Thursday, August 29, 2013

"Sierra Snow Melt"

20x16" oil on canvas

I'm getting ready to paint outdoors again. When I first started painting ten years ago I painted almost exclusively on location. Later, in order to make the most of the little time I had to paint I started working from digital images on my computer. I actually still use my plein air set up when painting indoors. 

Working from the computer is great in a lot of ways. I love being able to experiment with different compositions and color settings. It's also nice having everything set up and ready to go. All I have to do is put a canvas on the easel and get to work. Now that I'm painting full time I'm feeling the need to get out and paint from life again. I'm excited to see how it will effect my work.

The above painting was done from the computer but I painted as if I was working outside. What I mean is, I painted fast. This one was done in about 90 minutes. I had to make minor adjustments the next day, but most of the work was done in the first attempt. I'm trying to work fast even though I'm painting on larger canvases.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

"Mori Point"

20x20" oil on canvas

One of the things I like about participating in themed shows is that it encourages me to explore new subject matter. I tend to avoid painting traditional landscapes so this one is bit of a departure for me. This painting is for "Waterfront", a show opening at the Studio Gallery on September 4th. 

I've only recently discovered Mori Point and it's become one of my favorite spots to go for a walk. This view is looking south from the point toward Pacifica. The large mountain in the back is Montara Mountain, another beautiful spot for a hike.

Monday, August 26, 2013

"Weskeag Bridge"

10x8" oil on canvas panel

I had to put myself in a precarious position to get the photo for this one. Maybe I'm being a little dramatic, but I did have to climb over a guard rail and then part of the way down a steep slope. One slip and I would have been in the water, washed under the bridge and on my way out to sea!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

"Queen Anne's Lace"

8x10" oil on canvas panel

The abundance of wildflowers is one of the most beautiful things about the summer landscape in Maine. Most of the grasses and flowers in California have turned brown or gold by early summer due to the lack of rain. The time for wildflowers in the west is usually early spring.  I'm pretty sure the flowers in the painting are White Yarrow. I know there's not a lot of detail in this painting but if anyone knows what kind of flowers these are I'd love to know.

Update: Thanks so much Susan, Judy and Merci for letting me know that the wildflowers are Queen Anne's Lace!

Saturday, August 24, 2013

"Three in a Row"

8x10" oil on canvas panel

This is a group of joined houses in Tenant's Harbor, Maine. I drive by this scene countless times every summer while staying in Port Clyde and I've always thought it would make a good painting. I'm having fun doing quick oil sketches from the images I took this summer. I'll be posting more soon.

Friday, August 23, 2013

"Port Clyde Cove"

11x14" oil on canvas panel

I'm doing a few Maine paintings to transition back to painting larger. I've been having fun attempting to paint fast and spontaneously. Some of the paintings haven't worked out but I like this one. It's nice to have room to experiment with brushwork.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

"Larkin and Broadway"

6x6" oil on Gessobord
Sanchez Art Center, "50/50"

I got back from Maine just in time to hang the "50/50" show. It was fun seeing what the other artists have come up with. I'm really impressed with the overall quality of the work I saw. There is so much great work and most of the prices are so low, I'm not surprised this show has become as popular as it is. If you're interested in coming I suggest going to the ticketed preview, which is ten dollars if you buy in advance. For more info click here.

I had a wonderful, relaxing time in Maine and even managed to take a few pictures to paint from. My only goal for the two weeks was to spend time with family and swim every day regardless of the weather. Spending time with family was easy, swimming every day had its challenging moments. Especially the time my daughter and I went swimming in the bone-chilling ocean in a freezing downpour.

I'm excited to work on paintings for "Waterfront" which opens at the Studio Gallery on September 4th. It will be nice to work on some larger pieces after spending the last month primarily painting 6x6s. I'll post paintings and more info soon.

Friday, August 2, 2013


6x6" oil on Gessobord - sold
Sanchez Art Center, "50/50" #21

Well I had originally planned on posting all 50 of my paintings here on my blog but it doesn't look like that'll happen. I've set up a gallery on my website though, so anyone who's interested can check out my progress by clicking on the 50/50 gallery.

I approached this project knowing it would be a learning experience. I chose to do cityscapes for two reasons. For one, I find cityscapes extremely difficult, particularly handling the cars. And secondly, I felt pretty confident about finding 50 interesting compositions featuring the streets of San Francisco. 

So what did I learn? I do feel I've improved at painting cars. I've learned to ignore their complexity and simplify as much as possible. I feel I've also learned how to better compose a cityscape. I now try to look for large simple patterns within the jumble of visual information.

The next step is to see if I can translate some these little paintings into larger works.

The "50/50" show opens August 23 at the Sanchez Art Center in Pacifica, California.