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 ArtByUs.com.

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 ArtByUs.com

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