Thursday, December 28, 2006

Martini with Orange Twist

5" x 7" Oil on Gessobord
$75 shipping included.

Even though we are still in family vacation mode, I was able to get a painting in today. My son is visiting so we have a Marine in the house. I don't know if "he drinks like a fish" or he drinks like a Marine, but he talks about drinking more than a fish does. So, Ryan showed his artistic talent by making the orange twist and I made it the star of today's daily painting.

The orange twist is draped in a martini glass fit for an enlisted marine. It is not one of those high class, slender stemmed glasses. It is a working class glass with a chunky stem.

My daughter actually joined me in painting the subject today, but she didn't feel her result was worthy. It takes a while to get to the point where you want to share your work with the world.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Vodka and Potato - Russian Impressionism?

$75 Shipping Included.
7" x 5" Oil on Panel

Today's Daily Painting is probably one of the great lost Russian Impressionist works. :^) Stoli propped up on a potato seemed appropriate, since some Vodka is made with potatos. The painting also needed a shot glass ready to go to work. I'm not really sure why we have a bottle of vodka available for painting, but someone in the household feels it is the best and smoothest vodka. That view is probably dated considering all of the new imported vodkas that fill liquor store shelves and magazine pages. Perhaps we are feeling a little Russian since our daughter has been speaking it lately...

Monday, December 11, 2006

CranApple - Still life of an Apple and Cranberries

5" x 5" Oil on Panel.
$60 Shipping Included.

My personal favorite apple is a Granny Smith. Most people only think of them as good cooking apples (they are), but once you become hooked on eating their tart crispness, other apples are less tasty and many will seem mushy. A friend of ours taught us they are good in salads. My childhood salads certainly didn't have them, but they are probably more common now. If you don't use Granny Smith's in your salads, pies, and for plain snacking, you should give them a try.

I have only more recently become a fan of cranberries. Craisins are a great form for mixing with oatmeal. These whole cranberries are good for mixing with stuffing (stove top stuffing was a pretty good invention in the packaged food category). The mixture of Cran-Apple makes cranberry juice acceptable to drink (barely, IMHO). Cran-Raspberry is even enjoyable!

Today's daily painting is a nice green Granny Smith apple and some rich red cranberries. The cranberries had a wonderful rich color and bright reflection points. They were available in the house to paint for the reasons explained above.
$60 Shipping Included.
5" x 5" Oil on Panel.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Orange Peel and Stein

7" x 5" Oil on Panel

Today's daily painting is a still life of an orange peel and a black ceramic stein. This stein is one of my favorite mugs. It has quite a nice shape and is incomparably smooth. This still life setup was inspired by David Leffel's Oil Painting Secrets from a Master. I avoided the horizontal by slightly sloping the viewing angle of the board. The arrangement reads from left to right. The color scheme is the concept with the orange complemented by the background.

The photo is not quite accurate. I am having trouble with showing the orange color as warm as in real life. I will work on updating it with better light.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Corkscrew and Cork

5" x 2.25" Oil on Panel

It's Friday night, so time for a wine related painting. This one is a tiny still life of our classic corkscrew and a cork. These sorts of things always seem to be lying around on Friday nights!

While I was hunting for a setup I stumbled upon this long composition that happens to work on one of my small panel cutoffs. This little study took longer than I expected, so it is today's daily painting.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

A Partridge in a Pear Tree

5" x 7" Oil on Panel

Ever wonder what a little kid thinks "A partridge in a pear tree" means? A pear tree is a huge pear on a trunk. A partridge is a bird, but to keep it in the tree, you need to tie it there with some string.

Today's Daily Painting is a visual pun for the famous "first day of Christmas" gift. How far should I go with the Twelve Days of Christmas?

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

House in the Woods - December

10" x 8" Oil on Panel

We have now had our first big snow of the year. The snow has stayed around for a couple of weeks now. It is heavy enough that we spent an hour helping the Propane delivery truck turn around after our tank was filled. Ugh. I like the snow up at the ski resort better than at our house. When you have to chain up a four-wheel drive, that is too much snow for me. However, it is "beginning to look a lot like Christmas!"

Today's Painting is our house in the woods. It is really my other big creative project. We are still working on finishing the interior, so we are to the slow part but the craftsmanship is more interesting at this point. The project is now in its forth year and my wife and I have personally worked on everything but the foundation, framing, plumbing, and HVAC. It certainly adds meaning to this painting for me, since building a house is something my father would do, not me! Well, here it is after all, out in the woods with deep snow.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Two Eggs Over Easy

$75 Shipping included.
7" x 5" Oil on Panel

As a departure from the usual, the DailyPainters site will feature paintings of the subject "Egg" on Monday Dec 4. I decided on a visual pun for my take on egg. Travel over to to see some eggs on Monday, but you will also see a variety of other subjects just like everyday. If you visit often, you will come to expect the variety.

I love visual puns and enjoyed thinking up this subject for an egg painting. I have plans in the idea bank for more pun paintings. The interesting sidenote here is that we couldn't find any toy blocks around the houses, so I made some blocks for my still life setup. Then added a little imagination. I probably will do a little more touchup later today.

Here is a peek at my setup:

Friday, December 01, 2006

Major Award Nightlight

5" x 7" Oil on Panel

My family is crazy about the movie A Christmas Story (Jean Shepherd is a genius.) We have watched it too many times; for many years with a big gathering on Christmas Eve. Last year we had a family reunion at Christmas after a few years of being scattered around the country. It was great to be together and one of the fun things we did was have a contest for the best dinner. The cooking teams were made up of mixed members from the three families (cleverly chosen by cooking skills.) The team that won earned the "major award" just like in the movie; at least a homemade version featuring a Barbie leg. Well, my team didn't win, but my sister was kind enough to award my family a "major award" nightlight. Today's painting features that nightlight.

Since these 5" x 7" paintings are small, the compositions are fairly simple and often have the subject centered. After painting, I feel that this image should get a penalty for breaking the One Rule of composition. When I decided to paint the nightlight straight on I was thinking about the nice geometric pattern of the shadow on the wall. The end result was not too interesting and the symmetry makes heavy demands on accurate drawing. I felt that the result was unintentionally cartoonish also. I may decide to paint over those initials. NFS.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Polonium Pear #210

$60 shipping included.
5" X 7" Oil on Panel

I started out tonight with a different subject in mind, but as I worked on the painting this radioactive pear came out. There has been some discussion on the number of pears painted by daily painters. Radioactivity is also sadly in the news with Alexander Litvinenko's poisoning. Adding it all together we have "Polonium Pear #210" for a title. The color may be even more vivid in person; it may be dangerous to get too close.

No actual pears were harmed (or involved) in this painting.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Victor's Friend

8" X 8" Oil on Panel

Victor with the snowface reminded me of Victor's friend from two years ago. It was probably the first time he was around snow for a longer time. He wasn't as sure about it as he is now, but he had fun playing. He also liked the little snowman that Bert built. It wasn't much taller than him and had a visor made out of a big piece of bark. He like to sit by it and we captured some photos of him with his friend. Today's painting is based on one of them.

Victor with a Snowface

$60 shipping included.
7" X 5" Oil on Panel

First of all, my Thanksgiving "vacation" was longer than it should have been; such is life.

You probably have seen the Snowstorm that the Seattle area experienced. The snowy field on Monday Night Football was crazy. Well, we had even more snow here in the Cascades and our dog loves it. His favorite part of having snow is catching snowballs. Today's Daily Painting is our Sheltie Victor with a nice face full of snow from catching wet snowballs.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Foster's Lager

In private collection,
San Diego, Ca.

5" x 7" Oil on panel

Today's Daily Painting is a Foster's Lager can. I wanted something that I could paint in a free and loose manner after the little picture of Seattle. So, like a painter who has had two of these big cans, I picked my old Foster's Lager can. It is nice and blue and shiny, but I woke up part way through realizing that all of that symmetry and print was not what I was looking for. Maybe I learned a lesson about picking subjects today... Still, it is shiny, you know.

This can has an interesting history. I have had it since my college years. I have good memories from that time of mini road trips from Dallas to Ft Worth. A group of coworkers would head to Angelo's Barbecue (still rated top 10) for pork ribs about once a year. These "rib runs" were traditionally mid-week and involved a lot of beer drinking for a weeknight. We would stop and pick up one of these Foster's for the van trip over (in days with more liberal Texas open container laws). That 24 ounces of beer really got your appetite up for a pound or two of ribs and pickles. This particular Foster's was saved as a souvenir of probably the last rib-run before our group broke up. It has faithfully served me for many years as a penny jar and now as a painting subject.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Space Needle and Rainier

$40 Shipping included.
2.5" x 5" Oil on panel.

The view from Kerry Park of Seattle is iconic. The space needle to the left and Rainier to the right makes a beautifully balanced picture.

Today's daily painting is a tiny view of Seattle. It measures just 2.5" x 5", but captures the whole city. I painted with permission from one of Glockoma's Flickr photos.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Onion and Garlic

In private collection,
Dallas, Texas.

5" x 7" Oil on panel

Onion and garlic are amazing ingredients that sit between vegetable and spice. They are the start to many great recipes that make food worth while. Well, you don't even need a recipe, of course. I seldom work from such a formula anyway, but onions and/or garlic are a natural start for almost any main course. I tend to lean on garlic more than onions, but they are both usually in our kitchen. Since they are always around, they were available for today's daily painting.

The onion is a big sweet Walla Walla with a yellow-red outside skin. The garlic bulb has one nice plump clove separated and ready for chopping on my favorite cutting board/still life stage.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Coffee Jar

5" x 7" Oil on panel

I'm back to painting after an eventful week. We had serious flooding from many days of rain. Also, our satellite internet was knocked out during the heavy rain. We had some interesting days stranded and then studying the changes and damages to our creek. Snow is now finally arrived at the pass this weekend; if it stays cold enough, we won't have more flooding.

So, today's painting returns to the cafe theme. To make a good espresso, you have to freshly gind the coffee beans. That means you will have whole beans in a nice air tight jar. The jar in this painting is a McDonald New Perfect Seal (NOT a "Mason Jar"! Oh no.) You probably know it was Pat'd July 14, 1908. Well, that makes this a nice antique jar with a nice blue-green shade. You can see that it is time to go get some more beans too!

Here is a peek at the subject and painting with the underpainting completed.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Tea Ball

$50 shipping included.

5" x 7" Oil on panel.

I never played Tee-ball when I was a kid. They started with coaches pitch. This Daily Painting post is about a different kind of T-Ball. Today we continue with the coffee and tea theme.

I don't really have much use for a tea ball. They don't work as well as home filled bags or a strainer. Our fancy new tea pot even came with a nice custom strainer that fits inside and has a fine mesh that will not let any tiny leaf parts out. The old Tea Ball was a poor infuser that didn't let enough water pass through and didn't keep all of the bits in. Still, the tea ball makes a nice painting subject with its shiny surface and punctuated texture.

While I missed Wednesday, I hope to be back on A Painting A Day with this Daily Painting of a tea ball and a nice box of my favorite Twinings variety of black tea. I was introduced to that blue label by my Uncle when I was quite young. Ceylon became my favorite for its smoother taste. Today I mix it up a lot and there are many fine choices other than the Twinings tins as well.

So the trivia on this painting is: "What do you see wrong with the can?" Visiting the pantry is allowed. If I were to paint the subject again, I would correct the error, but I still like the result here.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Brown Betty

5" x 7" Oil on panel

The last few days have revolved around the subject of coffee. Tea is not exactly interchangeable with coffee, but it often fills the same role. There seems to be an even greater array of teas. The process and rituals around tea are much more interesting and soothing compared to the noise and fury of coffee. The result is also much more soothing. I am a long time fan of tea. (As I mentioned, I became a habitual coffee drinker much later in life.)

Today's Daily Painting features our Brown Betty Teapot. I went for a cropped view to avoid the conventional. The result was a good likeness for the pot especially at a little distance. The white towel used for a drape did not come out as clear as I had hoped. Below is a photo from my painting position to show the folds and glowing light I was trying to capture.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Frothing Pitcher

5" X 7" Oil on panel

When I was younger, I never drank coffee. In fact, into my 20's I knew the number of cups I had drunk in my life. It was only after I got married that I first bought a coffee machine. The occasion was a Twin Peaks watching party where we had to have some good "joe". That started the slippery slide leading to buying the espresso machine after the arrival of Starbucks in Texas. My growing love for coffee almost inevitably led to living in the best place for it here in the Seattle area. Speaking of Twin Peaks, interestingly enough the Salish Lodge at Snoqualmie Falls was the iconic location for the series and it is just a few miles south of here.

Continuing the coffee theme, today's subject is our frothing pitcher. It is a bit scratched from many years of faithful service. It may not go with the espresso pot, but on days that we have the generator running and fire up the pump machine it still gets used. If we were experts, we could use it to produce one of those amazing latte pours.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Espresso Pot

$75 free shipping.

5" X 7" Oil on panel

This is our humble Espresso Pot. We always use it when we go camping to get that morning fix. We often use it at home too, since our house is off the power grid and we are pretty careful about saving electricity. It doesn't produce the same quality as a good pump machine (including the one we have), but the result is certainly drinkable. The pot itself is scratched up aluminum and it has a little brass port that sings if it really gets up to pressure. I enjoyed the way it reflected the room in a soft focus instead of the sharp reflections of chrome.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Skykomish Railroad Bridge

Early afternoon light on the Skykomish Railroad Bridge near Money Creek Campgound gave a golden glow to the trees on the bank. There was a steady breeze blowing that gave the water a nice rippling texture.

5" x 7" Oil on Panel
$60 free shipping.

Thursday, October 26, 2006


In private collection.
5" x 7" Oil on panel
Seattle is a wonderful area for coffee. Even better than you would expect. We have the major chains and hundreds (thousands?) of little espresso stands. In between are some nice neighborhood coffee shops like The Lyons' Den. That is where we had lattes yesterday. They always prepare lovely works of art. In fact, after we complimented the barista, she said they were about to go to a contest for this kind of pour.

My daily painting today is a cup of morning inspiration. The cup that inspired it had an even more lovely leaf pattern in the foam from the expert "pour". I believe the dribble down the side may be "on purpose" to create a stem for the leaf. Whoa.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Skykomish Depot

$135 Framed - shipping included.

9" x 12" Oil on stretched canvas.

This Skykomish train depot painting was started on Monday but obviously is more involved than many of my daily paintings, so it was not complete by the midnight hour. I wrapped it up in the early morning hours, so it is now Tuesday's painting a day. Good thing, 'cause I was out all day today. Here is the painting as it stood at midnight:

Monday was a nice sunny day. That was before the rain arrived Tuesday. Now we have a little snow on the peaks around Skykomish, but the clouds are obscuring them most of the day. It's time to start building that snowpack, but we like to keep that a little higher up the pass than Skykomish.

The train depot is a relic of the past. The railroad is still quite busy, but it usually does not stop in town. For some reason this train was parked in the yard and had the crossing closed, so the two sides of town were separated. That was inconvenient for me after checking my PO Box. However, it gave me a chance to click a few pictures with the train. I really liked the way the train receded into the distance and cast such nice shadows across the parallel track.

The power poles are also relics apparently; they really don't have the wires you don't see. Well, there are the couple that you do see. Anyway, not a artistic edit...this time.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Our Road

$75 Framed, shipping included.
8" X 10" Oil on Canvas Panel

Here is our road this afternoon at about the same time and place that I saw the big cat yesterday. (See below.) So, just imagine a cat at the top of the rise. Yeah, I can't either, but it feels like it is off in the woods even though it has likely moved on. Right?

Saturday, October 21, 2006

The Last Tomato

Today's painting is of the last tomato in the house, but it didn't start that way.

After a late start and an afternoon of chores, I had procrastinated on the Daily Painting enough and needed to get out and paint. So I collected up my backpack, pochade, and tripod and set off down our road to the creek, thinking about some rapids that I wanted to use as a motif. I forgot the camera, so I hesitated halfway down the road and decided that not having it would give me incentive to complete the painting on site without finishing up back at the house. It was around 6 pm and the light was going to fade fast.

A little further on, I saw a dog walk out on the road about 75 yards away (I'm not really good with distance estimates.) I expected some of the neighbors were around the corner. The "dog" stopped and froze. I decided it was a small deer, but it did not look right. Then I froze. This was not a deer, it looked like a big cat/dog with no tail. I could not see it clearly enough, but it was bigger than I expected a cat to be and it didn't have a dog-like tail.

Now, the hairs on my neck started to rise and we looked at each other. I backed up a few steps because I figured turning my back on a predator would be bad and it kept watching me. (Next time, I will take a picture with the camera I didn't have with me.) Finally, after a few more heavy heartbeats, I shouted. It jumped away, definitely moving like a cat.

I took a trip back to the house to gather my nerves and get the camera. Then I went back down to the creek. After some more hair raising and an abortive attempt to paint, I gave up as the light left.

Back at home, I decided to paint that cat. My sketches were not matching my memory. Larry Seiler would be able to pull it off, but I could not capture that cat standing in the dim forest road. I can only guess it was a lynx or bobcat.

So, I decided on a nice straightforward still life. This is it. The last tomato on the vine and in the house.

5" X 7" Oil on panel.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Sky Valley #2

Today's painting is another afternoon view of Skykomish River Valley. We finally had a nice day after our first dose of extended Seattle sunshine for the season. There still is color in the valley and no snow on the mountaintops.

5" X 7" Oil canvas panel.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

The Turban Squash

As Peter Yesis says October is "the month for strange vegetables and plants that no one really eats." Well, you don't see Turban Squash other times of the year, it will be interesting to find out how edible this painting subject is. I sure think they are cool looking.

So, here is a peek at my lowly setup, so you can check on how truthful my rendering turned out. I did switch the granite to a wood cutting board before I finished the background.

5" X 7" Oil on Panel.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Sky Valley Sunset

Today's painting is the view west at sunset from a logging road in the valley. There is active logging, so the view is opened up on the road. The hills going into the distance gave a nice recession. The sunset was set off nicely by some clouds in shadow and some underlit and very pink. The light quickly changed and faded out, so there was some finishing at home.

5" X 7" Oil on masonite.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Mountain Creek

Available on

The sunlight was shimmering on the water and rocks this afternoon on the creek that borders our property in Sky Valley. A beautiful blue-sky day can be seen in the water reflection. The paint surface is a heavy impasto with a shimmering mix of color dabs that blend together at a few feet of distance.

5" X 7" Oil on panel.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Bad Luck

Available at

Spilling Salt is supposed to be bad luck. Some Tour de France cyclists take it very seriously (see Lance Armstrong's War.) The remedy is passing the salt around and throwing a pinch over your shoulder, of course. You don't believe in either, do you?

5" X 7" Oil on panel.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

October 5, 2006 - Uprooted

Thursday's subject is an uprooted tree stump on the bank just down the creek from our house. I did some unintended wading on my way to paint it.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

October 4, 2006 - Old Cascade Tunnel

The Old Cascade Tunnel was completed in 1900 and is 2.6 miles long. It was replaced by a new 8 mile tunnel in 1929 which bypassed some serious snow avalanche areas. The old west side railbed is now the Iron Goat Trail. I had an enjoyable day going up US 2 to the tunnel end of the trail. The face of the tunnel has a marvelous collection of white and rust streaks. Half of the letters of the CASCADE name are broken off. Of course, a cool, wet breeze always flows out of these old tunnels, so I was chilled by the end of the painting session.

6" X 8" Oil on Canvas mounted on board.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

October 3, 2006 - Through the Trees

Collection of Penny Heydt
Johnson City, Tn

Today's painting was started on Monday and completed in the early morning hours of Tuesday. It comes to you sponsored by some questionable judgment. The mountain in the picture is seen from the Barclay Lake trail near Baring, Washington. I hiked in without leaving enough time to get back out by sunset. The last mile of the trail had me literally stumbling in the dark. So, the painting was completed using my photo reference.

(You know how you should always pack food, water, flashlight, etc when you go hiking? Well, it works much better if you don't have them packed in the car. I really misjudged the time and distance for hiking to and from the lake. It turns out I didn't even paint the lake this time.)

The painting is a view through a gap in the trees caused by a rock avalanche. The mountain had a pink glow from sunset. (Hmm, sunset... see above.) The fall color at its base was very vivid. The painting was created with a limited palette as inspired by Kevin MacPherson's book.

6" X 8" Oil on Canvas on Masonite

Thursday, September 28, 2006

September 28, 2006 - Maple Leaf

$35 free shipping.

Our property has some huge Maple trees on it. The leaves are just starting to turn and some early ones are dropping. Last year I was astounded by the size of these leaves. Many are bigger than dinner plates. I was so excited that I brought some in and said to my wife "I wonder what kind of Maple tree has these leaves." Checking the tree field guide at the library resulted in the revelation "Big Leaf Maple." Oh, duh.

Today I moved "en plein air" and painted a still life on the deck. (Outdoor still life, eh?) So, today's painting is an early falling yellow Maple leaf. I made it 8 X 10 to depict it life size. It has crazy green splotches on it. I am looking forward to more fall color around here even though we mostly have evergreens in the immediate area.

8 X 10 Acrylic on Canvas Board

Monday, September 11, 2006

September 11, 2006 - A Tribute in Light

The 5 year anniversary of the 9-11 attacks dominated my thoughts today. The media has concentrated on the story more this year. It was good to be reminded about some of the heroes of that day. Rick Rescorla’s story is one of the most powerful and was covered by print and reenacted in A&E’s excellent program about 9-11.

This year the weather cooperated and gave the Tribute in Light a wonderful sky. Here is my reaction to the day and various images of the 2006 Tribute.

This 8 x 10 breaks the "one rule of composition" by symmetrically dividing the painting, but I feel the static result works for this contemplative subject. The dominate sky with an extremely low horizon does follow “the rule” at least.

8x10 Acrylic on Masonite.