Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Delivery- 5x7-SOLD

This was a commission piece for a great collector in texas who has multiple pieces of my stuff, some dating back years. this was one he liked from years ago that was sold, so i did it again for him.
it's wild repainting one from that long ago. the way i handle the brush and make shapes now is different from then. i tried to recreate this stroke for stroke. well, i did change the graffitti a little. if you search in the top left search box for "delivery door" it'll pull up the original, if you want to see it.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Marina Glitter-8x10-SOLD


From one of my early morning Stock Island painting sessions. just loved that glowing tarp on the sailboat and the sparkle in the water.
Thought you might like to see where one i sold this week will be hanging.
WOW! on a 120 foot super yacht! how cool is that?

is this one sweet yacht or what? you can tell they have fine taste in ships and art, right? just kidding....honestly, i cant believe ive got something hanging in a place like this that'll go all over the world. that is just too cool!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Low Tide on the Cape-12x16

contact me for price and availability if you like this one

shipping to the auction at Outer Cape Auctions in Provincetown next week

Finished it up today. liked finishing it over the dry paint where i had all that Liquin in it. this thing will be bone dry in about two days. i can ship it without worry first of next week, ahead of schedule. i'm getting organized eh?

Here's what i did to finish it: took each shape and made one or two paint colors very similar in value but up and down in value (less than half a step). one a little lighter and warmer and one a little cooler and darker. gave it atmospheric perspective by lightening and cooling every shape as it went back in space. tightened up the area around the boat and made all the edges hard right there. this is my focal point and then the secondary focal point is the clouds. made sure that each shape had some nice temperature shifts and loose brushwork. i like how "expansive" it looks. This may actually make it into a much bigger painting since i know it'll look good on a larger canvas. maybe 24x30 or 30x40. we'll see.

hope you liked this in-progress demo.

oh yeah! getting ready to sky dive this weekend with my son. if you dont see any blogs next week you'll know that it was a very crappy landing! LOL

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Work in Progress-3/2010-nodp

have a piece or two to complete and send to Outer Cape Auctions in Provincetown and the deadline for submission is next week so i thought i'd get in the studio and complete it and ship to cape cod a day or two before its due. trying to lessen my stress by not waiting till the deadline and trying to ship a wet painting in a frame like i always do. also using a fast dry medium in the paint to make sure i dont have to worry about a piece of plastic dragging thru the paint while its being shipped. hard to sleep at night knowing that could be happening at that moment.

so i began with a few thumbnails to wrap my head around the composition and value shapes.

i liked the composition on the top picture, the one on the left bottom the best so thats the value map and composition i'll go with. next comes underpainting the panel. i used some old yellow gauche i had and mixed it with some orange acrylic paint and made a wash out of it. i like the acrylic underpainting because it makes the gesso less "thirsty" and dries super fast.

then i draw the shapes on in the approximate values with alizarin crimson, magenta, and orange mixed with a big dose of Liquin fast dry medium. it soaks in the rest of the way and dries quick.

now i lay in the oil paint with my most favorite beat up 1" brush (panels 12x16) in the approximate colors. my goal on this one is to stay really loose and impressionistic. so far in the block-in, i already like the expansiveness of the piece. the land mass is just the right blue and value and really makes it seem miles away. i'll do some stuff on the grass as it goes back to enhance the effect even more. but that comes at the end. trying to think big picture longer. if you squint, its amazing that a half hour block in can almost look finished. i call that the hard part. now tweaking each shape, giving it atmospheric perspective, subtle temperature changes in the big shapes, having fun on the clouds (a large part of the composition) and punching up the focal point even more. thought this one thru and put the really white boat against a really dark piece of the marsh. all the hard edges will be there, and the biggest changes in values, so there's no question about where i want you to look first .
i'll post the finish when i'm done. hope you enjoy this step-by-step post. let me know in the comments if you find it helpful.

Cottages by the Sea-9x12

if you like this one contact me or Vision Gallery for price and availability

Think i discovered how to get the complexity i've been craving without losing the "plein air spontaneity" i love by not laboring over them, and usually killing them. just fix the inevitable problems that will be contained in a piece done outside in the studio. duh! alot of times i was dropping off the paintings to galleries literally minutes after completing them, warts and all. no more. in my quest for not producing average paintings, taking up the quality a few notches, i will take em back to the studio, ponder over them, correct them, do whatever's necessary. take time and convenience out of the equation. take whatever time is necessary for that piece to be the best it can be.
on this one i corrected really hard edges and super dark phone poles, so they werent the first thing you saw when you looked at the painting, added subtle temperature shifts to the road, especially up front to show depth (less details in farther objects) and darkened the houses in shadow to make a more cohesive shadow grouping. punched up the red stop sign, and lightened the roof with the chimney, making that area the focal point, hardest edges, biggest value contrast, so you'd look in that area of the painting first.
More thoughtful paintings. i need to say that over and over to myself. more thoughtful paintings.... i was slavishly following what i saw outside. nature is beautiful and inspiring but i'm learning that she rarely gives you what you need for a good painting, without changing what you see some. glad i found this out now and not after producing tons of "accurate" but average paintings
hope you all reading this internal struggle are enjoying it. This painting stuffs hard! the more i do it, the harder it gets. whats up with that?!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Miss Meredith-6x8


Blue Glimpse- 9x12


Back at it in NC. Swansboro to be exact. Whenever you travel and paint, for some reason there's a readjustment period. when you go to florida, it takes a few days to paint the local color, trees, vibe, etc. before you feel comfy. same applies when you come back to NC. i wanted to go somewhere familiar and comfortable to ease back in. there was no readjustment period today, i'm glad to report. fell right in and came out with one i love. the pavement and all its subtle shifts, the loose but accurate drawing and the colorful shadows and spots of color. caught the time of day too. overall i really like this one. the one above (the Miss Meredith) was the second of the day.

like you've seen me say in previous posts... i'm slowing the pace down and working hard at doing better work and not lots of it. this is a big shift after painting approximately 15-20 paintings a week for four years. now i want to do one or two really fine paintings a day. i want to do some thumbnail sketches (something ive never done before) and really think the painting through!

now we'll see if what ive heard over and over is true. its been said there are folks out there willing to pay more than bargain basement prices for really good art. this will be the year i test that theory. if i'm at Lowes home improvement store next winter tellin you what aisle the nails are in, you'll know i messed up! LOL

Monday, March 22, 2010

Marina Near Midnite-12x9


Did this one night around midnite. nice thing about painting in the middle of the night is you dont have to worry about the light shifting on you. bad thing is, its super hard to mix color with a headlamp on.
its really fun tho'. i'm going to be doing some more really soon

Friday, March 19, 2010

Daw Farm Vignette-8x8-SOLD


County Roadway-8x10

One from out in the boonies! dont even know how i got to, or back, from this place. just driving around country roads looking for inspiration. there was something about the perspective of the road, the silos, and early spring colors in this one. you can see that the buds are trying to show on the trees a little. hooray spring!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Marina from Bay St.-9x12

if you like this one contact me or Tidewater Gallery for price and availability

Was on my second full day of driving back home from florida, going up 95 n. from Savannah this morning and thought i'd like to drive east about 45 minutes to Beaufort SC and paint on Bay St. Its absolutely beautiful there with tons of boats and great old houses ala savannah or charleston. here's what i ended up with. i'm back in NC tonite, already missing the keys.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Boats and Buoys-6x8-SOLD

My last painting in key west, boohoo. its time to roll up US1 north and points north. have really, really loved being here and i'm sad to leave but glad to see my family, old friends, and paint NC, so until next year....

i'll watch the sun set on top of key wests highest building tonite and think of all the great times i've had here this winter. it'll be bitter sweet, me thinks!

below, i show how i block in the painting so you can see a little into the process.

i use a very large brush these days to lay in the right value, trying to keep the shadows blue and purpley while getting the sunlit shapes warm AND the right value. the whitest shape is the very front of the boat the darkest under the dock at the stern. i judge every other shape off those
"keystone" values. lighter when its lighter, warmer, cooler, you get the idea. its simple and complicated at the same time and shouldnt be attempted by you at home. i'm kidding! go out and paint the shapes you see. you'll get better every time you do. if you end up liking it good, if not, youre only out a couple hours time and $1 in materials. repeat until happy with the results :D

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Last Sunset in the Tree Fort

Counting down. only two more of these left in the keys. sunsets like this one is just one of the many things i'll miss, like outside showers, chocolate covered keylime pie on a stick, crazy people on mopeds and bikes, drunks trying to talk about art, kiteboarding in winds upwards of 30 mph with glass-slick water a few inches deeper than the fins of the board, wearing baggies and flip flops in february!

this is a tree fort nick (my landlord when i'm here) built that is suspended 30 feet up in the trees with a gorgeous view of the sunsets high above the tree line. i sat up there a many a night drinking a red bull thinking how lucky i was to be doing what i'm doing. i want to really give props to my wife for being the best wife a man could have. she puts up with me being gone all the time and never says a word. any guy would be lucky to have one like her. thanks annie! be home soon.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

The Seam Shoppe-8x10-SOLD

The Best Little Seam Shoppe in Key West. Thanks for the parking place for my truck and my bike, the meals, the aloe for my burn, food, and your friendship cindy and doug. y'all the best in the Conch Republic.


to my dealer in new bern, Jan at Carolina Creations, who just got down here today from NC. we're going to paint up key west together for a day or two before i have to head back up next week.

i'm teaching a workshop saturday in raleigh at jerry's artarama. there are a few spots left and if youre interested call them or email me and we'll get you a spot reserved. the classes usually fill up the week of, so let me know......

Friday, March 12, 2010

Todays Sketching-nodp

yes i realize the first three are out of focus but it only complements these value sketches i did today. really wanted to play around with value shapes on subject matter that only looks good because of the abstract shapes they make. we painters usually squint and blur our eyes to see these abstract shapes so when the photos i took were out of focus they were like we would see if we were squinting at a scene, ready to paint it.

trying to keep them very simple and in about three and no more than five values.
it's a paintings abstract value arrangement that makes the difference between a ho-hum painting and one with so much POP it knocks your socks off!

i used pencil on some and a brush-tipped artist marker (middle gray), sharpie bold tip for the extreme dark and let the white of the paper be the lightest value.

these are fun once you start doing them. you get better and better with each one. they train your eye to see values, and help you to organize them better, and therefor a better painter. man, i need to do a bunch of these!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Big Catch-6x8-SOLD


Jetty Glimmer-8x10


South Florida Abode-12x16

if you like this one drop me an email for price and availability

Ok! the painting marathon is over.... time to kick back and enjoy "key west time" for the next several days before heading back up to NC. i've basically had around two or three days off since getting here. had a great time painting from sun up to sun down, stayed warm, scheduled a date for me to teach a workshop here next winter. taught some private lessons, picked up a great gallery that i'm honored to be a part of, sold one in there already too! stayed warm, and sold a bunch of the little gems online, and stayed warm this winter. oh did i say that already. now its time to slow down now that fifteen paintings have been delivered to the gallery for the new season. i might go standup paddleboarding, or kiteboard some, or just go hang out on the beach. cant wait to get back to mine and i think they said it was like 70 today up there! springs on the way.

hope you got some of the $50 blog pieces while i was offering them because those were my last that i will be selling that low ever again. i'm going to concentrate very hard on not posting everything i do and putting $50 on all of it. i get a really good one and i think man,,,, i cant believe i'll only get $50 for this... it took as long as an 8x10 does and for substantially less money. ive put my miles and miles of canvas in, painting like a maniac for several years now, and now i'm going to slow the pace and do work that will be desirable to those who know a good painting and dont mind paying $20-$50 extra bucks for a nice little gem. there are still tons of daily painters out there who'll paint something for $50 but they arent in over a dozen galleries up and down the eastern seaboard either. just trying to explain that i've got to start making the little ones pay their own way, time/money-wise, and pricing them $75-$100 will go a long way towards that goal.

i want to paint really nice stuff and not give it away, thats all. this will require me to NOT post EVERY piece i paint (like i have been), so that will inevitably drop the amount of paintings sold, but i'm bettin i'll make up for it with really good small ones that sell for $75 and $100 (depending on how much time i spend on it).

still a steal when you consider what a few extra inches would cost you were i selling it framed in a gallery with rent,payroll, lights and other overhead, right? hey... we all gotta make a living!

so dont give up on me over $25-$50 ok? i promise you'll continue to get what you pay for LOL

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Twin Hobies-6x8-SOLD


Pardon the glare. shot it ten times and the shiny paint keeps causing a slight sheen on the right hand side.

i was driving into key west today and a three foot iguana ran out in front of "ole bessie". it was huge and unfortunately he is no more. it was so big i felt like i was going over a speed bump. never ran over an iguana before, have you?

Peaceful Pair-6x8-SOLD


Saw this calm scene the other day in one of the little coves close to Stock Island. everybody here owns a boat so theyre all over the place. i never tire of painting them.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Outer Banks Shadows-6x8-SOLD

A commissioned piece from a previous "daily" i did in the great state of Nags Head!
hope you like it karen, in NJ!

below are more gallery paintings!

Keys Style Backyard-20x16-SOLD

Keys Parking Spaces-8x10
Woke up very early to be in place at just the right time for this one. gotta love that turquoise water

End of the Street Key West-8x10

Keys Eatery-12x16

My fave cuban eatery. black beans and rice, with a side of plantains. MMMmm good!

Recent Gallery Paintings

These are some gallery pieces headed that way soon. if you like any of them, contact me for prices and availability
View Down Petronia St--10x8
This is a reworked version (again) of this one. took out the giant of a man walking down the street, put some more light on some sunstruck shapes. much better

Truman Ave View-10x8-SOLD

Stock Island Mooring- 12x16

Peace and Quite-8x10

I looked at the calendar and i have a few weeks left here. has it been almost two months already? time flies when youre having fun painting outside everyday in the winter. i dont think i'd ever miss the seasons if i lived where it was 70 degrees all fall and winter.
Was just invited to paint plein air and be in an auction with Bob Wilson, and Bart Walker in Idaho this August so it'll be my first plein air experience in the west! looking forward to it already.
i thought i traveled alot before this year. but with with workshops and paint trips to key west, italy, idaho, virginia, maryland, cape cod, and rhode island, i'll be gone as much as i'm home. good thing i love the road!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Michelle and Richs House-6x8-SOLD

Sold this off the easel to a nice couple on Summerland Key. I loved the way the aqua house lit up in the late afternoon sun flanked by palms, and a jeep in the carport. He gave me a t-shirt for his charter flats fishing business too. nice guy! you meet the coolest people doing this for a living. thanks for letting me do this, Jesus!

Keys Canal-12x16
contact me for price and availability if you like this one
One from the far removed Geiger Key. found this place driving around getting stares from the locals. granted Bessie has seen her better days and i do look out of place around these expensive homes and boats but its unnerving to be spied by everybody with that "what the **)_()**& are you driving in circles round my neighborhood for?" look. just looking for something to paint officer, i swear. please dont lock me up.
but on the flip side i meet nice folks like michelle and rich, so i cant complain much can i?

Higgs Beach Tiki Hut-8x10

contact me for price and availability if you like this one

This is the popular beach just north of Southernmost Point. people swim, lay out, and standup paddleboard here. the tiki hut was lit up in the sun and demanded i pay attention to it LOL

Frances and Angela St.-16x20

contact me for price and availability if you like this one

i've tweaked this one again! took the distracting bicyclist out made the cars on the left bigger, lightened the shadow going left to right and made a more pleasing shape that points towards the background, took some of the yellow out of the curb and unified/simplified some of the tree masses. i'm really finished with this one. well no.... i heard its never finished till its hanging on someone's wall. then its finished!

Afternoon Rest-8x10
contact me for price and availability if you like this one

Love this scene from the Key West Cemetary. so peaceful with people strolling down the dirt paths and all you hear is the swishing of the palms overhead.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Summerland Key Sparkle-5x7


i'm on a sparkle kick. what can i say. they are fun and very, very challenging to make believable.

practice makes perfect!

Mirage- 8x10 -SOLD

Felt like fooling with the knife "cape school style" on this one. the color is pure and color shifts are really subtle, as is often the case on cape style knife paintings.

Tropical Estate- 12x16

email me if you like this one and i'll tell you the price and if its available

Was going to do this with a knife, but switched to the brush right after blocking it in with one. was looking good brushed and didnt want to switch to the blade.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Shimmering Afternoon in the Keys-6x8-SOLD


thought i'd show you my daily uniform. usually less the longsleeve shirt tho'. wore that today because we set a record this morning. not since 1890 something has it been fifty something degrees in march. saw some with thick coats and wool hats on today. seriously?