Monday, March 30, 2009

WIP 48X48 Moving closer

to a finished painting. I've made it this far by the end of the day, and I'm pleased with the results.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

WIP 48X48 #3

Slowly working my way down the canvas into the foreground. This is as far as got today.

detail...(with apologies for the quality of this pic)

Saturday, March 28, 2009

WIP 48X48 #2

It is back to the big one. Having satisfied my need for things small,(and with no more small canvases or panels available) I rolled my chair across the studio to the easel. After looking at the work for several days I decided the colors and values needed to be altered before proceeding any further. Once that was done I began working on the distant and middle ground details.

This is as far as got at the end of the day, and I can see where
there is more work needed to define the contours in the plains. To refresh your memory, here is the first stage posted 5 days ago.

Thursday, March 26, 2009


Today I have every intention of working on the large canvas, and hopefully at the end of the day I will be able to post some progress. In the meantime, here is the rest of yesterday's efforts.

image #1 8x8

Image #2 8x8

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


has displaced my enthusiasm for the 48x48" canvas, at least for 2 days. I will certainly get back to the easel, but in the meantime have been poking right along with these minis.

Finding shade acrylic on canvas 8x8"

Moore's place acrylic on panel 4x4"

Monday, March 23, 2009

WIP 48X48

I started this piece by painting in the major color fields in order to establish the progression of values.

This "staging" also provides an opportunity to review the composition and colors and to make any necessary adjustments. The next step is to re-paint each area before moving on to what can be considered the details or points of interest,i.e. trees, tree lines, and shrubss. In the original photo, taken some 12 years ago while driving across Wyoming and Nebraska (I don't recall which state provided this image) there is a red barn tucked away in the middle of the plains. The red provides a nice bit of contrast to the image. Don't know yet if I'll use it.

Sunday, March 22, 2009


The two miniatures are completed, each measuring 5x5".

High Plains 1 acrylic 5x5"

High Plains 2 acrylic 5x5"

The next challenge is two repeat these paintings on 48x48" canvases. If all goes will this endeavor will start today. I will keep you posted on my progress.

Saturday, March 21, 2009


Periodically I find myself suspended between the past and the future, an involuntary pause in the otherwise seamless flow of life. I've come to recognize this as a time when the unconscious elements that drive and direct me need a "time out", a brief R&R to sort things out. This has been the case for the past few weeks. I returned from my recent trip with about a dozen paintings that had accumulated at my daughters house over the past few years (we frequently exhibit together), and the following day retrieved the work from my recent show here in Paducah. The result...a gallery overflowing with work and in dire need of attention.

With no desire or ambition to create, I spent the next several days focused on cleaning up my physical surroundings, while my psyche dealt with its own environment. I am pleased to report that efforts on both fronts have been successfully completed.

Here are several photos of the gallery's new look.

After spending several days looking through my reference photos I began working on 2 acrylic miniatures which I believe will move me beyond this pause and into a new series of paintings.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


The best experiences in life are usually unplanned. First, some background:

It has become a tradition on my trips back home (Maryland, Delaware, and New Jersey) for me and my dear friend Obie (Wilmington) to travel to south Philadelphia early Sunday afternoon to visit my cousin Danny and his brother Joe who comes down from central NJ. After a few glasses of wine, some cheese, bread, and other goodies, we go to our favorite cafe at 6th and Bainbridge for the best martinis and crepes east of the Mississippi river. I called Danny a few weeks ago to let him know I would be back east this past weekend and we arranged for our usual outing. Before leaving on Sunday I called Danny to let him know that our friend Hal would be joining us. It took only a few minutes of phone time for me to know that he had forgotten about our visit, and had planned on a dinner at home with Linda (Danny’s saintly wife), daughter Michelle, Joe, and their sister Emily and one of her friends from the convent.

After letting him hang on his own forgetfulness for awhile, I declined his invitation to join them and said that we would be coming for a brief visit before going off to the cafe and would not disrupt his family plans. Now I knew all along that Linda would not allow us to leave their house, and was not surprised - or embarrassed- when she insisted we stay for dinner, telling me she had already started cooking for us. I only hope I can do justice in describing what followed.

First, there was the usual wine, bread, hot peppers, and cheese. But in addition she set out a plate of broccoli rabe that 48 hours later still haunts my taste buds. Just when I thought it could not be any better, a platter of small lamb chops, broiled in olive oil and balsamic vinegar appeared, and then I knew...yes Virginia, there is a heaven.

And the day only got better. For about two hours we enjoyed the company, the wine, and Danny’s vodka martinis. (Danny, Joe, and Emily’s parents are both gone. Their father was my mother’s brother, and they lived together with 2 other brothers when they were teenagers how that came to be is another story.)

Then the call came, Linda telling everyone to find a place at the table, and the serious dinning began. Before us were bowls of ravioli. fettuccini, meatballs, pork and beef from the gravy, and salad. And the feast began, with Pavarotti and others filling the room, the conversation and laughter flowed as easily as the wine. It was truly a most wonderful day. I do believe that their was love in everyone's eyes as we relished Linda’s food and each other’s company.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Recommended reading

I know it is a bit risky recommending books to others, especially when there are so many good volumes available, and we all seem to have our personal favorites. Having said that, I will proceed with such a recommendation. These are three of the many books I purchased over the years (most of them over 15 years ago) in my quest to become an artist.

The recent ice storm that ravaged western KY last month forced me out of my studio for over a week, during which time I revisited my library and re-read these three books. That is what started me on the series of small water media paintings I have been posting for the past few weeks.

If you have the time and the inclination, I recommend them to all artists, but especially watercolorist.

I will be away from home for the next week visiting family, friends, and galleries in Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, and NJ. Sounds like a lot, but it is possible to visit everyone of those states and never drive for more then 30 minutes. I may or may not be able to attend to this blog while away.