Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Near Marina Cafe-6x6-SOLD

Forgot i had this one from before i left for charleston. a late winter evening on the water.

i'm beginning to realize that as winter came, i'm using a VERY toned down version of the cape school technique. i quess because winter has a much quieter color palette, i'm using a more traditional style of underpainting. lately i use just a little yellow but mostly magenta and alizarin crimson and graying things down on the top coat way more than during spring, summer and early fall.

i think i'm doing that to more closely match what i'm seeing out there in the landscape or something. but like i said, i have just realized i've been doing it so i have to decide whether i like it or not.

painting is a fickle undertaking. just when you think youre getting a handle on something, youre painting different and didnt even realize it. hopefully, capturing the light (as it really is) keeps me honest, and who cares how its done, technique-wise, right?

does anybody see any big difference in the way the paintings look, or is it just my imagination?

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

From the Battery Charleston-8x10

The battery in Charleston is a cool place to paint. as you're painting you can hear the horse carriage tourguides telling the history of the city as they amble by, every few minutes or so. i learn something new about the city everytime i paint there. Charleston is steeped in very interesting history from the revolutionary and civil war.

worked in the cab of the truck this morning in some neighborhoods off King St. until it got above 40 degrees and then i painted in the battery as the sun warmed up things, and i could get out of the truck and paint. it was still a little chilly but very nice compared to low thirties this morning.

painted three today so....more charleston pieces to come!

Monday, December 28, 2009

One Off King St. Charleston-6x6-SOLD

Painting all over Charleston today.

Up side.... it was very sunny after lunch and the light was clear. Down side... got back to my truck to take a break and get some more panels, and found a parking ticket on the windshield. dont know how they knew i was there over the two hour limit, there were no chalk marks on the tires. i checked when i knew i was going to park there all day. once i saw the ticket i figured since i got it, i might as well stay there and paint all day, and get my moneys worth :D

My usual method for "crawling" a downtown area is park off the main drag in a residential neighborhood because (in the past anyway) they usually are a little more lenient there, compared to the downtown district. i load up as many panels, paint and thinner as i can carry (so i dont have to come back to the truck) and i head off across the city. i walk and paint till about halfway in the day, and then i turn around and head back one or two streets over. when the days over i'm very close to the truck to leave. unfortunately for me these paintings will net me $25 less profit because of the ticket but hey i'm doing my part to keep the city of Charleston in the black.

One Off King (above) really attracted me with that white sliver of building against the dark trees. hey... having the cool reddish roof (greens compliment) was a bonus. this was the final one of the day and the late day sun kept me warm till it fell behind the buildings. it was probably 40 degrees with the wind whipping down the alley. finished it before my hands froze too bad. it is winter after all! One month till i move to the keys for a few months. cant wait to be back in shorts and flip flops!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Vertical Trophy-6x4-SOLD

Gone Fishin'- 6x6

From Radio Island Towards Morehead-12x16

after the changes

before the changes
I got home from the holidays and saw alot of things i didnt like about this painting i had just finished. funny how you love a painting so much after you paint it, and if you dont see it for a few days, all the things wrong with it jump out at you.

so i thought i'd keep the two close (above) so you can scroll up and down, and see the changes made, and i'll explain why i made them.

probably the biggest change was lightening the shapes in the background. the uplifted train trestle and the horizontal shapes behind and in front of the water tower. i did this to make the background really atmospheric and lightening all those shapes makes them go farther back into the distance and makes the foreground zoom forward toward the viewer. scroll up and compare

then i took all the warm colors out of the water where i was taking too much liberty and got carried away. Problem with that is there are no warm colors in the sky like in the water, so it looked fake. once i mirrored the sky in the water (top painting) it simplified the shape calming it down and looking more realistic. i changed the columns for the bridge, keeping the value the same as the original, just changed the hue from blue-ish to purple-ish. problem with the first bridge being blue is everything was blue in the whole painting. every major shape should be a different hue, having the same value is ok. in reality every different surface is a different color because youre looking at it from different distances, its facing different directions, and its surrounded by different objects and they bounce their color onto the other object. so you can see that nothing can really be exactly the same color, even if its made of the same material.

i like the redone painting now and it more closely resembles my vision for the painting when i started it, a late afternoon, really atmospheric view of the port of morehead city.

the last thing i did was put the paint on really thick to contrast the really thin paint. adds variety and lusciousness to the painting, which is something i'm striving for. it want to start putting some really thick paint on some areas. Click the image at the top and look at the paint in the sky and water and then click the bottom and compare. i think you'll see what i mean.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Silo Glimpse-12x12


another from the Daw farm yesterday afternoon (all one hour of it in the wintertime). i just love to paint there, every corner of the place is a painting. this is baffling to me because i usually dont like painting rural type stuff. i know its all in my head but hey thats where alot of this stuff comes from, right? :D
wishing all you a Merry Christmas and Happy Birthday Jesus

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Family Farm-18x24

$575 unframed
i'm in wayne county the rest of this week for the holidays, so i was riding around looking for something to paint today. it was near fifty and the light was magnificent. so i'm out cruising around and saw these silo's way off the road. i drove over there and knew i had found painting paydirt!

Lucky me... i called and got permission from the owner of this big farm to paint on his property. it has sheds, silo's, farm equipment, wide open fields, old country houses in sight, and chicken houses. i love the place AND have his blessing to paint there anytime i want. if youre a plein air painter you know what a trifecta that is... permission, not way out in the boonies somewhere, and you love painting the stuff there! it doesnt get any better than that! thanks mr. daw.

so i'm out there painting and paul rolls up to check out what i'm doing. he says "what you painting?"

i show him the above painting and he says without skipping a beat, "you painted my chicken houses and that old shed? Man, you'll paint anything!"

yes paul, i will indeed paint anything!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Morehead City from Radio Island-12x16-$400

contact me if you'd like to purchase this one
its unframed and i'll ship it free!
This is the one i did yesterday just as the sun was beginning to set on morehead city. the warm orange-ish rails were a nice complement to the blues and purples of the water, bridge, and port buildings.
i heard that in a day or two the days will start getting longer every day, instead of shorter, like it has been doing. A reason to celebrate!

Monday, December 21, 2009

On the Line-6x6-SOLD


i get warm all over looking at this one!

i did get outside and paint today. seems that the near miss of the blizzard swept the atmosphere clean of all the bad mojo weather of the last several weeks. the one i did was a 12x16 and will require a little tweaking as it was done in the afternoon of the shortest day of the year, so the light and color was changing every five minutes.

i've been in a bit of a meditative mood lately (me and every other human this close to New Years right?) and have been surveying what has happened (good and bad) this past year and what i have in mind for the new one. its been a great year professionally. if you look thru this blog i've painted a painting and posted it everyday. take into consideration that some for one reason or another didnt get posted and its probably one every day! that, keeping a dozen galleries happy, and traveling up and down the east coast painting doesnt leave time for much else.

problem is... that sort of workaholic behavior takes its toll. i've been like a hermit, painting either on the road, or holed up alone in my studio for days, weeks on end. my social life was one of the victims of a very very busy and manic schedule. so i've been thinking....

one thing i know will help is to in 2010 to start keeping some regular working hours (more than now anyway!). start taking some weekends off too, and getting paid at least what my mechanic makes when he's working on my truck. the way i see it ... there are a whole lot more people in this world who can work on a toyota than there are people that can paint a painting. so why should artists all be starving. i know it may seem romantic in a sense, but not practical. just ask my bride! LOL

charging a fair price for what i do will mean i can slow down the pace, do better work that will bring a more deserved higher price. a win-win.

now to make all this more than another failed new years resolution.

hope we can all make some new years resolutions that will improve our lives, and more importantly, that we can keep them.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Early Winter Light-4x5

what a great day. after the "blizzard of '09" of which the NC coast escaped completely (except for a little cold rain and wind) it was nice and sunny today. i HAD to get out and paint in "ole bessie"(my mobile toyota studio), or go stir crazy.

i did the Plein Air Crawl (slowly driving around looking for new things to paint) and found a neat little waterfront cafe and marina thirty minutes from home. did a nice little boat painting. it looks like a great place to hang out when it gets above 50 again! then i crossed the bridge into an old neighborhood in jacksonville and saw this house lit up in the last yellowy-orange light of the day.

really liked how this one came out with the rich, luminescent side of the house against the grays of the feathery dead trees and cold blue winter sky.

could see this as a bigger painting (but with more of the landscape showing). who knows? lots of days ahead, staying in the studio, trying to stay warm and dry.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

A Fine Day Painting-SOLD

8x6- $75
This one was fun to paint. went into the shapes and had alot of fun with them, giving them lots of color and value variety. it just seemed to ask for it. What, you didnt know paintings could audibly ask for things? But of course!

Plein Air Session-SOLD

6x12- $150

Here are the two plein air painters together. i really love them in this long format. it looks like they were made for it dont they?

Friday, December 18, 2009


i'm on a kick painting these big game fish scenes lately. i'm enjoying being loose and painterly on the scene. this is like the bride series i did a while back. dont know or care about their marketing potential. i'm having fun pushing the paint, finding and losing the edges, playing with the shapes and generally goofing off while i wait impatiently for my move to the florida keys in a few weeks. right now a huge winter storm is going past. temps in the thirties and a foot of snow a few hours to the west. i hate winter. i'm a sun and flip flop kinda guy, for sure! maybe thats why i'm painting these sunny fishing scenes. trying to transport myself somehow.

i'm still working on a 6x12 of the two plein air ladies together in the scene, so i couldnt post it today. maybe tomorrow.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Plein Air Painter-SOLD


another plein air painter doing her thing.
i saw an online Youtube video of this guy painting one of those little mannequin looking things that you can buy at the art store. the joints are flexible and you can put them in any pose and draw them, you know the ones i'm talking about?
well he took one and painted from it. watching that was very instructional because he just painted in the limbs very straight and didnt try to make them look cylindrical too quick. ive started doing that early in the painting of figures and they seem to be drawn a whole lot better now that i'm doing that. soooo glad i saw that little 7 minute youtube video. too me, it was every bit as useful as a daylong workshop or class. the internet is a great learning tool. we live in a great time in history!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Plein Air Painting-6x8-SOLD


Painted this from a photo of some students painting plein air on Kathy Weber's blog. thanks kathy! i'll show you the other one tomorrow.

today was a weird day. i started driving around looking for something to paint at 10 am. By 3 pm i still hadnt found anything that caught my fancy. i went to the beach, nothing. drove to swansboro where i have never struck out. nothing. what?!!

all that time and all that driving and nothing to show for it.

and some people think all us painters do is paint all day. its not like everywhere you look there are great paintings. alot of my time is spent looking for them. cops dont like people driving around real slow looking at stuff. its suspicious looking! so i spend alot of time telling cops what i'm doing,too! havent figured out yet how to get paid for that :D

The Longest Pier- 6x8


the sign on this pier says its the longest pier on the east coast, and goes 1000 feet out into the water.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Sound Glimpse-30x40-SOLD

this is the finished painting i started in my step-by-step demonstration a few posts below this one. its on a 1 1/2" gallery wrapped canvas and doesnt need a frame if you like a more contemporary look on your wall.

its funny that while i'm painting these big ones i can be transported back to the day that the study was done. you can feel the sun on your back, feel the atmosphere (or clarity) of the light, remember other ones you painted that day, everything. the whole morning comes back to you. like when you look at a picture that transports you back 20 years just by looking at it. i guess in my old age, i'll have permanent memories of all the places i've ever painted. another blessing of this painter lifestyle i didnt even think about. until now!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Houses in December-8x8-SOLD


if these old houses could talk imagine the stories they could tell. all the towns in eastern nc have plenty of these old houses built close to the turn of the century. i imagine they were regal in their heyday when the towns rich folks built em.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Winter House-5x7-SOLD


got outside the truck on this one. wow... it was almost 50 degrees the afternoon i did this. but that was probably in the sun. to keep from setting up the easel umbrella i stood in the shade of an outbuilding so it was cold.

funny how all the warm greens, yellows and oranges you'd probably see in late afternoon if this was a few month ago, are gone.

i'll have to wait for my extended Key West painting trip i've got planned for the end of january. hoping to rent a room down there for a few months so i can keep plein air painting thru the winter. maybe then my feet will thaw out!

Dont forget the Blog Holiday 1/2 price Sale is going on!

(all 6x8's and smaller, on a post dated before oct. 1, 2009)

Friday, December 11, 2009

Tank Cul-de-Sac-6x6-SOLD


another "mobile studio" piece. found a cul-de-sac with a cool view of storage tanks (of gas) for ships in the port of Wilmington.

has that wintertime feel to it too with the bare trees and winter sky

Below is a step-by-step demo of a 30x40 painting on a gallerywrapped canvas.

Here i draw on the shapes and lay in some cool temperature shapes the rest will be warm

here i laid in the warmer shapes in the "somewhat" right values. at this stage thats all i'm going for. this is just the underpainting and kinda gets me thinking about temperature and value.

now i knife in large shapes into the "somewhat" close "real" colors. you can already see the feeling of light at this early stage. i've probably been working on it (up to this stage) for about 45 minutes. its like adding some skin to the skeleton and i can go this way or that now, adding form and variety to this jigsaw puzzle of flat shapes. up to this point its not too fun, but whats coming up is... pushing paint around and making everything look 3-D. Now thats why i do what i do!
i'll post the finished painting when its completed.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

River Reflection-4.25x7

Turned the cab of my truck into my mobile studio yesterday doing this one. i was on the Wilmington waterfront and liked the sky and the way the reflection was on the water. there were wind gusts up to 45 m.p.h. and just didnt feel like fighting it. made a neat little steering wheel easel out of some wood. maybe tomorrow i'll show that cool little invention. no more holding the paint box in my lap. its nice and secure in just the right angle on the steering wheel. i can paint in rainy, cold or windy weather in complete comfort, radio jammin' some bob marley and the heater running full blast on my feet. ever notice the older you get the colder your feet get? why is that?

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Shallow Waters-10x8

i did this one while on Bald Head a few months ago. i had gotten to the ferry and had about an hour to wait so i set up really quick and painted this one. but you wouldnt recognize it if i showed it to you. what it looks like now looks nothing like it did, when i first did it.

i've had it that long just staring at me from across the studio for months. it had two large trees on the left AND the right. something about that bothered me but i couldnt put my finger on it.

today i was going thru some reference photos i took in cape cod and found a shot i had taken of a sailboat and distant marsh and it hit me. get rid of the tree on the right to open up the view and add a sailboat. as i was painting out the tree on the right i had made a small bush and i thought STOP, leave it a bush.

added the sailboat, changed the background to simplify it and BAM, i started loving the thing.

painting everyday teaches you something everyday. todays lesson..... dont be so quick to gesso over one of your flub ups, and take lots of reference photos to spark ideas to save em!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Swimming Sushi-12x12-SOLD

Been cravin' sushi all day. instead of going and getting some i painted some! One problem with that makes the craving worse!
Loved how the soy sauce came out. like how you can see thru it, and it looks wet. yummy!
the photo for this came from karin juricks "different strokes from different folks" blog.

Monday, December 7, 2009

1/2 Price Sale!

Dreamy Marsh-30x40
$900 framed

i'm putting all my older small daily paintings (6x8 and smaller) on SALE for the holidays!

any available painting on a post older than October 1st, 2009 will be 1/2 price. even if it was listed for only $50 its now $25!

so go on the right side bar --->, click "September".

scroll down to posts before October 1st and start finding some stocking stuffer gifts for your Christmas list (or yourself!)

when you get to the bottom of September, just keep hitting "older posts" to find more paintings that are 1/2 price.

to purchase the painting--email me with the title in the subject line. dont hit PayPal buttons because they wont reflect the 1/2 price deal!

Sale ends Dec. 31st 2009!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

End of the Dock-8x10-SOLD

From my "honey hole" in sneads ferry this afternoon.any fisherman will tell you that they have certain spots that they always catch fish in. they call em honey holes. This spot always produces a painting for me. even if its winter, slightly overcast, and cold, i still find things worthy of a painting at this place, on the New River just down the road from where i live. after decluttering at the house till it got above 50 degrees outside, i was dying to get outside and paint. it feels good to get a room or two straightened up and to have a painting in the wet box. it doesnt take much to make me happy.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Capt. Charlie Sunrise-22x28

Contact me for price and availability

Another larger one from the 8x10 plein air study i did while in the residency program on Bald Head Island a few months ago. this one has a more landscape/horizontal format than the square one i sold a few weeks ago.

i've found the secret to big ones! do em with a huge brush and keep it loose until right at the end. then quit right before you get to the end! :D

Friday, December 4, 2009

Ferry Travelers-6x6-SOLD

A ferry scene from my travels over to Ocracoke Island this summer. i love the light on the people out there in the water. the folks always look so interested in whats off in the distance too.
People are getting easier and easier to paint when i just think of them like any other 3-d object. the biggest problem in the past was the drawing phase and i never really "saw" the gesture. i can see now why figurative painters do what they do. its a blast to catch that gesture.