Thursday, December 29, 2011

Corner Glow- SOLD

how can you not love a cute little conch house with a bouganvillea bush out front in the midday florida sunshine?

on this one i started out the underpainting with different values of pinkish-orange and then quickly putting somewhat close colors down. only then do i go back and color correct and look for subtle temperature shifts. a little pinker here, a little more yellow ochre there. an example is on the shadow in front of the house. look at how its grayer-blue on the sidewalk part to the left, and a little more purple where the bush is casting a shadow. the value is identical but not the color temperature.

 this is the point in the painting where it gets super fun.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Shaver and Petronia St.- SOLD

today was my first day out on the streets since i got to key west on the 26th. to me its like coming home. i love the energy and art culture here, not to mention temps in the 80's and turquoise waters. have a three day knife painting class starting up next week so you might see me working on my chops with knife painting dailies.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

SOLD-Barn in Overcast Light


this may be the last post till i get to key west in a few days. ive got two eight hour days of driving planned. this year i painted all thru the holiday and will hit the ground running in the keys. last year i took a few days off and then the drive (another two days of not painting) and i felt really out of practice when i did arrive. not this year. i'm really excited about setting up and doing some palm trees!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

SOLD-Orange Distortion-8x6

i love the way things look thru glass. slightly askew and the color shifts from inside to outside are different in subtle ways. to paint glass you really have to paint just what you see (by squinting alot) but not everything you see. simplify, simplify, simplify.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

New River Inboard-SOLD

was down on the new river the other day crawling around looking for something to paint. saw this scene and got excited about the lovely cream color of the shadow side of the boat where its picking up the light from the reflected sand. it doesnt take much to excite me does it?

Monday, December 19, 2011

On Shore Dr.-6x8-SOLD

A little ditty from Shore Dr. 
Gotta love that cold and crisp winter light

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Beaufort Grocery-16x20-SOLD

a local fave eatery in beaufort, n.c.

had a close call on painting this one yesterday. i was studying the best angle to paint this one on the other side of the street on the curb. i was so distracted that i stepped off the curb right into the path of a car. she slammed on brakes and i missed getting run over by a few inches. i'm glad she was paying attention because i sure wasnt! Whew... that was close! wasnt my time right?

 here's a thought i had. if i had got run over yesterday and God forbid didnt make it, i wonder if my paintings would be worth more today? hmmmm

with it being winter i had to use some artistic license to make it look like warmer and "leafier" times

Monday, December 12, 2011

SOLD-Country Crossroads

today i'm working on commissioned paintings that will be gifts for the holidays and getting things together to head to key west in a few weeks.

i love to read about how other painters days break down so i thought some of you guys might like to know what mine might look like.

my days usually break down into two types of days. one where its sunny and one where its cloudy/rainy and/or too cold to go outside and paint.

here's the cloudy day description:

get up, sit at the convenient store drinking coffee and looking at the all important dayplanner. i make a list of things i need to do that day and being a list guy i rank them in order of importance. i dont like painting in the morning, so i do alot of the marketing type stuff then, answering emails, doing painting inventory to keep up with what paintings are in what galleries, blogging a daily painting, checking my online galleries, making and anwering phone calls, and handling workshop details for later in the year. there is soooo much logistically that goes into booking and following thru on a workshop. hours and hours of emails, mailing contracts back and forth, calls, etc. i review upcoming gallery shows i'm committed to and other painting deadlines like commissions. i like to do all my nonpainting stuff till just after lunch. also run errands that i didnt have time to get to (when i was out in the field painting too much). then i start combing the web looking at blogs. reading up on painting, and looking at the paintings of painters i like. this is really important because it seems like this gets my mind around painting and i feel the inspiration creeping in slowly. then i turn on court tv shows and crank up the lighting at the easel. painting isnt about inspiration as much as treating the act like any other job that has to be done. if i waited to "want" to paint it wouldnt happen in the studio too much. sunny days tho' i'm itching to get outside and paint. following a routine helps get me going inside. i'll usually work on a small daily painting while i'm making and returning phone calls, go get some dinner and then dive into the bigger paintings after dinner while i listen to the prime time tv shows. occassionally i listen to some reggae while i paint once in a while. around 10 i start winding down the easel. check emails again and then watch the news and nighty night after midnight.

Lesson and Workshop News

if you're heading down to key west to warm up this winter and would like some private lessons drop me an email and we'll get something down on the calendar. i can work with you on basic painting, drawing, plein air painting, and knife painting lessons (and more) or whatever you'd like to cover. whether youre a beginner, or an experienced painter who wants to sharpen your skills, i'd love to work with you.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

SOLD-Marsh Pattern-5x6

this is a reworked painting that i did at rock harbor last year on cape cod. i liked certain parts of it, but there were some things i didnt care for too. so i reworked the colors and composition a bit.

originally it had some rocks in it and the colors were muted. i used a razor knife and cropped the distracting rocks out and punched up the colors.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Fall Sentinel-8x8

most buyers of these small online paintings dont realize the amount of time (and money) i might spend to get these small ones up on the blog everyday.
i can easily spend an hour or two to find the scene plus the gas, about 1 1/2 hrs to paint it, 30 minutes to shoot a pic, photoshop it for the web, upload and write a web post about it, and then i spend another 20 minutes taking it to the post office if it sells.
hmmmm. i didnt realize i had this much in em till i write it all down like this

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Winterville Two Story-7x9-SOLD

Another of the super size 7x9's for a 6x8 price!!

a late fall home in the megalopolis of winterville, nc. not really. in truth the sign that youre entering the city limits is on the back of the one saying youve left.

this old home was probably built in the twenties? dontcha love the early morning winter light on it.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

SOLD-Capt. Charlies Glimmer-6x8

today was day two of my atlanta workshop at Binders art store.

seeing the beautiful light on these atlanta skyscapers has been a real treat for this flatlander, beachbum!

kept this painting very edited and colorful, just trying out a different color harmony than on previous paintings of this fave motif of mine.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

A Bottle of Medium-8x5-SOLD

a knife painting of a bottle of liquin i threw up on the still life stand this morning. i used the cape school underpainting method, a great way to punch up the color a bit too. these are exercises in practicing to see color and to show different planes and turn the form with color changes and not just with value changes (like a tonalist might do). a more sophisticated block study, if you will. i try to remember in these daily paintings that painting is more about seeing than it is technique.

todays Hawthorne quote: "Try to decide the color of your big spots and keep them apart-try everything in your power to keep them apart".

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Dannys House-8x10

this one's from 2009

Dannys House-8x10

Have you ever wished you had gotten one of my paintings back in 2009 when they were in this price range but didnt? Here's your chance to get this painting for what it sold for back in 2009

i'm packing for my Cape Cod Underpainting workshop at Binders, an art supply store in Atlanta, (starts friday). flying with paints and stuff always makes me nervous now that TSA wont even let you take toothpaste or deodorant onboard :D. i'll put a note with the oil paints saying ARTIST MATERIALS with them. ive done that before and got thru screening so far in my travels. maybe this time too!

I had too much free time so i just joined DailyPaintworks, an online gallery started by Carole Marine and her husband David. still working out some computer stuff so i dont have any paintings on there as of now (till thats worked out in the next few days). click the widget over on the right sidebar to get there and see the other arists represented at the site.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Study #112711a-7x9-SOLD


another of the larger "mini's".

in driving around to find something to paint i found a cool farm way out in the country. the owner was a nice guy who gave me total access to his property. there was lots of farm stuff, large open fields, barns and outbuildings and this old truck and trailer. seeing them in the late fall light was just what i was looking for. these scenes are a huge part of the rural eastern NC landscape.

todays Hawthorne quote: "Make a house a note of color, make the blinds and windows a note of color, make the trees a note, the grass a note, the shadows also and make the sky stay away from it."

Sunday, November 27, 2011

SOLD-Dream Street-7x9

If you noticed, this study is 7x9 for $75, a full inch top and bottom bigger than my 6x8's that sell for this same price. my idea of coping with this stubborn economy and sagging sales is to offer a bigger canvas for the same price as a smaller one. this is the exact opposite of the grocery store where they give themselves a raise by selling you a smaller package at the same price.

This was done the other afternoon in swansboro nc. the light was silvery, caused by high thin clouds. what caught my eye was the shine on the water off in the distance. i like the bright, cool color harmonies that this light key has. if you can match the color notes and make them relate to each other on the canvas the way they do in reality, you will have caught the "truth" of it.

Hawthorne quote: "Do the simple thing and do it well. Try to see the large simple spots- do the obvious first. When you go out to paint and things mean only spots to you, you have your painters eye with you.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

NC Treat-6x6-SOLD

on dec. 7th i'll be doing a demo at City Art Gallery in Greenville, NC from 6-8. come by and check out how i start a painting and tho' i wont probably finish it, you'll get an insight into how i go about a painting.

this little gem below would make a great holiday gift for that pepsi and nab lover in your family.
this is a favorite snack for us carolinians. we call these cheese crackers "nabs". i guess because they original crackers were from Nabisco, nabs for short.

Hawthorne said- "paint something thats nothing until its painted well"

does a drink can and a snack food qualify?

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Inside Job-5x6-SOLD

Wouldnt these little fruit and glass still lifes be a great gift for that friend of yours for their kitchen walls. Framers have scrap they can make frames for on these mini's for $10 or $15.


With the shorter fall days, i paint more and more inside and very late at night. that makes me get up late and then its dark again. then i work into the night and it all starts all over again. great thing about making a living making art and working for myself is that the boss is cool with whatever i want to do :D

another cool thing is that i get to eat or drink my painting subjects after theyve given their life for art. in this case i squeezed the limes into some flavored water and drank em up. yummy.

in todays painting i tried to put one of Hawthornes quotes into practice. He said- "Have the courage to set down the colors you see there- overdo in color rather than be weak".

Monday, November 21, 2011

Waterfront Pair-6x8-SOLD

just got some phalo blue and wanted to play around with it and i did a color chart to see what each of the colors on my palette would look like when mixed with it. the colors on my palette are across the top and down the side. where the down column intersects with the horizontal columns is what the two make when mixed. the darker colors i added a strip of white across the darker colors so i could see what the real color is. where two columns the same color i mixed white to make it very pale. this is good to do every now and then to remind yourself just how many different colors you can make with your palette of pigments. dont always paint, making the same mixes. shake it up a little!

here i was playing with burnt sienna (its not on my plein air palette but i'm thinking of adding it to my expanded studio palette) and phalo blue. the burnt sienna is a dirty warm red and makes great warm and cool grays when mixed with phalo blue. i love those blue grays with more and more white in em.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Thursday, November 17, 2011

White Isnt White-6x8-SOLD

here i'm looking for color. trying to train the eye to see the least hint, then push it a little so that even white isnt white.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Hooray Beer!-8x6-SOLD

wanted to fool with painting some glass so i threw up this brown glass and tried for thick, decisive stokes.

Hawthorne Quote (from still life chapter): "This winter do some still life., and i dont mean pretty things like iridescent glass.....paint something that isnt anything until it is painted well. get stuff that is supposed to be ugly, like a pie plate or an old tin basin against a background that will bring out the beauty of the thing you see. then try to do it, trying to work for quality of color.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Sun from the Right-9x12

if you like this one contact me for price and availability

a few items on a table out in my yard this morning. strove for big juicy, chunky, and broad-one color,one stroke application.

Monday, November 14, 2011

White on Yellow on Blue-6x6-SOLD

what? another revision? really?

really. i wasnt satisfied that it "dripped sunshine" so i went back over every shape with a purer color and bumped up the sunshine. i relied alot on my memory of the impression i had more on this revision, disregarding trying to imitate my study (the small one sitting on the revised 12x16) see below. i overemphasized how orangey-yellow the roofs looked when i was standing out there looking at them. then i really warmed up the sky as well as lightened it. then i made the water bluer and warmer too. if you really want to see the transformation from the first one i painted from the study go back to the original painting on the october 30th post and see it as it first appeared. huge difference!

trying to make it more about spots of color versus house. the smaller one screams house and then color, the larger screams color, then house.

hawthorne quote of the day- "See if you cant simply put down spots of color and let the results take care of themselves.....dont see so many little things-refuse to see details- you dont have to draw the whole town if you paint. Better put it down so that it sits in air than to make a better drawing without vitality..."

i changed this one to have more vitality and to sit in air better. even at the expense of windows and side trim! and guess what i discovered? it still looks like a house without them

Sunday, November 13, 2011

orange and bowl in overcast-5x7-SOLD

just completed three workshops at art of the carolina's in raleigh. everything went great. i really enjoy the country's biggest workshop gathering every year. its like a family reunion. i get to see alot of students ive had over the years and catch up with my friends who are also instructors. all the major art supply companies like grumbacher, windsor newton, canson papers, and fredericks canvas (to name just a few) show up too. its like a huge art convention. i taught knife painting, mixing color, and the cape cod underpainting technique.

got home and unpacked, and then threw up a table outside with the orange and bowl on it.

a friend gave me the book Hawthorne on Painting and i want to start putting some quotes of his at the end of my posts for awhile. Hawthorne was the father of the cape cod school of painting and his wisdom will help anybody who paints (but will be of particular interest to those of us who love that technique). i want to remember these quotes so putting them on the blog will help me learn them.

todays quote from Hawthorne: Think of color instead of sand, think of color instead of clothes. color first and house after, not house first and color after.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Quite the Couple-12x16

Old Menhaden Plant-12x16

this old fish processing plant is over in a remote part of beaufort. jimmy womble got us permission to paint on this private section of waterfront. the two red stacks are like fireplaces. both jimmy and i cant resist old beat up waterfront stuff. this and Last Light were painted on the same property the same day.

Menhaden plants were popular back in the day. there were two very large plants in beaufort alone. i know menhaden were also very popular out near the outer banks. i'll do some googleing and find out more about this fish and why they were popular.

Notice how i worked the red of the stacks into the grass and the left roofline, to integrate them into the painting. you want to work all the major colors into other places around the painting to make the colors in it harmonious.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Quiet Reflection-8x8-$150

$150 with table easel at City Art Gallery

a better picture of Sentinels-24x30

at City Art Gallery

Last Light-12x16
if youre interested in this one contact me for price and availability

Island Houses at Capt Charlies-16x20

if youre interested in this one contact me for price and availability

Corner of the Boatyard-16x20

at City Art Gallery

all these have been done recently. i was getting busy as the colder weather told me that my days painting outside all day were about to end. the leaves are about to fall off the trees, the landscape is about to go gray, its getting darker earlier, not to mention colder daytime temps means itll soon be time to start brushing up on my palm trees :D

i'm teaching at Art of the Carolina's in raleigh thursday thru saturday and one of them is a knife painting class. here's a Free Art Lesson on knife painting i did for Jerrys. click here to go there and watch it.

Monday, November 7, 2011

The Sentinels-24x30

i was working on a 24x30 knife painting demo a few posts back. here's the finished product still on the easel. you may want to go back and refresh your memory of what was going on. these big ones are fun with a big knife. click the image to get a big pic of it where you can see all the subtle color shifts in the big shapes. dont think there are any shapes with less than three different temps. even if it appears to be lit up by the sun it still has a very very light blue in it (ie. the whitish building on the far right)

workshop news

the Cape School Underpainting class i'm teaching at Art of the Carolina's has a few spots left. its next saturday in raleigh.

Doing a knife painting workshop in sunny key west this winter. see the right sidebar for a complete list of upcoming workshops

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Workshop Wrap Up in Elizabeth City

got a few hours off from teaching here in elizabeth city nc and here's how i spent it. painting Feed and Seed, an old purina feed store. i loved the way the sun was lighting up the buildings.

this week i taught a two day workshop on the basics of painting which included values, color mixing, and basic drawing mechanics. tonite i did a Paint Camp session where 20 folks all followed along with my demo. they sipped wine and had a great time, and even tho most of the class had never painted a thing before, they each walked out with a really nice floral painting.

elizabeth city is a wonderful place and has a very vibrant art community. who knows it may end up being an art mecca like asheville soon.

want to thank joe and caroline for their hospitality while i was in eliz. city. too. thanks y'all!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Dont Be Afraid

the revised Against the Sun at Capt Charlies- 12x16

after looking at this one in the cold light of day i hated it. i figured it had to be a value problem so i did that little value study thats sitting on top of the painting. i looked thru a red piece of plastic and painted all the shapes the value it was on the 12x16 to find the problem.

then i did a new value study. these things are only 4"x6" or so. they only take a few minutes each. look how much better it looks when the roof is darker than the sky, when the foliage near the bright reflection on the water is darker and when the building is a bit darker. in the original the big roof ( with the chimneys) was too light and too warm.

i liked everything but the water still wasnt shining like i wanted it to. so i dropped the value of the sky, chimney shadows, and the foliage near the sparkle a little bit more. that did the trick. i saw in the value study that the roof, the water on the left side, and the grass in sun should be the same value. the chimney shadows and the foliage near the sparkle should be the same and the building should be darker than the roof and the grass.

now came the hard part. convincing myself to redo the whole painting. not one shape was right and even if some were, when i changed one it would change how all the rest related to each other.

so i took a deep breath, sighed and started scraping a 'finished' painting, and re-did the whole thing. the way i kept the edges from being to harsh (usually what happens when you have to repaint a near dry painting) was to paint past the edge both ways, and then back again, worked like a charm. every day i learn something new behind a wet brush. one sure way to get better is dont be afraid to do whatever it takes to make a better painting (there are far too many mediocre/bad ones out there already arent there?a good deal of em are mine) the other thing is-- put in lots of time in front of the easel. there arent any short cuts.

so the next time one of your paintings arent working if you think its a value problem do a couple of little value studies and see if thats it. then you'll know how to fix it.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Against the Sun at Capt Charlies-12x16

if you'd like to purchase this one contact me for price and availability

Friday, October 28, 2011

Bald Head Paintings and WIP

started a 24x30 from the 12x16 paintings i did called front row and all in a row. this is what the initial block-in looked like. thats the computer on the left with the prior paintings on the screen. blues, purples, and dark cool reds went on all the shadows and yellow, orange, and pink on the warm light shapes.
now i go in and put a color closer to the real thing down loosely and without any complementary colors that would gray the colors. vibrant and pure is the mantra at this stage. i'll post a pic of the finished painting when the sun comes out and i can get a decent pic of it.

Island Abodes Capt. Charlies-8x10

if youre interested in this please contact me for price and availability

Angel View-16x20

if you like this contact me for price and availability

these were done on bald head island during my recent residency over there. the 16x20 was done in two 1 1/2 hr sessions in 20 plus mile an hour winds coming off the water. i bent down to grab something and the easel went flying into the air and fell in the sand. ahhhh, the pleasures of plein air painting!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

On Bald Head Island

i'm over on bald head island as artist in residence for the week. this place is always amazing. i love painting over here. no cars are allowed and everybody gets around in golf carts. this is the northernmost part of the tropics. no kidding. that with bluebird skies and temps in the 70's is making for some great painting days. been doing a few 16x20's on site with big brushes and knives, and having fun with them. bigger paintings are getting easier and easier for me to keep "loose and accurate". forgot my camera so i cant get any photos of em but they'll be in woods gallery here on the island.

p.s.- i saw an article this week by a major paint manufacturer who confirmed that you can indeed paint oil paint over thin acrylic. i almost always scrub on yellow ochre acrylic before i get going with the oils. good to know that my paintings wont crack and fall off the canvas in a few years :D

Monday, October 24, 2011

Late Day on the Docks-6x6-SOLD

felt so good to do a boat after working nonstop on the beach cottage series for the last several weeks. it had been so long since i'd been to the marina, i found out today that there were new owners. they had seen me there painting alot and gave me carte blanche to paint wherever and whenever i want.

until now i've always stayed clear of calling something a "series". i hate being locked down into something. really i follow that philosophy in my whole life. i dont like appointments, or routines, or series. but there is one benefit i'm finding in doing so many beach cottages. you gain an intimate knowledge of the subject matter. little nuances you find that would be missed blazing from one thing to another everyday. guess there's an upside to everything. well... except appointments :D

Chunks of Color-8x10

if you'd like to purchase contact me for price and availability