Monday, November 30, 2009

Scallop Trawler-12x16-$175

was $400 framed, now $175 unframed

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

Older Works Studio Clearance

This ones been leaning against the wall of my studio for too long, and it should be hanging on somebody's wall instead! throw a nice frame on this and you've got a great present for somebody you love for not much money. Nice thing about this type of gift? if you give it to somebody who lives at your house, you get to look at it everyday too!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Wilmington Waterfront Summer-12x16-SOLD

Did a demo at my wilmington gallery, Fountainside this afternoon. its always a lot of fun painting and talking in front of a group. some people hate it but i think its a blast. describing the process while i'm doing it comes very naturally. Guess thats why the instructional DVD's i did for World of Art/Jerrys Artarama are selling pretty well. its just paint and a sheet stretched on some wood. why get so nervous and worked up? if it doesnt come out there's this stuff called gesso!
if you'd like a DVD or two drop me an email and i'll ship it right out to you. over an hour and a half of teaching for $24.95 each.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

The Outsider-6x6-SOLD

Playing with really zooming in, cropping tight, on this one. pushed the color a little, while keeping the values right. trying to keep the shadow side of the slice in the shadows (but illuminated from within) as the light comes thru, thats the challenge. Composition-wise the slice on the bottom left points diagonally up to the group in the right corner, making a dynamic compositon (versus being static). the one on the bottom left counter-balances the section of the grouping, since it has prominance. really like the way this one came out.
I named it "The Outsider" because the one slice looks like he wants to get over with the group, but because theyre all huddled up, they dont really like that idea!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Corner of Atlantic Blvd and Beaufort Ave-8x8

headed to Vision Gallery

email me if you're interested in it or call Lee at the gallery

A scene from a neighborhood with the oldest cottages in atlantic beach. this beautiful yellow beach house lit up in the late afternoon fall sun demanded to be painted. and how can you not love those white awnings over the windows. theyre the perfect accents.

Radio Island Tracks-8x10

headed to Vision Gallery in Atlantic Beach

email me if youre interested or give Lee a call

Did this one on Radio Island today. it was super windy today but the light was fantastic. couldnt use my umbrella to shield the canvas and palette so i could mix the proper values, so i positioned myself where a stop sign shielded them. worked great... just had to keep moving the easel as the sun moved the shade. if you paint plein air alot you learn to be ingenuitive.

i love the way the tracks lead right into the focal point. cant beat a built-in compositional "cheat". i need all the help i can get!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Walking in PTown-10x8

Yes! i know its thanksgiving! just another fine day to paint, or blog with the exception that there's a great dinner at the end of the day!
i do want to thank all my fine blogwatchers, collectors, gallery owners, fellow artists i've met here, and workshop students for a great year. i am truly thankful for you ALL! Happy Thanksgiving!

this will be in a January auction at Outer Cape Auctions in Provincetown (cape cod)

i saw a guy online who used a chop stick holder to keep his brushes from rolling off his palette when he was painting. he said he wished it was bigger. i love to make things useful from scraps of everyday things so here's my "newer, improved brush caddy"

took a piece of painting panel masonite and scored it several times so it would bend into a round shape and put tape on it to help it hold its shape.

its off center i know! i then glued a piece of cardboard to keep er from rockin' around. works like a charm! you can just throw used brushes down in it and they dont roll around getting into the paint or bumping into each other swapping colors. thanks to the guy (cant remember who it was) i got the idea for this from.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Three Plus One-6x6-$100

$8 s/h
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Capt. Charlie's in Lavender-24x24

this one's from the study i did while artist-in-residence on Bald Head Island a few weeks ago. playing bigger gives you a chance to get more discriptive with the shapes the smaller plein air format doesnt allow you time or room for. wow... i'm starting to like painting bigger. this year everybody was telling me "paint bigger, paint bigger", so i think 2010 will be the year of big paintings for me now that i'm not scared of them like i used to be.
have a happy thanksgiving and enjoy time with your friends and family. i know after weeks alone in the studio, i will.
for the people who come by here regularly to see my work, and those that are supportive with wonderful comments, i'm thankful for you! its nice to know that somebody wants to see it.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

12x16 Overcast Light Study-$90

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

wanted to play around big with the knife today. seeing how the sun hasnt shone around here for more than a few hours in weeks, here's what i got.

in the cape school technique its very important to describe form by color changes. everytime an objects surface points in a different direction, the color should change, if only a bit. you have to learn to see that slight difference in value/color when its barely even noticeable. great training.

P-Town Glimpse- 20x16
$500 unframed if you buy before i ship it 12/1
email me for availability
Headed to Outer Cape Auctions in Provincetown for Jan. auction where it should bring at least $900 framed.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Fleur on Rouge-6x6-SOLD

Flowers are good to work on because they teach you to be accurate with the complex jigsaw shapes of color and value. same with glass with water in it. put them together with striped fabric and you've got a challenge on your hands. you get scared the way the abstract shapes look all the way up until you put the last few lines and highlites down. then all of a sudden, boom, its a glass of water and flower. it'll give you nerves of steel. all painters have heard of the "ugly stage" and its like that, and goes on until the very end of the piece.

i'm doing a demo at Fountainside Gallery in Wilmington this sunday afternoon. here's the link to check out the E-vite.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Quiet Mooring in Sneads Ferry-7x5

Overcast sun made about a three hour appearance today. it was super silvery and makes everything cool and shimmery. this is in the little village of sneads ferry at merritt seafoods docks. the new river snakes into the woods a little, giving great little scenes like this one.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Sittin' Pretty-6x8-$75

$8 s/h
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Next time i'm feeling rusty painting from a few days off, i'll do some of these little still life's. i think the problem this past monday was i hadnt painted most of last week because of the Jerrys Artarama workshops, and then i run out and try to paint a complicated scene on an 8x10.

wipe that off the panel a few times and youre having a bad day. painting is very mental game. sure there's the technique/skill component but losing your "mojo" can kill you.

next time when i'm feeling blue and insecure i'll run down to the salvation army thrift store and buy something fun to paint. thanks to everybody that emailed me and/or commented about my "wall" experience. thanks for the support. gotta love this internet age! maybe van gogh would have kept his ear if he had had a blog *)

Friday, November 20, 2009

Strawberry Stripes-7x7

i'm on a painting binge!! went to the Salvation Army and picked up this shallow bowl. the colors around the rim made me want to paint it.
i always get stoked to paint when i get a new "find" at a thrift store. next stop.... grocery store for fruit. the striped fabric is from my dollar store find last night.
kept out the embroidery on this one. wanted to keep it more "geometric" and the extra detail would destroy that effect. After painting this i realized that alot of the colors on the rim match the table cloth colors.
i want to play with it some more to see what the possibilities are. who would have thought i'd want to "get to know" an inanimate piece of cloth. alot of studio time alone will do that to a person LOL

Lap of Luxury-9x12

contact me if youre interested in this piece

Saw this piece of fabric in a store last night and knew i'd enjoy painting it. threw oranges up on there, and stuck it in my still life setup (a cardboard box and photo lamps). reason i picked oranges? something with simple shapes to complement the complex fabric. i really like this piece since it marks the end of the "wall" ive been up against first part of the week. The mojo's back!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Red and Green Farm-6x8

Here's a shot of the ongoing commission with some, not all, of the realistic colors being layed in. i left the orange on for you to see what the color will be underneath the light sunny side of the trees. gives that green a nice glow you cant see in this picture. up close its nice and warm and looks like the sunny side of a tree.
Below is the finished 30x40. it's all knifed and super super thick paint with Lukas Butter added to make it super textured.
i'm usually not happy when i do a painting bigger but this one i'm tickled with! what do you think?

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


$8 s/h
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done yesterday at a horse farm across from my mechanics garage. "old Bessie" wasnt feeling well and i had to get her fixed and i had a few hours to kill. grabbed my painting gear and started walking around looking for something to work the bugs out of my head with. found this huge tree over a horse barn. just what the doctor ordered.
the discussion of "the wall" that ive hit continues........
here's a snippet of an email i got from a friend and collector and is food for thought
Mike, So sorry to hear about your “down” period. Personally, I’m convinced your body is telling you it needs a vacation. Your work ethic is amazing, and I marvel at the schedule you keep. It’s probably time to take a breather whether you want to or not. This may not be what you were hoping to hear, but it might be just what the doctor needs to order. Me and a lot of other folks would be VERY unhappy if you couldn’t paint anymore! Please take good care of yourself. Your friend and patron, KB
my reply---
thanks K. that's sweet of you to say! youre probably right. i tend to keep a grueling schedule and sometimes it takes its toll on me. another artist just wrote me and said that the jitters were coming from knowing everybody was watching and i now have a "brand". i think its probably both. kinda glad that the schedule eases off during the holidays where i can just paint and not have travel, teaching or promotions. just paint at my pace, experiment and enjoy the process again.

i'd like to post this reply on the blog so other artists can see the struggle. could be informative and get a good discussion of "the wall" going on the blog. thanks
any of you guys that have experienced this phenomenon, i'd love to get you into the discussion.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Nags Head Antique-6x8-SOLD

$75 unframed

One of the oldest cottages on the Nags Head beachfront. how can you not love those orangey roofs against that blue sky. and the shutters held open with skinny sticks. love 'em! done a few months ago while on the Outer Banks.

November Glow-8x10

$275 unframed

contact me about availability if you like this one

Some houses lit up in the november afternoon sun on the swansboro waterfront. the light was beautiful today and afternoons in the fall are glorious to paint.

Just got back from the big Art of the Carolina's gig i was doing last week in raleigh teaching workshops, doing demo's at the Lukas paint booth, doing meet and greets at the dvd booth, and shooting a bunch of free art lessons for Jerrys Artarama Online.

a funny thing happened to me and its thrown me for a loop, as we say here in the south.

i got recognized everywhere i went and the dvd's were selling like hotcakes. workshops were well attended, and i was on a high during the whole thing. i felt like a rockstar. i left and headed home on cloud nine and i kicked back sunday and took the whole day off thanking God for my fifteen minutes of fame.


monday morning i hit the proverbial "WALL". i'd heard of this wall from other artists on their blogs but had never experienced it or even knew what they might have been alluding to.

its real!

the sense of letdown, doubt and exhaustion. wow! i couldnt even paint that whole day. its as if i had forgotten everything i knew, the complete struggle to even get paint down. i had several wipers that day,that morning i couldnt get my hands to stop shaking, the drawings sucked, compositions worse. i couldnt believe it! nothing was working. then a double dose of confusion and doubt hit me. came home and immediately started double-dosing my St. John's Wort to even out my mood. Today was not much better. did (above) November Glow, feeling like i was painting for the first time. ive never experienced anything like this, and dont know whats going on.

if having people know who you are does this to you, count me out. i'd rather paint away in complete obscurity than go thru what i've just gone thru. its terrible.

any other painters who've gone thru this let me know what's what by commenting below. i'd love to know what you did to knock down the "wall".

Monday, November 16, 2009

Lumina Ave. Bend-8x10

Coming around the corner into Wrightsville Beach. The November, late afternoon sun bounces off Roberts Grocery and other Lumina Ave. buildings.

A little one person sailboat sits on a dock waiting for a sailor to get her back into the intercoastal waterway.
just painted and delivered these two new paintings to Fountainside Gallery in Wilmington for the Holiday Show i'm participating in.
also, i'll be doing a demonstration and lecture on Sunday Nov. 29th from 12:30- 2:30. if youre in town then, come by and say hi.
i redid the girl's hand on the previous painting below "A Day at the Beach". it looks way better. take another look.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Ocracoke House on Silver Lake-6x8-SOLD

Painted one afternoon when i was on ocracoke island a few weeks ago. funny how i can look at this painting and the whole experience comes back to me... in detail. the heat and humidity, the bugs were vicious that day! i saw a misquito getting bit by another misquito, thats how bad they were! LOL

this is the very beginning stage of a 30x40 i'm working on. it'll be a knifed piece using a prior one i did smaller as the reference. this baby will be going to a nice home in Philly when its finished.

i'll lay more realistic colors over this bright underpainting a la cape school technique. By the way i have room in my friday and saturday classes at the Jerry's Artarama Art of the Carolina's Expo if you want to call them and sign up. Tomorrow's class on Cape Cod Underpainting is filled.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Retro Blue-4x6-$35

$5 s/h
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a cool retro blue couch thats backlit. i'll paint anything wont i?

A Day at the Beach-6x6

Seemed fitting to do a beach scene since Hurricane Ida (now a tropical storm) is making herself known around here in the southeast. not much wind here, just potentially flooding rains for the next several days.
i'll be working on a large commission for a nice lady in Philly for a couple of days and then off to Raleigh to teach at Jerrys Artarama Art of the Carolina's. i have the biggest class i've ever taught thursday. almost thirty people. hope i dont get stage fright. yeah right! LOL

Monday, November 9, 2009

Old Time House of Worship-8x8

anyone familiar with eastern nc knows that there's one of these on every corner around here. this particular church has loads of character doesnt it? and with the lovely fall light on it i couldnt resist putting it in paint. i drew some funny looks while doing it. i'm sure they've never seen anyone painting on the street before.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Glistening Capt Charlies-6x8

More work from the Artist Residency stay on Bald Head Island. Lots of neat cape cod style houses, beach and marsh subject matter.

I especially like this one. kept the shadows on the road light but they still look like shadows. lots of neat "cape cod" underpainting glowing and peeking out in just the right amounts. I did one like this 9x12 too but didnt get a photo of it unfortunately.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

The Misty M-8x10-$275

$8 s/h

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A working boat from the docks on the New River in Sneads Ferry. Fall afternoon light is fun to paint. its a little crisper (ie. less atmosheric) and of course another upside-youre not sweating a bucket and swatting misquitos every minute.