Tuesday, March 13, 2012

"Eucalyptus Grove"

36 X 24" oil on canvas

This is the largest canvas I've ever done. It felt big while I was painting it, but it seemed to shrink a bit when I hung it on the wall. I plan to do more in this size range until I'm more comfortable with the process. I'm realizing that a large canvas has the ability to change the feel of a whole room. Perhaps if I paint a few more of these my living room will have the peaceful feel of a forest.

This grove of eucalyptus is located in Junipero Serra Park, a short walk from my house.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

"Winter Oak" - SOLD

20x20" oil on canvas

I've been wanting to paint leafless oaks all winter, there's so much character in their twisted, gnarly branches. They've just started to bud so I figured I'd better get to it. This is my first large canvas in a while. I had to alter my brushwork a bit to suit the subject. I experimented with shorter strokes and I didn't thin the paint at all. I think this gives the painting an early California look.

For some reason the early California painters focused primarily on eucalyptus trees. Some critics actually dubbed them the "Eucalyptus School". The oak is a very striking native tree so I'm surprised it wasn't painted more often. It could be due to their complicated structure, or the fact that they look a little spooky.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012


7x5" oil on masonite

This will be my last small painting for a while. I'm feelin' the need to paint big.

Friday, March 2, 2012

"Green & White"

6x6" oil on gessobord

This is a painting from a series I just completed focusing on paint tubes. It was a fun experience to really explore this one subject. There are four others currently in my DPW gallery.

I just picked up "Paintings in The Musee d'Orsay" at the library and I'm really enjoying it. I've been told the d'Orsay is a beautiful museum, it's set in an old train station. Unfortunately the one time I was in Paris it was closed "due to the tempest". Apparently it had flooded, thankfully none of the work was damaged. 

I went to the recent show at the De Young Museum in San Francisco featuring work from the d'Orsay so I recognize a lot of what I'm seeing in the book. It dawned on me that it sometimes takes a while for me to fully appreciate a painting. Seeing these paintings again in the book has me wishing I could visit them again.

I don't believe you can really experience a painting from a small photo in a book or an image on the web. I keep reminding myself to get out and stand in front of as many great paintings as I can. Whenever I do, I can't wait to get back to the studio and pick up a brush.