Saturday, November 17, 2012

Figure Workshop in Laguna Beach

Study for "Shout!" (12x9)

I have been invited by the Sedona Arts Center to host a Figurative Workshop at the Laguna College of Art in Laguna Beach, CA next July (2013)...this will be a four day class with demonstrations concentrating on 2 days of quick sketch studies exploring form values and colour temperatures, and 2 days focusing on a long pose figure with background environment. 

Figure Study (14x11)

Dates, cost and a detailed materials list can be found at the link below, or under the "Events" section at right...

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

So Cal Sketching

Autumn Sycamore

A couple of weeks ago we went down to Southern California for some vacation time, and to celebrate our daughters birthday. I have several family members in the area so it was a kind of reunion time too, and we were also able to spend a few days over the border in Mexico where my folks now live.

Painting at Moss Point in Laguna 
 (photo courtesy Thomas Kitts)

As it turned out, our daughters birthday fell right in the middle of the Laguna Plein Air Invitational (I knew this ahead of time) so I took the opportunity to bring along my paints and with my family's permission, was able to slip away on several occasions to sketch in Laguna Beach and the Pasadena area where I was born... In fact, I was able to spend time with several artists who were in town for the show, but since I was mainly there for family time, I only brought along a little pochade box and kept my sketches to a small 8x10" size.

Quick Colour Sketch

On Thursday, the LPAPA artists all congregated at Crystal Cove to paint the historic cottages there. I figured it was alright to party crash the event since I knew many of the participants (besides it's a public beach anyway) and it was fun to see everyone and the great work they created there.

Moss Point PM

Moss Point Morning

Trabucco Cloud Patterns

I also went to O'Neil Park -- one of the few remaining places in OC where you can pretend to paint like Hanson Puthuff or Maurice Braun (when no ones looking). Unfortunately, I had just missed the Edgar Payne retrospective show in Pasadena by 2 days, but getting out here gave me plenty of inspiration anyway...

San Gabriel Mountains

The day before we flew home, I painted with my friend, Tim Solliday -- I credit him with getting me interested in plein air painting when we first met a number of years ago. Tim is a real inspiration and a dedicated painter of the old school style, working directly from life whenever possible.  He's the one who told me to do a lot of 'starts' and don't worry about the finishes, they'll come along in of the best pieces of advice on painting I ever received.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Winner in Sonoma!

   Artists Choice Award: "Valle De La Luna" (16x20) o/c

I've just returned from a week of painting in California, at the 10th Annual Sonoma Plein Air where I was fortunate to win their top honor of Artists Choice Award.  Each artist brought their best piece of the week to the Friday night gala held in the newly constructed "train barn" on John Lasseter's estate, the founder of Pixar Animation.  There were many excellent paintings on display and mine could have been easily passed over for many of them, but it was sure nice to be awarded validation from my peers...

 Silent Night, Sonoma (8x10)

The weather was warm in the mid-90's the first half of the week, but this years event also landed on the full moon, so the clear skies made an excellent opportunity for nocturnes (which many took advantage of).  

Saturday's show day was beautiful too, and sales were quite good considering the lingering economic slump.  Thanks again to my third time hosts, Bill & Bev Raaka, I had a wonderful stay and great time with artist friends painting in the beautiful wine country of central California.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Monday, August 6, 2012

Iron Maiden

 "Iron Maiden" (16x20 o/c)

This Painting was juried into the American Impressionist Society's National Exhibition, to be held at Eckert & Ross Fine Art in Indianapolis, Indiana this November... It is from a series I am currently working on toward a solo show next year at Bonner David Galleries in Scottsdale, Arizona.  I am exploring working class vocations along with general daily chores, looking for beauty in the mundane action of everyday life...


This is the same model, Pam who posed for "Laundry Day" (a few posts back) and did an outstanding job for me. She is not at all as dower as she appears here, but I wanted to portray an intent concentration -- thanks Pam!



Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Winner at Plein Air Easton

"Talbot County Landscape" (16x20) Second Place Winner

I just returned from Plein Air Easton in Easton, Maryland where 58 artists painted for a week in some pretty extreme weather. It wasn't quite as hot as last year's event, but upper 90's with high humidity was still exhausting. Last year I blogged (whined) about my gear being lost by Fed Ex for the first 2 days of the event, then sleeping on the airport floor in North Carolina where I was stranded on the way home, but I still had a good time... Anyway, seeing old friends, meeting new ones and staying with my host family, the Tremain's was a great return treat, and taking home the Second Place prize with several sales was icing on the cake...beautiful country and great fun -- can't wait til next year!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

False Emancipation...

 "False Emancipation" (18x24)



  Initial Sketch (9x12)

Happy Independence Day...

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Laundry Day

 "Laundry Day" (24x30)

June 22nd is the opening of this years Oil Painters of America National Exhibition in Evergreen Colorado. I am very grateful the painting above was accepted into the show -- it is part of a series I've been working on depicting common, everyday household chores, and the unsung hero of home labor...

My own mom was one of those -- she worked a 40 hour a week job, plus the equivalent of another one raising my brother and me.


 I wanted to bring attention to the beauty of this kind of subject and stop time for a moment to appreciate what otherwise gets little to no coverage at the end of the days news. Artists have for centuries of course depicted this kind of genre, and it never gets old. I think that's because like a good landscape, we can all relate to it -- it's a fact of life (especially to the middle and lower classes)...

sketch (9x12)

Above is one of several sketches made in planning "Laundry Day".  Being mindful of a chore most people don't get too excited about also called for some upbeat colours to combat the possibility of what could be a depressing scene.  I kept the bright colour relegated to the figure only; as a focal point and to convey that although the beauty is inherent in what she is doing, the source of the beauty emanates from her alone...


I was fortunate to have a family friend pose for me with my mother-in-laws antique ironing board and iron. This gave me opportunity to make a connection to the past with this subject, and remind us of the not-too-distant crude technology people suffered with...

I was also fortunate to have the mother I did, and until I painted this, I never thought about the beauty in those thank worthy yet thankless jobs she performed all those years...but it was certainly there, every time.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Reassembled Man


 I promised a while back that I would post some more of these quick figure oil sketches -- Here are a few; fun practice if you move quickly, keep the strokes spontaneous and don't fuss them too much...14x11" (cropped).





Monday, March 19, 2012


It Says Here... (16x20)


Last month my wife and I went to a local fine dining restaurant for our anniversary. The food was fabulous, but so was the kitchen which was in open view to the restaurant patrons. I was so intrigued by the action there that I asked the manager if I could come back and take a few reference photos to paint from...

Five Spice Kitchen (16x20)


He was very obliging and told me I was welcomed to any time, so I came back the very next week and these are the results... I've seen other artists do this subject matter before of course, but everyone has their own approach and style. What I enjoyed most are the abstract patterns you get with all the stainless steel in the background with the ovens, fridge, and counter tops -- lots of information to interpret loosely.

Finishing Touch (12x16)

I'd like to do more of this subject -- most everyone can relate to good food and restaurants, even if they only experience it once a year like us (darn economy).

Bon Appetit! 

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Fast and Furious

 No. 1

These oil sketches were done very quickly (approx 15 - 45 minutes a piece) on paper as skin temperature exercises...subtly shifting and exaggerating the warm and cool to create more interest and help aid me in my figure work.  I did about 4 of them a day -- each one is approximately 14 x 11" and were referenced from either photos or previous pencil sketches.  I have more that I will post at a later date...

No. 2

No. 3

No. 5


 No. 7

No. 8

 No. 15