Friday, December 5, 2014

Tin Shack

Feels like forever since I posted last . . .
This was done from a photo of an image on TV.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

At Batterymarch

I really enjoyed painting this in spite of running into problems along
the way. I felt I had a little more clarity on how to solve them, not
that clueless, frustrated feeling that sometimes descends. I'm working
towards a two-person show for next March and wanted to settle on a
subject that I could enjoy exploring for several months. I thought that
would be landscapes and took the Workman class to get a little more
knowledge under my belt. But as I looked at the landscape painters I
admire, it was clear they lived in rural areas, were immersed in their
environment and had all their senses engaged while making their
paintings. It made sense for me to switch to a city environment which
I am surrounded by. I'm feeling it's a good fit with a lot of varied
challenges ahead.

Just a note: My previous post "Rising" looks very bad in Blogger as
had the two paintings before that. It's very contrasty with the color
tending too cool whereas the actual painting and the photo of it is quite
soft with much more subtlety. The painting above looks great in
Blogger's preview but I'm holding my breath as I click "publish." I will
let you know in the next post if it's accurate. How do I correct this? Who
do you contact for help?

Monday, June 16, 2014


This is a great old building on Galveston's industrial side that's seen better days.
I painted it over several weeks, starting out pretty literally, then set it aside for a
few days at a time until some "aha" moment came to me on what to do next. It
went through a lot of transformations over time each time emerging with less
spelled out and different color shifts. Now that I see it as a photo image, I'm
seeing more I could have done but it's time to move on.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Boston Near The Wharf

Perfect morning last September in Boston. This image doesn't match the painting
or the photo in Photoshop. Here in Blogger, it's very contrasty, coarse and blues
are too saturated and ultramarine-y. The last post really heightened the reds
inaccurately. This happened for a few posts last fall and then seemed to correct
itself. Is anyone else noticing this happening to their images?

Tuesday, April 29, 2014


I was really taken with the light flooding the tops of these two
buildings and how the red building colored the gray one. They shared
an alley on Galveston's wharf side which has a wealth of old industrial

Saturday, April 5, 2014


I'm deliberately practicing to not define too much because I often
still lapse back to spelling everything out. It helps to have a simple
composition and to start out with amorphous shapes. I'm thinking
of choosing a photo reference and drawing it, doing the observation
part in the drawing—working out the composition, lights/darks, then
painting from the b&w sketch, essentially relying on memory or
even making the painting up from imagination. Paintings of mine
that I'm happiest with are the ones that are blocked in, then finished
without the photo reference.

Monday, March 31, 2014

The Light at the Dead End

The days were cold and gray in early February in Fredericksburg, TX
but the sun came out late one afternoon and I went out to photograph.
I found this dead end just as the sun was setting.

Monday, March 24, 2014

LA Park—March

I arrived in Los Angeles the day their rains stopped. The weather was
cool and gray for the most part but when the sun came out, there was
that famous light the California painters loved so much.

Friday, February 28, 2014

From the Shady Side

I wanted to take Michael Workman's workshop to learn structure
and get a better understanding of basics. Workman's message wasn't
one I really wanted to hear: limit everything: palette and subject. But,
of course, it was exactly the message I needed to get. I've been all
over the place trying to figure out who I am as a painter so it's a way
to make painting be real and valuable work. Instead of getting up in
the morning and wondering what I'll paint today, it's a way to focus
and build on what I did yesterday. I still want to push for more
abstraction but there was enough here to like so it felt like a good
place to stop.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Tree Slide

This is a portion of a Michael Workman photo that he provided
photocopies of for an exercise called Paint Along with Mike. His photo
was gorgeous, complex and quite a bit cooler than the photocopies. My
attempt at the complete photo is still in progress but while it dries so I
can torture it more—scrape, sand and paint over it, I took a corner of it
and did a 6 x 8. Kinda wish I'd disobeyed and not painted along but
watched him instead. :-) I'm a weenie.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Quiet Montana Day

I really enjoyed Michael Workman's workshop and was hoping
to become a temporary clone. Ha! Easier said than done! He had
demonstrated adhering canvas or paper to a panel for texture and
irregular edges and I had some unprimed canvas so I prepared a
few canvas panels when I got home. Thought that troweling on 3
coats of gesso would obliterate the canvas texture but no. Preparing
panels had always seemed like busy-work and time taken away
from painting but after 5 days with Workman, it feels an important
part of the process to have your hand and attention focused on creating
the surface right from the start.

The Fredericksburg Artist School has a great roster of artists lined
up for the rest of the year. I recommend it!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Waiting in the Meadow

A different cropping of the same barn on 18 x 24 stretched linen.
I was trying consciously to vary the cool and warm tones in large
expanses of space, careful to keep transitions close and not get hung
up on all the straight lines. It felt easier to overshoot boundaries with
this one maybe because I laid in the drawing more loosely so the edges
weren't yet defined in my mind. It felt good to paint them in and cover
them up, leaving traces of the previous layer to show through. Painting
in layers feels natural to me, possibly because I don't know the next
right value or color to use, but more, I think, because I like not knowing.
It adds to a feeling of exploration and nice accidental possibilities.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Betsy's Barn

When looking at a scene my immediate response is to try to replicate
it so I've been conscious the past few months of using mark-making
to explore and let a scene build up sort of on its own. The panoramic
scenes are easier now but once there's a dominant subject, I tend to
do a "portrait" of it and forget the marks so with this, I tried to obliterate
boundaries and edges. It still feels awkward but as always . . . it's
about getting "there" even if you don't quite make it.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Nice Little Spread

Another from the Montana album. Getting psyched about an upcoming
workshop taught by Michael Workman at the Fredericksburg Artist school,
Feb 3 - 7. You can see his work here.