Blog 2011

"Estes Park, Colorado"

A Plein Air watercolor done from a parking lot, while sitting in the back hatch of our rental car ! Mountains are tricky for me, and this might better be an acrylic. In this case, I manufactured the foreground from other things around me, instead of painting the asphalt. This, along with most of the other paintings from Rocky Mountain National Park, we tweaked a bit upon arriving at home.

"Aspen Cliff, Rocky Mountain National Park"

From a photo taken on a brilliant day near Bear Lake.

"Aspen Reverie"

A watercolor concoction from many images of the aspen we saw on our trip. Some photos. Some memories.


"Grand Canyon Complement"

This small work is from a photo, and practically uses only two pigments: Burnt Siena and Cobalt Blue.


"Mohonk Deja Vu"

I started this painting at Mohonk at least two years ago, and having recently returned from there, I decided to finish it whilst the image of the path was still in my mind.  



A portrait of Stella, a silver lab who lives in West Chester, Pennsylvania, but I guess anywhere that she goes with the red ball, she'd consider home !

"Hallett Peak and Flattop Mountain"

This too was from the hatch of the car, from a parking lot, looking out above the trees. The cirque no longer holds much of a glacier, but you can easily see how the ice formerly gauged out the "U" shaped valley. My favorite of the "Rockies" Plein Air paintings, and currently hanging on my wall !


"Mohonk Beach"

This small painting was finished at home from photographs after the sun set behind the cliffs while I was sketching. There is a lot going on in such a little space, but I like the figure of the lifeguard with the cliff behind her.

"Mohonk Respite"

A small Plein Air painting of yet another nice spot at Mohonk. Once again, rocks-trees...what more do I need ?

"Day Lilies"

I haven't used orange for awhile ! From a photo that I took in my garden last summer.

"Yosemite Sanctuary"

Similar to "A Tree Grows in Granite", from September 25, 2010, this is a work in acrylic, done from a photo taken at the same time as the previous watercolor. It is interesting to look at the two next to each other, and when doing so, compare the relative merits of each individual medium. I like this one for it's vibrancy as well as the simplification of forms created by the use of a broad brush. I may yet have a few more dabs of paint to add to this one !

"Parched Fern"
This watercolor would hang nicely on a wall next to  "Solomon's Seal". It is another small work, referenced from a photograph. When I paint ferns, I use a lot of layering, so the watercolor gradually reveals itself and blooms as the contrast between the subject and the background reaches the "breaking point". The breaking point is what I call that point in time when a watercolor either becomes a success or a failure. It is all about knowing when to stop painting, and leave things undone, that makes a successful watercolorist.

"Chipmunk's Return"

Just last week my chipmunks roused themselves out of their semi-hibernation. I have read that they don't really hibernate, but are active at times during the winter, but I never see them in those months. I am very happy to see them again, as they are with me. Now I have to buy a lot more peanuts !

"Mourning Dove Pair"

From a photo, although, if it had been warmer, I probably could have painted these two outdoors, as they did not seem extremely bothered by my presence. The difficult decision in this painting was to paint in a blue sky, which I had omitted at first. I actually scanned in the painting with the white sky and used Paint Shop Pro to add in the blue, just to see if it would improve the painting.  It really made the pinkish birds pop out more, so I added the blue sky on the actual watercolor. This technique really helps me to visualize and preview an idea without the need to risk ruining the painting. Remember, in watercolor, it can be very difficult, if not impossible to correct mistakes ! 

"South Beach Lifeguard Station"

Initially, I painted this work without the receding figures at the right. Having added them, there is greater balance and scale to the composition. I am usually intimidated by adding the human form in most of my paintings, but in this one I think that the addition of the figures also creates a sunny mood.

"Early Risers"

This is my favorite painting as of now ! I'll have trouble parting with it for awhile, and also have trouble matching it. First I painted in the flowers, and the piece didn't look like much, but as soon as I began layering the shapes of dead leaves in the background, the foreground shapes popped. This is a subtle macro painting with a nice balance of purples and browns.


Greetings, and Happy New Year all !

I've been busy working on a video this past month, and now it is time to get back to work on watercolor.
This is a commission recently finished. Nothing like painting a snowy landscape, driving in a snowy landscape, snowblowing the same...repeatedly !

Hope to post new work soon !

I have forgotten how much fun acrylic painting can be, so for the moment, that will be my water medium, allowing me to free up my mind and brushwork, whilst I paint in my studio.

This work is called "Aspen Sunlight", from a photo that I took at least twenty-five years ago. It is small, only about eight inches wide. What I like about this is the brushy sky and the saturation in the colors of the receding mountains.

"Clearing", a new acrylic painting, 9x12. I painted this scene a long time ago, in watercolor, but I like the result here, because of the greater contrast in darks and lights. 

This house portrait commission, was given as a gift on Valentine's Day. The hardest part about this work was finding the right angle to work from, and compositing about ten photos to come up with a full sketch of the house that is hidden by more landscaping than you see here. Not to mention getting those photos without getting a boot or two stuck in a snow bank !

"Stella Proudly Posing"

I couldn't resist sharing this photo that was taken by my old friend, Barb, of her silver lab, Stella, sitting proudly next to her own portrait.

Happy New Year to ALL !