The Sonoma County Airport is located on the northwest side of Santa Rosa, and is named after one of the city’s most famous residents, Charles M. Schulz, creator of the long-running Peanuts comic strip. Although the airport is small, it has popular direct flights to and from Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Portland, and Seattle.
Schulz was born and raised in Minnesota, but in 1969 moved to Santa Rosa and lived there until his death February 12, 2000. Bronze statues of Charlie Brown and Linus were dedicated to the airport in 2007 and funded through Peanuts on Parade Sculpture Auctions. I was lucky enough to paint one of the five foot tall Charlie Brown sculptures for display as well as for the fundraising event. The Auction raked in about $300,000, with my entry fetching $15,000. The bulk of proceeds were used to fund artistic scholarships.
Wings Over Wine Country Air Show takes place adjacent to the airport, each year in late August. While attending last weekend’s event, I chose to paint this red Stearman biplane. It was the closest thing I could find resembling the triplane of Snoopy’s arch enemy, the Red Baron.