Saturday, February 6, 2016

Bronze Ballerina -an oil painting of Degas' sculpture

oil 14x11 inches magnify/purchase info Musee D'Orsay in Paris houses this famous Degas bronze. She's in a plexiglass case that transformed fellow viewers into abstract shapes. I really enjoyed painting this one, and I'm quite happy with how it turned out. IN OTHER NEWS: I have just scheduled a couple of two day workshops in my new studio, one in March and one in April. "Painting the Lively Still Life" is open to beginning and intermediate oil painters. Location: Upland, California. If you would like more information, email me at

Sunday, January 31, 2016

In Monet's Kitchen

oil 12x9 inches magnify/purchase info I thought I would work a bit from my b-zillion photos I took in France. Yes, Monet's entire kitchen is bright yellow. I enjoyed painting this because of the yellows. I love mixing the various colors of yellow in shadow. That's why lemons are so much fun. For my fellow oil painters out there: I always mix my own yellow ochre rather than using a tube of yellow ochre. I use cad yellow light (Utrect), cad red light and ultramarine blue. I can get a richer yellow ochre than what's in a tube, and I can swing it cool by adding more blue, or warm by adding more red and yellow. You have to play with your ratios in tiny increments, but it's a lot of fun to see the beautiful range of yellow ochres you can get. Try painting a lemon in light and shadow with just these three colors. You might need a little white to mix in, but only for the highlight.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Beater Bikes

oil 9x12 inches magnify/purchase info I took some photos of the old bikes at Treasures & Junk in Ontario. Sometimes called "beater bikes" by serious cyclists, they're all beat up and pretty much theft proof. Great for riding around in the city. Painting from photos lately I'm seeing progress. Finally I can make it a painting rather than just a copy of a photo. Simplifying shapes, loose brushwork and not fussing it to death.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Bumper Cars

oil 9x12 magnify not for sale This is my granddaughter, Grace driving a bumper car for the first time at the LA County Fair. I had so much fun with color and highlights in this one! UPCOMING EVENTS: Next month I'll demonstrate for the Redlands Art Association on the 23rd at 7pm. Then on the 27th I'll teach a Saturday one day workshop for RAA titled "Painting the Lively Still Life in Oil." The workshop is limited to 12 students, so sign up early! For more info or to sign up, click here.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Rocky Range Ranch -an oil painting from Colorado

oil 9x12 inches magnify/purchase info I don't really know the name of this ranch. It's a made up title. :-) One of the drawbacks of painting from photos is the danger of just copying the photo. I can end up with a too accurate stiff rendering. I'm particularly happy with this one however, as it has some abstract qualities and expressive boldness.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Boats & Bouys -a plein air oil painting from Balboa Island, CA -sold

oil 9x12 inches magnify/purchase info Happy New Year everyone! This is my last painting of 2015. I took off down to Balboa Island on the last day of the year for some plein air with my feet in the sand. The sun was out and it was about 68 degrees in the shade. I was overdue for this kind of stuff, so it felt like Heaven. I used a very limited palette of color: T white, Cad Yellow light, Cad Red light, Ultramarine Blue, Cobalt and Alizarin. I painted pretty fast in an effort to keep it fresh, not overworked. It took me two hours to drive home in the holiday traffic, but I don't mind. It was a great way to end the year.

Friday, January 1, 2016

Hollyhock Window -a Colorado ranch scene in oil

oil 14x11 inches magnify/purchase info While painting on an old ranch in Colorado, storm clouds began to blow in fast. We packed up our stuff quickly to avoid getting soaked. It lasted about five minutes. Rather than set up again, I went out with my camera. I found these gems near the back porch of the little old farmhouse. I painted this back in September. Happy New Year, everyone!

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Aspens -a Colorado landscape in oil

oil 9x12 inches magnify/purchase info Another piece using my photos from Colorado. The goal here was to convey the light on those glowing aspens. I lightened up and simplified those dark clouds a bit, but still they're pretty powerful in the painting.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Home On The Range -a Colorado landscape in oil

oil 11x14 inches magnify/purchase info Finally, one fresh off the easel. I worked this up from my photo reference taken September 2014 in Southern Colorado. We were staying at a lodge on "the front range." Though it looked like a flat prairie, we were actually at 8,000 ft. elevation on the eastern slope of the Rockies. No wonder I was breathless just moving around! We had dramatic skies the whole time. First time I've used cobalt straight out of the tube for sky. It was that brilliant. Gotta love Colorado skies!

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Winter Arrangement II -a still life painting in oil

oil 10x10 inches magnify/purchase info I love having a contrast of textures in my arrangements: the shiny hammered silver versus the pinecone and dried little pomegranates for example. My sister-in-law gave me this plant at Thanksgiving, and the crisp white flowers were a lot of fun to paint. How do you paint something so complicated? First I block in the dark green foliage amid and around the flowers. Then a few warmer, slightly lighter greens within the darks. Next, I painted the shadow sides of the flowers, indicating the petal shapes with brushwork. Then I painted the light, warm sides of the flowers, using brushwork again to convey shape and form. Last, I added a few bright green and yellow-white accents and the yellow orange centers. I'm not sure I'll be able to post again before Christmas, so MERRY CHRISTMAS and a HAPPY belated HANUKKAH to everyone!

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Apple Of His Eye -a still life painting in oil

oil 8x6 inches magnify/purchase info A short painting session called for a small canvas and simple subject. Looking at the one simple apple in my hand, a Bible verse came to mind: "Keep me as the apple of the eye. Hide me under the shadow of thy wings." It's a prayer, actually. Psalm 17:8 I deliberately formed a cross with my brushes. So here we have what might be considered a "religious" painting without looking "religious." It's more about a relationship, really.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Winesaps -a still life painting in oil

oil 6x6 inches magnify/purchase information Sometimes the painting I'm working on gives me an idea for the next one. The color shifts in some apples amaze me, so I made that the focus in "Winesaps." On a personal note, life has been spinning at warp speed since the end of August. Paris trip, moving, Idaho trip, Thanksgiving, and currently staying with three of our grandkids for nine days while their parents have an anniversary getaway. Somehow I sneak in a bit of painting here and there. Maybe normal will return in January! IN OTHER NEWS: I'm THRILLED to announce that last night I was awarded First Place at the Debra Huse Gallery for my painting "Lemon & Grape Junction." What a wonderful surprise and honor! Thank you, judge Jeff Horn and Debra Huse Gallery. Be sure to see all the wonderful small works in Holiday Treasures Salon, Debra Huse Gallery on Balboa Island. It runs through Dec. 27th and works are also online for viewing and purchase. Click HERE, go to EVENTS and scroll down.
Photo credit: fellow artist Kim Vanderhoek. Thank you, Kim.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Bossy Blue Crock -a still life painting in oil

oil 11x14 inches magnify/purchase information For this painting I used window light again. I'm not happy with this photo, due to the glare on shiny paint strokes in the darks. Lighting and photographing are just two of the things I have to figure out in the new place. On the positive side, I had a great time painting the color shifts in the apples and the shiny ceramic crock.
While I wasn't posting (or painting) the last few days, I took a quick trip to see my Idaho granddaughters. They are more precious than any painting.
HAPPY THANKSGIVING, EVERYONE! Thank you for your interest in my work, your comments and your purchases.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Studio Props -a still life painting in oil

oil 11x14 magnify/purchase info All my painting panels seem to have shrunk. In my bigger studio a 9x12 appears very small, and a 6x6 absolutely miniscule! For this 11x14 I experimented with using only natural light. Two hours into the painting dark clouds came over and it started raining. I had to quit. The next day I got back at it while heating and air conditioning was being installed. Here are some progress shots. Notice how small that 11x14 panel looks on my easel! I keep thinking about goldfish and koi. I've heard they grow bigger in a bigger bowl/pond.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

War Stories -an oil painting from Planes of Fame Museum, Chino

oil 11x14 inches magnify/purchase info Here's a painting I did back in March but never posted. I took the photo reference on a visit to the Planes of Fame Air Museum in Chino. I loved how the light shone on the seated veteran's white hair. Maybe they were telling stories of Vietnam. I have such deep respect for our veterans that for me, it was a poignant scene. For the vets who may be reading this, THANK YOU and God bless you.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Dots & Daisies -a still life painting in oil

oil 8x8 inches magnify/purchase info Sometimes coming up with a title and then something to say about the painting is more difficult than painting the painting! I'll just say it was the yummy color of the cup that excited me about this set up.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Lemon & Grape Junction -a still life painting in oil

oil 8x8 inches magnify/purchase info Here's my old standby, the cruciform design loosely applied. Breaks up the negative space into different sizes and shapes. Fruit is very often round, giving me only curved shapes to work with. I cut fruit and include stems to add line. The lonely little grape is the shape of a different size, otherwise everything is nearly the same size. Fun stuff to think about. And it's only fruit. This is my first painting in my new studio. Happy fruit!

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Ode To Yellow -a still life painting in oil

oil 8x8 inches magnify/purchase info Here's a still life I painted back in August with the idea that it might become a series, you know, "Ode to Green", Ode to Blue", etc. Well, it didn't. The bird is a mechanical one that chirps when it senses movement in the room. Thanks to all who visited my booths at Newport Beach and Tustin these last two Saturdays. Thank you for your purchases and interest in my work. My next event is "Art Uncorked" in Chino, November 14 from 4-8pm. Come enjoy the work of about eight artists, local food samplings, wine and beer. Tickets through Event Brite $30, or $40 at the door. Chaffey College Community Center, Chino. Proceeds help support the arts in Chino.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Still Life Demo -sold

oil 8x8 inches magnify Friday's demo for the Carlsbad Oceanside Art League was so much fun! In the morning I judged their monthly exhibit, then they treated me to lunch in Carlsbad village. During my afternoon demo the group was very interested and asked great questions. What a pleasure! Thank you, COAL for inviting me. Liz won my donated painting, "White Pumpkin." She was so happy, and I was happy that she was happy! Then Marie bought my demonstration painting. We were both happy! Five or six very kind ladies stayed and helped my get my gear into my car, because I've had terrible trouble with my back for several days now. Too much lifting, unpacking, etc.
Here are some more progress shots of my studio.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Farm Cat -a plein air painting in oil -SOLD

oil 9x12 inches magnify/purchase info This could be a long post. So much happening, I'm going to try to catch up a bit here. On Labor Day (seems like months ago!) I had the pleasure of taking Katie, a very talented 8th grader, out painting for her first experience in oils and plein air. We had a great time at Amy's Farm as did the farm cat and this chicken that was overly interested in us, especially for a chicken.
My demo in Rancho was Sept. 12th, and I haven't painted since, but yes, I've been just a tad busy. We moved on the 25th after 25 years in the same house. About 175 boxes later, we are now down to maybe 30 left to unpack.
Part of the reason we moved was for a nice big studio where I could do my thing. So... in our backyard there's this "RV Garage". At first sight I thought "ART BARN!!!!" It already had a tiny restroom, industrial sink, overhead lighting, heater, epoxy floor and a north window (that might get bigger). Woo-hooooo!!! I just needed to clean, move cabinets, put in new counter tops and paint. Here are some progress shots. We are still working on it, but I might actually be painting in there very soon!
The top two indoor shots show the size (28x30 feet) and condition. Lots of potential! Then I had it painted taupe before move in day. More pictures coming in the next post.