Friday, April 7, 2017

Marvin Meerkat

12" x 16" oil on canvas board

I've been wanting to paint this guy from the moment I saw him.  Meerkats inhabit the Kalahari desert at the southern tip of Africa, and travel in 'gangs' or 'mobs'.

Friday, March 31, 2017

Grey in Flight

12 x 16 oil on canvas panel

I pulled some stills from a couple of videos of a handsome African Grey named Gandalf, sent by a new bird friend.  Unfortunately, the stills were very small and when enlarged to do a study, they pixelate into a blur.  But the wing formations are so fascinating when birds fly - and in this case come in to land, I gave it a try.   


Saturday, March 4, 2017

Evening Bedroom

12x12 oil on wood panel

This is where I lay my head at night to read until I fall asleep.  No my walls aren't lime green, but this is what appeared in the photo - and I liked it!  Fun to paint.  I'll do more.

Local View of Garibaldi OR

6 x 14 Oil on wood panel

I'm having a horrid time with photos.  Am I just fooling myself or does the camera lens have a mind of it's own?  None of the several photos I took...with natural light, LED soft light, from slightly above, slightly below look to me like the actual painting.  I dunno.  I think maybe a whole new approach is called for.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Young Blue Heron

Oil on wood panel 6 x 10 - SOLD

These gorgeous creatures are visible in many of the landlocked bodies of water here at the coast.  I still stop and stare when I see one and if I'm lucky I get a decent photo.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Roufous Hummingbird

 8 x 10  on linen panel

A little female who visited my home many times last year.  I was lucky she sat so still for me to get a nice close up photo.  I misidentified her as an Anna's.  I'll give this subject another go.  Good example of a painting that just doesn't work.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Mickey Sue Needed Painting!

                                              Oil on stretched canvas 18 x 24


So I did!  This is from the busy fishing village of Garibaldi 5 miles south of me.  Way too much material to choose from, but I lean toward the old guys. 

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Four Square

             12 x 16  Oil on canvas panel

I am thrilled to have been one of 12 artists and 12 writers accepted into a local event called 'Word and Image'.  I submitted this piece, Mona Lisa Livestock, and Cloud Cover.

The event brings artists and writers together in a random pairing, who choose one of 3 submissions of each other's work and create one completely new piece from the work chosen.

At the close of the process, we gather to see the results.  Last year it provided the best evening of entertainment I've experienced in a long, long time.  The artwork is on a screen onstage, and the writers read their work.  Fantastic!

Friday, March 11, 2016

Copying an artist you admire.....

There is much to learn from these little exercises.  I discovered how hard it can be to see the minor variations in values and how pushing from cool to warm can make a huge difference in the perception of those values. I was captivated by the incandescant light in this still life by Cook. 


8 x 10 copy of John Cook's 'The Jug'

I hadn't fully appreciated what a delicious color Viridian can be until I copied this little painting from Lipking.  Prior to this I mostly used it for mixing, but it makes wonderful sea greens and grayed aquas.

I also figured out tilting the camera slightly downward when taking a photo of a finished painting helps to avoid catching the glare from every brushstroke.


8 x 10 copy of Jeremy Lipking's 'Hotel Room'

Saturday, March 5, 2016

The Chinese Crested Dog - Powderpuff Variety

Doorknob 12x12 oil on wood panel

You've seen them on commercials, and they always win the ugliest dog contest because the breed is notorious for losing most of their teeth by the time they reach old age.  I'm talking about the most well known naked dog, bred to keep Chinese sailors feet warm - or so I read on the interweb.  Often a litter will produce a couple of puppies with a full coat and those are called Powderpuff Cresteds.  That's what this guy is.  I vote for giving back hair to all of them!

Thursday, November 26, 2015

The Lovely African Grey Parrot

12x12 Oil on stretched canvas - SOLD

Mona Lisa Livestock

12 x 16 Oil on wood panel - SOLD

I go back and forth with wood panels and stretched canvas.  I don't care for the boing of the canvas, but the smooth surface of the wood panels shows every hair and glob of paint on the surface. What I think I like best is cutting the panels and preparing them for paint.

Think I'll go ponder that for a bit.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Do you know the Kakapo?

12x16 Oil on 1/4" wood panel -SOLD

The Kakapo is a large (think small penguin) flightless bird native to New Zealand.  They are endangered and there are only about 125 left in the wild. They are long lived and can live 60 to 90 years. Such a peaceful looking creature.  I'd love to meet one. 

Friday, April 3, 2015

White Balance settings on your camera

These photos illustrate how much difference the correct white balance can make.  Both these photos were taken at the same time....but I had the white balance wrong on the top photo.  It's important outside too because your camera will zero in on the lightest spot then try to capture all the detail around it.






This lower photo looks much closer to the painting but it's not quite as vibrant.   There's sooooo much stuff you have to pay attention to!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Nehalem Bay in Oregon


Oil on stretched linen 16 x 30

This is a view from Wheeler, OR, and it's really spectacular.  I didn't do it justice, but it's so gorgeous and changeable - I'm sure I'll paint it again.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Ice Tunnel - Final

12 x 36 oil on stretched cotton canvas - SOLD

Update 10/28/14: This painting and a 'very abstract' abstract (which I failed to photograph before I put it in the show), were such oddball sizes I put a bottom dollar price on them and they sold quickly.
I was surprised because they'll both have to be hung in a special spot, but hey, they're not taking up valuable real estate in my house anymore!  I discovered an inexpensive way to frame them with stained furring strips and that often makes all the difference between selling and not selling.

I painted the sides because this lends itself to being hung without a frame, and because this size frame might be hard to find.  I think a painting should be as enjoyable to look at up close as it is from a distance, so I really concentrated on brush strokes for this one.  Next one too....well heck, they all should be that way.

I also discovered sable for this painting.  I didn't use it much, but what an amazing brush for detail work! It was a used Grumbacher small sable round and it verified sable's elevated reputation, even though I'm sure it's not the best quality out there.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Ice Tunnel - Stage 2

12x36 oil on canvas

Who needs a critic when a digital camera will be direct and to the point in 30 seconds? I've already run at this thing with a rag while it's still wet to soften areas needing attention and get back to the subtle tones  in the block in.  One more painting session and I'll have this thing finished.  I got to play with my Williamsburg French Ultramarine and Prussian blue, and learned a bit more about the versatility of Pthalo Blue.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Cloud Cover

click on any image to enlarge
12 x 24 oil on linen canvas

This is the FINAL painting.  Trees R HARD!  Doing landscape right is HARD! You have to keep track of depth, form, where the light is falling, perspective, value and color - for each layer of recession. That's a bit easier to do in still life and when painting animals.  And I can tell more painting on location is needed. I got this photo at dusk, but the sky was very bright and of course totally washed out in the photo.  I'll keep plugging away until I get the hang of it because I'm hooked. I love visiting other blogs and seeing how much they've progressed over time.  It gives me hope.


Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Abstract in oil in progress

18 x 36 Oil on stretched cotton canvas

I'm increasingly seeing the beauty of abstracted landscapes, and I had two ridiculously long, oddball canvases, (of course they were a clearance buy! Why else would anyone want them?) so I decided to get them covered and out of here, and used the odd size to do abstracts. I don't much like most abstract work because it's just like everything else - there's really good and not so good - and a lot in between.  But it can't be beat for exploring color, and I learn something wonderful from everything I try.  

I'm learning to appreciate the tinting strength of thalo green.  It's an intense phony looking color on it's own, but makes some wonderful darks mixed with alizarin, (deep forest green) transparent oxide red (the green of pond and lake water), and dioxazine purple (deep shadows).


In Progress - Clouds over Neahkanie

12 x 24 Oil on stretched cotton canvas

I've currently got 3 paintings going and none are where I want them to be.  This one has some glaring issues with the trees and foreground, and I'm at war with myself about the way I handle applying paint to the surface.  I'll post the final version when I get it there, but I enjoy it when others post their paintings in stages, so I thought I'd do the same.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Henry at One

12 x 16 oil on panel

This fellow was one of a litter of 4 born at my house in September 2006.  I was fostering rescued breeder Cairns at the time and his momma was sent to me very very pregnant.  He subsequently picked his new dad and went to live close by, so I could continue to see him.  That's the best that fostering gets!  He has changed colors as Cairns are wont to do, so I'm planning two more portraits of him to record his new look.

I do not know why my other photos have disappeared, so while I investigate, cross your fingers that Google hasn't thrown them in the round file of cyberspace.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

South of Wheeler



11 x 14" Oil on stretched cotton canvas

I'm starting a series of landscapes from right around my home.  The natural beauty is mind boggling so that endeavor was inevitable.  This a view of Nehalem Bay at dusk just south of the town of Wheeler on the northern Oregon Coast.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Abstracts?? No way! Well......way.



6" x 10" on Strathmore 140 lb paper

I've felt a strong pull toward abstract work of late so small and watercolor seemed like a good place to start. I've tried Strathmore and Lana papers, and I'm currently working on Cotman 140 lb cold press and I like that paper the most. I'm using a pad instead of a block so it curls a bit when working, but it doesn't have to be taped down, and the curling is easily remedied with a light spray on the back and an overnight press under a tile with a heavy something or other on top.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

North Sixth and 101



11 x 14" Oil on stretched cotton canvas

I caught this scene in the fog a year or so ago.  There's a new house on the left where the plant life formerly lived.  The family who lived in this duplex style house built the new house and has moved in.  It was fun to watch, but I'm glad I had a photo of the 'before'.