Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Teaching the Classics- 4x20

Liked the long format on this piece. and the somewhat diagonal composition and how the teachers hand with the pen in it, leads you down into the shape.

i'll be teaching a plein air workshop in raleigh at Art Source friday and saturday and we'll be painting around the historic neighborhood called Five Points. call them if you'd like to come. i think there is a spot or two left. class size is small for individual attention. i'll be teaching in Manteo at the Dare Co. Arts Council next weekend. you can contact them to sign up as well.

i'll be teaching alot about "center of interest", and this piece has a very evident one. the teacher with her white papers against her dark coat, her outstretched hand, and the fact that she's taller than the kids makes her the focal point of this painting.

i can really identify with the last little guy at the end on the right. a part of the group but he's kinda doing his own thing!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Finished WIP from rooftop in Wilmington

High Atop the Port City- 24x30 SOLD

the sun finally came out today and as forecasted we had blue-bird skies and beautiful light and
temperatures. the perfect plein air day. so i went back on the parking deck to finish this monster 24x30 (see below for the block in and notice the changes). i really like how loose and "knifed" this looks with some super thick paint in places and sloppy edges in the peripheral areas. kept things close to the bridge a little tighter in places but not all the way across or it would cut the painting into almost a perfect third (a no-no)
so far this is the center piece painting for the New Elements show in late june. unless i do something i like even better between now and then! *)

Front and Market St. at 2:43 pm SOLD

After the 24x30 i went down on street level and banged this one out in about 2 hrs. on top of an old painting without even gessoeing over the old one first. thus the lack of my signature magenta underpainting peeking out in places. this was super fun, hardcore alla prima using knives, fingers, and my much beloved homemade "stubbies" (old stubs of brushes used to smear on small shapes where a knife blade is not advantageous. anything you can make a mark with becomes a tool in my world!

Monday, April 28, 2008

Beach Girls and River Scenes

Crossing Over- 9x12

Here's a painting done during the plein air paintout in kinston last weekend. the weather was very nice and the reflections of the tree and bridge were beautiful in the neuse river

In the Woods- 9x12

the rythm of these shapes are what caught my eye on this one. problem was i killed the painting.... i should have left it alone about 30 minutes before i "finished it". geeez... i overworked the mess out of this one.

Two Friends in the Surf- 8x6

on the other hand .... i really like the feel of this one. looks like a summer day and you can feel the heat! these girls are having fun in the surf....makes me wish i was in that water too.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Noon Delivery- 6x6

having a ball painting these from the digitals i took from the parking deck the other day. i love the perspective, looking down with them totally unaware that i'm even photographing them.

technique was as follows:
tone white gessoed canvas panel with light wash of magenta acrylic. you can see it peeking out if you look hard where big shapes come together. this gets rid of the white canvas, setting a nice warm tone
then draw the shadow shapes in straight magenta acrylic
fill in all the shadow shapes starting with the darkest and working towards the lightest shadow
fill in all the light shapes
then, hit some hilites and some real dark areas. boom, finished!

leave a comment below by clicking 'comment' and tell me if you think these would make nice larger paintings.... maybe like 12x12 or so?

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Nicki Brown- Come on Down!!!

Nicki Brown from greenville, nc is the winner of this painting entitled "persimmon abstract" in the FREE Painting Give-Away for the month of april. i'll ship it first of the week nicki! congratulations.

the First Annual Kinston Paintout is in the history books and Stephen Greer from the OOPS group in jacksonville took home first prize and $500. Dodi Groesser from greenville took second prize and Bernie Rosage Jr. from OOPS jacksonville took third. John Groesser and Stephen Greer got honorable mentions as well.

Judging was waayyyy harder than i thought it would be. there was so much quality stuff to have to say these three are the best. jeeezzzz. i saw five to eight that all qualified but you have to be decisive and somebody has to take first second and third and out of a dozen or more participants thats tuff. it was a huge success and mary page whitley said they would try to do it again next yr. mary- thanks for excluding yourself from the competition and helping me judge. folks. mary does some amazing plein air work as well and could have placed high in the standings. thanks for her sacrifice!

the greenville group says they want to hold one and so does OOPS. who knows maybe we'll get as nationally known for holding plein air competitions as the laguna plein air scene one day. lets hope!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Contest Extended One More Day

Ambulatory Abstract- 9x9

Have decided to extend the contest deadline so people can enter if they visit the blog today. tomorrows the deadline for sure so if you havent entered scroll down a few days and get the details to win a free painting.

Todays painting is a result of a parking deck shoot yesterday. the sun kept coming and going behind clouds so i decided to shoot pics down on the street from the 5th floor of the parking deck. saw this guy and the sun came out just long enough to shoot him with a shadow. i really like this painting alot. it may stay with me until i'm tired of looking at it then i'll let someone else take it off my hands.

Judging the Kinston Paintout today and tomorrow. i'm planning on sneaking away and painting some myself so i 'may' have something to post tomorrow? if not i'll still try to post how thats going. lots of out of town plein air painters are coming so i cant wait to see what they paint!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

24 hrs. more to Enter Give-Away

Thought you guys might like to see my plein air setup in action. i'm on a rooftop in wilmington. i use the beauport easel, also called a gloucester easel. this WIP (work in progress) is pretty big- 24x30 and its blocked in with a large brush and then knifed over top of that to get the loose feel.

WIP- work in progress

notice how the color scheme of the painting doesnt resemble the real thing. thats why i had to quit painting. the clouds came in and grayed everything out and cooled off and darkened all the shapes. the scene actually did look like the painting for the first hour. i'll go back at the same time of day with similar weather and finish the painting.
this will be in the New Elements show in July if it comes out.

Remember, you only have 24 more hrs to register to win the free painting. send me your mailing address in an email with "contest, free, giveaway" in the subject line. if i draw your name i'll send you the painting of your choice from the blog entry i did yesterday.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Today's Free Painting Give-Away Day!!!

Persimmon Abstract- 6x8
Tool of my Trade- 6x8

Pink Casa by the Sea- 6x8

Decided this month to give y'all a choice of which painting you wanted.
Now to get one of these original oil paintings done from life, you have to send me an email with your name and full mailing address in the body of the email within 48 hours of the time stamp on this post (around 8 am on Wednesday april 23) So deadline is 8am friday morning the 25th)

this is very important!!!! i will not accept or open any emails that dont have "contest, giveaway, free painting, etc" in the subject line of the email. i'm scared to death of viruses and wont open your email if it doesnt have those words in the subject line.
in the email tell me which one you want. i'll draw out of my hat and the winner will get his/her choice sent free.
Remember--- you only have 48 hrs from 8am the 23rd to register.

you dont have to but i'd love it if you'd write one sentence in your email about why you like to come to my blog. this way i can make it better and more informative.

thanks. now send that email and WIN!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Update on Upcoming Events

Kinston Paintout- Friday and Saturday April 25th and 26th
Paintout competition with $500 first prize
9am-5pm both days. Paint plein air on the Neuse River or in downtown Kinston.
I'll be judging and Best of Show receives $500 first prize. dont quote me but i think second and third get some money too.

Workshop at Art Source in Raleigh- Loosening up by Simplifying- Friday and Sat. May 2nd and 3rd. 9am-5pm

Free painting demonstration at Jerrys Artarama in Raleigh- Sunday May 4th- 1 pm -4pm- come and see how to simplify subject matter and how to paint quick and loose and it wont cost you a dime. Like a free workshop huh?

Workshop at Dare County Arts Council- Sat. May 10th-9am-5pm
learn how to loosen up and paint quickly by simplifying.

Workshop at Carolina Creations in New Bern-May 13th and 14th - 9am-5pm- Loosen up your painting by Simplifying. go to for details.

Workshop at Jacksonville Arts Council- Sat. May 24th- 9am-5pm- Loosen up your painting by Simplifying.

Filming of Plein Air DVD for Jerrys Artarama - June 6

Two Man Show at New Elements Gallery in Wilmington- starts Friday June 27th thru July

Coral Bay Resorts Show- June 29th and 30th- City Art Gallery

if you are interested in any of these events or workshops drop me an email and i'll get you signed up or whatever.

Out of the Archives

Wash Day- 9x12- SOLD

its been rainy and cloudy the last couple of days here in Surf City so i wont be painting until it clears up. i dont paint on overcast days anymore. i used to just to be painting but this year i decided to spend overcast days promoting my artwork instead of practicing. hopefully this will work out. you never know until you try.

this ones from the archives done last july in a little town where a lot of migrant workers live. i drove up on this little trailer and loved the wash hanging on the line, the satellite, and the air conditioner stuck haphazardly in the window.

the family who lives there warily eyed me as i painted, not really sure what i was up to. maybe they thought i was the Immigration Service or something! this little jewel sold quickly as did a larger one of it as a commission. its appeal must be that it touches that "scraping by to survive" part of the psche we all can identify with. for my still poor self especially! LOL

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Fayetteville Street Paintout

dont give up on me with posting images. seems the last few days i've been painting but not really having anything to post.
today was a paintout in downtown Raleigh on Fayetteville St. and about 20 or so artists were going to paint street scenes. everybody showed up and set up then Boom the sun disappears behind clouds for the rest of the day. deathblow to any plein air event! so i took out Gettin' a Make-over and blocked in an 18x24 just to not be wasting time. got to see old friends at Artspace and talk shop. sometimes you just have to NOT paint and enjoy the little things that make you smile in life like good friends who know what its like to have a job like yours. they know the things that aggravate all us artist types and the things that are great. they know those too.
i'm blessed to get to do what i do for a living. i hope i never take it for granted. i also hope i never forget the people that helped me get here either. that would be a terrible thing to happen.

i'm not kidding! the free painting give-away is soon. not today but very soon. keep coming back. you could win a free painting and the shipping just for sending me your address when i announce give away day.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Its harder than it looks

no pics today. filmed the painting knife dvd for jerrys artarama all day today and didnt think to get a pic of the finished painting. guess you'll have to buy the instructional dvd huh? LOL. anyway, i thought you just go into the studio and start talking and booom, done. thats what they do on TV right?
you get tongue tied, or repeat a word too many times or forget your train of thought. three big cameras starting at you and you freeze. it reminded me of trying to record an answering machine message and you have to keep doing it over and over because you forgot to say something or got tongue tied. something about talking into a machine or, in this case, talking to three of them.
now when i turned around and faced the canvas and started painting i was as natural as can be. it was fun overall tho'.
we shot several 15 minute short segments of different techniques and products that will be on YouTube and the Jerrys Artarama website, and then we shot a dvd on knife painting showing a boat painting i did from start to finish. it'll run about 1 1/2 hrs or so. when i have more info i'll share it here first. the dvd will be in their nationwide catalogue so i'm really stoked to increase my exposure nationally. anybody trying to make a living in this business knows that exposure of any kind is critical. and the wider the audience the better.
the next dvd will be filmed totally on location outside on the beach at topsail island, where i'll do a beach scene from start to finish. keep an eye out here for when it will be available.

today's not give-away day but keep checking in to win one of my paintings free. even the shipping's free.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Instructional DVD filmed tomorrow

Surf City Pier- Southside- 9x12- commission- not for sale

did this on what turned out to be a gorgeous day at the beach. this is for a customer in wilmington as a gift for a friend who lives on topsail. changed up a bit on the underpainting, from magenta to orange. it gives this piece a more afternoon look than if warm pink was peeking out. then it looks like morning.
tomorrow i film the first of two instructional dvd's for Jerrys Artarama. they'll sell in the catalogue, stores and internet. this ones on painting with a knife and the second one will be filmed outside on location in wrightsville beach while i'm teaching on plein air painting at the beach. as soon as productions done and theyre available i'll put info on here about where to get them, how much, etc. just because you get the dvd dont stop coming to my workshops.... baby needs a new pair of shoes LOL......

todays not the giveaway day for the painting but keep an eye out, its real close! to enter when i say its giveaway day, send me an email with free painting in the subject line and in the email give me your mailing address. if i pick your name you win a free painting and i'll even ship it to ya! what could be better than that? i know, put a hundred dollar bill in the box with the painting. keep wishin'!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Sunny Day Production

A Bluff View- 16x20

this ones from one of my favorite spots on earth to paint. i've painted many from this area and i never tire of it. this is an afternoon painting. i love the blue-green tree shadows on the yellowy-green grass. combo of knife and brush.

Ginger's Dock- 8x20

this is a cool dock and panoramic inlet view. the homeowners are very nice and didnt run me away so i'll remember this spot and come back for more painting. its very hard to find water access where you can paint these days. property owners are very territorial and dont like strangers on or near their property, so finding places to paint unhindered is as hard as doing the painting. glad to find this spot just minutes from 'the bluff '.

todays not give-away day for the free painting of the painting knife (see post below for picture of it) come back soon and WIN!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Gettin' a Make-Over 9x12

i extensively used a tool i have created on this one. the tools a hybrid between a knife and a brush. i didnt really create it i just had a few laying around and put them to use. its a brush that has been totally scrubbed down till there is only a stub left. i broke the handle off short and use the tool to knife on thin lines, draw in small shapes, lay in really small shapes thats not convenient because the knife blade's too long. so now i'm using knives, fingers, and a stub thing to get the image down. you do what you gotta do right?

Beach Houses- 16x20

this was an exercise in patience. when you plein air paint you just have to expect things to stay interesting. i can see why some like to hide out in their airconditioned/heated, well lit studios with the jazz playing and hours and hours to work on a painting. dont get me wrong i'm just saying that the plein air painter is at the mercy of tourists, the wind, clouds hiding the sun, bugs eating you alive (no see-ums are the worst!) and a host of other variables. in the studio there are no variables
i wouldnt have it any other way.
today started off cloudless and the light was beautiful. i thought i've got all day to paint, what a great day. just as i was drawing the composition the wind started to blow, and blow and blow, finally reaching at least 20 mph steady. then these beautiful clouds started rolling in. funny thing is, they are great to paint but when they move in front of the sun every few minutes, the light patterns and light effects change every few minutes back and forth! man.
you gotta use your memory alot to pull it off. when it gets really sunny you stare at the scene memorizing and then when it gets overcast you paint what you just memorized. its a trip. was very happy with the way this one turned out tho'.

todays not the day for the painting give-away but it is getting close for sure! check back tomorrow!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Greenville to Sneads Ferry

5th and Cotanche- 16x20
this is the main drag in greenville. 5th st. goes right thru east carolina university and this is the bar district. the students seemed enthralled to see me out painting. everybody wanted to talk to me about the painting.

Country Road- 8x10
this is a back road near kinston very close to sundown. had to get this one really quick. i could see the scene changing color and getting darker every minute.

Up on Stanchions- 6x8

done in my favorite haunt, swan quarter marina. i love to paint boats up on stanchions. you get to see the whole boat all at once. this ones small in size but big in subtle color.

todays not the give-away day but it is very soon. you'll have 48 hrs to contact me by email with your mailing address when i do announce the give-away day to win a free painting including free shipping in the u.s.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Waterfront Dining-24x30

these large ones are starting to get fun. i like the pressure of having to get it done in the two hour window you have painting outside. i definately noticed the shadow patterns had moved but also the sky started clouding up so all the shapes were taking on different values and colors. thats why the blockin is so critical. you put it in and dont mess with it. light can move, change temperature, whatever but you do not "chase the light" as its called. put it in leave it and work from that and memory. the more you paint outside the better and better your memory will get. i can even go back to the studio and remember how things were and tweak it a bit if needed. especially liked the two trucks over on the right. simple boxes with wheels. simplify, simplify, simplify!

todays not giveaway day. check back tomorrow. you could win.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Beachy Abode-18x24-SOLD

sun finally came out today as predicted. and did it. 80 degrees at least. been waiting to do a beach road motif for weeks now so when i changed into baggies it was off to topsail island.
almost finished it all out there but the light changed color after the usual 2 hrs and i had to finish it from memory at the studio.
headed to kill devil hills to teach a workshop and paint in ocracoke.
i'll post what i do on the road soon.

today's not the giveaway day for the free painting but it might be tomorrow so check back soon.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Blue Sky Marsh-9x12

this is one i did to play with the sky. wanted to get it juicy and to practice some of these early sping clouds that are around right after a storm.
hope this makes you want to put on your flip flops and shorts.
sun's supposed to come out and my prison sentence stuck in the studio will end. cant wait to get out outside and paint.

today is not the day of the give-away but who knows, tomorrow might be. check back often.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Tool of my Trade- 6x8

I thought it only fitting that this portrait of my painting knife be the first painting that i give-away in my Free Blog Contest. after all it is the "Tool of my Trade" Hope you win!
here are the details again...
Announcing the new Painting Give-Away!
i will be giving away this original 6x8 oil painting FREE this month and all you have to do is check the blog frequently to register to win. i will even pay to ship it within the u.s. to you for free.
heres how it works. i'll announce on a RANDOM day that that day is the give-away day. you have 48 hrs from that day to send me an email with the sentence "free painting" in the subject line to with your complete mailing address in the body of the email. i will draw out a winner 48 hrs after the announcement and ship them this 6x8 original oil painting absolutely free!
NOTE-- if "free painting" is not in the subject line i wont open the email (afraid of viruses) so be sure to do that or you wont be entered. Keep checking back here and Good Luck!

New Gallery on Ocracoke Island

Nanna's Helper- 12x16
I'm pleased to announce that i've been picked up by Down Creek Galleries in the village of Ocracoke. this is cool for several reasons. it means i have representation on the entire stretch of the outer banks from kill devil hills to ocracoke. next it means i can jump on the ferry after delivering paintings and/or painting some pieces for the gallery and be home in several hours. now i have to backtrack all the way back up and around to get back home. so instead of 4+ hrs. it'll only be 2 1/2. hey every mile counts when gas is 3.50 a gallon over there!

i'm stoked to have a new location to paint (ocracoke is beautiful) and stoked to have 8-10 more pieces up for sale. thanks for bringing me onboard tony.

so expect much more outer banks stuff in the future.

here's one i did today from a painting i did last year. took a picture of a grandmother and her granddaughter spending quality time together on the beach and then painted it. put it in a gallery and the granddaughters mother recognized her daughter and mother while gallery hopping one rainy day at the beach. she mentioned it to her boyfriend and he bought it for a surprise bithday gift where she lives in raleigh. small world we live on! hope you like it and it makes you want to smile.
keep checking back to win a free painting this month. when i announce the giveaway day on here you register and maybe win a free 6x8 painting including free shipping!

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Painting Give-Away this month

Announcing the new Painting Give-Away!

i will be giving away a FREE original 6x8 oil painting this month and all you have to do is check the blog frequently to register to win. i will even pay to ship it within the u.s. to you for free.

heres how it works. i'll announce on a random day that that day is the give-away day. you have 24 hrs from that day to send me an email with "free painting" in the subject line to me at with your complete mailing address in the email. i will draw out a winner and ship them a beautiful 6x8 original oil painting absolutely free! if "free painting" is not in the subject line i wont open the email (afraid of viruses) so be sure to do that. Good luck. the blog address is
today is not the day of the give-away but tomorrow might be! so come back often to win!

Squeeze a bunch and use it all

Soundside Summer- 12x16

dont think i'm weird but keving mcpherson speaks to me in my sleep. ok... it is a little weird.

i woke up this morning and it was raining again. i kept having this feeling that today i needed to paint a larger piece and use a little exercise he suggests in his book. he says do a painting after squeezing out a half a tube of each color and using it all on that painting. with a brush that equates to a thick, textural painting.

with a knife it equates to 1/8" paint in places and gooshy texture. i went and bought a bunch of 200 ml tubes and squeezed out about 1/5 a tube for each pile of color. man thats a ton of paint. did the one above, and one other, and had no color left over. and thats with adding lukas painting butter to all the mixes as well. this stuff doubles the thickness without losing the color or intensity. i was slathering it on. you gotta double click the above image so it pops up big and you can see how thick this paint is. it is truly one you gotta see in person to appreciate all the intermingling of color that happened. really subtle and sweeeet! the panel is heavy from all the paint on it.

so whether you want to loosen up, get lotsa texture on one, or get a wild hair to 'frost a cake', squeeze a half a tube out of each of your primary colors, a ton of white and paint your next one. and use it ALL. man, you'll love it! i wanna fall in this one and roll around!

Friday, April 4, 2008

Woke up wanting to paint--I'm better!

6x8 8x10

woke up this morning rarin' to go wanting to paint so i finished the pasture scene. feeling bad sucks.
the little roofline painting with the palm is a save from a 12x16 i did in the keys. if you ever have a painting youre thinking of painting over, before doing it, look at it in pieces and see if you can crop a smaller one that you do like out of the mess. just think, i had this big 12x16 and all i liked was this composition with the palm, cloud, and roofline. better than gessoeing over a half dozen flops, like i did yesterday. so try to save anything if theres anything there. if not white it out and expect the next one to be a real masterpiece!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

From Key West to Carolina


many of these are from the key west trip. ones a dune road shot from the best beach in the world. mine. surf city, nc of course. well i do wish i was back in florida since the sun refuses to shine here. sunday they say it'll clear up. cant wait to set up the beauport, my new plein air easel that i just replaced my french easel for.
workshop in goldsboro is saturday from 10-4 so if you havent signed up they have a seat or two open i've been told. weekend after that is kill devil hills coop. contact me if youre interested in either one or call them directly.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Getting back in the swing

Dream Boats-9x12

i've been sick the last few days and today's the first day i've been on my feet all day. so i eased into it by changing a few paintings and adding finishing touches to others. when youre in the field you cant get everything the way you'd like just because of all the things that are going on. i had so many paintings coming back from key west that i had no more room in my wet paint carriers (over 20 slots) so i had to stack some wet paintings. bOOOO. they smeared and big ridges of paint smashed down etc. so a few of them needed TLC. thats what i did today. sure better than groaning and wishing i could die LOL
looking forward to getting outside tomorrow to paint. that is if the weather clears up a bit. the drought is over in NC with it raining off and on for two weeks. ready for some good warm, clear weather.

Painting is about second chances

this painting was once called "base of the bridge" but i never liked the way the bridge looked in the painting so when i got it back from a gallery, i decided to change the whole painting. for some reason, at the time i painted this, i wanted to put bridges in all my paintings. i got over that quick when i found they hardly ever sell. so heres what you can do in such a situation. heres what it looks like after knifing new shapes and colors over the old one.
The Sail Over- 12x12
i totally got rid of the bridge and houses and made a few other changes like adding the sailboat, umbrella, and people. just changing a few shapes changed the whole painting. i like this one now.
if you have a painting thats not working draw some new shapes on it with a sharpie fineline marker and repaint all the old shapes over along with the new shapes. this way it all meshes together without looking reworked.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Sushi Chef-20x16

click on the image to see the texture....
here's one of the two paintings done at the jerrys artarama demonstration. i had to work on a few shapes later back in the studio because working that quick while youre talking is bound to make some parts of the painting off. but thats the beauty of oils, you can scrape down the parts you dont like and lay it back in the way you want it.

laying in bigger paintings with the knife just requires larger knives and way more paint. i think i made some improvements on this one from the small study for this. i put a little more color and detail in the food since i had lotsa room on this larger canvas. i also put a little more variation in the background to just to liven it up.