Friday, July 31, 2009

Hazy Overlook-22x28

Available at Tidewater Gallery in Swansboro
email them or me if you're interested in this piece

I got tired of my nice chiseled brights (brushes) getting frayed and ragged around the edges. when i paint i like a nice chiseled edge on my brushes so i started doing what i used to do back in my old sign painting days. i started wrapping them in between painting sessions, and now they stay sharp waaaaayyyyy longer. here's how to do it.

after washing all the paint out of the brush and drying it on a paper towel, take a piece of masking tape about an inch and a half long and lay the brush on it like so....
By the way..... this will work with any brush- synthetic or bristle

wrap it around once and push to make a nice chiseled shape out of the bristles. the tape sticking to itself and the bristles will hold the form

then wrap it around once more and there you go. the things keep their shape forever now. Give it a try!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Front St. Watering Hole-SOLD

Front St. Brewery was done from the top of the parking deck in downtown Wilmington. liked the umbrella's and the whole vantage point thing. the building has so much character. i bet everybody who's been to downtown wilmington has downed an adult beverage in Front St. Brewery.

did this one a little different. underpainted a wash of a burnt sienna color all over the panel then went in with a darked red for the darks and wiped out the light areas. then i put local color on top of this burnt sienna value study. Whacked in a couple of umbrellas and a few shapes for people on the street and voila!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Marsh at 10 OClock-6x8-$75

$8 s/h
to purchase instantly click the "buy now" button to pay with PayPal or credit card

Loved this "zig-zag" shaped marsh island. i was trespassing bad painting this one today. i just know one day i'm gonna get locked up painting in people's backyards without permission. but as a plein air painter i live by the saying "its easier to ask forgiveness than permission"

Duke's Jar- 6x6

this was a commission for a nice lady in Hawaii who was missing her hometown mayonnaise, Duke's. i did another one a year back for a lady who sent it to her Tarheel kids out in Colorado. Dukes has quite a following here in the south. i cant eat it... i have to keep a jar in my fridge just for painting!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Off the Beaten Path-SOLD

this is one from a marina near Cedar Point. it had the wall of the dry stack building in it but i took it out and what a difference it made compositionally. thats whats so great about oil paint! you can take stuff out. you watercolor painters cant do that... HeHeHe(smirk)!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

'07 and '08 Studio Sale

The J.R. Navigator-8x10

Shades of Red- 8x10


Bowl and Co-Worker- 8x10

See Thru and Blue-9x12

Out to Pasture-8x10

I'm having an '07 and '08 Clear Out the Studio Sale on all these pieces.

Baby gotta have new shoes. LOL

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Beaufort Waterway-8x10

$350 in nice plein air frame
$275 unframed
email me if you'd like to purchase it

One of those shimmery HOT summer afternoons while the clouds boil up ready to rain.

House on Corbett Hill- 8x8


One from the other morning before the humidity built up. it was fun trying to capture the radiance of sunlite on this one. i never tire of trying to use pigment and linseed oil to do it. but its an eternally elusive goal.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Cloudbank Islands-12x12-SOLD

Cloudbank Islands- 12x12


Marsh in the Morning- 22x28- $600 framed
SOLD- in less than 24 hours! could be a record!
Worked really big today. Did this 22x28 on site this morning after a quick thunderstorm, and then the 12x12 above. that's alot of square inches for me, considering i usually do 8x10's and 6x8's, and the occasional 9x12.
Used really big brushes and loose paint strokes (plus i had done a small study for Marsh in the Morning a few weeks ago) all which made this doable in one session. i'm tickled over how they came out. i may start painting big just for the heck of it. i've got 8 or 10- 12x16 frames stacked up all over my studio. Guess what you'll be seeing out of me for the next little while.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


$8 s/h
to purchase click the "buy now" button below to pay with PayPal or credit card

this is from a cemetery right down from the trauma center. i edited out the grave stones which didnt help tell the story i wanted to tell about this tree. they would have been a distraction. painting is as much about what you DONT paint as it is what you do.

it would be like trying to tell a story, and while youre doing that you start this other story and then you finish up with a third and entirely different story. people would be like..."what the heck is he trying to say?!"

so if youre a painter reading this.... tell one thing and one thing only.

Monday, July 20, 2009


like i said, loved this boat. tried real hard to keep it super loose and real gooshey (a very technical artist term i learned in art school) LOL

the cooler, overcast light key is (to me) more challenging than a bright sunny day. could be because i paint bright sunny days 10,000 times more than i do overcast. the only way i'd even want to paint overcast light key, is push the colors a bit to make them more interesting. i almost always paint boats or something up close because the landscape isnt very interesting when its monochromatic.

news on jamie- the skin donor sites on his legs (for the grafts) are very very painful but he's alert, walked a few minutes yesterday and is getting stronger everyday.

again i'd like to thank everybody for their support to my family on the blog, in emails and with phone calls, during all this. things may return to somewhat normal in a couple of weeks maybe.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Overcast Reflection-6x6-SOLD

Got over behind Davis Seafood today and tho' it was overcast, i loved this boat and its colors. i pushed them of course.... for instance where i saw a grayish-purple i left out some of the de-saturation to "push" the purple color. i hate gray day paintings that are gray. i have to constantly remind myself, i'm making paintings-- not trying to reproduce the scene exactly. my goal is to have my paintings more beautiful than the actual scene i'm looking at.

doesnt mean i do, just means i try! :D

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Clouds and Rooftops-SOLD

this one's from behind my favorite irish pub to drink Red Bulls (and check my emails) in. just loved the way this composition looked. it wasnt the values or colors like the way i usually pick what to paint. this was strictly the arrangement of the shapes and maybe the play between the man-made elements, and nature (the huge cloudbank).

my favorite spot tho is the little masonry ledge at the top of the red brick bldg. thought i nailed that ledge! LOL

Friday, July 17, 2009

Waitin' to Hookup-SOLD

on a train kick for some reason. the way the tracks go back into the distance and how the silvery light today had its own color harmony. not really all cool like an overcast day and not real "warm" colorwise (tho' it was quite muggy and miserable today)
not alot of hard shadows tho there were some very subtle ones out there. i just pack up when there arent ANY shadows at all. not worth painting anything with such weak sunlite on it, IMHO.

as you can tell i'm getting out everyday to paint. jamie has his grandmother staying with him in the hospital to relieve his mom and i for a few days so we can go home, pay bills, wash our clothes etc. before we go back to the burn center to stay with him. at least i am getting some painting done. at this point, i could care less if it sells or not. it gets me out of that hospital room. i know he's in good hands with his nurses, mom, and grandmother tending to his every need. i'm tending to the paint!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

One Behind the Other-6x6-SOLD

i love untraditional views and if its got architecture in it what's not to love? this old building was cool but when i saw it behind the half lit up white wall it was too much for me to resist. this is off Hillsborough Street heading down to NCSU. done around 5 pm just when the light gets good.

Jamie's getting up out of the bed for the first time since the accident ten days ago. he's eating regular food (hospital food sucks bad!) when we bring it from Bojangles, Wendy's etc. i'm convinced that Bojangles food has healing properties!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The 10:01-SOLD

Painted this looking into Raleigh off a bridge near the Govenor Morehead School. i was stopped in my tracks (pun intended LOL) by the contrast between the large dark tree in the foreground on the right and the hazy buildings in the distance. even the trees in the middle ground are muted and hazy and theyre very close. i think i captured the humid atmosphere on this one by keeping things more and more desaturated as they go further back in the landscape.

seems good to get out on the streets again and get out of that hospital room. Did three today.
Jamie's doing better and better and his appetite is coming back which is a good sign. he's also starting to itch which means the new skin is bonding. Praise God!

thanks to all that have kept in contact by emails and here on the blog. you were my lifeline to the outside world during our hospital vigil. appreciate all that support!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The Rialto (July PM)-8x10-SOLD

well i know y'all are tired of hearing about the stuff in previous blogs. guess what me too!

the wife let me go out today to try to make a dollar as we're both not working much this past 10 days. i made a big show about "going to work painting" but she's a smart cookie and knew what i was up to. she knew i dont sit around well unless i'm blogging. so she said "well if you have to work you have to work"
being out in the sun painting plein air is very tiring, both mentally and physically (the heat, some ants got mad at me today, tourists etc) but i dont consider it work. actually it was good to get out of the hospital onto the streets pushing paint around.

ive learned that i can go without food a little while (not long LOL), go without surfing/kiteboarding even longer but i MUST paint!
this is a very popular theater in the old Glenwood/5 Points area of Raleigh (about 30 min, from the burn center) and was famous for showing the Rocky Horror Picture Show back in the day. it's iconic old Raleigh and i knew it would look great in the afternoon sun today. and it did!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Mon. Update

well here it is a week from the accident. seems like more than that and seems like less than that. is that possible?
Jamie's resting much more comfortably and with less confusion than in the last few days, so thats a blessing.
thanks again to everybody in my blogworld for the prayers and support. i cant tell you what its meant to open up my emails and blog and see them.

thought about sketching some to pass the time but didnt, even tho' i'm bored to tears. i must absolutely hate to sketch. never have cared for it much. have always been amazed that so many painters would like to do it. its so linear and the tool is so foreign to what we do as painters. with painting you think large shapes of color and drawing a line has nothing to do with that. i wonder if its my preconceptions about it that make me not want to do it. many plein air artists draw sketches or thumbnails before starting. i never do. not to say that i should or shouldnt or that its right or wrong. i just dont. i'd rather paint small paintings.... if i dont like the composition i'll just paint another painting.
i do recommend that many of my workshop students sketch and sketch, but thats because many of them havent drawn much and it shows in their paintings. the objects arent rendered well or relationships are off. for instance the marsh shapes they draw might be too fat and dont look like they recede in space, or things are lopsided, too big, too small etc. so no matter how good their brushwork, how well they mix color or nail the values, the painting looks bad. but i also tell them if they dont like to sketch (like me) then paint everyday instead. painting IS drawing with paint!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Sun. Update

i wrote sunday update.had to think for a minute which day of the week it is. when you're in this hospital its like youre in a some weird time warp. if youve ever sat vigil like this, you know what i'm talking about.

Looks like about at least another week of being here waiting for the graft to "take" . the nurses say its still sliding around so he has to be almost completely immobilized so jamie wont slow the healing process. he wants to get up out of the bed every time he wakes up.

i'm dreaming of painting and have been studying things to compare values and the way light is hitting hospital paraphenalia as if i'm going to paint it. like doing the mental work of a painting without having the actual paint to push around (the enjoyable part of the process) its a way to do mental painting excercises for when i do re-start painting again. like a prisoner of war might do pushups in his cell to stay strong, in anticipation of his escape.

was looking yesterday how a wall in the nurses station had a very subtle and almost indetectable pink cast to it (even way up high near the ceiling) because of some red boxes holding surgical gloves. it was VERY subtle but there.

nature is the same way. there's a certain harmony becuase everything is bouncing light into (and onto) every thing else.

i saw an ad for a movie the other day and it was obvious they had photoshopped this great sky onto a landscape. they did it for impact but the light in the sky wasnt being reflected on anything on the landscape. the landscape was from a blueish sky and the sky was red and orange. it looked weird! maybe nobody else picked up on the disconnect.

an apple sitting on a blue sheet of paper and against a white wall will look completely different than an apple sitting on an orange sheet of paper against a green wall. if you cut a photo up and switched it to the other photo it would not look harmonious. you might not even be able to put your finger on it, but you'd know they didnt fit.

anyway..... i dont like to sketch much so i've been doing painting mental excercises to pass the time. wow.... blogging passes it too.

thanks again to everyone who's shown their support to my family with the emails,blog comments and phone calls. got one such email from a blogwatcher sending prayers from france. how cool is that.

knowing there's a real world spinning outside chapel hill nc is comforting and i will paint it with newfound appreciation when i do start setting up the old homemade paint setup again.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Sat. Update

yeehaaahhh! jamie's skin graft surgery was yesterday and tho' there was a lot of pain and dropping in and out of reality from the pain meds, i think the very worst is over and we can start looking forward to the healing.

i wanted to thank everybody in my blogosphere for the emails and sweet, uplifting comments on here. when things were tuff and i could getaway from the room and slip down to a waiting room, i'd plug in my computer and throw some thoughts together and give a post update. there were scores of wellwishing notes from people saying they had him (and us) in their prayers. it seems like such a small thing but when your world's falling in around you, those are lifelines to sustained hope. even if youre strong you still can "give out" but those are like cups of cold water along the route of the boston marathon. something to get you to the next checkpoint and the next, until youve run the whole race.

i couldnt have done it without y'all.

i promise i'll take a photo of that little coffee house painting i did the other afternoon, and post it as soon as i change my clothes, get a good meal and get near my upload cable.

i'm going to give it to jamie framed to keep. he loves my little paintings and saves many from the trash can when i throw them away. he's got em hanging up all around and i'll see 'em, and throw them away again. he gets em out of the trash AGAIN and hangs em back up. so Carolina Coffee House is going to be his.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Friday Update

As can sometimes happen at a huge truama center Jamie got bumped from the operating room Wed. and was rescheduled for today. annette (my wife) and i are hanging in there at bedside. Jamie seems to be doing well, still in that in-and-out drugged up state to control the pain. in a part of my head i know the meds are doing their job, but the logical part sees him thrash and moan (tho' less now than a few days ago) and i wonder just how much he still must be feeling.

Hopefully today they'll get him in surgery today and the healing can begin.

i did get out a little yesterday afternoon and painted a little coffee house on the campus of UNC called Carolina Coffee House, an iconic chapel hill haunt. it felt good just to forget everything thats going on right now. it wasnt the best thing i've ever painted but i frankly didnt care. i just wanted to keep from getting too rusty. i did feel a little rusty even after just a few days away from the brush. another good reason to paint everyday or every other at the very least.

they're coming to get him for surgery pretty soon so i gotta go

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Wed. Update

i know that most people come over to my blog to escape reality for even just a moment. real life can be pretty overwhelming.

i'll be honest with you..... if you dont need anymore reality today, and just want to see pretty beach landscapes, boats etc. that make you forget it for a second..... this may not be the place for you (at least for the next several weeks). hey i'm sorry.
as frank gardner likes to say "life is getting in the way" for me now---BIGTIME

i have bits and pieces of time waiting for this or that surgery, or this or that doctor to come and talk to us about jamies prognosis, etc., so i'll try to make the upcoming blogs informative (a lot of people are praying for jamie and want to know how he's doing) and uplifting. heck.... reality sucks enough already. people dont want to come on here and get another dose. there are silver linings!

so here goes....

jamie is still in that "twilite state" a sort of drug induced off and on sleep because of the pain. surgery is scheduled for tonight sometime, to graft skin onto his chest to prevent infection. they said he was burned on 15% of his body with the hot grease.

first i want to thank my "internet family" and friends, collectors and gallery owners for the emails (and comments here) for their wellwishing and prayers. little did Al Gore know when he invented the internet LOL that blogs would spawn friends we've never seen to be such a powerful supportive network. most of them you wouldnt know if you walked by them in the mall.

here's the philosophic part as i see it.....

life can turn on a dime. what you once had can be gone in ten minutes. your whole life can be turned upside down by events totally out of your control. loved ones can be gone in the blink of an eye by their own hand or the ignorant act of a stranger. it can be maddening. it can strain your faith or it can strengthen it. it can break it or make it unbreakable.

Whether you believe in God or not, all mankind (since we've been around) believe that there's a reason for things and a plan, even if its unknowable to us. the madmen of the world have always been the ones that thought things just happen willy nilly and you just have to take these things. Hitler, Jeffrey Dahmer, the Son of Sam, to name a few.

to me that would be like having a toothache and the dentist comes up and tells you he knows it hurts like the devil and just get used to it, it'll never go away. you'd want to blow your brains out after a while of that i'd think. in the case of the madmen above they were cowards and did it to other people instead.

but you can see it this way too- the bad times make you appreciate the good times better. without pain their is no bliss. without hate you cant accurately judge love. without danger to our loved ones we cant enjoy when theyre all safe and sound. you get my gist.
so if yours are safe today thank God (or whoever you credit when things go well) and go call em and tell em you love them. you or they could have many days to do this or not even the end of this day. you just dont know and i have to believe that even that small detail is for our own good.

ok... enough mushy stuff. remember i've got nothing to do but sit here with my thoughts and my broadband card and internet access. right now youre either glad i do or wishing al gore had never invented the internet! (you know he did right?!) LOL

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Limited Posts

I wont be posting on the blog for the next several days. My stepson Jamie spilled a panful of burning grease on his chest, arms and hand during a grease fire at our house. He's been seriously burned and we had him transported to the UNC Hospital Burn Center in Chapel Hill. so my wife and i are sitting with him off and on, for at least two weeks, while he's up here. He'll have surgery tomorrow to graft skin from his thighs to the third degree burn on his chest and possibly to his hands. we're greatful to God that Jamie didnt burn up in the house, where he fell asleep cooking fries and the grease caught on fire. he woke up and tried to grab the pan and get it outside. he tripped and fell and the hot grease spilled all over his chest, arms and hands. some people put the fire out before it got past the kitchen. We have to live in a motel for at least a week the insurance adjuster said.

we're also greatful to only be hours from this regional burn center. the guy that was involved in the Ocracoke fireworks explosion on the 4th of July is here for his severe burns. three other workers for the firework company died. this is a top notch burn center and people come from all over the mid-atlantic for severe burns.
If youre a prayer, we could use 'em. He's in so much pain and is in for long road of recovery.

so as you can see i'll be taking care of other things, but i'll get back to posting as soon as we get past this.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Boogie Boarders-9"x12"-$75

$8 s/h
to purchase this painting click the "buy now" button below to pay with PayPal or credit card

Clearing out the Studio Sale- '07 and '08 Work
These are larger works for the same price as my much smaller ones!

A knife painting of some kids boogie boarding from last summer. this one retailed for $300 framed last year. i'll sell it unframed for $75 unframed, so it can find a new home, and give me more room to move around in my studio.

Friday, July 3, 2009

High Atop the White Oak-8x8


The name of this one ought to be High Atop the White Oak 2 because i repainted over the below painting. Me and about ten other people hated the tree on it and i didnt like the coolish light so i gessoed over it and repainted this one using the 6x8 study that sold a few days ago as the inspiration. i love this one way better than the previous one. sometimes you just paint a dog out there no matter how hard you try not to. thats just the way it is. the true test is if i smile when i look at it. i do on this one.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Salt Marsh-SOLD

Cottage on the Water- 8x10

email me if you'd like it before it goes to a gallery

High Atop the White Oak-8x8
available at Tidewater Gallery in Swansboro

Temps here in eastern NC are in the mid 90's with crushing humidity so you have to paint in the morning and in the afternoon. the two above are great examples of the difference in the light. look how blue/lavender the morning one looks compared to the afternoon beach cottage with its yellows and orange flavor. it has to do with the way the sun goes thru different atmosphere in the evening and causes the light to have more red light waves in it (thus the oranges, yellows)
The mid-day is glaring white light and the sun is straight overhead, no shadows. without shadows there's nothing to show off the light.