Thursday, January 17, 2013

Two weeks in the Bay Area, 9 x 12, oil on panel

What a nice change to experience crisp light and shadow after being enveloped by damp gray! I'm doing two paintings a day while I stay here. The change pushes my palette in a new direction. Or is it that sweet smell of the smoke on the streets of Haight/Ashbury where I'm staying?

Monday, January 7, 2013

Two seasons, same place, 9 x 12, oil on panel

These two small studies were painted from the exact location two months apart. I revisited this place to see what the lake looked like in winter. I just estimated the composition because I didn't have the autumn painting with me, but it is surprisingly close. The coldness of winter affects how I feel when painting, just as a warm sunny day does. The austere day we had here on Sunday is reflected in the bottom piece. It is an interesting contrast, not just color, but emotion.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Drained, 36 x 60, oil on canvas

This lake at Keystone State Park was being drained, thus the title. It was also the last days of the glorious autumn and I wanted to use the water reflection to enhance the power of the morning light on the scene.

I did this painting last month after doing a couple small 9 x 12 paintings the day before. It allowed me to premix a batch of colors. So I drove to this location in Westmoreland County, got set up in the early morning darkness and waited for the race to begin. As the morning sun poked up I used every ounce of energy I had to get the paint on the canvas. The entire sky was painted using a palette knife. By about 11am I was 90% done. The finishing was completed in my studio later that evening from memory.

The most asked question I get is how long did it take you to paint that. Well, let's see. Does that include the several trips to the location 50 miles from my studio? Does it include the time spent painting the preliminary studies? Does it include the time stretching the canvas and preparing the ground on the canvas? Does it include the premixing of the colors the previous night? Does it include the 27 years I've been painting? It would be easy to say 5 hours, but that would be totally inaccurate. It is the accumulation of knowledge and skill that allows any artist to do what they do. The actual time of the performance doesn't take into account the hours of preparation. Ask any professional musician or athlete.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Flatrock Autumn, 24 x 30 oil on canvas

This was done a couple weeks ago while visiting the mountains in Clinton County, PA. My two brothers were archery hunting and I was hunting for a nice spot to paint! Everyone was successful, even the huge bear that made off with part of a deer carcass.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Morning Light, 11 x 14, oil on panel

A simple house portrait painted in morning light. Someone stopped to give me a cold can of soda. That surprised me. A nice gesture from a total stranger can really lift your spirits while painting on location. I've had plenty of scary events as well over the years. One guy said he had me in his gun scope because he thought I was surveying his property.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Morning Walk, 9 x 12, oil on panel

This is typical of the alley ways near my house and studio. I've always liked them but only recently started doing an entire series of paintings. These new pieces get to the essence of city life. I especially enjoy describing the texture and shapes as they recede in the distance.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Fuel Storage, 9 x 12, oil on panel

I just got back from the Plein Air Easton event. It was a pretty big deal with 58 painters from across the United States. Going in I didn't think it would be my "cup of tea". Well to put it mildly it was an amazing event. The caliber of work was extremely high and the artists were all very nice. It is a highly organized event and the folks that run it are determined to make the artists feel special. They did indeed. I won honorable mention for Fuel Storage.

The Eastern shore of Maryland is really all about the water. So why did I paint these tanks? I had just finished a painting of a boat when I noticed these tanks. Apparently not all water craft uses wind.