to paint.