Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Old Faithful

24" x 18" Oil on panel.
$395 - Shipping to US included.

This one has been on my easel for a while. It was nice to get it completed and hopefully I can get in a New Year's (Resolution) swing. The holidays, woodworking, and a sore back have cut into my painting productivity.

Old Faithful truly is amazing when you consider how long you have to anxiously wait for other geysers to deliver in the same basin. I captured it from the side with the crowd. I thought it was a perfect day with a deep blue sky and the wind blowing the sheets of water and steam very nicely.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Yosemite Falls in Spring

18" x 24" Oil on panel.
(Click for a larger view.)
$395 - Shipping to US included.

Yosemite valley in May is awesomely great. It's before the summer rush of people (it's still busy)and the waterfalls are at their peak. I fondly remember the short visit to the valley when I took the photo reference for this painting and I hope to be back next year.

The valley has great views wherever you turn, so there is a lot of classic material. I chose to have the upper falls just off center and the lower falls just inside the composition. The clear blue sky on that day just added to the blueness in the shadows vs the warmth on the rocks. I included the cars and foreground meadow to give a sense of scale. I may also investigate some cropped versions and larger formats of this view.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Andy Schleck #2

18" x 24" Oil on panel

Another Andy Schleck painting. This time I kept details at bay and worked on top of an abstract blue and yellow background. Unfortunately, the photo of the painting has some glare in it.

Friday, November 05, 2010

Nice Doggy

11" x 14" Oil on linen.
In a private collection
Lynnwood, Wa

Victor is a very docile dog. He doesn't really get bothered by a good pat (Bonk!) on the head. Here Carmen is giving him a pat goodbye. Compare this to Bye Bye Victor where Carmen is reacting to a slight scolding for being a little rough. I enjoyed visiting this set of reference photos again. I wanted to capture the moment and motion of that vigorous pat. The amount of details involved quite a bit of time.

Compositionally, there are a lot of interesting points to draw your eye. The sharpest contrasts and the natural focal point of a face are toward the top, but the pyramid of the figures anchors the painting. Her swinging hand is near the center of the picture, but not quite; the motion helps your eye to Victor's head. I liked playing up the relative motion of her arms and the tip-toe on her left foot that she has from the good back-swing.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

You can lean on me - Pears

14" x 11" Oil on panel.
$125 - Shipping to US included.

These pears were approaching ripeness, so they needed to get painted to memorialize their great blushing color. I arrived at a nice setup where one is leaning on the shoulder of the other. (Maybe not a new motif, but I like how my take on it turned out this time.)

Compositionally, the highlights on the fruit are the focal points with a nice warm shadow acting as a third character as you eye reads the painting left to right. The format in the larger version gives some space, but the tops of the pears cross into the upper half of the painting. I was careful not to place anything important right on a centerline. Unfortunately the darker paints have a bit of glare in these photos, so the painting looks even better in person.

The smaller version is a "little buddy" that I painted first as a warm up study to the larger painting. Here it is with the larger painting to compare the sizes.

Monday, November 01, 2010

Christmas Cactus Bloom

7" x 5" Oil on canvas.

Our Christmas cactus is bursting with flowers this year, so I could not ignore painting a study of its blooms. I really like the progression of the buds to the fully expanded flower. I'm not sure why it has so many more blooms, but with one on every branch this year it is going to be really laden.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Bye Bye Victor

11" x 14" Oil on linen.

Our dog Victor moved to Texas and he now lives with Ryan and Kristen. Here he is saying goodbye on his last day in the Seattle area. No more dogsitting visits to the Schallers.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Climber

18" x 24" Oil on panel.
$350 - Shipping extra.

Bursting out into bright sunshine, the climber looks up the road.

I really like the strong contrast in the reference shot from the Tour of California. I think this one makes a good complement to Checking Behind. This is a further adaptation of a Jonathan Devich photo from the last stage of the Tour of California. (Thanks, Jono.) I'm thinking these may be interesting even more abstract.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Skykomish River above Eagle Falls

10" x 8" Oil on panel.

Very early this year, I executed a painting of the Skykomish river just past Eagle Falls. It captured the red branches of bare bushes above the deep green river. This painting is of the stretch of river just a little ways up the road. There is a break in the trees along highway 2 that let me see these brilliant yellow bushes in the riverbed.

With this study, I was really looking to work on capturing the stunning color and contrast of the bushes, blue shadows, and bright gravel of the riverbed. The composition is too busy, but I think there may be a larger painting lurking here. I would like to better capture the rapids in the background and maybe leave out the still water in the foreground.

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Seattle Skyline

14" x 11" Oil on mounted linen.

Afternoon sun lighting up the Seattle skyline. This is the view from the Bainbridge ferry pulling into Seattle. I loved how this glass dome stood out from all of the other buildings. This is one of those paintings that merges together nicely from across the room.

Friday, October 08, 2010

Tour of California Stage 8

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

With this painting, I have completed one of each Stage of the Tour of California. It was fun looking back at the race. Jono captured the break on the climb as they were "breaking" out into the sun. I really liked the contrast that allowed me to play up the highlights on the riders arms and legs.

It was a great day at the tour. The weather was beautiful and there was still a chance for changes in the overall. The course was twisty on the climb and descent, so it was a nice motorcycle riding day too. The crowd was also huge and active in places. I still wonder if Radio Shack played their cards right. It seems like Horner could have upset for the win if Levi had not attacked behind when Rogers was isolated.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Red Bell Pepper

5" x 7" Oil on panel.

I'm considering trying the Engine 2 Diet, so my last grocery trip included lots of colorful fruits and vegetables. When I got the peppers home, I resolved to paint one since they have such strong color. They are very bright red with a wonderfully complementary colored stem. It was also fun to paint a small painting with dramatic contrast.

I'm listing this on eBay with a low starting bid.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Andy Schleck

18" x 24" Oil on panel
$400 - plus shipping cost.

Andy Schleck was one of the animators for the big Stage 6 day at the Tour of California this year. He was still in the Luxembourg National Champion jersey in May, so he wasn't as easy to spot at the Tour de France when he was back in the normal Saxo Bank kit. In person, it is striking how thin he is; this climber is not about to carry weight in his upper body.

In this painting, I tried to capture the bright sun on the pavement by layering white over a blue underpainting. It surprisingly took several days to fill in the details on this one; my original plan was to go more abstract, but I got carried away toward realism.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Bryce Canyon Amphitheater

14" x 11" Oil on panel.

Sometimes painting is troublesome. Bryce Canyon Amphitheater was inspiring in person with impressive colors at sunrise, but I feel that it might work better as a photograph rather than a painting. Peering into the canyon results in a graphical composition without a very strong form. I worked on this study over two sessions, but am unsure whether I want to work it further or use it as a study for a larger piece.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Tour of California Stage 7

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

Stage 7 was the downtown LA time trial. This is the view from the back side of the start ramp with the World Champ about to start (thanks to Jonathan Devich.) Spartacus is a class act on the time trial bike. Those rainbow stripes are a great tradition in the sport.

I remember it as a warm day in the sun checking bikes for UCI compliance. It might not be a fun job and the rules are kind of crazy, but it is important to ensure all of the riders are treated equally. It is also an interesting place to see each rider and their bike up close.

Saturday, September 11, 2010


24" Square Oil on panel

This should be close to finished. As I added details, I wanted to avoid them toward the outside edges. I also played up the motion blur in appropriate places.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Sundodger Progress

24" Square

Adding details. I am trying to get the shapes correct and develop the color I want with the details I am adding. The white jersey is starting to look real and I am much happier with the shape of Lefty's head. There is still some work to do on the shape and contrast on his shorts. With his left arm and the other player, I am starting to get the blur where I want it. I am definitely going to have to work on edges and limiting the details that are getting too "tight" for my taste.

Sunday, September 05, 2010

Sundodger Background

2 foot square.

Here is the background block=in. Saturated in the front and more neutral and lighter in value into the distance.

Friday, September 03, 2010

Sundodger Start

24" square.

On the big easel...

This is the start for a "companion piece" to Bert's Frisbee painting. I like the start since I managed to lay it in without any grid lines or other drawing crutches. I think he needs a little more neck, however.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Dawn Treader At Dawn - Finished?

24" x 18" Oil on panel.

Coming back from vacation, I worked on the painting that was still on my easel. I changed some values all over the painting. I mainly lightened up the water and worked on the reflection of the sun back in the rippled water. I also worked some details in the boat, but stopped before I got too far past a suggestion. I think this is probably done. It has a nice punch with such a rainbow of colors. I left the last few strokes at the bottom of the sun reflection alone, since they captured how I remember Impression Sunrise. (It's interesting that my memory of the painting makes it more vivid; an interesting little "exhibit" on the painting is here.)

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Dawn Treader At Dawn

The boat sketched:

The initial plan with paint. I left room for the Sun and its reflection to come.

Most of the panel is covered now.

Friday, August 06, 2010

Tour of California Stage 6

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

Stage 6 of the Tour of California was the "Queen Stage" of the race. That means it was the longest and hardest day of the race. The route profile was jagged with a lot of climbing up to Big Bear Ski Resort. While the sprinters and tired riders struggled with the time cut, the stars went into the breakaway. For this painting, I used a shot from Casey Gibson's coverage with Andy Schleck and George Hincapie; then I edited out the other two riders in the view.

It was a blazing hot day until we got up to altitude. The sunshine made the pavement as bright as in this painting. We had great twisty climbs and wide open descents. Late in the stage, George made his bid along the highway overlooking the LA basin, but in the end a fairly big group came to the finish together.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Tour of California Stage 5

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

Peter Sagan was the young star of the tour. This was his first score, but he had been close already. The real surprise came with his win the next day. I had to choose between this shot that shows the blinding sunshine of the day and one of his celebratory wheelies. He is still a kid (thus the white young rider leader jersey.)

From my point of view, I remember this as a hot day. Nice riding roads and we got to zip between the field and the break a couple of times. The finish was just plain hot, but the crowd was good and appreciated the race coming to Bakersfield.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Tour of California Stage 4

10" x 8" Oil on panel.

This view from Stage 4 catches the riders passing Jonathan Devich's camera. The shot captures a nice landscape with the road leading into the picture and curving into the distance. I am somewhat interested in seeing this as a larger landscape, but a detailed rendering of the riders would take quite a while. This painting departs from the others in the series since it doesn't crop the reference scene very much at all.

Stage 4 of the tour covered familiar roads with a nice variation. The start climbed out of San Jose on Sierra Road as in past years. The ride along the ridges on Calaveras Road is a lot of fun on a motorcycle. It is twisty without being overly technical since it is largely level. The stage continued down a different canyon than previous years on its way to Modesto. It seemed like we descended for more than on hour. We really got to work as the radio repeater was spotty in the canyon. It was a beautiful day and a challenge.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Tour of California Stage 3

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

Stage 3 of the 2010 ATOC was just as decisive as expected. It ended with the final podium crossing the finish line together. This painting is from a crop of a Jonathan Devich photo of Levi and DZ. I was after capturing the intense sunshine especially through the shadow on the pavement. Most of the finish photos of the stage are overexposed from the bright pavement and capture a great moment where DZ almost loses to a bike throw. I most remember the moist rain forest climbs and California coastlines from that day, so there are a lot of choices to sum up the stage.

Even though we had wet pavement under the trees the weather was pleasant for stage 3. We had a pretty strange start with Garmin holding up the ending of the neutral section by changing bikes a couple of times. The race was finally stopped on the road to get things resolved. This was highly unusual and the Garmin mechanic actually pushed over a motoref bike while getting out of the team car! Justice was served through some fines and the fact that their delay caused the live coverage to end just before Zabriskie won the stage. Ironic Karma.

And yes, you may notice that I missed the Livestrong trim on Levi's left arm. I think I'll need to touch that up....:^)

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Tour of California Stage 2

10" x 8" Oil on panel.

With this painting from Stage 2, I worked to get this guy's likeness without getting to detailed (i.e. "tight"). There are a lot of photos of this guy until he dropped out; he seems to attract attention. He also seems to be keeping his glasses in his helmet a lot this year so we can see the expression on his lean face. This is a tight crop from a Jonathan Devich photo.

As the timeboard team, my wife and I prepared for a rainy day all decked out in motorcycle raingear. We stayed dry at the start on Stage 2, but we knew the rain was coming. It was a wet day on the moto, but not as uncomfortable as in previous years. We were between the breakaway and the main field with Mike Friedman at the top of the second to last climb (as he successfully clawed his way back.) Things came together fast on the last climb and we moved ahead to clear out of the way. We descended gingerly as we listened to the reports of crashes behind us. The riders were also decked out in rain gear that they mostly wore to the finish. As you can see in this painting, Lance is wearing several layers.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Tour of California Stage 1

8" x 10" Oil on panel.

While I was away from painting, I enjoyed working with friends at the Amgen Tour of California. I was lucky enough to be the timeboard driver this year. I thought I would work through a series of paintings based on the stages. Stage 1 gave us a beautiful day and ride from Nevada City to Sacramento. The script went according to plan with a breakaway that was caught. The field sprint ended with Mark Cavendish winning in his usual style.

Thanks to Casey Gibson for permission to use his photos as reference.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Balancing Rock #2

20" x 16" Oil on canvas.
$300 - Shipping to US included.

I really enjoyed Arches National Park last year. It is jam packed with strange and unlikely rock formations. Awe inspiring...and I like jam!

Here is a work in progress photo of the painting that I posted earlier. I enjoyed working on the variations in the sky. The second formation makes a natural balance in the composition with the side lighting.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Balancing Rock

(Click for a larger view.)
$100 - Shipping to US included.

12" x 12" Oil on deep gallery wrap canvas.

This is Balancing Rock in Arches National Park. I really like how the composition in the square format turned out. The balancing rock is in a strong position on the left third and is "balanced" by the small figures that relate the scale of the rock. I especially enjoy how I can barely see the people at the base from across the room.

Arches is an amazing place and I enjoy revisiting the photos I took while there last year. Balancing Rock looks even more precarious from other angles.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Dot's Portrait

11" x 14" Oil on linen.

I revisited this portrait with some glazing to cut the deathly paleness.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Billster and Julia the Child

Whoa, a few weeks ago, Margo posted this beautiful family pic to Facebook and I thought it would be fun to paint. It took a while, but here's my take. The photograph still might be better, but I'm calling this version done as it has been on my easel for quite a while.

I took some in-progress shots along the way.

My first session was just establishing some water color and beach color. Then I moved on to the figures.

I finished sketching in the figures and boat without trying to be too tight and detailed for this size painting.

I finished up with darkening the distance after trying it lighter. I think the difference in light reflecting on the water is greater than the atmospheric lightening that I usually think of in landscape painting. The darker water also helped the boat and figures pop out more.

20" x 16" Oil on pumice panel.

Saturday, March 06, 2010

A Train at Mt Index

5" x 7" Oil on canvas study.

I am planning a larger painting to hang on the chimney over our wood stove. I have a nice big 30" x 40" canvas, so I am starting the process with some studies. The "client" says she wants a train in the painting. Mt Index is the most striking sight on our way into Seattle. This study is based on a little black and white photo in the recent history of Upper Skykomish Valley book.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Newspaper for the Descent

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

Helpful cycling fans have alway hung out at the top of big climbs to hand out newspapers. The racers grab them and stuff them up the front of their jerseys for warmth on the descent. It is a pure moment where the fan and racer are both appreciated; almost unique to cycling, I think.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The Bike Throw

(Click for a larger view.)
18" x 24" Oil on panel.
On auction at the Marymoor Velodrome Association Auction.

At the end of any bike race, there is often a sprint that can be won by the difference of throwing the bike forward or not. Thrusting the arms forward sends the front wheel over the line sooner and that is the point that counts.

This year Tom Boonen is in the Belgium National Champion jersey and he has a great bike throw even though it sometimes comes up short. Here I used my "artistic license" to put Tom's jersey ironically on someone else. (Tom is a bit taller and leaner...) Maybe we can imagine this is the next Eddy Merckx.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Skykomish River below Eagle Falls

(Click for a larger view.)
24" x 18" Oil on panel.
$300 - Shipping extra.

I really enjoy the RED of the bushes in Sky valley during the winter. I believe these are the same Scotch Brush that provide wonderful yellow color in spring. The section of river in this painting still holds some of the amazing green to teal color of the water from our mountain streams. This calmer part of the river is just below the tumult of Eagle Falls. You can see the rocky wall on the left here where the river is widening out.

Friday, February 05, 2010

Self Portrait

9" x 12" Oil on canvas.
Not for sale.

This is the first one of these I have done in paint. It looks kind of like me (at least in a mirror.) It may be a bit optimistic on the amount of gray in my hair.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Checking Behind

18" x 24" Oil on panel.
$350 - Shipping extra.

There is a moment in a heroic lone breakaway where the rider is in the home straight and just has to make sure he is not overtaken by surprise before he begins his celebration. That last check back over the shoulder is about to happen here. Next comes the victory salute at the line.

Thanks again to Jonathan Devich for permission to paint from his photos. This one is actually part of a slightly different moment than I am imagining. You can see it here.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

The Sprint

24" x 18" Oil on panel.
In a Private Collection

This is the moment that the final sprint kicks from one speed to the top speed as the riders make for the line. The Green Jersey is worn by the leader of the sprint competition in the Tour de France and is usually in the mix at the end of a flat stage.

This painting is part imagination, part photo reference from the generous Jonathan Devich to get realistic body shapes.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Digging In

12" x 24" Oil on panel
$290 (Framing and shipping extra.)

I painted this over the weekend. It's obviously another composition from the Dragon Boat photos. After the initial posting, I reworked the painting some to downplay some of the background details that were too prominent.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Lance in the Time Trial

10" x 8" Oil on panel

As a response for "do I paint cycling pictures", here is one. I would like to paint more, but am sensitive to copyrights, so I would welcome more shots where it was clear that I could use them for reference. I would like to find some sprint finish shots that I can use. When I am working at events, I never will get the chance to capture my own reference.

This is an imagining of what Lance may look like later this year in the TT. We haven't seen him in a RadioShack skinsuit yet, but this was adapted from a photo by Anita Ritenour from the Amgen Tour of California. Thanks for licensing your photos this way, Anita.

See the original photo reference here:

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Frothing Milk

"Grande Latte 180 degrees" (Well, you don't really want it 180 degrees, but asking for it gets you a real extra hot instead of the usual.)

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

I think this will be the last in the 12 inch square coffee series. I may make something bigger in the same theme.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Double Espresso

I usually go for a latte every morning, but I like this double espresso today.

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

Friday, January 08, 2010

Espresso Basket

Is this thing called an espresso basket? Here is the underpainting.

I realized this morning as I was photographing this that it is becoming an "old fashioned" item. You don't see them at Starbucks anymore and I know a lot of people who have automated machines where the only sign they see of this is the used "puck". That said, it was fun to paint a shiny thing as I work on my coffee theme.

(Click for a larger version.)
12" x 12" Oil on deep dish canvas.

UPDATE: It is called the basket.