For the third straight year, the Santa Barbara Independent presents its annual Homes & Gardens special section, a roundup of profiles, advice, and insight into what makes our developed and cultivated landscapes thrive. This year’s edition looks at a tiny home built by high schoolers, the history of adobe construction, how to make your yard look like Lotusland, and much, much more.

Katie Upton, Cover Artist

Name: Katie Upton

Title: Cover artist

Tell us about your love affair with horses: I have been drawing and painting horses since I was very young. I grew up with horses. I started riding when I was about 3. I have lived in Mission Canyon my whole life. I spent my childhood riding with my friends, exploring our backcountry. I probably wasn’t aware of it at the time, but I have studied horses as far back as I can remember. I think I kind of absorbed them.

When did painting them become your focus? When I first did some of my large-scale horse drawings in the late ‘80s, it felt really natural and honest. I finally could pull from all the absorbed knowledge of horses I had stored up. I could express, in a sense, who they are to me. All of my work is imaginary, except for my commissioned work, which are actual horses that I paint for clients.

What do you hope your work conveys? I hope my work expresses a total sense and spirit of the horse.

In Print

SCAPE’s Paintouts Bring Artists and Nature Together

Free Monthly Class Every Second Saturday Combines Fresh Air, Art Skills, and Camaraderie

Free monthly class every second Saturday combines fresh air, art skills, and camaraderie. Read story.

Blazing Trails with Los Padres Forest Association

Four Reasons Why You Should Volunteer in the Los Padres National Forest

Here are four reasons why you should volunteer to work in Los Padres National Forest. Read story.

The Cabanas Now Shading West Beach

Teresa Ramallo-Whalen Now Renting Beach Shacks on Santa Barbara Shoreline

Teresa Ramallo-Whalen now renting beach shacks on Santa Barbara shoreline. Read story.

What’s Up with Santa Barbara’s Front-Country Trails?

Why Popular Routes Remain Closed; Plus, Hiking News from Ojai

Why popular routes remain closed; plus, hiking news from Ojai. Read story.

Join the Sierra Club’s Los Padres Chapter

Find Adventure, Advocacy, and Amore with the Santa Barbara-Ventura Group

Find adventure, advocacy, and amore with the Santa Barbara-Ventura group. Read story.

Adventure for Hire 2018

Companies to Help You Enjoy the Great Outdoors

Check out these companies to help you enjoy the great outdoors. Read story.

Birdwatching at the Santa Rosa Island Research Station

Professor Allison Alvarado Teaches Ornithology to CSU Channel Islands Students

Professor Allison Alvarado teaches ornithology to CSU Channel Islands students. Read story.

The Black Dahlia Never Dies

The Unsolved Mystery of One of the 20th Century’s Most Sensational, Brutal Murders

The unsolved mystery of one of the 20th century’s most sensational, brutal murders. Read story.

Santa Barbara Fights Hunger with Nutrition, School Lunch Programs

More Than 60,000 County Residents Live in Poverty and Struggle for Their Next Meal

More than 60,000 county residents live in poverty and struggle for their next meal. Read story.

Children Go Hungry in Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara County Has the Highest Child Poverty Rate in California

Santa Barbara County has the highest child poverty rate in California. Read story.

Turning Hunger into Health

Foodbank’s Eric Talkin Reflects on a Decade of Work

Foodbank’s Eric Talkin reflects on a decade of work. Read story.

The Indy Awards 2018

Two Nights Honoring the Best in Santa Barbara Theater and Dance

The two nights honored the best in Santa Barbara theater and dance. Read story.

The Branch House Takes Root in Montecito

A House for Today Rises Among Ancient Oaks

A house for today rises among ancient oaks. Read story.

Workin’ It

The Santa Barbara Independent’s Special Section on Careers Read story.

Brad Paisley’s Montecito Mission

Country Music Superstar Hosts 2nd Responders Benefit for Thomas Fire and Flood Recovery

Country music superstar hosts The 2nd Responders benefit for Thomas Fire and flood recovery. Read story.

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