Thursday, March 14, 2013

A Sycamore Tree

24"x24" Oil on canvas

Painted up this one since I've been addicted to sycamore's lately. This was inspired by a crop of an earlier painting and I loved the colors on the trunk of this tree. Gathered a lot of sycamore reference photos down at Eaton Canyon in Pasadena at Thanksgiving. Nice Fall colors back then. Can't wait to go down there next Fall.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012


I like good shadows in a painting. I've seen them done several ways and some handle them really well. I really don't put much work into shadows and figured I needed to work on them more. This sketch was painted today in about 50 minutes...not bad for a 12"x16". Years ago it would have taken me a week to paint this scene at this size. One thing I appreciate about painting regularly is getting faster at it. Faster of course doesn't mean better so no my head is still being kept in check thanks to my vision.
I see things in this painting that need work and some areas that I like. I don't usually use purple as shadow as much as I use Ultramarine blue but why not work on something else. I like the purple ( violet ) and like going from dark intense purple to the more faded as it heads into the light. I guess I could use Dioxanine purple but I like mixing them with my primaries....sort of like stretching your own canvas or making your own frames...haha. I've been working pretty large lately so going down to this size gave me a feeling of trying to jam what I wanted into the scene. Need to get used to small again. I'll keep doing more of these sketches to work things out....pretty fun. 

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Twilight In San Pedro

"Twilight In San Pedro, CGC Stratton"
18" X 24" Oil on Canvas

This is one of the paintings painted from reference material taken on my deployment with the Coast Guard aboard the cutter Stratton. This scene is of the first night the Stratton berthed in San Pedro before heading to her home port of Alameda in San Francisco bay. One of the things I didn't bring and was not told I needed to was a towel for showers. Not long after taking my reference pics on this night I realised I needed to get one so I bummed a ride on one of the vans headed into downtown Long Beach to find a WalMart. Ah the details....

Monday, April 9, 2012

Along Alisal Road

Alisal Trail
18" X 24"
Oil on Canvas

I decided to paint a scene from Alisal Road which leads out of Solvang south to Nojoqui Falls. I have painted here and I like the big clouds that float by over the ridge here. I decided not to include the road in the painting and instead switched it with just  a trail. I'm still at the point of looking at roads in the landscape as pretty boring and not at all as interesting as a trail. painting to work on.   

Monday, February 27, 2012

Contemporary Masters : Artistic Eden III

"Bridges Over The Arroyo"
I was fortunate enough to be asked to enter work into this prestigious invitational show in Pasadena
held at the Pasadena Museum of History on the grounds of the Fenyes Mansion. The show will run from March 9 - July 29, 2012. This looks to be a great show and I look forward to seeing the work of some very talented artists. There are 4 artists who I know well that have work juried into this show too so I'm looking forward seeing their work. I'm hoping to bump into them and's not like we get the chance to see each other often since we are spread all over southern and central California including one who lives in the high desert.
I'll have my painting above in the show and 2 others. If you see one you like and are thinking of purchasing please contact Jasminka at Galerie Gabrie for info.

Museum Hours  - 12:00 Noon to 5:00 pm Wednesdays through Sundays.
Admission: $7 General; $6 Students & Seniors; Members & Children under 12 Free. Free admission every “Community Wednesday” to anyone who lives, works or is a student in any of the following local communities: Alhambra, Altadena, Arcadia, Bradbury, Duarte, Eagle Rock, El Sereno, Glendale, Highland Park, La Canada Flintridge, La Crescenta, Monrovia, Monterey Park, Pasadena, Rosemead, San Gabriel, San Marino, Sierra Madre, South Pasadena and Temple City. Please mention this offer and show some form of i.d. in the Museum Store.

470 West Walnut Street ~ Pasadena, CA 91103 ~ Ph 626.577.1660

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Coast Guard Deployment

I am a member of the Coast Guard Art Program, COGAP, and was recently asked if I’d like to be deployed for 4 days on their newest National Security cutter, the USCGC Stratton, of course I said yes. My assignment is to photograph the crew in their duties as well as images inside and out of the ship for future paintings to be submitted to the Coast Guard Art Program. I will board the ship in December and spend the next 4 days collecting reference photos for future paintings of this ship and crew.

USCGC Stratton under construction in Pascagoula, Mississippi

The Stratton is the third of four mega high tech 418-foot Legend Class cutters to replace the dependable but aging 378-foot Hamilton Class cutters built in the 1960’s. The National Security cutters perform alien migrant interdiction operations, fisheries protection, search and rescue, counter-narcotics and homeland security missions. On it’s first patrol out the sistership USCGC Waesche interdicted 2 vessels within a 48-hour period containing over 25 million in cocaine being smuggled to the US. The new National Security Cutters have the range to patrol from South America to the Bering Sea. The new cutters carry two helicopters and 2 long and short-range boats. The Legend Class cutters are real beauties!  
    USCGC Stratton getting underway

I have known about this new project for about a month now but had to wait for my travel orders to be cut before announcing it. Mary Ann Bader, COGAP coordinator, has been great to work with in setting this all up with the Executive Officer of the Stratton. I’m looking forward to being on board the ship and recording as many images as I can for future works. I’ve been going over my photo equipment in preparation for getting as many reference photos as possible in the 4 days I’ll be with the ship. I’ll be posting some of these images when I return from the deployment in December.
Captain Dorothy C. Stratton
Director of the SPARS, the Coast Guard Womens Reserve during WWII

Sunday, August 28, 2011

French Companion In Use

I built this French Companion from scrap wood leftover from other art projects. A French Companion is a very cool addition to my French Easel set up and really makes painting that much easier having all of the room to set things. Before I'd have brushes on the side or laying in the drawer behind the easel so I was always walking around to the back while painting. Now I have plenty of room to set everything right in front. The best bonus is that once the painting is done all I have to do is fold the lid and fold up the easel, no messy paint from a flat palette getting everywhere and eventually onto my clothes. I love this thing. If you don't want to build one just buy one...they are usually on sale at online art suppliers for around $60. It's worth every penny!

Small to Large Again...

"Chamberlin Ranch Oaks"
6" X 8" Oil on Panel
I used this small painting I painted about a year ago to use as a reference for a larger 16X20 just recently. In going larger I wanted to add more color and detail to the foreground. The goal was pretty simple and even though I had to drop off the smaller painting to a show before the large one was done all seemed to work out. Good thing too since the small painting sold at the show. I think the larger painting worked out very well and has a fresh look to the same scene. There were some good changes to the newer version and the additional colors and detail in the foreground make it stand on it's own merit.
    "Oaks At Chamberlin Ranch"
    16" X 20" Oil on Canvas

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Featured Artist September

In September I will be the Featured Artist at Galerie Gabrie in Pasadena, CA.If you are near Pasadena please stop in at the gallery anytime in September and check out my work. Jasminka Gabrie, the gallery owner, will be happy to have you at the gallery. Gallery Gabrie has work from some very wonderful artists so make sure you stop in and enjoy your visit!
If you would like a show card mailed to you please send me your address.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

California Art Club Show

I was sent notice a few weeks back that one of my paintings has been juried into the upcoming California Art Club show that will be at the Altadena Country Club. The show, "At The Foothills Of The San Gabriels" will run from Sept. 1 through Jan. 10 will have an artists reception on September 11, 2011. If you'ew in the Pasadena area please come to the Show Reception !!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Small To Large

Original small painting, 5x7
I did this small painting a while back..last Winter I think. I always liked how it came out and while looking for some other painting I bumped into this one again. After looking at it for a few minutes I decided to try and use it as a reference for a much larger version. Originally it was painted in a vertical format but I wanted to try an do more of a horizontal/rectangle format. In the end I liked that larger version of the painting and was happy I tried to stay close to the look of the small painting. Too many changes would have made the larger one a totally different painting so I'm glad I stayed with what inspired the larger painting.
The smaller version shown with larger 24x30 painting
The larger painting went along really well and was finished alla prima in 3 hours. The only thing in the larger painting I really changed was lightening the grass and bush. I also added trunks and small branches to the bush this time. It's a nice typical fog clearing morning in the Santa Ynez valley.

Friday, July 29, 2011

California Art Club Show

            I was fortunate enough to get two paintings into the CAC show down in South Pasadena. This was a great looking show, lots of killer work in it, and a nice gallery too, The Fremont Gallery. If you click on that link you can get the info on the show but it ends this Sunday so you'll have to get over there quick to see it.
           I apologise for announcing this so late but I have been going round and round trying to update my website with no success. For some insane reason there is a glitch in either my web authoring program (Netscape Composer), my FTP program (Ipswitch) or my web hosting company (Earthlink) and damned if I can figure out which one it is because everything looks fine. About the only thing I can see fault with it my page title in my source code online is and it is on my Composer files and FTP files...that doesn't make sense....and yes, I've dumped my cache in IE so it's not that. Got any ideas???

 is the show card...and yep, they used one of my paintings for it, too cool!



          Well, I've been more than tardy with posting on the blog here. I used to have 2 main galleries I was in but one had to shut down due to the economy. That shut down left me with just the one but it's a great one to be in. Naturally, when they say jump I ask how high. I'm going to be the featured artist for the month of September there so I've been working on larger paintings. Galleries like em' big....and a lot of them too. I've been fortunate to have made sales during the year...sporadic, but none the less sales and right now any sale is good news.

          Living a life of selling art enough to pay most of the bills and have some left over to buy art supplies to keep going is not a fun one but it could be worse. My last job had me working 10 hour plus days and that left little energy to paint at night. I'm thankful for any sales. Being an artist is a tough life and if you like living large you're in for a big dissapointment. Luckily I came from "meager" so I understand and can handle "meager", haha.

          Last November I was in our Artist Studio Tour here in the valley and sold a few of the little paintings...5x7 and 6x6. That led the local art museum in the next town over to ask to carry my little ones in their gift shop. That's worked out well, once in a while a small check arrives and I get to drop to my knees with arms raised a shout "YES!". I trust more than a few of you out there have gone through that's pretty nice when it happens....wish it happened more.

          Since last Spring I have made frames, searched for better frame prices...always doing that, experimented with new frames which has led me back to my usual frames, haha., made it to a couple of artist friends shows which was fun, repaired my French easel which broke a support for the back leg, built a French Companion for my French easy to build. I also lost my best little camera for taking shots of the sort of works but not...can't take a pic with it so I had to buy another one on eBay to replace it...newer, larger megapixels and totally sucks for getting good shots of the artwork. I miss my older camera so bad I'm about to buy another one if I can find it. It's 5 or 6 years old and that's' like 20 with the ever constant changing technologies. I used to laugh at the fact that if you bought a new digital camera by the time you got home and unwrapped it they would have already come out with a newer one with more megapixels! joke.

         So....I'll try posting more here on the blog. Sorry to anyone who has been checking it. Life and other obligations can sometimes get in the way and you have to prioritize...been there, doing that now.   

Monday, March 14, 2011

Painting the Foothills

"Foot Of The Figueroas"
12"x16" Oil on Canvas
The Figueroa mountains line the northern half of our valley. My backyard is pointed right at them so I get to see them throughout the year in various light and shadow. I grew up right below the San Gabriel mountains living less than 2 miles from their base. Always having large mountains within walking distance has sort of stuck with me and I think I'd go crazy living anywhere away from the mountains.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

A Meadow Painting

"Afternoon Meadow"
6" X 8" Oil on panel
I'm just about to start another large painting but before doing that I painted this small painting this morning. I wanted to wipe off the remnants of paint left on my palette from a previous painting and didn't want to waste all of the paint so I used a nearby panel to paint this one. Just a small meadow scene of what the summer months will bring once all of this rain is long gone. I like the rain but lately it has come spaced just long enough that just before the ground dries up in comes another few days of rain.