Thursday, December 25, 2008

Flocking Trees and Portrait in Progress

Painting progess has slowed some as I have been working on cabinets for the house and doing other chores. Here you can see me flocking our evergreens on Christmas Day! ;^)

I do have a progress photo on a portrait of Dot. I have a portrait to do for the current Different Strokes challenge and I am warming up with one of my wife. She says portraits are scary and she is right when you are the subject! This is definitely in progress; at least one of the eyes needs scraping. We all know that John Singer Sargent said "A portrait is a painting with something wrong with the mouth." This one is not an exception.

Oil in progress 11" x 14"

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Karin's Boots

10" x 8" Oil on mounted linen.
$100 - Shipping to US included.

These boots are painted from Karin Jurick's weekly challenge. I painted them from both her picture and looking at the color from Van Gogh's Boots. I really like how this one turned out even though it is pretty dark and moody. I'm really on a Van Gogh kick lately. :p

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


5" x 12" Acrylic on mounted canvas.

These nutcrackers took quite a while to complete. Lots of detail and lots of dots. They are inspired by Van Gogh's Self Portraits, but painted from life. They are a pair of little 8 inch high nutcrackers.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Morning Hydrangeas

10" x 8" Oil on mounted linen.
$ 100 - Shipping to US included.

This is another painting from a Different Strokes image. I don't do Budda, so the he is edited out and replaced with sunbeams forming a cross. The flower pedals really pop out from the blue gray surrounding on this one when viewed in person.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Van Gogh Self Portrait Nutcracker

8" x 10" Oil on linen panel.
In Private Collection

Fullerton, Ca.

This painting mashup is styled after the Van Gogh Self Portrait from the Chicago Art Institute. I saw this painting in person at the Kimbell in Ft Worth during my trip in August. It is a stunning piece that changes greatly depending on how close or far you stand. To execute this painting I laid it in from just the nutcracker. Then I looked to both the Van Gogh and the Nutcracker to finish it out. I must admit I did not paint as many little dots as Vincent did. That said, it still took a couple of evenings work.

So, I want to know from my visitors whether this painting is creepy or not. What do you think? It actually has grown on me since I finished it last night and I kind of like it.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Walker (painted upside down)

10" x 8" Oil on mounted canvas.
$100 - Shipping to US included.

This painting was painted upside down as requested for Different Stokes. The idea is to concentrate on shapes without thinking about the subject. It is a good idea for checking proportions and spotting errors in drawing. That said, I haven't ever painting the whole painting upside down. It didn't really feel that different. I did still find an error that I had to fix after I had my first photo taken. That's another trick (along with using a mirror) that finds errors. Seeing the painting on screen is often when I find those little mistakes I want to fix. Like the white bit on the mouth of the nutcracker from my last post. I've fixed it now, too.

One thing that struck me about the photo Karin presented was that the woman looks like she has a heat ray coming out of her eyes like one of the Fantastic Four!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


8" x 10" Oil on mounted canvas.
In Private Collection

Fullerton, Ca.

I don't think we want to cancel Christmas after all. The decorations have already been in stores for a while. A popular kind the last couple of years has been the decorative Nutcrackers. This one is from a pair of soldiers that I picked up last year. In handling the paint I was thinking about how Van Gogh would have laid down the strokes. This was a lot of fun; I really like the result and I want to explore the subject further.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


I painted from the Different Strokes from Different Folks image again. This time I decided to take a "different" approach with my underpainting. Here is a progress photo where you can see the contrasting underpainting I used. It almost looks patriotic at this point.

The finished painting is closer to the reality of the photo Karin provided. I wanted the bright sunlight areas to have a blinding feel from the white over blue. I am happy with how that effect came out.

10" x 8" Oil on mounted linen.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Thistle Flower

5" x 7" Oil on mounted canvas.

Here is a little "daily painting" of a thistle that was down on the bank of the river. I was surprised that there were any flowers still blooming in our gray world. The economy and gloom of the Northwest rainy season are making me SAD. Maybe a little white snow will help in a few weeks.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Fall Harvest

14" x 11" Oil on mounted canvas.

I don't know what exact kind of squash these are (maybe someone could clue me in on it), but they have a wonderful color scheme with the orange splashes ringed with green. The orange mainly resides in the creases on the sides, but it is uneven and varies from one squash to the next. Almost everywhere the orange bursts from surrounding green. While painting, it was important to keep the orange and green clean so they did not "gray" each other where I did not want it. This painting was a fun still life that kept me up late working on the color, shape, and lighting effect.

It's fun when the painting looks better the next morning when I get up.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

US Capitol

10" x 8" Oil on mounted canvas.

Thanks to Karin Jurick's Different Strokes challenge, I was painting the US Capitol on election night. We didn't watch the returns at Sky Valley Studio, but did catch the montage at the end of the CBS coverage. It was well done.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Money Creek Small Plein Air

6" x 4" Oil on mounted canvas.

This is a small version of the creek from yesterday. It is a similar view looking upstream toward Temple Mountain.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Money Creek October Afternoon

8" x 10" Oil on mounted canvas.

If you read a few artist's blogs, you will often hear the plein air people gush about how much they learn working in front of nature. Well, it's true. I had an enjoyable time this afternoon and the challenge of changing light was good. Of course, a beautiful day helps make it enjoyable. This view is from the bank of the creek looking toward Temple Mountain with the sunlight bouncing off the water and the tree leaves. Contre-jour as they say.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

New York Stock Exchange

8" x 8" Oil on mounted canvas.

This is another image from Karin Jurick's Different Strokes challenge. There is a lot of red on those screens at the NYSE, lately.

Friday, October 17, 2008

"She touched me..

and I blushed."

10" x 8" Oil on mounted canvas.

When I have a blushing pear and a leaning pear, I think they just belong this way.

Join my mailing list and make me an offer on this painting. I'll ship it when it is dry. I think I will turn to something more serious next.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Temple Mountain Plein Air

8" x 10" Oil on mounted canvas.

This plein air could be subtitled "our front yard"; it is the view from our front deck on Saturday afternoon. This is a south view and the sun is going behind the hillside to the right along with the thin veil of clouds you see. So, the light was softening as I painted.

We are currently in emergency mode here since our main and backup generators have failed. The batteries are coasting toward empty, so hopefully we will get something working today.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

The Bride and the Bean

10" x 8" Oil on mounted canvas.
$100 - Shipping to US included.

Here is my answer to this week's Different Strokes challenge. I really like the cloud gate sculpture in Chicago's Millennium Park. Karin's photo had the bride from a wedding party that I could not resist including. Is she marrying the Bean?

My trip to Chicago this year was an extended layover that allowed us to visit the Art Institute of Chicago. We did really enjoy the visit even though the Impressionist paintings (which would have been my highlight) were mostly in Ft Worth while the museum is undergoing expansion. Luckily we knew about the show at the Kimbell so we visited it in DFW from where we just traveled. Otherwise, it would have been an uncomfortable irony.

The cloud gate on our visit looked even better than Karin's photo. Its surface was completely polished and you could not detect the seams as you can in her photo. I certainly chose to not depict any distracting seams. I am still wondering if the sculpture needs maintenance over time or if Karin's photo was from before it was completed.

I highly recommend a visit to the Art institute area. The impressionist paintings remain at the Kimbell until early November.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Fall Color

16" x 8" Oil on mounted canvas.

Fall color has arrived in Sky Valley. The trees turning yellow dominate the valley with some bright punctuation of red crowned trees. As an artist, I am enjoying the color harmonies of the first and the strong complementary colors of the second. This long composition is a compilation of what I have been seeing. I am thinking about exploring this further with a larger diptych splitting this in two.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Generation Gap

10" x 8" Oil on mounted canvas.

I had lots of titles for this one floating in my head. Variations on "The kids are so different" and "kids these days". The two little apples are similar yet so different from Mama and Papa pear. I do like how the leaves look like some crazy hair style.

I will give a nod to J. Matt Miller for the inspiration to use personification. His motifs are quite fun. I've had his blog on my blog-roll for a long time. I hope he gets his new site active soon.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Great Wall at Night

20" x 16" Oil on mounted canvas.

The Great Wall of China just west of Beijing was a highlight of my wife's recent trip for the Paralympics. This evening view of the Wall shows how IT is highlighted for visitors. The photographic reference I worked from is stunning with several interesting views. The wall is certainly a deserving icon for the area with its history and imposing size.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

White Pumpkin

8" x 8" Oil on mounted linen.

Yikes, a week has passed. Here is another Different Strokes painting. I was most interested in the shape of the stem's shadow and the reflected light on the sides of the pumpkin. So, I yet again cropped the original image down quite a bit.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The News

10" x 8" Oil on mounted linen.
$100 shipping to US included.

I painted from Karin Jurick's different strokes picture again this week. I cropped the photo down considerably. Instead of the movies section, I gave him the financial page in honor of this week's news.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Mt Index Winter

20" x 16" Oil on stretched canvas.

This is the favorite painting around the house right now. It has been in the works for a while and it was worth it. The light and shadow work well and it is one of those paintings that looks very realistic from a distance and is loose when you get up close. This painting is available, if you are interested, leave a comment or sign up for my email list and send a message to it.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Grapes and Peaches

10" x 8" Oil on mounted linen.

I really like the play of color on these peaches and grapes. The color and modeling of the light and shadow is the statement here; I kept the composition static. This one looks super from across the room. I also am enjoying the Belgian linen surface when I use it.

Riverside Geyser

20" x 16" Oil on canvas.

Here is the larger version of the Riverside Geyser. I am pleased with how this turned out. The composition has strength and the geyser jumps off the canvas in person. I am considering submitting this to a juried show. If you are interested in purchasing this painting, leave a comment below or reply to my email list. You can sign yourself up using the link to the right.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Sand Fencing

10" x 8" Oil on Linen mounted on board.
$100 - Shipping to US included.

Karin Jurick, who holds a place on my favorite daily painters list, is hosting a new blog where she invites people to paint from the same photo that she uses for one of her works. Here is my painting of this weeks photo. I cropped my view a little closer and tried to capture the high contrast of a bright day at the beach. I also slanted the fence slats to lead into the painting on the left. See the original photo here.

My camera is back in town so I can share what is going on in my studio again!

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Riverside Geyser Study 2

10" x 8" Oil on linen.

Here is another study of the Riverside Geyser. I think I like this view more and it may be the first for a larger Yellowstone painting. I may touch this up some more. Although I have time to paint this week, my camera is in China! So, posts will have to wait for dry paintings like this one or until my wife returns.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Grand Canyon of Yellowstone Lower Falls

5" x 8" Oil on panel.

Here is yet another study from Yellowstone. It is the view of the "Grand Canyon" of Yellowstone from Artists Point. Even overrun by tourists with cameras, Artists Point is a great overlook. There is even a display of a Thomas Moran painting of the falls. He was part of the marketing machine that sold the National Parks to America. He uses a nice bit of "artistic license" to put some hot springs features in the same view. The color and shapes in the canyon and the size of the falls make this a great view.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Old Faithful Geyser Study

Approx 4" x 8" Oil on panel.

Here is another one from Yellowstone. The most famous inhabitant of the Upper Geyser Basin. I am thinking about editing out the clouds that were there to better show the geyser if I paint it larger.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Riverside Geyser Study

Approx 4" x 8" Oil on panel.

Yellowstone National Park is an amazing place. My visit last week was my first and I just kept repeating "Wow, that was weird!" as we left each natural feature.

This is a study of Riverside Geyser. This geyser is a great part of the Upper Geyser Basin. It is one of the predictable ones and is beautiful as it shoots over the river. I loved how it looked from many angles and appreciated how long its display was. I expect to find a view that I want to paint larger.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Apple and Huckleberry Pi

10" x 8" Oil on panel.
$100 - Shipping to US included.

Living in the Cascades has the bonus of berries in the summer. My favorites are Marionberries and Huckleberries. The little red huckleberries go great in apple pies. That was the inspiration for this painting. I do like visual puns!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Yellow and Red Rose

8" x 10" Oil on panel.

This two tone rose was left over from the podium presentations at the FSA Grand Prix. I have to admit again that painting roses is hard. I warmed up for this oversize view with two tiny studies. I am still working on the restraint to have just the right number of strokes for these flowers. I really like the roses that Austinites Carol Marine and Qiang Huang paint (you can get to their blogs from my list of links), but even they will mention how hard they are to capture. My warmup studies are below.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Peach and Red Grapes

10" x 8" Oil on mounted linen.

Millions of peaches but none seem to be free. So does anyone believe that The Presidents of the United States song Peaches is "just about peaches?"

They really are juicy and great subjects for painting.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Mutt and Jeff

10" x 8" Oil on mounted canvas.
$100 - Shipping to US included.

Were Mutt and Jeff just an Abbott and Costello rip off? Nah, Mutt and Jeff are almost as old as Lou, but they were another famous tall and short team. They seemed to fool around with a cannon a lot, so my Mutt and Jeff peppers had to be thinking about fooling around with something. In this case, they are looking at a knife on the cutting board.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Columbine Blooming

7" x 5" Oil on mounted canvas.

Columbine really stand out among the wild flowers here in Sky Valley. They do it in a small understated way. The five part shape and downward hang were quite irresistible.

Here is a small version. (3.5" x 2.5")

Friday, May 09, 2008

One Tomato

7" x 5" Oil on mounted canvas.
$75 - Shipping to US included.

This is the last of the eight tomatoes. I liked the look of the empty vine and the shadow it cast.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Eight Tomatoes

5" x 7" Oil on mounted canvas.

I really liked how these eight tomatoes looked all nicely connected to their vine. I don't really know how the commercial growers get such a perfect set of tomatoes. My view of the painting? meh. I like a loose style, obviously, but this may be too loose.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008


5" x 7" Oil on mounted canvas.
$75 Shipping to US included.

We have quite a few trillium scattered around our property. They seem to like moist shady areas. The white blooms shine out in the gloom. My wife says they are a sign for the Trinity; they are at least a friendly 3 leaf plant compared to that other one that likes the shade. I'm glad we have the trillium rather than poison ivy.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Pear Portrait #2

5" x 7" Oil on mounted canvas.
$75 - shipping to US included.

Pears are a classic still life subject because they have such a nice interesting shape. This one also had a little red blush on its side. I decided to paint a quarter-sized version at the same time as the larger one. They seem to make a nice pair...

I'm serious, there are two, see:

Friday, April 18, 2008

Hot Pepper Salsa

10" x 8" Oil on mounted canvas.
$100 - Shipping to US included.

After trying these peppers in some pasta sauce, I think the ingredients here would make very hot salsa. This painting was made with a little different process. I did a complete under-painting on one day and painted over it with various semi-transparent colors the next day. It was not really a full "old masters" style painting since the under-painting was not completely dry and the colors were not to the transparent glaze state. I'm probably just an alla prima artist at heart.

Friday, April 11, 2008

UFO ( Unidentified Flying Onion )

10" x 8" Oil on mounted canvas.
In Private Collection,
Seattle, Washington

When I saw this onion hovering over the cutting board last night, I just knew I had to capture its eerie levitation. I believe it was coming in for a landing.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Clouds Toward Sunset

8" x 10" Oil on mounted canvas.
$75 - Shipping to US included.

Western Washington gives us some dramatic skies toward sunset. This sky just had to be captured since it had great color and natural composition against the hillside at the end of our road.