Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Drawing. Angle and Perspective

Adrianne's Mischievous Self Portrait
I'm not sure why I came back to draw this reference photo. Some time ago I attempted to do a  watercolor of it, which turned into the "Green" painting ...

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Representational Watercolor Exercise.

December 25, 2011:
Merry Christmas to everyone.  This is the painting I am working on (almost finished) of Mt. Tabor Park in early November when the leaves had begun to fall.  I was inspired by some of the best realist watercolor artists of our time...and of course, Andrew Wyeth.

Mt. Tabor Park 6.5" X 9" Watercolor on Canson 140lb cold pressed paper.
Mt Tabor  (With less contrast in photo)
 As I have mentioned before, I used to shy away from landscapes because I lacked the skill and expertise to feel confident or motivated to do them.  Quite honestly, the idea of painting landscapes gave me a slight sense of foreboding tedium.  That is not to say that I didn't immensely appreciate fine landscape Art.  And that is not to say I didn't enjoy success when I did do landscapes.  The pull to draw and paint people was simply stronger, and because of that I spent much less time doing landscapes.  Sort of the chicken and egg question.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Fall Study

Fall Colors 6.75" X 5.5"  $20.00
Another small landscape. A study of the bright leaves on a sunny fall day.  (

Friday, December 9, 2011


"Technical skill is not critical to being authentic, although it may help to more easily say what you mean with your artwork. More importantly, I value being comfortable with line, composition and color. The formal elements of all artworks can be a huge distraction when a painter doesn't use them with intention and ease."  Casey Klahn.  Pastel artist and teacher.  
The above statement reflects my personal goal as a painter.  This has been my philosophy since I picked up the brushes again last October.  Shy away from no challenge.  Learn and build from each painting.  Focus is essential when facing a technical challenge. When I reach a level of comfort with my ability I can move forward with freedom and confidence.  No undertaking will be too daunting.

"Pursue some path, however narrow and crooked, in which you can walk with love and reverence."

Sunday, December 4, 2011

WB4 Reworked (Detail)

This is a closer look at the reworked "Woodstock Blvd. 4AM", (which I nicknamed WB4). I struggled with the neon sign for a bit. I wasn't exactly sure how to represent that glowing gas.  After several attempts, I decided to leave it a little loose so that it didn't overtake the painting. It's hard not to get hung up on detail sometimes.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Woodstock Painting Rework

Woodstock Blvd. 4AM.  Oil on Canvas 18"X14"   $75.00
This is how WB4 looked last week.  It dried even more dull than this.
I wasn't able to get a very good photograph of this painting and it's still drying.  But I wanted to post it because if I decide to work on it further, I wanted to see if the changes helped or hampered it.  This is my first oil in quite some time. I had to work indirectly from the photograph since my printer was not working.
"WB4" 18"X14" Oil on canvas. 75.00.  After it dried a little I was able to add some color.  I didn't want to worry about the sight lines or perspective as much as getting some depth and color.

12-04-11  I must have taken about 30 photos of this painting to finally get something close to representing the actual thing.  I haven't figured out yet how to photograph through the gloss of oil.  The camera also warps some of the outer lines of the piece. I will say that I was satisfied with the transformation from rough to ready.  A learning experience.  I  look forward to working with oil more because of the versatility it offers. If you want to buy this painting, please email me at

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

White Stag

White Stag Night  6.5"X9" watercolor  $25
I had some idea of making this composition work, but it never really happened. This started as a day scene.  When that didn't work I turned it into a night scene I did learn a few more things along the way however, and I always enjoy night scenes.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Reed Campus

I took the photo for this painting when I met Adrianne and Evan at Reed awhile back.  I always liked the look of this one.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Back Stairs

I've been wanting to paint this apartment for awhile.  I first noticed it one  late afternoon when the sun was casting intricate shadows of the stairs.  The contrast of the old whitewashed building made it a good subject.  The sky was a brilliant blue with only a few clouds when I took the photo. It sits right behind the art supply store on  SE Foster.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

White Stag

The sketch. I knew I didn't want to get too literal with this painting
My sense of nostalgia grows as I get older.  The memories of my youth get dimmer and I find old buildings that were vibrant and new when I was young now old and fading.  But it's not depressing to me. It's interesting how those old buildings tell a story.  How they have survived over the years.  If I were standing here 40 years ago, what would this look like to me?  This building is now leased office space.  Still useful, but not nearly what it was forty some years ago.

I started at the top and worked my way down. Usually I start with the focal point, but for some reason I was drawn to those ducts.

I wanted to convey the age of this building in this study. I ended up painting a little more loosely.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Hubcap Project.

I am in the process of creating a piece from an old hubcap.  This was sent to me by the organization  An Artist reclamation project  that encourages the use of recycled materials in art. They currently have over 700 hubcaps that have been done by artists from all over the country.  I first heard of it through an artist friend of mine Angela Blakely, who is doing a hubcap as well.   I am excited to start on this project, and I have the feeling it might open up a new avenue of expression. Or should I say re-open since most of my sculpture in college was done from found objects.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Dia de Los Muertos Show at Screaming Sky Gallery

This was a great night.  I got to see alot of the fantastic work of the other Artists and talk with a few.

Thursday, October 6, 2011


This is one I am still working on.  Grace expressed an interest in the sketch so I am giving it a go.

Original sketch

The work in progress

I continued to work on this painting yesterday morning with mixed results.  I was happy with some of the things I learned.  I never really had a vision of the finished work, which was a little difficult.  I didn't know what to do with the lower right corner or how to treat the background. I decided to keep the original colors instead of trying to change a lot. This will be framed for display at Lecias work,  The Lippman Company as part of their Halloween theme.
Dia De Los Muertos 4

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Dia de Los Muertos Show at Screaming Sky Gallery

This is a pretty accurate color representation
Detailed view taken  natural light,
This is the painting I did for the Screaming Sky Gallery  Dia de los Muertos group show that runs thru October 23rd.  In my rush to get it framed, I never really got a great picture of it.   I was struggling to compose a piece that showed dimension and space.  Everything was looking flat and forced.  Then I called my daughter Adrianne and asked her to pose for me.  Her professional modeling background was a huge advantage, and I had what I needed within an hour.  I pretty much started without a sketch, and the painting took off.  Towards the end I was a little apprehensive about adding the ground and the trees on the lower left.  At that point the painting was looking very good, and I had to take a chance that the last two elements would work.  The ground did not work well at first, so I had to pull some paint back out and change the shape of the "hole".  After several layers of color and some texture, the piece was finished.  Screaming Sky Gallery is  showing the painting thru October 23rd. I have a lot of people to thank, including both my daughters, Grace and Adrianne, and my wife Lecia, who put up with my "moods" towards the deadline.  Since this is my first piece in Gallery I was in uncharted waters.  It should be easier next time around.

Monday, September 26, 2011


I am trying to access my dreams for the paintings that enter them.  More and more are coming through and some are fantastic.  This didn't capture the actual image in my dream, but it is my first effort. 

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Starting new ideas

This is the beginning of a few postings whereby I reveal what I've been going through in preparation for the show.
Evan with cape and flowers
I wanted to post these items first because I have time for only a few....more will come and be explained later. 

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Thursday, August 4, 2011


I can't believe it's been over a month since I posted a painting.  To be honest, I have been immersed in my golf and work, finding no time for painting.  I have got a group show coming up in October, so I will be getting very busy with studies and sketches.  I will try to post as many of those as I can to document the progress.  This was a study I did to get me out of the rut. I always forget that it takes only a few minutes to start a painting.  I continue to struggle with the misconception that each painting must be a finished piece.  That holds me up from progressing toward my goal of at least one painting every few days if not daily.  The frustration of making the same mistakes over and over holds me back sometimes.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Eastmoreland First Tee

Practice Fairway at Eastmoreland Golf Course
This is where most of my time is spent when I practice golf.  It's a small practice fairway between the first and ninth holes at Eastmoreland Golf Course.  I have become very familiar with these trees.  They have stopped many an errant shot from hitting golfers in the first fairway. Without them I would not have a place to practice.  This is my little tribute to them.

Old Road

The thing about the internet we all love is the immediate availability of great art.  The downside, you can get lost in all the great art.  I need to focus more on painting and posting because I've fallen behind on both.  I have two more little impressionistic watercolors to post.  I liked how this one came out because I left it loose and simple.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Lutz Study Updated Story

Friday: I left the composition as is, because I couldnt layer the paint to add more accurate edges.
Sunday:   I came back later to try and fix it. No more tinkering, it is finished
Friday:  My first color study of the Lutz Tavern (which closed this year).  I tried a different paper for this.  I was looking for a paper I could work that wouldn't buckle as much as the 3 Ply Plate bristol I was using.  It didn't buckle, but it also did not take paint.  I literally had to force the paint onto the surface, like painting on glass.I could not layer the paint. I almost gave up 5 minutes in but I got a second wind and squeezed out this piece. If you're interested in buying any of my work please e-mail me..using the email at the top of this blog page. Sunday:    I forged ahead with this knowing that it was just a study because I needed to know if I could do more with this paper.  I learned that it was tedious and not worth the extra effort to work on this type of paper.  I had to know for sure.  I like the end result of the textures however.  And the layout of the painting will work I think.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Spring Flowers

This was in the middle stages of my reworking...

...and this is the current stage of this painting.
I seem hell bent on tackling subjects that don't really interest me.  I wasn't really excited to try this still life, but forged ahead anyway.  It sat for awhile unfinished before I reworked it.  I'm not really sure if I am done with it yet.

Floating objects

I intended to arrange these on the page as I would present them, but the parameters of this page wouldn't allow it.  In any event, these are the final four floating objects

Monday, May 2, 2011


This was a study I did last week.  I tried to use a couple of different ideas to see what works for me.  Although it is very loose, there were some bits that worked well.  I will continue to post these studies as a diary of progress in cityscape painting.  I don't think I am ready to commit to a full scale painting of this subject yet.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Pyrex Two

I decided to do another still life with glass.  Funny thing about ripe onions, they continue to grow as you are painting them.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Tossed objects

I thought I would try to blend landscape with still life. I am still experimenting with different ideas. I am hoping to come up with some interesting combinations that I will be able to put together.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

River Rocks

Looking at this painting reminds me of decorative tile. However, I was pleased with the painting.  I might consider breaking the pieces up and re arranging them.  I haven't decided yet

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Fly Fisherman

I did this watercolor about 9 years ago as part of a commission.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Measuring Cup

I wanted to continue to paint reflective objects, so I decided to try this still life with tomato.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Two different paintings of TBG

Side by side views of Tom Blacks Garage. Looking at them this way allows me to see what elements of each one I like and what I think will work in future paintings like this

Coming Soon...Lutz Tavern Painting

The Lutz Tavern is a throwback spot on Woodstock Avenue that has lots of character.  I am in the process of doing a series on it.  Sometimes the word tavern can be misleading.  This old relic evokes memories of a bygone era of small neighborhood pubs. It was recently sold.  I am not sure if it will remain the Lutz, or become a different business. 

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Odd Eggs

The two reasons I decided to post this piece  1.Posting it will take away some of my desire to continue to try to fix it, and  2. there is some value to it that I can appreciate. .  This is one of those paintings that needed to be stopped.  I know an artist should never point out the mistakes in their paintings so...suffice it to say. These eggs are done.