Friday, May 17, 2019

Maine to North Carolina

"Morning", 24x48 oil on linen

         My focus has continued to be on the coast but my last two paintings have depicted scenes from my days on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. The month of May always brought warm days and beautiful sunrises that I often enjoyed sitting on the beach with a mug of coffee. The painting above, simply titled "Morning" was painted from memory with some color references taken from old plein air paintings. I wanted to keep the brush moving and keep things loose rather than get caught up in painting intricate, lacey foam patterns, although that can be fun and interesting to do.  I wanted to emphasize the movement of the surf and still think I could do more in that direction.

         Next up will be a nocturnal seascape and I have been doing some preliminary sketches. I am thinking it will involve a rocky shoreline and rough surf, so yup, I am heading back to Maine. Then again a quiet North Carolina nocturne.......?

Sunday, March 24, 2019

On the Rocks

"On the Rocks" 18x24 oil on panel
     I have been binge painting coastal Maine! I did a number of plein air studies on Casco Bay last August and  I was sure that as soon as I arrived home I would start doing some large studio paintings based on my experience and the studies.  It didn't happen. I just couldn't work up enthusiasm for them and I thought that was very odd. So I went back to work on my cityscapes. I would often pull out my studies from the summer trip and look at photos I had taken and still NOTHING.  Then this January I was suddenly inspired.  Perhaps it all had to percolate and my subconscious was continuing to process images?  I don't know the answer but whatever enthusiasm I had lacked I have definitely found now!

     This painting was inspired by one of the very few sunny days we had that week.  Most of my studies were done from locations out on the rocks so I became quite familiar with them.  What I found so enticing about working there was the hypnotic lapping of the tide as it came in and out as well as the cool breezes and enticing smells of seaweed and salt water. Every so often there would be strange ripples moving across the surface of the water which was clear enough to reveal the seals below that were creating the disturbance. Painting this piece took me back to that peaceful, inspiring time.

    I hope to be posting more coastal paintings here and I hope you will continue joining in the journey!

            I was very honored today that "CASCO BAY COTTAGE" (see last post entry) was awarded second place at the annual awards banquet of the WASHINGTON SOCIETY OF LANDSCAPE PAINTERS held at the ARTS CLUB OF WASHINGTON  DC.  I have a great deal of respect for the talent in that organization and I am proud to be a juried member of it!

"Casco Bay Cottage" 30x24 oil on linen panel
       Opening April 6th and running to April 30th, "SPRING MIX" at the PENINSULA GALLERY in Lewes Delaware. This is a group show of floral and garden paintings by the Washington Society of Landscape Painters. You can visit the WSLP website to see all the wonderful paintings in this show. Below is an image of the painting I submitted which is a corner of the water garden at the Maine Botanical Gardens, part of the Garden of the Five Senses.

"Pond Perennials" 12x16 oil on panel

Saturday, March 9, 2019

Remembering Summer

"Casco Bay Cottage", 30x24 oil on linen panel

    Like my last post, this painting was developed from sketches and photo references created last August on Casco Bay in Maine. Most of the week was cloudy, foggy and rainy providing some interesting images but when the sun came out it was truly glorious! 

    One morning I awoke to golden sunlight and knowing how quickly the weather can change on the Bay I didn't waste any time heading down to the dock before 7:00 AM. to document the sunrise.  The cottage depicted here was next door to the one I was staying in and looks directly out over the Bay. However, what struck me on that morning was the light hitting the rocks and dappling the path to the cottage. It was an opportunity to paint a variety of textures as well as the strong contrast of warm and cool colors and light and dark areas.

     The tools I used were the same as in my previous post "The Cove at Anna's". For this one I painted on a linen panel which I had toned with yellow ochre.  I used a two inch bristle brush, palette knives and round bristle brushes. If you don't often use the latter I recommend you give them a try.


"Spring Mix" A group exhibit by the Washington Society of Landscape Painters  at the Peninsula Gallery in Lewes Delaware. April 6th through April 30th.

March 28th to 30th painting the Gardens at Winterthur in Delaware. I hope to have some interesting work to post from that experience!

Monday, March 4, 2019

Love Those Nocturnes!

"The Cove at Anna's" 18x24 oil on panel
     I never tire of painting or viewing nocturnes.  Every time I paint one I try to explore new colors of the night as well as how to apply the paint to give the sense of depth that is found in the night sky. A flat application of paint doesn't cut it for me.
    This particular painting was created with three tools. A two inch bristle brush, a round nose palette knife (bulk of the painting) and a #4 round bristle brush. I kept the palette simple and all colors were mixed from indigo blue, cerulean, ultramarine blue, alizarin crimson, vermilion, naples yellow, ochre and white.

     The inspiration for the painting was the cove at Anna's Waterfront restaurant on Casco Bay in Maine.  I had enjoyed a wonderful lobster dinner at the restaurant with friends and when it was time to leave we were greeted with this wonderful, peaceful, full moon night.  I eliminated the cars in the parking lot and the flagpole to simplify the image and focus on the quiet roll of the tide, the sources of light in that velvety sky and the reflections on the Bay.
     I didn't need a photo reference for this one. It was painted from the heart.

"Spring Mix" at the Peninsula Gallery, Lewes Delaware. April 6th through 29th. This is a Washington Society of Landscape Painters group show with a floral or garden theme.

See more of my work at 

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Second Time Around

"Winter Mist, Chain Bridge" 30x30 oil on panel

     I created this painting in March when we were experiencing another rainy, misty season but something was not quite right.  I ended up putting it away in the storage closet and forgot about it for awhile.  I took it out last week while searching for a different painting and found myself lured in with a desire to improve it. Sometimes it is a photo of a painting that tells me what is wrong with it.  In this case most of the photos I took were quite bland and I realized the painting was as well.  Then one image taken with the studio lights on made the colors much more saturated with an overall rosy cast.  I realized that what I wanted was somewhere between what existed and what I saw in that overly saturated photo.  So, back to work.
      I took my time and worked up some more transparent layers.  I added more mist rising from the Potomac and made some adjustments to the bridge.  I added more color to the tree masses. Then I propped it up for a couple of days and decided I had finished the painting!

     Sometimes it is the tougher paintings that I end up liking the most.  They are a challenge and make me work for it and when I work for it I stretch my abilities more.  I also find that my recent paintings draw on my years as an abstract painter particularly when I was working in multiple sheer layers of paint as a color field artist.

     I hope you enjoy this one!

Monday, September 10, 2018

Just Off the Easel

"Blue Canyon, 5th Avenue" 12x12 oil on panel
                   As a child I had a love affair with 5th Avenue.  I thought it was the grandest place I had  ever seen! I still love it and enjoy painting it. This is 5th Avenue down around 34th Street which I came to know well since my first job after college was right there at 34th and 5th. I think what makes NYC unique to paint is the canyon like effect of the extraordinarily tall buildings and the fact that it is built on a grid. There are very few diagonals and virtually all streets are east, west, north and south. Easy to choose the light source.

Fall is show time!  UPCOMING EXHIBITS:
 Opening September 21st and running until October 15th:
Opening reception September 21st from 6:30 until 9:00 PM,I will have two paintings in this show, "Yellow Sky" and "Key Bridge Nocturne". Please go for more information.

With luck the above painting will be include in the auction.

AMERICAN PAINTINGS FINE ART SMALL TREASURES 2018 November 17th to January 26th 2019.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

"Indigo Sky" oil on panel, 30x30

      I have been absent since January as the business of painting and exhibiting those paintings has taken precedence over my online presence.  Life has thrown some curves since the beginning of 2018 but the painting goes on if not my posting.

       This is my most recent studio painting and was completed two weeks ago.  I am back on the nocturne kick as I just love them!  I keep experimenting with night shades and I particularly like the palette in this one.  I was strict in using just Indigo, Alizarin Crimson, Yellow Ochre and white. What beautiful colors you can mix with those! A limited palette has the advantage of making it easy to mix up another batch of the same color.

       What is next from the studio? Well, I am thinking another nocturne :-)

       An annual celebration of our nations capitol. Paintings will be on exhibit from June 9th to September 22nd 2018.  I have three paintings in this exhibit including the one below.
"March Rain" oil on panel. 24x20