Artist James Hubbell is best-known for his fantastical organic-architecture house near Julian and the many community and global programs created by his Ilan-Lael Foundation. His artworks — oftentimes mosaics or stained glass — grace hundreds of San Diego homes, churches, and public spaces. 

Many, however, do not know his lifelong devotion to Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve as his weekly muse: he and his wife Anne go to the beach below the cliffs most Sundays after church, and Jim paints one watercolor after another. They courted at Torrey Pines over 60 years ago. Since then he may have painted the cliffs hundreds of times … but who’s counting.

This month you can win an original James Hubbell watercolor via a fundraising raffle for Ilan-Lael. or by bidding on one of several watercolors featured in the online Art Auction (Ends June 30, 2020). His painting depicts Volcan Mountain, part of the vast watershed that feeds into the Pacific Ocean near Torrey Pines via the San Dieguito River.

Raffle tickets are $5 each, or five for $20. Tickets must be purchased by June 30, 2020, and are available on-line or by calling (760) 765-3427. Winner will be picked live on Facebook July 1 at noon. 

The next time you’re at Torrey Pines State Beach on a Sunday, look for James under an umbrella, watercolor paper in his lap, paints by his side, and eyes narrowed in the bright sunlight beneath a giant straw lifeguard hat. Few have looked at our cliffs more carefully, or with more love and admiration.  

This article was originally published in the Torrey Pines Association Newsletter
by Peter Jensen

Photos by Aeliana Hubbell

Available in the online gift shop.

Limited edition glicée print “Cold Sea” of Torrey Pines beach by James Hubbell

Set of Torrey Pines Greeting Cards featuring paintings and drawings by James Hubbell


"Cold Sea" | Watercolor, 2010
Untitled watercolor of Torrey Pines State Beach | 2018
Untitled watercolor of Torrey Pines State Beach | 2013
Untitled pen and ink of Torrey Pines State Beach
"November Afternoon" | Watercolor of Torrey Pines State Beach | 2018
"Torrey Pines, July" | Watercolor, 2018
Untitled watercolor of Torrey Pines State Beach | 2018
"Torrey Pines, July" | Watercolor, 2002
"Torrey Pines, April" | Watercolor, 2008

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