Monday, April 3, 2017

Late Spring Snow

    This is an update on a piece I did much earlier.  I was never quite happy with the entire composition so I went in and "fixed" a few things.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Boy with Driving hat

     This young man had this great turn of the century "news boy" look.

Monday, March 6, 2017


    Now for something completely different.  While on vacation I happened to catch this couple sitting on this picnic bench.  I thought it interesting their pose and imagined all sorts of conversations they could be having...or not.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

A Winter's Tale

     This was done up at the pass with a pretty good storm coming through.  The layers of trees and mountain side are what drew me to this scene.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Snow Fog

     On rare occasions we get warmer air over snow cover that causes snow fog.   This scene was just down the road from my house.  There was some sun showing through from above but still had a lovely soft image.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Dappled Light

     I love dappled light and trying to capture it is a real challenge for me.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Snow Shadows

     We had about 18 lovely inches of snow that dumped on us in about 24 hours.  Making my way to the barn to feed the horse I noticed the wonderful shadow pattern from the log fence and my earlier tracks leading to the barn and wanted to paint that.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Heading for Cover

     This was a scene near my house during a very heavy snowfall, the big flakes kind.  The neighbors horse decided it was time to head for cover, swishing her tail in agitation.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Promise of Rain

     Though I haven't been posting for a while, I actually have been painting.  I have quite a few to post so I will dole them out over the following days.
     This painting is a view from my parents farm.  I was captivated by the beautiful cloud and its size building up behind the grain silo.

Friday, July 1, 2016

The Long View

     This is a scene I have always liked.  It is a road going to a trail head but when looking back you get this long view of the valley.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Frozen Reflections

     Late last year I was looking for scenes with ice on the river to practice on.  Though the plein air wasn't great the scene was still staying with me.  This was close to sunset and the light filtering through the atmosphere and clouds created this wonderfully colored scene.  I would like to try it again but looser (if that is a word).

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

My Brother's Keeper

     This is a larger version of a smaller painting I did many years ago.  It is actually quite a bit different from the first one.  It is the way I had wanted to do it back then but didn't know how to achieve that.  It was a lovely soft mid summer evening by the lake, one of my favorite places to go painting.

      The title refers to the fact that my brothers ashes are scattered under the trees, the place he wished to be.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Winter Woods

     I have been visiting the home where I grew up these last couple of weeks.  I was lucky enough to catch both a nice snowfall and fog while I was there.  Sneaking away from obligations, I was able to catch this nice scene.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

In for the Evening

     This scene is up at a beautiful area called Trout Lake.  I was waiting for the full moon to rise and looked across the lake and saw this.  The people living there had just started their fire and the smoke was just starting to hang about the tops of the trees.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

La Plata Waterfall

     This is a plein air that I had to go back three times to get.  My first one was okay but I wasn't happy with the composition and reworked a new one to get it the way I wanted.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Nap Time

    This is a friend of mines dog named, appropriately, Fluffers.  I was captivated by this scene and painted a quick one on the spot, this is a larger version of that.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

How about me?

     This is another airport sketch.  I was lucky enough to get this girl with her dog sitting across from me.  She was eating her sandwich and had her dogs total attention.  This dog had an odd way of laying with it legs splayed.  I wish they made this color of paper thicker for watercolor.   If I painted any bigger it would warp the paper terribly from the water.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Sketching at the airport

One thing I really like to do to pass the time while traveling is to sketch.  I highly recommend that if you want to develop your art you need to sketch from life.  These are fleeting glimpses of everyday life.  I sketch quickly to get the essence of the scene.  The gentleman at the top was looking at his iPad and he didn't stay there long.  I liked this position and try to keep that image in my head as he shuffled into different positions.  It is tricky but with practice it becomes easier.  The lower image is a man sitting with arms behind his head.  I was studying how to draw that and the light that illuminated him.  I really like the Strathmore Toned Gray sketch pads for these.  I saw some sketches that Thomas Moran did, he worked on a blue watercolor paper using white guache to show snow.  I have seen works by Turner and Whistler using a toned watercolor paper too.   Just a suggestion.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

50% Chance of Rain

    This was a little later and a bit to the left of the last post.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Building storm

     We are having a wonderful amount of rain around this dry part of the world.  The clouds were so lovely hanging on Mesa Verde, I decided to try and paint them.  The combination of greens, grey/violets and red earth were captivating.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Hawaiian Carver

     This man does some of the most beautiful carvings in bone and fossilized tusk.  I am sorry that he doesn't have a website so you could see his beautiful work.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Southwest Sunrise

This scene happened a few mornings ago.  I am driven to distraction with clouds and this was a particularly beautiful scene that I am glad I got to se.  I plan to make a larger painting of this one.  The light here in the southwest is lovely and when we get clouds it just adds to the grandeur.  This will be available at the The Goodnight Trail Gallery in Mancos, CO.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Bobcat Study

     There is a game farm visiting our area, Triple D Game Farm, that you pay to photograph their animals.  They will be in the area until the 25th of April if anyone is interested.  I could only afford a little bit but I got some nice reference material.  This is Captain Baily...I think.  A handsome devil and a great poser.  This came up at a time when I was having trouble painting anything, a true mental block that was broken, thankfully, by this photo op.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Deep into Winter

     This is from reference material I did last year.  I really liked this scene and wanted to do a larger elongated version.  Since I had been away from the easel for a few weeks, I thought a nice winter tonal would ease me back into painting.   This is a farm in the Dolores river valley that has many ancient buildings and is always a delight to visit.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Mary in Maine

     I wanted to practice what I had learned, hopefully it will help the lessons stick better.  This is a painting I have wanted to do for a while just because she was lit so beautifully and also those lovely eyes.  I had turned around to look at someone asking a question and Mary was sitting next to me in this very pose.  I immediately grabbed the camera and snapped a pic, the photo is still one of my favorites.  I prefer to working from life when possible but for these practice pieces a photo will do.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Day 5 - Male figure detail

     This is from my 5th day in Robert Liberace's class.  I have learned a lot in this class.  The one lesson that stands out the most, for me, was learning to slow down and look carefully.  I had lost that in trying to get information in quickly but then miss subtleties that can really make a painting sing.  This is a fine balance because the danger in slowing down can also go towards being "overworked".  This is one of the common problems in art, knowing when to stop.

I am going to put this one up for auction on the Daily Paintworks site when it is posted tomorrow.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Day 2 - Male Figure

   I am currently taking a class with Robert Liberace at the Scottsdale Artists School in Scottsdale, AZ. Robert is an incredibly talented artist and teacher and I just can't say enough good things about him.  He has a wonderful way of simplifying his techniques.  He assesses each students work, kindly, but also thoughtfully so that you are pushed in the direction you need to work on.  He is passionate about learning the figure and you can see it resonating throughout his works.

     This is the second day's lesson.  I am not sure about my first day attempt since I put it away at the end of class yesterday and haven't got it out since.  I will have to decide whether it is worthy of sharing when I take a look at it tomorrow.   We had started Monday with a simple burnt umber and burnt sienna grisaille painting then mixing burnt sienna with white making a middle flesh tone, blocking that in then working in highlights and gradation into the shadow.
     Tuesday, todays lesson, we added some color, mixing flesh from white with red, alizarine, yellow and blue, pushing the colors, red, yellow, blue or whiter as needed and also doing the same with the shadows.   This was really tricky for me because color is one of my bigger challenges but I got through it with Roberts help and I think it worked out okay.  This is a rough shot from my cell phone.

     This pic shows, left to right, my buddy Carol's painting, Robert Liberace (in the middle) and mine on the right.  It almost feels like you are learning from Michelangelo or DaVinci!

Monday, February 24, 2014

Early Risers (large version)

     I had done a small oil sketch of this scene maybe a year or two ago and had always planned on making a larger version of it.  I may still add a few small touches but this is pretty close to finished.
Update:  I went back and reworked the color and softened everything.  I am much happier with this.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

The Lookout

     I have always liked this scene of the tree in my back yard when it is shadowed by the house with the lit hill in the background with its red soil and junipers.  Usually every morning there is a magpie on top looking for leftover goodies I have thrown out for them.  I enjoy these gregarious birds and their antics.  I had put out my son's left over pizza slices...deep dish.  I watched one work very hard at trying to pick up a slice and make off with it.  It finally got a good hold on the slice, he laboriously flew up on top of the closest fence, readjusted his load, then took off for the next fence.  Upon taking off, he immediately dropped, heavily, and with much effort, flapped to the next fence.  This labor was repeated again when he took off from that fence to a tree and so on.  They are incredibly smart...and determined.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Light on the Hay

     I saw this scene a couple of mornings ago and couldn't wait to get back to paint it.  Yesterday was a very grey day that wouldn't have worked so I had to wait till today.  I got there early and started painting.  I forgot to put on my coat because I thought it wasn't that cold out.  I was so engrossed in painting I didn't realize with the light wind, being in the shade and no coat...I was freezing!  Luckily I was close to finished when I discovered this so I just threw everything in the back of my trusty paint-mobile and headed home.

    This is a lovely, rustic old barn in the area that I have painted before.  Boards with no battens, gaping holes and also missing boards make for the beautiful light that falling across the hay and that was exactly what attracted me to this scene.  When I was growing up I loved to just sit and enjoy a barn such as this.