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 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.