Saturday, July 26, 2008

Rose on Blue

5 x 7 inches, oil on paper.
Here's a new painting.

This one was painted in one sitting. I'm realizing that if I keep it simple, I can finish something in 3 hours. My tendency is to widen my view and add elements to the picture. It's hard to simplify, for me at least.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

I Don't Know #2

18 x 14 inches, tempera on paper.
In the early 90's I went through a period where I allowed myself to paint "thoughtlessly" with cheap tempera paints. The idea was to paint freely and to remove expectations. I have always been primarily a representational artist and as such there is always a model to live up to (reality). For me (with perfectionist "issues") this can be overwhelming and intimidating.

These paintings were fun and always interesting since I had no idea what would result.

The thing I notice is that even when I'm free to paint flat pattern, I invariably strive to create space, depth and form.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Pine Springs Canyon

12 x 17 inches, chalk pastel on paper.
This was from my stay in New Mexico in 2003. Guadalupe National Park is on the Texas/New Mexico border, along a desolate stretch of highway connecting Carlsbad and El Paso. The park highlights an ancient uplifted and exposed ocean reef, which these hills are a part of.

I drew 90% of this from our car on-site, and finished it later using my reference photographs.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Vehicles, morning

9 x 7 inches, color pencil.
OK, you've seen the curtain and you've seen the window. Now see the vehicles in the parking lot below the window.

Friday, July 18, 2008

West from 1500

14 x 11 inches, pencil.
Continuing with the window's the other window in my old apartment. A really cozy (450 square ft.) place in which to live and paint and picture frame. I remember spending a lot of time just looking for a place to set something down.

"Good times."

Thursday, July 17, 2008


12 x 8 inches, oil on board.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Riverside Park, Carlsbad NM

5.5 x 8 inches, chalk pastel on paper.
My apologies...the server that hosts my site was down for the past few days.

Drawn from the same spot as the previous post "Sunrise", this sketch shows the mighty Pecos River and some of the cottonwood trees lining this oasis. You can see from the bare trees that this was still very early spring. In the summer I'm sure people flock to this park and the water. We left in early May so didn't experience what I'm sure would have been a broiler.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Sunrise, Riverside Park, Carlsbad NM

5.5 x 8 inches, chalk pastel on paper.
It promises to be another blazing hot day here, so this picture seems appropriate.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

View from Cape Perpetua

8 x 7 inches, pencil.
Cape Perpetua is the highest point on the Oregon coast. It's a fantastic area with forest as well as rugged rocky shoreline with great tidepools and wild waves. The view from the top is what they call panoramic.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Studio Window, Shaver Street

8 x 12 inches, oil on paper.
My studio window from '91-'99. Maybe no one else likes these sketchy paintings, but I do because they point the way for me, towards something looser and less subservient.

I want to pick and choose from the elements in front of me, and rearrange them if necessary to suit my needs. This is a simple concept, but it is a constant struggle for me to follow. I am by nature cautious and deliberate, and to "paint outside (or over) the lines" feels like I'm doing something bad.

But when I am able to do it, it feels exciting and full of life. So this painting holds a good feeling for me.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Workday Sketches

A few characters observed on the train or taking a smoke break in the IKEA parking lot.

I've returned to my old habit of always having a sketchbook with me when I leave the house. I really enjoy the challenge of getting some marks down quickly, and not worrying about literal accuracy. I also like letting my cartoonish side out.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Roses and Coreopsis in a Vase

7 x 5 inches, oil on board.
Finally, here's something new, painted over a 2 or 3 day period last week. I basically repainted it twice in the process of searching for the right value relationships and colors. I tried every red and admixture I have, but never found one that satisfied me in conveying the intensity of sun coming through the red petals.

I'm hoping to post new paintings at least once, preferably twice a week. But July and August promise many distractions for me. Be prepared for more "classics" from the past.

Although I have avoided the issue of purchasing my work lately, most everything is for sale. For now, please email me if you're interested in something.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Blodgett St.

8.5 x 12 inches, chalk pastel on paper.
This early-morning study of light and shadow was the view from our bat-infested apartment building in Carlsbad, New Mexico, 2003. The weather that spring was mostly perfect, and consistent: sunny and warm, not yet hot. For an on-location (plein-air) painter day-to-day consistency is a good thing. It makes it possible to paint from the subject in more or less the same lighting.

The bats? They lived in the roof and we could hear them squeaking and moving about. At dusk they would shoot out into the darkening sky from under the eaves, one by one, like stormtroopers.

Monday, July 07, 2008

I Don't Know

4 x 4 inches, oil on board.
I'd like to say something about this painting, but...what? From time to time I like to just move paint around, with no idea, no plan, nothing. And this is what I get, or something like it. I don't tend to produce straight lines, but I do love arabesque and flowing line. And I tend to give things form. This image seems soft and round and organic, but the sharp teeth are a little alarming.

I think it's interesting to see what kind of picture results from this process. I think it probably reflects one's basic artistic personality. I think I could enjoy studying abstract painting, and I have often thought that if I had enough years I might end up painting "nonobjectively", if I felt I had exhausted reality. But I don't know. For now, I still want to study light, and form, and the natural world I can still see.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Rocky Beach

7 x 8 inches, pencil on paper.
Can't remember which beach this is, but it's somewhere around Yachats on the Oregon coast.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Coreopsis? (purty yellow flower)

5 x 4 inches, oil on board.
I think this is a Coreopsis, but I'm not sure. It's yellow, and growing in our front garden bed.
This was painted a few days ago.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

37th & Shaver

4.5 x 7 inches, oil on board.
One of my admirers has been clamoring for more pavement, so I offer this up with the hope that it satisfies.

This poor intersection has survived some serious cutting and patching.

I was pleasantly surprised to find that I can scan an entire painting (matted and framed under glass), and find no evidence of glass reflection or blurriness. I cropped out the frame but left the mat on this image.