Thursday, December 15, 2011


10" x 10" Oil on Gallery Wrap Canvas
On auction at DPW.

Over Thanksgiving, I visited the migratory bird sanctuary in the bluff country along the Mississippi in southern Minnesota. The day was cold but bright, giving the water nice blue tones. Most of the birds were fairly sedate or feeding, but sometimes there was some action I could catch. The white adults are just the color you would imagine for a swan.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011


7" x 5" Oil on panel.

I actually have been saving this cork for a while so that I could paint it. It was the most wickedly split cork I have seen that was still able to come out of the bottle in close to one piece. It also had a contrasting pink interior color. Pairing it with a "shiny thing" made it fun to paint.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Nutcracker Impression

8" x 10" Oil on linen.

In the Christmas spirit, I decided to worth this my red nutcracker. The goal here was to work on edges to keep the result "loose". I started with blocking in masses of color and then added detail later. I want to continue in this direction to intentionally reduce tightness/detail. I like the lost edges which give the painting a changing character from different distances.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Espresso and Lipstick

7" x 5" Oil on panel.

Subdued color with that hint that she has taken some sips.

Thursday, December 08, 2011

English Breakfast Tea

7" x 5" Oil on panel.

Twinning's English Breakfast tea has great classic packaging. This little painting gave me a chance to play with reflections including the slight red glow on the cloth. I also liked restraining the detail. It is easy to go too far.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Garlic and Cruet

10" x 8" Oil on panel

Bright highlights shine against a dim background. The papery garlic skin glows in the shadows.

Monday, December 05, 2011

Acorn Squash and Vase

7" x 5" Oil on panel.

This is a nicely mottled squash that sits with my new small vase.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Shoe Yin Yang

12" x 12" Oil on Canvas.

For my Shoe Challenge painting, I thought I would create a Yin Yang symbol representing the business/formal vs. pleasure/informal sides of life. It was fun to paint. After I was finished I looked around and realized the white side is more commonly on the left.

(Sorry for the glare, I may retake the picture later.)

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Last Light, near Tumwater Canyon

14" x 11" Oil on Linen

The last light of the day sent a shadow across the lower half of this stand of trees. The light slants down from behind the mountain. This painting is from the valley between Tumwater Canyon and Stevens Pass.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Mist Rising, Sky Valley

10" x 8" Oil on Panel
On Auction at DPW

As the sun lit the new layer of snow, a mist rose up from the valley.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Blue Bird Day

10" x 8" Oil on pumice panel.
On Auction at DPW

Saturday was opening day for Stevens Pass. It must have been a great opening day with clear skies and un-tracked snow. Skiers call it "Blue Bird."

The sky was so nice that a sun dog came out to play. The tree had to duck!

(It is probably more rightly called a sun halo.)

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Aspen Glory

11" x 14" Oil on linen.

Just past peak color, with the afternoon sun filtering through thin clouds, the aspen groves glow with golden glory. 

Just above Tumwater Canyon on Highway 2...

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Crooked Aspen

8" x 10" Oil on Linen.
On Auction at DPW.

The fall color in the Seattle area has been outstanding this year. On our nice drive over to Leavenworth, we spotted a beautiful grove of Aspen mixed with some evergreens. One of the younger trees had an amazing crooked shape alongside all of the straight ones.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Vincent's Christmas Tree

8" x 10" Oil on Linen.
On auction at DPW.

It feels almost too early to think about Christmas, but the Holiday Season is already starting. Scary Starry Night made me think of what a Van Gogh Christmas Tree would look like. The technique of leaving juicy strokes with varied color is fun.I think this will make a nice decoration for the coming season.

Monday, November 14, 2011

German Restaurant

11" x 14" Oil on Linen

Even though I am no fan of smoking, I zeroed in on this couple when looking at the DPW Challenge for painting part of a busy scene. I tried to keep the background simple and wish I had held back from detail overall. Mid-sized figures like this are indeed a challenge.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Chris at the Finish #2

12" x 12" Oil on Canvas.

Here is a second complete study of Chris and Jono in the chute with Chris Horner. They really were this close and the crowd along both sides is "crowding in" more. Now comes the time to choose the final format and what combination of the studies is a good plan for a larger painting.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Or Tea

9" x 12" Oil on Linen.

This is, of course, a matching still life for the Coffee and Cup painting from a few days ago. This small, heavy, Asian tea pot has a nice subdued copper color that I enjoyed painting. I have wanted to work it into a painting since I received it as a gift from my daughter. It will be interesting to see how these paintings look together once they have the same sheen. I may have to do some more touch up to harmonize them; I already did some to the Coffee pot painting tonight.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Square Study

Approx 5" x 5"
(Not for sale.)

This small square study shows another idea for Chris, Jono, and Chris in the chute. I think the project will continue with a larger version in this format. The goal is to give more of the feeling of the crowd on both sides.

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Coffee and Cup

9" x 12" Oil on Linen.

This is the first of a planned pair of still life paintings. The unconventional composition choice to slice the cup is part of the plan for the other painting. When the other painting is done, I can see that there might be some revision for this one.

(Sorry for the glare on the dark wet paint.)

Friday, November 04, 2011

Chris at the Finish

18" x 12" Oil on linen.

This is a view of Chris Horner coming down the finishing "chute" at this year's Solvang Time Trial Stage of the Amgen Tour of California. The motorcycle should really not be here, but sometimes you miss the deviation turn. Oops! It almost looks like they are trying to beat the eventual winner to the finish line.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Do you like my party hat?

9" x 12" Oil on linen.

My favorite book for several years was Go, Dog. Go! (well, at least when I was a child.) So when I pulled these two pears out to set them up for a still life, "Do you like my party hat?" came to mind. The bright Bartlett has an outrageous hat and the brown pear seems somewhat forlorn. The result does feel like a (mismatched?) couple arriving at a party.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Scary Starry Night

14" x 11" Oil on mounted canvas.

For Halloween and the current DPW Challenge, I produced a mashup of a jack o lantern and Van Gogh's Starry Night. I used Carol Marine's cool carved pumpkin imagining it lit up from inside.

Yes, I was thinking about Don McLean's song when I titled the painting!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Pear and Knife

9" x 12" Oil on mounted linen.

It is just past harvest time in the orchards over the pass from us. We visited a couple of stands and bought about 100 lbs of fruit. Most is now canned applesauce, but I also got a few pears for painting subjects. I wanted to show how small this bright red pear is, so I posed it with a silver butter knife. It is always fun to paint a "shiny thing"!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Jens About to Win

20" x 30" Oil on linen on panel.

In a Private collection.
Checking Behind is a favorite of my paintings for me, so this summer I have been working on a larger revisit to the same subject. Only this time, I put a Leopard Trek Jersey on the rider to update it for 2011. I like to think that this is Jens Voigt about to win after a daring breakaway.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Chris and Tod

8" x 10" Oil on Linen on Panel

Chris Horner on his attack up Sierra Road in this year's Amgen Tour of California. This painting is based on a Jono Devich photo (thanks!) with a lot of editing. The whole scene includes Alex & Casey, Levi, and two more motos further in the background. This was the attack that won the race on a beautiful and hectic day climbing the mountains overlooking San Jose.

In this composition, I wanted to have the focus balanced between the camera lens and Chris' figure. I also wanted to capture the "likeness" of Tod on the moto. If I was to revisit this, I would give the scene more space to breathe inside the edges of the painting. I also would want to downplay all of the details away from the camera lens. I really enjoy how the cool shadow on the bright pavement looks and want to repeat that success.

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

The Salute - Study

8" x 10" Oil on linen.

I am struggling to get on track with my painting. This one turned out more detailed than I planned. I like the image of the victory salute and the reaction of second place. However, I would like to capture it much more abstract and with greater contrast. If I work on this further, I want it to be more separate from this specific sprint finish.

Thanks to Casey Gibson and Frank Pipp for the inspiration. Casey captured the salute at the end of Stage 2.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Burning the Candle at Both Ends

(Click on the photo for a larger view.)
30" x 24" Oil on linen.
Contact me for purchase information.

There is some debate on the meaning of the phrase "burning the candle at both ends". I have thought that it originated from working late and early, so that you had to use the candle at both ends of the day. It may actually be the more literal waste of burning both ends of a candle that lies at the heart of the imagery of this painting. It is clearly traced back to the 17th-century French the expression was "brusler la chandelle par lex deux bouts". I don't really think it changes the impact of the visual image of the meaning.

In this composition, I wanted to create a definite unease with the impossible balance of the candle. I felt it was also important to avoid the static feeling that true symmetry would provide. If you take the meaning of the phrase to be "at both ends of the day", then the right is the nighttime where we are more likely to burn our resources. It may not show as much in the photo, but I feel the contrast gives the flames a "searing" brightness.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


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

This week's DPW Challenge is a classic Zippo lighter painted with a limited palette. Mike Naples supplied the picture and limited the palette to Burnt Sienna, Ultramarine Blue, and Titanium White. It was a fitting palette for the picture and wasn't too difficult to match the colors of the photo. In an area of reddish purple, I used broken color because I found the two colors mixed together tended to be too gray. I really enjoyed the challenge and the limit placed on it.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Covered Tea Cup

10" x 10" Oil on panel.

The second DPW Challenge was to paint a series of 10 minute studies. I know that Carol Marine uses this in her classes and it is powerful. I found that I usually jumped when my egg timer rang. I must admit that I had to plant a few extra strokes as the timer stopped its ticking after ringing.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Imperial Tail Light

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

Carol Marine (an Austin Tx artist that I follow) has started up a challenge painting site and I thought I would join in on the fun. This is along the lines of the Different Strokes blog and I find this sort of thing a good motivator to keep me posting paintings. I have been consumed with woodworking, so this will help me find some balance in my endeavors.

Starting from the top, the first challenge was this Imperial car. I really liked the shiny strange tail light, so I cropped and focused on it. I had to imagine a little more glow for my taste. You can visit this challenge on the DPW Challenge site here.

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Ask Me

8" x 10" Acrylic on linen.
Click to Bid

Here are some more Sweetheart candies I painted a few days ago. You can manage to say a few different things with them.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Be Mine

5" x 7" Acrylic on linen

These candies were fun when I was a kid. I fondly remembered them as I grabbed a box. When I spilled them out to paint them, I also remembered them having much better printing! The box I have is batting less than .500 on successful printing.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Colorful Glass Vases

10" x 8" Oil on linen.

This is a close crop of a pair of glass vases and a stopper. I picked up these two complementary colored vases at Goodwill when we dropped off some goods. I am thinking about expanding this to a larger painting as I liked how the colors work with the facets on the stopper.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Orange and Mango

7" x 5" Oil on linen.

Happy New Year! It is a slow start to the new year in the studio. Other projects have consumed my time, but here is a little warm up sketch.

The mangoes were a bust on the eating aspect, but they are very pretty. I think I would like this setup painted bigger and with a very wide format. The partially peeled orange is a popular subject on the interwebs and I can see why. The texture and variation are interesting and capturing the orange color is also a surprising challenge.