Monday, February 28, 2011

"Leaning Pear"

I decided to do the DPW Challenge again. I've had a bad cold the last few days and to be honest it's been tough finding the energy to paint. This was a fun and inspiring challenge and a great learning experience. Sometimes it's helpful to experiment with this sort of exercise when you're struggling to get motivated. I kept the colors a bit closer to each other in this effort. 

Sunday, February 27, 2011

"Two Grannys"

6x6" oil on masonite

This is my submission to the DPW Challenge for this week. In retrospect it would have been easier had I chosen objects that were different colors! Maybe I'll try it again. Anyway, this was such a fun challenge, I loved it. 

Saturday, February 26, 2011

"French Press" - SOLD

6x6" - oil on masonite

I was thinking today about the concept of "favorite artists". I remember when I first started painting I kept reading the same two names over and over again cited as favorites. I probably don't need to tell you who they are. So I checked out one of the many books on Sargent at the library and yes, I was impressed. Sorolla's work on the other hand, is a lot harder to find. After much searching I've still only seen a few of his paintings so I'm a bit mystified as to how he's become so popular. Although I appreciate them both, there are so many wonderful artists doing such a variety of inspiring work that I couldn't possibly pick favorites. I feel every artist has something valuable and unique to offer, famous or not. What do you think?

Friday, February 25, 2011

"By the Bonfire"

This is the portrait that kept me up until two in the morning. I mentioned in my previous post that this was a learning experience. I learned that portrait drawings are incredibly sensitive. The smallest adjustment can make a huge difference in the appearance of the face. How you view the canvas while you paint it can throw off your whole drawing. While I was close to the painting it looked correct, but when I'd step back the drawing was off. I couldn't figure it out, I felt like I was losing my mind! Anyway, I realized this morning that I'd been looking down at the canvas at a slight angle, thereby distorting the image. Essentially what was happening was I was seeing the image artificially foreshortened as I painted it. This portrait is of my daughter by a bonfire on the beach in Pacific Grove.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

"Bad Breakfast" - SOLD

It's 2am and I've got a bad cold. I started a portrait at 8:30pm and didn't finish until now. No brain cells left! Must sleep. The portrait was a "learning experience".

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

"Classic Lay's" - SOLD

I saw these at Target and thought they'd be a good challenge. I remember Wise potato chips when I was a kid growing up in New Jersey. There was also Charles Chips which used to deliver a large canister right to your doorstep! I'm not sure if either of these companies still exist. While at Target I also found a small glass dish and a jar of olives which I plan to paint and post soon.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

"Mini Airstream" - SOLD

6x6" oil on masonite

I always thought it would be cool to own a little trailer like this. I've seen the interior of one that was beautifully restored and it was like stepping back in time. I like the idea of parking it in some beautiful spot and doing nothing but painting, reading, sleeping ... and of course eating! I found this little trailer in the small coastal town of Pescadero.

Monday, February 21, 2011


This is my submission to the Daily Paintworks Challenge. The challenge was to paint this zippo lighter using only burnt sienna, ultramarine blue and titanium white. I was surprised at how much can be done with only these three colors! 

This painting is a bit more detailed and took more time to finish than my usual daily paintings. Even though I generally strive for a looser painting style, it's fun to do something tight once in a while. I enjoy  exploring different styles and techniques. For me, experimentation and discovery is what keeps the painting process exciting.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

"School of Corona"

This is another 12x12" painting. I was so relieved when I finally got this thing mapped out and I could begin laying in the color! The idea for this painting came to me as I was falling asleep a few nights ago. My original thought was to have it be a very tall canvas with twenty or so bottles appearing to swim upstream. I'm glad I decided to start with only four bottles! I may do the larger painting at some point but I'm happy with this one for now.

Saturday, February 19, 2011


My Aunt Claire sent me this antique ice crusher for Christmas about ten years ago. It worked for about a year and then it sort of locked up. I can't even turn the handle anymore. In case it's not obvious, you open the metal lid, put in your ice, crank the handle, open the red drawer and voila! By the way, if you want to learn to paint quickly, paint ice. This painting is the first of my 12x12" efforts for the upcoming show at the Studio Gallery.

Friday, February 18, 2011

"Two Eggs Left" - SOLD

When I finally ran out of eggs I went to Trader Joe's. I usually buy brown eggs but they were sold out. It then occurred to me that other than the color, I didn't really know the difference between white eggs and brown eggs. Are brown eggs healthier and more natural like brown rice?! Thank goodness for wikipedia. Turns out white hens lay white eggs and brown hens lay brown eggs, it's that simple. They vary in nutrition depending on what the hens are fed. I never knew! Here's another thing I discovered, they're not easy to paint.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

"Interrogation" - n/a

It looks like the little orange bottle might be in trouble! Fellow painter Denise Rose was kind enough to send me these really cool bottles. I love all the color in the shadows, I can tell I'm going to have fun with these. Thanks Denise!!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

"Bag of Fujis"

6x6" oil on Gessobord

Well here it is, my first plastic bag painting. It looks as if these apples are caught in a wind storm. Very dramatic! 

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

"Pick a Color"

6x6" oil on masonite
buy now with PayPal - $100

I remember seeing these things when I was a kid but I never knew they were called "Cootie Catchers". Was there some other name they went by as well?! I guess being a guy I was sort of out of the loop. My daughter is in 4th grade so naturally she knows how to fold one up. This was fun, I love painting unusual subject matter.

Monday, February 14, 2011

"Lemon Escape" - SOLD

I had a tough time getting this photo to look right. I think all the red overloaded my camera! My girlfriend Merci picked out the fabric on a trip to JoAnne's. I must admit I was skeptical, it was just SO red. What a surprise! I really like it and it was fun to paint. It's not often you can use Cad Red Light straight out of the tube! I did my best to get an accurate digital image, but I still think this one looks best in person. 

Sunday, February 13, 2011

"Blue Bowl" - SOLD

I've been noticing that drawing is getting a bit easier since I've been doing these daily paintings. Bowls, glasses, mugs, anything with a circular opening on top is still a real challenge. I can fuss over the drawing for a long time trying to get it right. Unfortunately painting half a bowl isn't half as difficult as painting the whole thing!

I'm excited about an upcoming show at the Studio Gallery called "Delicious". It's a group show featuring food and drink. I'll be working on some larger donut paintings for the show which I'll post on my blog. They'll also be showing some of my daily paintings, I'll post dates soon!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

"Yellow Pitcher" - SOLD

This little pitcher is part of my Salvation Army "treasures". I'm finding the key to painting shiny objects is making sure you get the highlights and the reflections just right. In order to get the highlights to show up, you've got to make sure the surrounding color is dark enough. This can be tough, especially when the surrounding color is very light. As for reflections, the challenge is not making them too bright, which I seem to do every time! So I just darken them until they look right. I've been painting late at night and it's killin' me. I'm so glad the weekend is here!!

Friday, February 11, 2011

"White Teapot"

This painting begins a small series where the focus is on shiny ceramic objects. I chose this white teapot first and it may have been the most difficult. It took four attempts to get it to where I liked it! I do feel I learned a lot though.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

"Plums On Edge"

Here's one of the plum paintings I forgot to post. The past few days I've been working on some challenging subjects. The first is a white teapot. I had to paint it four times to get it to look right! I'll post it tomorrow. The other is a string of chinese lanterns. I won't be posting that one, it isn't quite there yet. I'll keep trying!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

"Pepper Platter" - SOLD

I literally dumped the bag on the plate and went for it. Well I did turn the plate a bit. I often spend up to a half an hour getting set up so this was a refreshing change! When I was done painting them my daughter asked to try one. I'm happy to report that they didn't taste like wax! They tasted sort of like a mild bell pepper. 

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

"Pepper Patrol"

I buy my veggies at a place called Mexicana Produce. They have amazing prices (broccoli florets for 69 cents a pound!!) They also have an inspiring assortment to choose from. I had been eyeing these peppers for a while, they're called wax peppers. I'm not sure what they taste like but I plan to find out after I paint them one more time. I sure hope they don't taste like wax.

Monday, February 7, 2011

"May We Join You?"

More apples.. really?! Yes, more apples. I now plan to place them back in the cooler drawer of the refrigerator for safe keeping. I'll check on em in a month or two to see if they're willing to be painted again. I went to JoAnne's this weekend and bought an assortment of colored fabric for backgrounds. I chose simple, solid colors but I'm excited to put them to use with my Salvation Army purchases.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

"The Apple Family"

6x6" oil on masonite
buy now with PayPal - $100

Doesn't this look like a family portrait?! Funny how it's possible to see human qualities in fruit if you stare at it long enough. Up until now I've been trying to keep my compositions simple so I have less to wrestle with. Now I'm feeling inspired to try more challenging arrangements. I still think "less is more", especially with small paintings, but I'm looking forward to exploring in this direction.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

"Close Encounters"

I found this rose colored glass plate in my dining room cabinet but I'm not sure how it got there. The apples are the ones I picked back in September at my daughter's school. I plan on keeping these little guys around for as long as I can. I wonder how long they're gonna last... a year maybe?!  It wouldn't be my first experience with this sort of thing, I once had a pumpkin on my front porch for a whole year.

Friday, February 4, 2011

"Diet Coke" - SOLD

I'm hesitant to paint objects with lettering since my results usually look careful and labored over. I figure there's got to be a way to do lettering and yet keep it looking loose and spontaneous. Overall I'm pretty happy with how this turned out, but I plan to keep experimenting!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

"Overboard" - SOLD

I usually take my daughter Emma to a place called Fatt Dogg after school on Tuesdays. I realize this may not sound like good parenting, especially after yesterday's post! It actually helps raise funds for her school. This time she ordered fries as well but only ate a few of them. Of course I saw this as a painting opportunity! She came up with the title.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

"Dunkin Dream" - SOLD

I thought this was going to be a lot harder to paint than it was. The difficult part was not eating it after staring at it for an hour. My daughter LOVES chocolate glazed and this one was hers so I had to be strong.  Next time I'm going to paint two!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

"Butter" - SOLD

I've wanted to paint butter for a while now, but I couldn't think of an inspiring way to do it. Anyway, an idea came to me while making an omelette. Paint it in it's wax paper wrapper!