Saturday, March 29, 2008

Demo at Jerry's Artarama

Lunch at Hogfish 12x9- SOLD- a cool harborside cafe on Stock Island just one key away from Key West
Bocadeah- 8x6- SOLD
Somewhere in Key West -12x9-- a street scene like i said... somewhere in key west. i was totally lost just wandering around looking for cool things to paint when i see this conch house and church steeples in the background. gotta love all the palms...

Tile Roof Heaven- 6x8-SOLD
the study for another commission in delray. the houses there all seemed to have those cool tile shingle roofs. much more interesting than the dark shingles they use in n.c.

did the first of my two in-store demonstrations at jerrys in raleigh today. it went great. i did two 16x20's almost to completion, talking and painting as i went. the folks seemed to enjoy watching the process from start to finish and except for slicing my finger open on one of my knifes it went without a hitch. i thoroughly enjoy this 'performance art'

BTW- dont forget that my workshops start next weekend so check the schedule to the right of this in the sidebar and sign up. i'm happy to say that there are waiting lists for some of them already. jerrys will give you 10% more off supplies if you sign up for the raleigh date at Art Source.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

From Wanchese to Wilmington

Bird's Eye View-8x20 You gotta double click on this image! it'll blow up big and you can see all the luscious, gooey paint texture. you'll wanna eat it!

done from the top of a parking deck in wilmington early morning. this one took two sessions. theres alot of elements in this one and its all knifed. this will be in the new elements show in july.

Waitin' for Morning- 6x8- double click image to see the texture!

loved the way the boat showed up against all the midtone warm colors just before sunset. this is in wanchese

Windy and Clear- 8x10-- double click the image to see the texture in this one!

from thicket lump marina where they build these awesome fishing boats. classic shapes!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Delray thunderhead

Thunderhead-6x8- a small study for a bigger commission piece. the photo i took will fill in the details i'll need.

Tweaking blog a bit

Across the Harbor 12x12- SOLD-this ones in ocracoke. really liked the foreground shadow from the left hand tree. it wasnt that saturated blue but something rang true and i left it my original block-in color, instead of graying it down like i usually do. i'll store that in the old memory data bank and use it again on another painting soon i'm sure. reminds me of a william wendt painting (one of my favorite calif. impressionists from the twenties and thirties)


Going to change the way i do my blog. winter's over and the warm long days a plein air painter dreams about from october to april have arrived. so i will post many pictures at once several times a week. probably on rainy, studio days. its really hard to post everyday and with picking up another gallery on the outer banks i'm going to have a hard time doing it and paint three or four paintings a day. so look for several images per post instead of everyday.
Haybales 8x10-painted in the same field as the painting "Date with a match" was done in. a really cool place to paint, with that rural feel and no one messes with you.

The Herd 8x10 -SOLD
the light on easter sunday was absolutely beautiful so i painted two. it doesnt get any better than that day. saw this herd of cows and as soon as i blocked it in they ALL moooo-ved to another field. so i had to remember how they looked. just as i was finishing they showed back up.

Southernmost Palm 16x12 -had to paint this from the small study that has been my most popular favorite with blogstalkers, galleries, and folks i showed it to. so here it is big. kept it loose by using big knives and whacking it on there with reckless abandonment.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Breezy Palms-8x6-oil on c.b.

contact me if you want to get this one
this is a palm from delray and i should have called it "these palms are really hard to paint when the winds blowing them into different shapes every 2 seconds" but i shortened it!
the palm fronds were like trying to paint people eating or drinking in a cafe or paint people walking down the street. when youre painting from life things move, ALL the time. in fact when youre setting up to paint youre not only thinking about the composition, will it sell, can i do it in the time slot (about two hours) but also will somebody let me set up here, and whats liable to park in front of me or leave the scene completely before i finish. thats why there arent that many plein air painters. between these issues and the many more i didnt name, the least of which is the thousands of variables in weather, bugs, and the fast moving sun.
but once you get used to painting two or three a day outside it gets to be second nature and youre not even aware that alot of the decisions on how to handle these issues are being made subconciously. i take all this for granted until i paint with workshop students who are not accustomed to making these breakneck decisions. it overwhelms them and then they still have to PAINT! they sometimes dont like what they do and swear they'll never go outside and paint again. thats like trying to sit down at the piano for the first time and play a song, get mad when all you can do is plink a few random keys and then swear off piano playing forever. painting is a learned craft/skill and plein air painting is a sub-craft/skill that requires constant practice also. you dont do it once or twice a year and think youre going to do a nice piece those two times. i dont expect to get but one A piece out of every five i do. thats why i try to do 3 a day 6 days a week.
so quit reading this boring blog today and grab your outdoor easel and paint a few outside. and try not to get hit by any cars rubbernecking too close, trying to see what youre doing!

Friday, March 21, 2008

The Make-Over 20x16

Larger canvases like this require a little different way of underpainting to make the two hour deadline. i used a soupy thin oil paint over the acrylic magenta tonal work. paint more and larger dark shapes than normal. i then take a bigger knife than usual and lay lights on the darker shapes, building form all over the painting. you can do this quick because the darks are so thin. speeds up the alla prima process on these big ones. did the same thing this morning on an 18x24 of an old wanchese farm house. did another in englehard, and the last one of the day was outside pollocksville, painting all along the way back to surf city. got back too late tonite to shoot photos so i put this one on. i'll put todays paintings on after i shoot them tomorrow.
enjoy your Easter...

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Boogie Boarders-8x10-oil on c.b

This one's at Seatree Gallery

painted this in the motel this morning waiting for the sun to come out. it was almost noon before it did. the wind outside most of the day was howling but i managed to stay behind a wall on the first outdoor painting, and a bulldozer on the second. finally on the third, a little 6x8 of a boat in wanchese the wind started to calm down around 5.

the knife keeps this piece looking like light is bouncing all around, like it does on the beach in the middle of the day.

its weird, i tried painting one today with a brush and it felt weird. just goes to show that you can get used to anything and it be second-nature the longer you do it. i'd have never imagined i could work a knife better than a brush today.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Done for the Day- 18x24- oil on canvas

this ones at Seatree Gallery

painting in wanchese today. i just knew one or both of these ladies would pull out before i finished but they didnt. so i named it "done for the day"
you cant see the texture because the cameras too far away to get this big canvas but it has some paint on it. this size will really eat up a tube of paint.
even with the painting butter thickening it up you use a ton. but the feeling a pushing around all that paint is amazing. and if you careful to stay in the respective shape you wont get mud no matter how you slide, cut-into, and finger paint. much of this was done pushing paint around with my fingers.
sorry for the crappy picture but its blowing 40 mph and it wouldnt stay on the easel to get a shot. had to set it on the ground to keep it from blowing across the sound.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Zen Sushi 8x6- oil on c.b.

Not for Sale

Headed for Canada

Hey those daily painters need to step it up. what only 1 painting a day? pick up the pace people! LOL!

knifed this of course. its so cool when you just lay in slabs of color. its abstract and you get worried its not going to come out..... when voila! loved the reflection of the grill and food on his left arm. real warm and dark mirroring some of the food on the grill.

double click on the picture and it'll pop up big and you can see the luscious thick paint. cant even carry these things in my homemade cases. they're so thick they smear. have to make some with bigger slots i guess. everybody who sees these wants to rub them because of all the surface texture.

thanks Polka Dot for the inspiration! hope ya like it

Ocracoke Light-6x8-oil on c.b.

available at Hemingway Gallery

you gotta double click over the photo to zoom in and see the texture on this one. sharpening my knife skills on a super small canvas with lots of elements. fence, lighthouse, boats, water, house.... all with a small diamond shaped knife. liked the feeling of noonday light in this piece.

proud to announce i have a new gallery on the outerbanks carrying my work. Hemingway Gallery in Kill Devil Hills around milepost 5 1/2. this piece and another from ocracoke can be seen there along with some other new pieces.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Waiting for Sailors-6x8-oil on c.b.

contact me for the price if you like this one

done in delray with the wind howling around 30 mph. my trusty umbrella was trying to launch like the kiteboarders kite in the painting.

the clouds and colors in florida were vivid and it has made painting around nc very boring to paint. i'm in ocracoke right now painting and i'll post them soon. its cold and a little windy and i'm reallly missing key west about now.

this one will probably make it to a much bigger size. it has all the jazz needed for that i think. wish i was in delray painting another one of these!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Stroll on Front St.-20x16- oil on canvas

$530 unframed. email me at and put the name of the painting in the subject line.

20x16 done totally plein air with just a few minute tweak of adding the strolling woman done in the studio. i like the looseness in this one. the sun moves faster across the sky the larger the canvas. bet you didnt know this was a scientific fact did ya?
getting used to street scenes like this enough to make up stuff when i need to. like the row of cars on the other side of the street. totally by memory using a row of cars i've done on several previous canvases. it gets good to me when i can do this because cars kept getting in front of me on that section of the painting and just when i'd sketch them in they'd leave. thats the challenge urban plein air. everythings coming and going blocking the view then changing again 15 min. later. maybe that helps the painterliness of them.

click comments to leave your thoughts. i'd love to hear from you.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

The Girls Poolside-8x10-oil on canvas

At Pea Island Gallery

this was a challenge this small. lots of tiny shapes on a small canvas. sharpening my knife skills. seeing only values of color and trusting it'll look right. this way of working is scary because it doesnt look like youre going to pull it off until the last 15% of the painting, which is frightening and you just have to calm your nerves and keep going. then at the end, just like a those old polaroid cameras it starts to take shape and BOOM at the end it looks like something. Not for the faint at heart.....

Friday, March 14, 2008

Overcast Bluff- 9x12- oil on c.b.

One done this morning outside swansboro on my favorite bluff over looking the white oak tributary. it was overcast and i wanted to accentuate the colors i could barely make out of the subtle grays i was seeing.

isnt it wonderful to gesso over a failed painting and do one on top of it that you do like? thats what happened on this canvas board.

heres a detail of the luscious paint. its so fun mushing (sp) the paint all around on the canvas. it has let something go in me where i can just concentrate on the big shapes. i couldnt believe it! i even left a dock and skiff out that was there. i really am trying to edit down to only the main essentials.

At Pea Island Gallery

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Concrete and Wood Poetry- 16x20- oil on canvas

Not for Sale

this will be in my show at new elements in wilmington in july. i think i'm looking thru an alley up to front st.
ive had a special project brewing but i didnt want to jinx it but the inks dry on a deal to make instructional DVD's for Jerry's Artarama Stores. they have 14 or so stores all over the country, big internet and catalogue presence nationwide, so this is huge for me. it should expose my stuff to a national audience and needless to say will add to my resume' power!
we start filming in their studio and on location with me in my workshops next month. i'm excited about this opportunity to branch out to a huge market outside nc. we'll see huh?
this ones knifed and i'm still amazed at the feeling of sunlight you get with mixing colors directly on the canvas. i have to dull them down in some instances because you want some shapes grayer and less intense. and to think three years ago i was doing anything possible to get color into my paintings period. maybe there is something to this stuff about painting all the time to get better, LOL.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Wanchese Shack- 12x16- SOLD

too much time travelling here lately. plenty of paintings from florida, georgia, and south carolina just not enough time to shoot the pics. painted in wilmington today and ran out of time... so heres a blast from the past. actually this is in acrylic so it was done a year ago about this time. i'll let it go for
At Pea Island Gallery

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Violet Morning 20x16-oil on stretched canvas

note:Double click the image for a much better view of the knife work.
Back on line with a new cable. this is a larger one done plein air with a knife in charleston. everywhere you turn there it looks like this. beautiful turn of the century houses and palms nestled up on them. the scene included a reddish cobblestone street and narrow sidewalk but i went for the cropped composition. saw something the other day i'm trying hard to live by. it said something like..."when you're painting-- write the most important sentence, dont write a novel." so i left out all kinds of other stuff that i usually try to cram in the painting. camille predzwodick says she used to paint enough stuff (in one of her older paintings) to paint five paintings. i can sypathize with you camille. hopefully i'll quit doing it too.

At Carolina Creation Gallery

Monday, March 10, 2008

Technology is great until you dont have it!

Today i cant post the painting done in charleston sc today because i tore up the cable from the camera to the usb port. after a five hour drive i got home a few minutes ago tired, tan, and cold (its not 85 here like down south) anyway, i'll get a new cable and post asap.
going to start a few bigger ones from the two dozen i painted this week.

note: the workshop in new bern at carolina creation has been changed to the 13th and 14th in may.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Corner of Drayton and Congress-16x12- oil on c.b.

heading north slowly. left floriday yesterday and got into savannah last night so i painted two today. one in the downtown area and one on the waterfront. i'm a sucker for an orange brick bldg and bluish-purple shadows, so when i saw this i had to do it. this is one of the largest knife paintings so far. the colors are so intense when you dont stir em around on the palette. seems to capture the light. using the knife makes you think ONLY large shapes and detail is virtually impossible.
have to tell this story tho' it doesnt go with this painting.
in key west i went out one night and tried a night painting off duval st. so i'm set up a block off the main drag and i'm painting away when a gang of kids ,maybe 10 of em (16 yrs old) see me and start yelling stuff at me trying to impress each other with their bravado. they get to the end of the street and start throwing rocks at me. scared the ^*(*(&*(&* out of me. i'm ducking down behind the easel trying to keep a rock from hitting me in the face. they finally get tired of raining them down on me and leave. so i guess i got stoned in key west didnt i? plein air painters have to deal with all kinds of stuff....
contact me if you want to purchase this one

Friday, March 7, 2008

again with the blurry images. dont know whats going on with that. any way i'll repost all these when i can shoot them in the studio under ideal conditions. just want to get them up while i'm here in florida.
painted four 8x6s for the delray commission i got when i was painting last week. a guy came up and wanted four large paintings for his condo. so i'll let him choose from 6 or 7 and paint em up big. was 80 and humid today and i got my tan goin on already. will miss the palms here. they are everywhere....

$185 unframed. contact me if you like it.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Sittin" Pretty- 8x6- oil on c.b.

traveling back from key west today. did this 45 minute study with a knife before leaving this morning. the faster you have to go the bolder the paint is applied. no time to dilly dally. you have to see it quick, block in quick, and top coat fast. editing is real important as well, as you have to put down ONLY what you have to have to finish in the time alloted. really all the important qualities of nice paintings are wrapped up in those restraints. wow-- that means we should paint quicker to get better paintings. verrrry interestinnnnng. sitting in delray as i write this tonite. have several commissions to work on tomorrow here and then we're off, heading north away from painting paradise and gulf breezes.

this ones $200 if you want it before it goes to the gallery. contact me if youre interested.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Two Skiffs-9x12-oil on c.b.

more "spreading the frosting" today as well. did all four with the knife and its getting me the clean, vibrant colors i'm trying to capture here in key west. the air is so clear right now and it intensifies the colors. plus the tropical vegetation is so green and everything painted here seems to be aqua, pink or yellow. its the caribbean way i guess. the water is green near the docks and my store bought turquoise and a little white is perfect for the water in the distance. i love turquoise so i just need to paint here for a year or so until i'm sick of it right? the wifey wouldnt like that so i better get home soon.
am painting four a day so i'll post them as i go.

if you like this painting contact me before it goes to one of my galleries. $240 unframed

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Southernmost Foliage-8x6-oil on c.b.

Back at it with the knife twice today. did a conch house earlier and the owner wanted it. first one sold off the easel so far. this is the third of the day. its called southernmost foliage because everything on this side of key west is the southernmost whatever in the u.s.a. So this had to be the southernmost palm right? want to do some of these big as well.
But you can have it for $185 unframed before it gets to the galleries if you'll contact me.

Monday, March 3, 2008

You Gotta Eat Right?-9x12- oil on c.b.

Been playing around with the painting knife all day and its soooooo much fun. you mix pure color into the shape until it looks right. the color is mixed by the eye and looks real intense. all these key west pictures on the blog have to be retaken when i get home. theres no good place with good blue AND yellow light like in my studio so some are blurry and some arent exactly the right colors, but i want to post them as i do them so......
this is on the wharf and serves a mean mahi sandwich! got to use my new tube of turquoise in the water on this one. more to come from the southern most city in the u.s.a. just think i could get in a raft and be painting in cuba in a few days from here *)

At Pea Island Gallery

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Magenta and Green Rest- 9x12-SOLD

Day two in da keys. its hard to pick what you want to paint. there's so many cool scenes. today i stood on a corner and saw four great paintings. that corner was only a block from where we're staying and i havent even begun to cover key west. did four today. this is a cool grave yard. i got so excited about the stark contrast between the white sepulchers and tomb stones against the tropical greens of the palms. how about that....even a grave yard is cool to paint here. havent even gotten down to the waterfront yet. maybe tomorrow.

At Pea Island Gallery

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Work in Progress

Olivia at Duvall- 8x6-oil on c.b.

OK we're here in key west. yeahhhhh!
after an allnighter to Delray night before last, and getting up at 5 this morning with a five hour drive south, for a total of 17 hours of driving, we got to Stock Island right outside key west and painted in a marina this afternoon. then robbie, sue (my paint buddies) and me crossed into key west. the place is amazing. lots of quaint cottages called conch houses and palms galore. marinas everywhere, schooner ships and working boats. a plein air painters paradise. great street scenes with people and did i tell you "palms galore"
i did this painting on the corner of duval and olivia. its still in progress because i need to change some things on it. i did one on stock island earlier today of some sailboats and when we got to key west i was itching to get in a sunset/light painting of this scene. the light was slipping fast and for some reason (not thinking i guess) i stroked in the lightpole. its bad for the painting. it cuts the painting in thirds and cuts the group of palms exactly in half. badddd. so tomorrow sometime i'll go back up there, set up again, and paint in some palm trunks instead of the pole. the rest of the painting i'm ok with, i guess. it'll make a good study for a bigger painting because there are parts of it that have potential. i have to remember that everything i do is not going to be a good finished painting. thats what makes the ones that do fire on all cylinders so great. its a rarity and makes that occassional great one all the sweeter right? i'll post more as i finish them. hope you enjoy these painted postcards and they make you warm all over.
note*- its 11 pm and its 75 degrees outside and i got a little bit of a sunburn today on some winter white skin. its a tough job but somebodys gotta do it!