Tuesday, June 18, 2013


One more painting ready to go to La Posada de Santa Fe...  I'm hoping to do one more before I head out to New Mexico to deliver new work.

This has been a fun series of paintings!  I actually did a version of this same idea for the demo I did earlier this week at the Trinity Art League in San Antonio. I did the demo as a 20 x 16 but I wiped it off at the end because the sunflowers died. :(

I've been putting birds in the last three and in the next one I'm thinking a real bird might be fun.  I'll just have to think about it a bit. All of the first four have flowers in them so I'll probably do some more flowers...  here I am, thinking out loud!

Monday, June 10, 2013


14  x 11 inches
Oil on Linen

This second attempt at a self portrait turned out a lot better than the first. After a serious fail on the first one, I studied the techniques of Juan Ramirez on Facebook and picked up some really good tips!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013


20 x 24 inches
Oil on Cradled Wood Panel

Here it is...  it's finished, I signed it and I will stand by that story!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

SONGBIRD & DESERT WILLOW (still on the easel)

This painting is still on the easel but I thought I'd post it now. I'm considering adding a twig of leaves wrapping around the left side of the pitcher to round out the composition but I'm still mulling it over. I did a test image in photoshop and I think it's worth a try.  Other than that, I just want to make sure the background transitions are nice and smooth (looks pretty good here but that's the wonders of Photoshop) It looks pretty good in person but the photograph brought out some rough areas that I'm not really happy with....  

funny how that works!

Anyway, here it is. I put a small image with the added twig that I worked up in PS just to see if I'd like it.  Comments are welcomed but may be ignored!  LOL

SONGBIRD & DESERT WILLOW (work in progress)


Wednesday, May 22, 2013



20 x 24 inches
Oil on Cradled Wood Panel


20 x 24 inches
Oil on Cradled Wood Panel

Both of these paintings will be available next week through 
Santa Fe, New Mexico


I finally finished the companion painting to OLD OAK & REDBUD and the two paintings are ready to be delivered to La Posada de Santa Fe.  I'm looking forward to being able to hand deliver them and enjoy a short road trip to Santa Fe and a stay at this beautiful hotel! What a treat!

It's always nice to get through a project like this one and it's fun to get started on the next painting. I have a good one planned and I'll try to post some progress paintings as I work through it.

Monday, April 8, 2013



20 x 16 inches
Oil on Wood Panel

Available at Cactus Jack's Gallery
1706 Hunter Road
Gruene, TX.

I finished this one and it's now available at Cactus Jack's in Gruene, TX.  Now I can focus on the companion painting to OLD OAK WITH FRUIT & REDBUD.  I've been working on it for a few days now with one major background change and a resizing of some of the elements. The Delphinium blossoms are now pretty much past their prime (it never hurts to take lots of photos of the set-up) but it's  working out pretty well and maybe I'll take a picture of it (as w. i. p.) and post it.... or maybe not!  It might be more fun to wait till it's completely finished and a totally fresh image for you to see. 

Other news...
I received a pretty good tax refund this year so it looks like I'll finally be getting a dedicated studio space so I can vacate the living room soon! I can't wait to have a space where I can close the door and not have to worry about alizarin crimson cat prints on the floor! I'll keep you posted!

Saturday, March 30, 2013

... and life goes on!

Didn't get a chance to paint today but I received an email from the new owner of ORANGE PEELED. It has arrived safely in Redlands CA (orange grove country) and it's happily hanging in their home.

It's always nice when people are nice enough to let you know the ongoing "life story" of your work. Most of the time, you send off a painting and you never hear about it again. These people are excited to have the painting and that is just the "cherry on the top"!

After working at Cactus Jack's today, I decided to take a few photos before coming home...


Hopefully, tomorrow will be a more artistic day. Paul made two 20 x 24 inch cradled wood panels that need to be gessoed and the beginning of a horse painting is on the easel.

Putting one foot ahead of the other and life goes on!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Day One... disappointing.

It was a difficult day at the easel. I thought I had a pretty good start on another horse portrait but when I stepped back and looked at it, the nice muzzle that I had captured was pointing wasn't at the correct angle and I had to wipe it out and redraw it.  It's almost back at the same stage it was in when I wiped it, but it definitely set me back!

Ah well, that's the way it goes sometimes.

I'll post the day's work even though I'm not really happy with it. It will be good to see a comparison when I get into it a little further.

Today was the kind of day when the paint felt really sticky and the colors were just evading me. Then I had to wipe out a large part of the face and start it over.  BAH! 

I'll look at it again tomorrow and hopefully the things that need to be corrected after I take my eyes off it for a while.

Monday, March 25, 2013


I think it's finished!

I'll leave it overnight and if I still think it's finished, I'll sign it.
Redbuds went more easily than I thought they would. Flowers are usually very tricky but with some good reference material, it wasn't too bad.  This is a photo of it while still on the easel. I need to get a better photo under controlled conditions but this will have to do for now.

OLD OAK WITH FRUIT AND REDBUD   20x 24 inches   Oil on Cradled Wood Panel

Sunday, March 24, 2013



It's almost finished!  I spent all day today working on the fruit and the brass and I'm looking forward to finishing this one. It held all kinds of challenges but it's pretty much finished except for the redbud flowers and a little glazing on the brass.  

Detail of fruit

I'm now at the stage of a painting where part of my focus is looking at it critically and part of me is thinking about the next setup. I want to use the other side of the antique oak secretary and making a complementary composition to this painting. I'm wishing that we had dogwood trees around here. I think that would look great next to the redbuds.



Today I added the branch for the Redbud and next will be the flowers.  I've also worked on the baby pineapple leaves and the brass bowl. The brass bowl is a challenge as I said before. The color first looks orange, then brown & with another look it becomes green!

I took it as far as I could today.  Hopefully the parts I worked on today will have dried enough to work on them some more. Unfortunately, I worked a little backward today and it was hard not to smudge the areas that I just painted. My bad! Maybe I will remember that when I work on it next time.

Friday, March 22, 2013


20 x 16 inches
Oil on Wood Panel

Thank you Sara!

Sunday, March 17, 2013



Another day of work on this painting and I've filled in the front of the secretary. I can see that I need to tone it down just a little but it's a pretty good representation of the carving.  It's just a bit too bright.

I also worked on the tall vase and I think it's probably pretty close to finished. Next I think I'll work on the brass dish holding the fruit. I find brass to be a very difficult metal to read...one minute it looks orange & the next it looks green! I'm making some progress on it at any rate.

DETAIL of vase

I'm afraid I'll have to buy some more grapes to use as models because these are starting to look more like raisins and the leaves on the pineapple are getting a little brown now.  I am glad that I took photos!

It's probably time to put in the redbud branch too. It's the key factor in tying the composition together.

Thursday, March 14, 2013


This is the photographic setup for my new 20 x 24 inch still life. I started the painting without the redbud but I decided it would be a nice touch to connect the two areas of the painting.

That's why the redbud isn't in the sketch. I haven't added it to the painting yet but I will put it in soon. I thought it would be easier to add it in at the end so I can work the other areas without it's interference. 

That's why the redbud isn't in the sketch. I haven't added it to the painting yet but I will put it in soon. I thought it would be easier to add it in at the end so I can work the other areas without it's interference. 

Another day... another adjustment

After the first real day of painting I decided to check the effect of the lighting changes I made after the previous painting (WAITING .... the small palomino horse painting) and I'm still not satisfied with the results so I'll move the halogens back even further and see if that helps.


I've decided to readjust the studio lighting and I'm hoping that it will fix the "dull" look of some of my recent paintins. I was using some low wattage halogens because the color rendition is supposed to be better than fluorescents or incandescent bulbs but my older paintings painted under balanced fluorescent bulbs (not cfl's) looked better under most lighting conditions so I'm back to experimenting with them. 

So this is the result of today's work on the painting. I had to adjust the painting of the pitcher and I think the results are better with the new lighting even when I move the panel into other lighting conditions. I sure hope this works to reduce the frustration of trying to get values and chroma levels under control.

So today, my biggest progress was made on the oak secretary and lightening the white pitcher overall. I think the "lighting issues" are somewhat under control now!

Sunday, March 10, 2013


10 x 10  Oil on Wood Panel

I thought the photo below would make a nice small painting so I dove right in.  I wasn't very sleepy last night so I worked long into the early hours.  After a good breakfast (Einstein Brothers Bagels with Paul) I came home and got right back into it.

It's not quite finished (I see some things in the photo that bug me) but it's pretty much there.  Maybe someday I will get into adding some background features but for now I just want to focus on the horses.

I received a copy of Horses for Christmas many years ago (the new edition is smaller than the original and far more affordable than the large edition I have in my library) and the way the horses were photographed in front of canvas backdrops was absolutely gorgeous and made a lasting impression on me.

Maybe I'll be able to take some more dramatic images in the future. I know that I'll try to keep my camera with me in the future!

Saturday, March 9, 2013


RUFFIAN   20 x 16   Oil on canvas

This  is the final version of this painting. I fixed the ears and added a few missing whiskers. No more changes... signed and drying.

Friday, March 8, 2013


I was thinking about finding new painting ideas and it occurred to me that I haven't ever really pursued painting my oldest passion... horses.  I took this photo when at a music festival in OK several years ago so I decided to use it as inspiration for my next painting.

I worked on it for a few days and here are the results. I think I still need to make a few refinements when the painting dries for a day or two.

Thursday, February 28, 2013


Oil on Wood Panel (Gallery Wrap)
20 x 24 inches

I'm glad to pronounce this painting complete! I will try to get a better photo soon. For now, this is it.

My last addition was the leaf that now breaks the strong diagonal. I'm looking forward to starting a companion piece. Yesterday's shopping trip suggests grapes, baby pineapple, starfruit or ??? and  I have a recently adopted collection of milk glass that will probably produce a supporting character!


PEWTER WITH THREE PEARS - a photoshop experiment

I think the leaf is just what it needed!  I just did this in photoshop and I think it fixes a problem I was having with my composition.  Tomorrow I'll paint it in!


PEWTER WITH THREE PEARS - one step closer

Closer!  I decided to go darker overall on the background. I just wanted a hint of pattern and it's almost there. I also added a bit more color in the pewter. I'm not sure if that comes across in the photo which is a little soft.

I still have one more idea to solve the one nagging issue of the long diagonal in the composition. It may need something to break the line.  I'll have to experiment first. Keep watch, I'll probably decide yes or no pretty quickly.

I'd love to see what you think

Saturday, February 16, 2013

PEWTER WITH THREE PEARS - getting close!

< detail

I think this is getting very close to being finished. I believe I will put it aside to let it dry for a few days and start it's "sister" painting. When I'm as close as this to finishing the second painting, I'll put final glazes on the backgrounds of both paintings to mellow them out.

I've got a little more than 22 hours into this one so far.  It's larger than my usual format so it's been interesting to work at this scale. I could get used to it. It's also on a 2" deep support (a 20 x 24 inch cradled wood panel) so I've included a bit of wrap-around background pattern on the sides which is a bit of a change for me. Sara Eyestone (curator of The Gallery Collection at La Posada de Santa Fe and mentor to many artists) wanted to see how that format would work with my style and I love not having to decide on an appropriate (yet inexpensive) frame! It's interesting seeing a vintage looking realism with a contemporary twist. I'm looking forward to seeing what she thinks!

Thursday, February 14, 2013


Today I worked on the pears and a few retouches on the background. I finished off with a little more toning on the wood surface. It's getting closer!  Again, I'll look at it tomorrow and maybe take it outside for a change of light and see how the values and saturation of color looks.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013


I finally talked myself into picking up the brushes again and managed to do the pewter pitcher. Today, it looks pretty ok to me. Let's see how I feel about it tomorrow.

I will attempt to at least rough in the pears tomorrow.  Or maybe I'll refine the wood surface.  I had to buy new pears because the original ones were kind of mummified. Shame on me!

Friday, February 8, 2013


Here is the set up for my first attempt at painting in over a year!

I feel like I'm all thumbs and 2" housepainting brushes!

This is what I've done so far... well, actually I've done a bit more work on the background but I haven't photographed it yet. Here is a closeup of the wallpaper background...

A Word to the Wise:   Never stop painting because it's really tough to get back in the swing of it!