The Camarillo Ranch House, also known as Rancho Calleguas and Adolfo Camarillo House, is a Queen Anne-style Victorian house in Camarillo, California. Built in 1892, the 6,000-square-foot house was designed by architects Herman Anlauf and Franklin Ward. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2003. The house is currently operated by the Rancho Camarillo Foundation as a museum, and is open to the public for docent-led tours.

This model exhibit resides inside the house, and helps to orient visitors to the property, as well as show them what it looked like in the 1920’s. Over 250 hours went into the design and building of this 1:160 scale model. I spent close to a year working on it. The model base measures approximately 3′-6″ by 5′. Each building was drafted using CAD software from measurements made on site or from historical photographs. The buildings were constructed using laser cutting and etching on 1/8th inch thick sheet acrylic, then assembled by hand, painted and weathered to look like the real thing. Several of the buildings also feature LED lighting with adjustable dimmer controls. Most of the 140 trees were also scratch-built.

Project Credits: James Freed: design, model construction, painting, detailing, trees and model base sculpting and finishing, LED lighting installation. Ryan Henderson: CAD drafting and some model construction. Bill Stockton: Custom wood trim for model base. 

Click on the photos for larger versions.

























For this most recent exhibit addition to the Lindsay Wildlife Experience we were tasked with telling the story of why wild animals don’t make good pets, and showing some examples of domestic animals that do. This gallery also features live animal presentations by the Lindsay staff. Here kids and their parents can touch and handle rabbits, guinea pigs, bearded dragon lizards and rats. Wild animal ambassadors on view here include an alligator lizard and an opossum. The beautiful mural of a residential backyard visually opens the relatively small gallery space. The rats are free to move from their main enclosure to a satellite enclosure on the mural wall via clear tubing that is suspended from the ceiling. Visitors can watch them going to and fro.

Project Credits: Exhibit Design and Project Management by James Freed Design, CAD drafting by Ryan Henderson, Interpretive design and label writing by Tami Stewart, Graphic Design by Paulina Paczkowska. Fabrication and installation by Group Delphi. Murals by Ali Pearson of Alumni Exhibits.

Click on each photo for a larger version.


The Lindsay is all about showing live animals to visitors and What’s Wild/What’s Not! is no exception.


A curved bench separates the gallery and provides a space for live animal presentations on the left. The rats can move about between three different enclosures via clear tubes suspended from the ceiling. They love to run through the tubes!




A bearded dragon lizard enjoys a salad for lunch.



The exhibit also houses rabbits and guinea pigs that come out for presentations and handling by visitors. Food and cleaning supplies are stored inside cabinets hidden inside the enclosures separator.



The rats travel through their tube-way to get back and forth between enclosures. In the mural behind, a cat watches the activity from inside a window.




The Lindsay Wildlife Museum is located in Walnut Creek, CA. The exhibits focus on several live California native wildlife animal ambassadors, that due to injury or familiarity with humans, cannot be released back into the wild. Currently, four elements of this ongoing project, The Raptors Gallery, Behind the Scenes at the Wildlife Hospital, The Burrow, and What’s Wild/ What’s Not!  have opened and are in use at the Museum.

Project Credits: Exhibit Design by: James Freed, Bo Hick, Brent White, Interpretive development by: Katherine Whitney, Jessica Brainard. Graphic design by Lisa Park.  Fabrication by Group Delphi, Marc Nicely (Burrow exhibit), and murals by Ali Pearson of Alumni Exhibits.

Click here to watch a video of the Lindsay exhibits.

Click on each photo to see a larger version.


The Raptor Gallery These exhibits showcase the unique qualities and adaptations of these amazing birds.


On the Wing This interactive exhibit allows visitors to fly virtually over Mt. Diablo. Sensors in the wings of the hawk shaped bench allows control of the flight simulation experience.



Behind the Scenes in the Animal Hospital  This exhibit allows visitors to watch actual medical procedures performed by the veterinary staff. The treatment room is separated from the observation gallery by one way glass, so the animal patients never see the humans watching. A high definition video camera can capture up close images during procedures in real time, while visitors watch on the big screen shown above.



Actual medical supplies are shown in pull out drawers. The supplies are protected under acrylic.


Actual x-ray images of previous patients showing a variety of animal injuries and ailments.


These panels explain why some of the patients required care, and how much that care costs the Lindsay.


The Burrow is an interactive and immersive discovery area for kids to see what it feels like to be a burrowing animal.


Kids can put on hand puppet theater from inside the burrow through small openings.


Looking up from inside the burrow through simulated leaf litter.


Inside the Burrow, kids can view the adjacent animal enclosures through acrylic portholes.

Located in Newhall CA, just north of Los Angeles, the Placerita Canyon Nature Center provides visitors with a preview of what’s to be found just outside.The park encompasses oak woodlands, chaparral, and riparian plant communties on the north side of the San Gabriel Mountains southeast of the City of Santa Clarita. The exhibits focus on these three ecosystems and the plants and animals found in them.

The park not only serves to conserve a slice of the wild environment but also endeavors to educate the public on the value of undisturbed flora and fauna through wild animal presentations, nature hikes, and self-guided educational trails.

Project Credits: Exhibit Design by James Freed Design, with Bo Hick. Interpretive planning and graphic design by The Acorn Group. Murals by Alison Pearson (Alumni Exhibits) Exhibit fabrication and installation by Group Delphi.

Click here for a video tour of the Nature Center. (Click on the photos to see larger versions)


The welcome mural with sculpted live oak tree bookends.

DSC02629-e1436989267954The main exhibit gallery features the Oak Woodlands, Riparian and Chaparral dioramas.


The Riparian diorama features a rock strewn stream that is visible both above and below the waterline.








The Secret Life of the Chaparral shows off this unique habitat and features interactive exhibit elements like bird calls activated by push buttons, and flip up panels showing the relationships between the animals and plants in this arid ecosystem.




The Oak Woodlands diorama features a young fawn, a duskyfooted woodrat nest.



This three dimensional touchable graphic panel tells the story of how the indigenous Tataviam people harvested and prepared acorns as a food staple.

Here are some photos of the completed exhibits at the Huntington Beach Wetlands Visitor Center. This visitor center, located in Huntington Beach, Orange County, CA, celebrates the revival and stewardship of this unique coastal wetland. These vital wetlands provide habitat for numerous plants and animals, as well as a water runoff filtration system. The diorama portion of the exhibit stretches 30 feet and shows life in the tidal zone above and below the water. Interpretive planning and design, and graphic design by The Acorn Group. Exhibit design by James Freed Design, with Bo Hick. Murals by Alison Pearson. Fabrication and installation by Group Delphi. (Click on the photos for larger versions)



A boardwalk leads visitors past a split view diorama. Plants and animals are visible both above and below the waterline. These tidal flats teem with life.



The wetlands and tidal flats provide the perfect habitat for juvenile fish, and hunting ground for birds.



Clams and other burrowing animals find the perfect home in the mud.



A ray glides just below the surface, while mussels cling to a submerged log.



This display tells the story of the American Trader, an oil tanker that went aground in 1990 and dumped 416,000 gallons of oil into the bay adjacent to Huntington Beach. Thousands of birds and fish perished and the coast was fouled with washed up oil. This center was conceived to help provide a place for the care and treatment of wildlife affected by oil spills, and to educate the public about the dangers to the environment (and ourselves) posed by our dependency on fossil fuels.



Some recent new work. Marin County landscapes in oil.


White House Pool and Black Mountain. Oil on panel. 12″ x 12″. Sold


Rush Creek and Mt. Burdell. Oil on panel. 8″ x 10″ Available. Inquiries welcome.

I’m participating in a four person show at the Graton Gallery the month of November. I have several new oil paintings on view through December 1. If you are in the area, please come by and have a look! The Graton Gallery is in downtown Graton, CA. Directions can be found at Hope to see you there!

Done Fishing. Oil on canvas. 11″ x 14″

Young woman in a black dress. Oil on wood. 6″x6″

Matsuda Lane Barn. Oil on panel. 12″ x 12″

Come on out to the GRATON GALLERY this coming Sunday, December 9, from 2PM to 4PM to view some wonderful local art, and share some wine, food and holiday spirit. My work will be featured and on view from December 5th through January 13. Besides some of the best painting and fine art West County has to offer, the Gallery also has greeting cards, fine art prints, sculpture and jewelry for sale. Enjoy the paintings and perhaps find just the perfect gift for someone on your Holiday list.

Hope to see you there!

Graton Gallery | (707) 829-8912

9048 Graton Road

Graton CA 95444

Directions and a map can be found here:

Happy Holidays, and a healthy, joyous and prosperous New Year to everyone!

I teach workshops for the Point Reyes National Seashore Association several times a year. The Association’s new Field Seminars Director asked if I could create some illustrations of several Association landmarks in the Park. I was happy to oblige. We settled on an ink wash technique that I teach as part of the drawing workshops. First I create a line drawing with waterproof black ink pens on watercolor paper. I then use water soluble ink in washes similar to watercolor technique to “paint” in the values. The ink is so fine that feathery soft gradations are possible.

US Coast Guard Lifeboat Station, Ink and ink wash.

The Red Barn, Bear Valley. Pen and ink and ink wash.

The Clem Miller Environmental Education Center, Pt. Reyes National Seashore. Pen and ink and ink wash.

Tomales Bay from Inverness. Pen and ink wash.