Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Two Pears

24" x 24" Oil on panel
$440 - Shipping to US included.

In response to a persistent request for painting BIG, here is a little bigger "fruit Crop" to go with the others. These pears have great blushing color now with just a hint of their former greenness. AND they're in love...probably newly wed. This will be their first Christmas together!

The photo has some nasty glare, so I will update it when I have some better light. Even though we are over the hump and the days are getting longer, it is still gloomy at 4:30pm here. I'm anxious for longer days; at least we are going in the right direction now.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Lemon Lime

(Click for a larger view.)
12" x 12" Oil on canvas.
$100 - Shipping to US included.

Ah, a natural combination! Lemon/Lime continues my series of "fruit crops". I again was interested in the highlights and shadows on the fruit. I was happy to keep the brush strokes loose and juicy. Fruit should be juicy, right?

I was also happy to get a painting finished after fighting a broken fire sprinkler pipe all of this week. Life if full of challenges, but thanks to some new friends and old friend, we have a repaired and updated inverter system running in the house. Now I am learning all about water damage and how it is dried out!

Saturday, December 12, 2009


8" x 8" Oil on panel.

For those of you that don't know, the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness is an amazing international wilderness area along Minnesota and Canada. (I suppose it is now the BWCAW.) I've had some very memorable trips there in my life; it's been a while since I've paddled there. This painting's reference is from my friend Bruce's trip this last summer.

I recommend planning a trip when you can (and plan to take mosquito repellent; it is still worth it!)

Friday, December 11, 2009

Two Apples

Continuing the series on cropped fruit pairs, I decided to include a work in progress shot along the way. These two apples are lit from the left side in my favorite shadow box staging. It provides a nice sharp contrast and an interesting sinewy "S" shaped shadow. I was careful with the composition to avoid tangents and keep the focal points in strong locations to move the eye around in the painting.

Here is the work in progress:

And here is the final painting:

12" x 12" Oil on canvas.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Two Oranges

12" x 12" Oil on Canvas.
$100 - Shipping to US included.

Here's another in a series of fruit "crops". I liked the closeup of the two peaches so much I am going to continue in a series. These oranges had nice color. The green fade on the stem end of one makes a nice effect.

I was busy while I was away from the easel, but it is good to be back.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Bert at Frisbee Nationals

(Click for a larger view.)
24" x 24" Acrylic on board.
Not for sale.

This is a painting I did for my daughter's birthday. The reference is from the finals of the UPA nationals in 2009. Her team is Element playing against the "skirts". Unfortunately, they came up short to secure second place in the tournament.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Dragon Boat Painting

Cat's Dragon Boat Painting is finished. Thanks to Brian McElaney for permission to paint from his photo. I used the reference after rotating and cropping it some. The drawing is straight from the photo with some details obviously omitted and simplified. I exaggerated the brightest parts of the photo to be yellow sunshine.

(Click for a larger view.)
48" x 24" Oil on linen.
In a private collection.

Here is a time lapse of the work in progress:

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


11" x 14" Oil on mounted linen.
$100 - Shipping to US included.

This is for the current Different Strokes challenge. My procrastination is in full force with this completed on the last day possible! The thing I liked the most about this painting was leaving out the M in Macys.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Laser Level

Some lines really should look straight. Vermeer would have used a string attached to a couple of pins and I thought about that technique. But since I have a laser level, I used it. I'm sure he would have used one too if he had it handy. This really helped even up quite a hump in the middle of the boat.

Thursday, October 22, 2009


(Click for a larger view.)

My last painting session started out with a scraping session. Not with a household paint scraper, but with a painting knife. I wasn't happy with the yellow and orange shirts being so much more rough than the rest of the canvas. I wasn't sure about this since I actually prefer an interesting and built up paint layer. Still, here is a view of the scraped part of the painting. If you look closely, you can see the linen weave in spots. Overall, the area still has about the same color, but it is much flatter. I also got to scrape back a couple of faces I was not too happy with. I would be interested in comments on whether I should have scraped this back or should I move ahead with making the rest of the painting thick and built up.

I will come back and repaint there area later. I am also updating the In Progress post below.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Two Peaches

(Click for a larger view.)
12" x 12" Oil on canvas.

I have been spending much of my painting time on the large Dragon Boat painting.(See the updated post below.) I am sticking to working on it during daylight, so I found time the last two evenings to paint this vibrant still life. I wanted to play with some unconventional cropping and close up detail. I carefully set this up to avoid symmetry within the square format. The two day process let the underpainting dry some so that I could build a little transparent glazing.

I also painted the sides of the deep gallery wrap canvas dark, so this is ready to hang without a frame.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Saturday Plein Air and the Boat

10" x 8" Oil on mounted canvas.

I decided to shake the rust off of my plein air setup today after working on the Dragon Boat painting for a while. I got down to the creek and had everything balanced on a couple of rocks to get an interesting view. Then I realized I forgot to bring any paper towel or wiping rags! I didn't want to tramp back to the house, so I painted this with quite a handicap. I resorted to using only the knives, wiping them on the palette. I think my next expedition will be better.

I am still updating the previous "in progress" post for the Dragon Boat painting, but here is a bigger detail of the end on which I have been working.

(Click for a big version of the detail.)

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Dragon Boat - Work in Progress

"Work in progress" can be a bit like watching sausage being made. You may find it interesting, but you won't appreciate the result as much in the end. Yet, I do want to share this, so if you are not squeamish, read on:

(Click for a larger view.)

This is after a session of block in work.

Comparing to the study, you can see where the yellow and pink bands will provide a contrasting under-painting that is not a direct complement. I'm not really using a split complementary palette in those areas, but the color jump is about the same. Uh, the bottom line is that I liked how the underlying contrasts turned out in the study, so I am doing that again.

For all of the bright shirts and tank tops, I am following the "Cape Cod School" approach. I'm aiming at getting the pure color masses right at this point. The end goal is to create a bright shimmering impression out of pieces of pure color.

After the second session, the dark background is beginning to set off the figures more. The next step will be to decide on the right underpainting colors for the highlighted fleshtones and boat. I am not in too much of a hurry to work in the water at this point.

(Click for a larger view.)

And after the 3rd session:

The next session focused mostly on the yellow and orange shirts. Lots of broken color here. I am trying to get the shadow and light to read correctly and show form. I would like to get this done in fewer stokes perhaps. The paint surface is getting complicated (do you like a Monet grainstack or cathedral?).

(Click for a larger view.)

Results of the next session simplified the yellow shirt and brought the left side of the boat closer to completion.

(Click for a larger view.)

Another session brings the left side even closer. I like how the gloves and hat turned out. I also worked on the blond hair again.

(Click for a larger view.)

This update brings quite a bit of change. The right side gets the attention this time, plus I started some color notes in the water. Finally, I started to scumble the final color on the boat side at the left.

Next I worked on a couple of random hands that are not done. I was musing about how to handle Cat's back. I knew it would be a little more detailed since it will be a focal point in a busy painting. I just slipped into painting it to see how some glazing would look over what was already there. I just kept working and fairly far done.

After painting some rippling muscles, I went back to painting some hands, hair, and cloth folds. The changes are getting less dramatic at this point.

The next sessions involved scraping back some of the painting and continuing with Cat's head, arms, and back. I discovered a missing arm that I have to add to the painting. Can you spot it? BTW, there are two and a head missing in the study, so it can still look good with some "minor" mistakes.

Then I worked on the rail and side of the boat. It needed quite a bit of straightening. Then the next session I added some glazing to the side over the top of the blue underpainting. The effect worked nicely when viewed up close or from a distance.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Dragon Boat - Drawing

It's 4 ft by 2 ft. It surprises me that is doesn't seem too big. I guess it is because there is a lot of detail in the photo from which I am working. I will have to concentrate on keeping the tightness (detail) out in favor of movement and the handling of the edges that I want.

If I wasn't sick today, I would have dove into the blocking in phase. I'll work on my procrastination tomorrow...

Monday, September 21, 2009

Delicate Arch

24" x 18" Acrylic on panel.
(Click the picture for more detail.)

I completed the Delicate Arch painting. I like the dynamic of including the small figure. When you notice it, it really draws your eye away from the arch and keeps the composition from being static. I liked this viewpoint of the arch. That morning the hikers were just arriving at the arch. We had hiked a shorter distance to a viewpoint across a canyon. I have a lot more material from this year's National Parks tour.

Friday, September 04, 2009

Delicate Arch - Work in Progress

24" x 18" Acrylic on Board

Here is an update on what is on my easel. This one is Acrylic which is a little departure for me. Last week, I painted a scene on location in Arches National Park with Acrylics with disastrous results. The paint dried out like a hair dryer was blowing on it (that was about what it was.) Here in the studio they work much better.

I like this start, but have some more work to do. I could possibly use this as an underpainting for oils, but will probably just stick with only Acrylic.

Sunday, August 16, 2009


(Click for a larger view.)
8" x 8" Oil on panel.

Axel is Cindy's Dog. He likes playing ball and resting in the shade on a sunny day. You may have guessed he is named after Eddy's kid. I have met both Axel's are they are good company.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


(Click for a larger view.)
11" x 14" Oil on mounted linen.

Here's another portrait of my wife. I think the eyes still need some work and I may tone the skin with some glazing after some drying time. I liked the smile and look in the eyes from my reference, so that is what I am trying to capture. I also am missing her while she is traveling.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Dragon Boat Study

(Click for a larger view.)
6" x 12" Oil on mounted canvas.
In the collection of Marilyn Drew.

This is a study for a possible larger painting of a Dragon Boat. It's from a photo of a practice session with Cat Dailey's team. They are preparing for the World Championship if I understand it correctly.

Friday, August 07, 2009

Ultimate Finals

8" x 8" Oil on panel.

This is a study for a larger project. The reference was a photo of my daughter in the Ultimate Nationals. I think I like the crop and the blur on the other player. In a larger format and more time, I will be able to better capture the "Beaker" face she is making.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

A Street of San Francisco

(Click for a larger view.)
11" x 14" Oil on mounted linen.
$100 - shipping to US included.

My mom loved The Streets of San Francisco starring Karl Malden. Here is just one street of San Francisco painted from a Different Strokes image. I am tempted to go back into this painting and add the white car from Bullit or am I confused with Vanishing Point? Oh, it all blurs together into the image of a car catching air over a San Francisco cross street.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

California Highlands on the Dusy Ershim Trail

(Click for a larger view.)
6" x 4" Oil on panel.

This is a view along the Dusy Ershim Trail. The study was painted from a photo my son took while he was on a 4-wheel adventure along the trail. The trail is a difficult and epic trip in the Sierra above Clovis, California. While viewing his travel pics, I was struck by the color of the sky, trees, and water that came through in his photo.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009


(Click for a larger image.)
14" x 11" Oil on mounted linen.

This painting is from a Different Strokes reference. I struggled with this one, scraping off that little face about 7 times. Working on the boat and reflection was fun and the result looks better in person even though I have updated the photo for the blog.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The South Downs

(Click for a larger view.)

10" x 8" Oil on panel.
In Sir Tony's collection.

This is a locally famous view from Devil's Dyke in the South Downs. It was painted from a travel shot from my wife's recent trip to England.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Two Cherries

6" x 6" Oil on mounted linen.
$50 - Shipping to US included.

Series paintings are a great tradition started by the Impressionists. Here are two Bing Cherries from the roadside stand in Sky Valley.

Friday, June 26, 2009

One Cherry

6" x 6" Oil on mounted linen.
$50 - Shipping to US included.

The seasons roll around and it is time for fresh fruit at the roadside stands again. Bing cherries are available just like Bing search engines.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Pennsylvania Farmland

14" x 11" Oil on mounted linen.
$100 - Shipping to US included.

This painting is from the current Different Strokes challenge. It is some prime Pennsylvania farmland. The image was black and white so all of the color here is imagined. The original is here.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Space Needle

16" x 20" Oil on panel.
$165 - Shipping to US included.

The Space Needle is THE symbol of Seattle. It always grabs my attention when we are near downtown. This is the view from Tom's house one evening. I love those special nights when they fly the restaurant around the city. It is spectacular as it zips around the skyline and the sound. I wish I could afford the tickets for one of those nights; they come dear.

I painted this from a reference shot of it coming back in for a landing.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Washington State Ferry Sunset

14" x 11" Oil on panel.
In a private collection,
Clarkston, Washington.

Ferries ply some beautiful waters in the Puget Sound. The mountains of the Olympic peninsula give a hazy backdrop to this ferry moving toward Bremerton and the sunset. This sky is just barely exaggerated from the kind of stunning sunsets we can sometimes get here.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

New York City

11" x 14" Oil on mounted linen.
$100 - shipping to US included.

I had been working on(struggling with) another cityscape of Seattle. Thank goodness the Different Strokes challenge gets me to post on a schedule. This is another of Karin's reference shots from New York City.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Statue of Diana

11" x 14" Oil on mounted linen.
$100 - Shipping to US included.

The current Different Stokes challenge done at the last minute, as usual. I'm such a procrastinator. I was tempted to push the color, but I guess I overcame the temptation somewhere along the way.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Waterfall near Old Cascade Highway

6" x 4" Oil on mounted canvas.

I went on a bike ride up toward the pass yesterday. As I rode along Old Cascade Highway, I found a big waterfall I didn't know was there. It "cascades" down between huge boulders splitting into two arms. I snapped a couple of pictures precariously perched on a downstream rock. When I got home, I was exhausted, but painted this small study of the falls.

One objective of the study was to decide whether to include the bleached tree trunk that spans the top of the waterfall. It is there, but since it disappears into the foliage on the near side,it might appear to hang in the air in an unnatural way. It also splits the dark negative space above the top of the falls.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Seattle Waterfront

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

Traveling the ferry system in the Puget Sound is still fun for me as a 9 year transplant to the area. I had some stunning views coming in one recent afternoon. The sun was giving brilliant reflections and the colors were bright with the sunset behind us. This view is the waterfront with the big Ivars restaurant as the centerpiece.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Fall on Wenatchee River

16" x 20" Oil on mounted canvas.

I started this painting last fall after a trip around the Cascade Loop. The twisting road travels along the river in a sharp valley just before it gets to Leavenworth. The underpainting has been patiently waiting to be finished for quite a while.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Beach Family Triptych

Oil on linen triptych.
4 1/2" x 11" each.
$150 - Shipping to US included.

This family at the beach is the current Different Strokes Challenge. I was glad to get some time after a trip to complete these. The poses seemed to isolate the individuals, so I decided to separate them into a triptych. They are together at the beach, yet isolated. I also really enjoyed how elongated the reflections were in the reference.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


8" x 6" Oil on mounted canvas.

The latest Karin Jurick challenge is a picture of Sushi. Yum. This makes me think of Jeff Hayes painting Sushi. The source picture was fun to paint. The three objects and their overlap makes a nice strong composition.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Lemon Study

5" x 5" Oil on mounted canvas.

I plan to do a larger Lemon along the lines of the cut open apple. However, I wanted to warm up with a study because I know the difficulty of getting orange and lemon skin to look how I envision. So, here is a study; I like how it turned out, but may change the technique somewhat for the larger painting. I included a couple of the water droplets on the fruit and that was a fun addition.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Apple Star

12" x 12" Oil on canvas.
$100 - shipping to US included.

A few weeks ago my wife showed me the star that can be seen when you cut an apple in two horizontally. Last night I got around to executing a painting of it. The pattern it makes if fascinatingly like a sand dollar. At first I was disappointed that I only caught two seeds with my cut this time, but it gives the apple some "eyes" that lend personality.

This painting is on one of the "deep dish" canvases that will not need framing.