Thursday, December 17, 2009

Playing around

Springtime, 2009. oil on panel 6 x 8.

Trying new things is not always easy.... I think it is human nature to be lazy and not want to try to do something differently. In the studio it is equally true. As anyone grows as an artist, they can fall into only doing things a certain way, because frankly, it works. And this becomes a habit. I mean who want to risk making a bad painting? If I know a way of doing something well, why would I want to change?

I believe that without risk the work can began to lose its spark and become boring or worse, mechanical. The thrill of painting for me is not knowing how things will turn out. To this day, I'm still astonished when I finish a did I paint that?

It is so important to remember to try what may seem as strange or different, even if it fails. Sometimes it will work and that will lead to important breakthroughs. It all starts with being willing to play around in the studio and not worry about the immediate results.

I'm ready for 2010.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Mixing and Shaking

A Brilliant End, 2009. oil on panel 5 3/4 x 9 3/4 sold

This is a small painting that I just finished and took to the holiday show at the Elliott Fouts Gallery.

This little study was, I hesitate to say, was almost effortless to paint. Everything went so smoothly. That doesn't happen often; maybe a hand full of times a year. Every decision I made was the correct one. There was very little correcting of the composition or color as I painted. Mix color. Put color down. Mix next color. Continue. I can remember as I was working on this piece, I began to actually shake, out of excitement or nervousness, I'm not sure which, I just knew I didn't want to screw it up.


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The post show lowdowns

Monday Afternoon, 2009. oil on linen 14 x 20

Two shows. Two receptions. Six days.

Yup, it was a busy week! And I got sick in the middle of it. I lost my voice on Wednesday and still do not have it totally back. Despite not feeling great, things went generally well...

The reception at Elliott Fouts' was good, with little red dots appearing all evening long and the show continues to through the end of the month. The miniature show at FSG was a big success. I think we had over 250 people at the reception and sales were fairly strong.

Now I am scrambling to finish things up for a group show next month and also trying to wrap up a commission that's overdue.


I'm gonna take some time off...Maybe in 2010.

Friday, November 13, 2009

The Big Night

Jack's View, 2008. oil on panel 12 x 15 sold

Well, tomorrow is the reception at Elliott Fouts Gallery from 6 - 9 pm. I look forward to meeting many new people and seeing some old friends. It should be a fun night...but I always seem to have irrational fears going into these things, "Is anyone going to show up? What will I talk to people about? Will anything sell? How will I make a complete fool out of myself?" But generally things seem to go well at these events once I am there...someday maybe I can learn to relax in the days up to the reception...

I doubt it.

Saturday, November 7, 2009


Hope, 2009. oil on canvas 36 x 46. sold

This is a painting from my show in Sacramento. I had a very hard time photographing it because the camera could not read the green. I'm not sure why, but maybe it was because I used an unusual blue in the green. I can't remember which Gamblin blue it was, but it was not one of the blues that I use a lot. Strange.

The painting is part of a continuing series of paintings called Hope. I enjoy when landscape painting can tell a larger story than of just the land. I don't know if it's important to the viewer, but when a visual idea connects with me on a deeper level I believe I make stronger paintings.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Done and Gone

Sunburned, 2009. oil on panel 12 x 10

Everything is done and gone...The paintings are up at The Elliott Fouts Gallery for my show in November. The reception is November 14th from 6-9 pm.

It should be fun.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

I steal ideas from three year olds

Elliott's Stormy Evening, 2009. oil on panel 8 x 10

My kids often want to paint in my studio with me. So they will sit on the floor using their watercolors while I work at my easel. They will comment on my work, and I will talk to them about their paintings.

I don't always get a lot of work done, they tend to ask me questions like ,
"Daddy, do you know how I mixed that color?"
"Dad, do you want to see what I have done to my painting?"
but none the less, I still enjoy my time with them.

The idea for this painting came from one of my three year old's paintings. He put a magenta/dark pink against the dark grey/black that I thought looked good together. So I thought I would give the combo a try....When he came back to my studio several days later and saw my painting, he said, "Same as my painting!"

The kid is too smart for his own good...I hope he doesn't tell everyone.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

One of the BIG ones

Saturated, 2009. oil on canvas. 52 x 60. sold.

This is the biggest painting for my upcoming show at Elliott Fouts Gallery in November. Truth be told, I would consider this painting to be on the smaller side of my larger paintings, but still, I enjoy spreading my wings a bit and tackling a larger piece of canvas. You should have seen the piles of red paint on my palette for this one.

It sat in my studio for quite awhile unfinished. The start was strong, and I wanted to be sure that I didn't screw it up. I eventually worked up the nerve to dive in, and I'm quite pleased with the results.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

The Home Stretch

Overexposed, 2009. oil on panel 20 x 20. sold.

Just a few days of painting left for the show...I feel good about the pieces.

Now its time for framing and varnishing the work.

November is coming up fast!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Still working

Twos and Threes, 2009. oil on panel 18 x 20. sold.

I'm continuing to work hard for my show in November, and this is yet another piece for the show. Things are starting to come together and I still have couple of pieces that I want to do. We'll see if I can get everything done.


Thursday, September 24, 2009

Remember it

Stormy, 2009. oil on panel 16 x 16 sold

"When I first met you I thought you were completely crazy and that you had no idea what you were talking about...but now (three years later) I think you may be on to something..."

-Lee Harris

I'll take it as a compliment.

Friday, September 18, 2009

An Update

Late Returns, 2009. oil on panel 22 x 26 sold

Another painting for the show.


Saturday, September 12, 2009

More Recent Stuff

Big Spring Floaters, 2009. oil on linen 32 x 36 sold

A medium sized painting that I just finished last week...


Saturday, September 5, 2009

Getting Ready

Muddy Sunset, 2009. oil on canvas 10 x 16

I'm in the midst of getting ready for a show in Sacramento at the Elliott Fouts Gallery this November. The paint is flying and the ideas are flowing. It sould be a great show with all new paintings. Posting could become sporadic as deadlines approach.

We'll see....


Thursday, August 20, 2009

I want to think like that...

Warm Twilight, 2009. oil on panel 16 x 16. sold.

The other night I was waiting with my sons for a train to pass and my oldest said, "Maybe the train is so late because the train man wanted to see the beautiful sky." I could only answer, "Maybe so..." because the sky was indeed beautful...


Sunday, August 9, 2009

Blue Shy

Skylight, 2008. oil on panel 6 x 6. sold.

I think I have posted this painting before, but I'm happy to post it again and announce that this painting has been chosen to be used for a book cover of the book, Blue Shy. (This is a play on the word sky, not a typo.) The book designer knew my work from one of my galleries and thought that my work would fit perfectly with the writing style of the book. I am very flattered. I knew nothing about image copyright when I started this whole process, and it's been a very interesting ride. It kind of strange to think that one of my paintings is going to be used on a book cover. The book is going to press this month.
I'll post the cover when I get permission form the designer. I've seen it and I'm quite pleased.

Monday, August 3, 2009

new studies

Study for "Grand Finale", 2009, oil on panel 14 1/2 x 18 1/8. sold.

A smallish study for a possible new large painting.


Sunday, July 12, 2009

Who said it?

Gathering Clouds, 2008. oil on canvas 21 x 40. sold.

"The Landscape here in the Central Valley lacks nothing, Except Glorification"


Thursday, July 2, 2009

Again, for the first time...

The Leading Edge, 2009. sold.
22 x 30
charcoal on paper

Behind, 2009.
oil on panel
22 x 26

A couple of new pieces.


Saturday, May 2, 2009

Ebb and Flow

Busy Evening, 2009. oil on canvas 40 x 50  sold

Here is my first larger work of the year. (I can hardly believe that it is May already.) I still seem spending most of my time prepping panels and canvases. I was really running low in my painting support inventory. I like to have a whole range of sizes available, so when I start a body of new work so I can paint in what ever size I wish. I don't work in standard sizes, so I prep a lot of different sizes, not just four or five different standard sizes. I like to have around fifty to sixty painting supports in my studio. I don't like to be limited when a new painting idea comes into my head. In between all this prepping I'm still getting a painting done here and there. It's not how I normally work, but it seems to be working for me right now.
I'm usually much more focused on getting the prep work done and back to painting all the time. This year it seems that I am doing both at the same time, it's not the most efficient way of working, but with no current deadlines I can work on paintings and drawings at a slower pace. I don't have to force anything. If I get stuck on an idea in a painting, I can take time to just look at it. I can spend some time prepping and looking at the painting while I'm doing other things around the studio. It helps to see the problems of the painting and (hopefully) make it a better painting out of it. It's just the ebb and flow of studio life.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Quote it

Another Study for Hope, 2009. oil on panel 10 x 12. sold.

"The more I see contemporary painting distrust feeling, the more feeling I put into my painting."

-Carl Plansky b.1951

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Done and Undone

Unsettled Weather, 2009. oil on canvas, 24 x 28 sold

Here is painting that I thought was finished, and then I changed it suddenly at the very end. I don't know why paintings are like that some times, but they demand to be changed. I will think they are done and that the solution to the problem of the painting has been finalized, and I leave it on the easel for the night. Usually I am satisfied with what I have done when I leave, but when I come back I know immediately that something needs to be changed.

The tough part is that the changes have to be consistent with the original idea that I had for the painting or I will ruin it. This painting was rather quick to fix, but there have been times that it has taken me months to fix a painting depending on what the problem with the painting demands. It is all about making effective paintings.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Spring Days

High Spring, 2009. charcoal on paper, 14 x 22

Another drawing from the current crop that
I have completed recently.


Friday, March 13, 2009

I just can't stop

Slowly Moving Through, 2009. Charcoal on paper 31 x 32

I have been drawing nearly everyday for the last month or so. I really have to blame some friends for my situation. I did a drawing for them at the beginning of the year, and it has just opened the flood gates. I have done more drawing in the first quarter of this year than I have done in the last four years combined. I was working so hard on my paintings that I just didn't have time to to concentrate on anything else. It's interesting to see how my process has changed. A decade ago my paintings were very informed by my drawings, now my drawings are affected by my paintings. Each medium has its own unique aspects, but I am finding they are become more intertwined as I develop as an artist.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Representational or Abstract ?

Falling Over, 2008. oil on panel 8 x 7 sold

I have what feels like a war raging on inside of me. I happen to like a wide range of art. Is that so bad? There are some representational artists whose work I really admire, and then there are a whole mess of abstract artists whose work really speak to me. I think I tend to sway back and forth between the two in my work letting each tradition effect me more strongly at different times. But lately I have been looking at a lot of abstract work, and I know that it is only a matter of time before these paintings began to influence my work.
Stay turned....

Thursday, February 12, 2009

A great day

Turning Stormy, 2008. oil on canvas 50 x 56

I love this weather. We have had a rather dry winter so far, but the past few weeks or so have been stormy and cloudy. I like the rain, but I live for the breaks in the weather between systems when the air is crystal clear and the clouds are breathtaking.

Today was one of those days. I spent the day with my family on the central coast . We had a wonderful day together. The beach was quite nice and warm (at least for the winter) and the boys loved playing in the sand. I enjoyed the drive because the landscape and sky were stunning.

I can't wait to get back to my studio tomorrow.

Friday, February 6, 2009

A radical idea?

A Falling Sky, 2009. oil on panel 7 x 8

"I want to paint or draw as though the camera had never been invented."

-Leon Kossoff (b. 1926)

Saturday, January 31, 2009

What month is it?

Summer's Last, 2008. oil on panel 7 x 8. sold

I have no idea where January went, but now it's gone. I have been prepping panels so I have gotten something done, but it's been mostly busy work around the studio. I thought that I would have gotten more paintings done by this point. Well, you know what they say about the best laid plans....

My family has been hit by this horrible cold that has been going around, and that has slowed everybody in my tribe down for the past week and half, but we are on the mend. February will be more productive.

I can only hope.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Drawing again

Strong Clouds, 2009. charcoal on paper 38 x 42. nfs

This is a drawing that I just finished last week. I have not done any large drawings in a number of years. I had almost forgotten how much I revel the immediateness and spontaneity afforded in drawing.

Maybe I should do some more drawings.


Thursday, January 15, 2009

Studio help

Elizabeth's Morning, 2008. oil on panel, 7 x 8

My sister and her family visited for a short time over the holidays. We always have a great time together. We eat all of our meals as a family at my folks house and visit just as much as we can together. I usually don't get much work done when they are here, but this year I was on a it was work, work, work. One morning after breakfast I was getting ready to head out to my studio and my two oldest nieces (they are both in their teens) asked if they could come out to the studio also, and I said, "Do you want to help?" They looked at me like I was half crazy (well, they actually think that I am completely crazy, but that's another post!) They agreed, and we headed out to the studio.

I set up a couple of field easels for them to work on. At this point they were looking a little confused, and asked "Are we actually going to paint?" I drew a horizon line on each painting. Satisfied with its placement, I asked the girls, "What's your favorite color?" I mixed each color to their satisfaction (and mine) and then handed them the brush. They painted skies their favorite color and then the ground their second favorite color. Since I was mixing the colors I could control the color interaction (I believe this is the most important thing about painting) and therefore control what was happening in the painting. As the paintings went on I made sure that each additional color worked with what was aready there and told them where to put each color I mixed, but the paintings were based on their orignial color ideas. In the end I did paint the trees and any other final touch ups that needed to be done.

They really turned out looking like my work. To be fair, I really controlled all the decisions, they just put the paint on the panel. It got me to thinking what makes my work look like my work. I have always known it was not my paint handling skills and that morning proved that, at least in the beginning stages, but it was my color sense that made the paintings feel like mine.

It was an interesting exercise.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

You gotta feel it

A Certain Light, 2008. oil on panel, 8 x 10. sold.

"Genuine art grows outward from the heart. Art inspired primarily by the intellect may induce awe, excitement , or even laughter, but never tears. There is no great art without tears."

- Russell Chatham (b. 1939)

Friday, January 2, 2009

Are you ready?

Defiant Sky, 2008. oil on panel 8 x 7

It really doesn't feel like the new year. I signed a painting today 2008...oops. I pretty much worked through the holidays, except for the three days around Christmas when I had a really horrible head cold. I'm not complaining because I'd rather be busy than not in this business. I had a deadline that I was trying to make and didn't make it, I couldn't get my paintings to dry fast enough to ship them out. I felt like crap because of the head cold and not getting the painting done on time. It's times like these that make me feel like I'm being a bad professioanl artist.

That being said, I'm working a batch of small paintings to start off the year so expect new works soon.
Happy New Year everybody!

I'll get around to signing my paintings 2009 soon and then I'll feel better about everything.