Saturday, June 23, 2018

New Squarespace Website

I just wanted to let you know I now have a personal website for my artwork.

 I went with Squarespace because of the clean layout of their templates. It was easy to set up, with many tutorials on every aspect of your site.

I moved most of my paintings from my Etsy shop to my new website, but I will leave some smaller paintings and the painted rocks in my Etsy shop for now.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Gathering material for the winter months of painting.

I spent October and November going out at dawn walking through our parks looking for scenes that will translate into paintings.

Some days I just take the camera while other days I 'll take the painting equipment and do oil sketches trying to familiarize myself with the color I see in the scene.What I'm searching for are scenes that have mood to them, whether it is clouds lit up as the sun starts to show, or a field covered with a layer of mist, and even getting shots of wildlife if you are quiet enough.

I was having trouble with a section of a painting and went out the next day to do a sketch of this field
to get a better understanding of it, as I was setting up my easel I noticed two ears sticking out of the grass across the field. A half hour later a fox got up and started walking around.

My paintings are about discovering of the joys of the outdoors. 

It can be as simple as coming across a tree that is still holding its color when you thought fall was done, or when you are in the woods when it is snowing its so quiet that you can hear the snow hitting the branches, and suddenly some chickadees appear their song sounding like they are laughing without a care in the world.

I find the outdoors is a great diversion from all the problems that life can throw at you.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Capturing Some Color Late Fall

 I went out the one afternoon looking to see if I could find some color still left on the trees.
Its been a strange year, some of the trees have changed and dropped their leaves while a lot of trees are still green.

On my walk through the park I interrupted two deer laying out in the open, I stopped and watched them groom each other then they disappeared in the brush.
As I started blocking in the scene they walked out in front of me and started feeding.

The tree I used for reference is beyond the deer in the background.

The finished sketch   5x7 oil

The day after I  did an 11" x 14" painting while everything was still fresh in my mind.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Waterfalls Painting, Changing Seasons

I recently reworked this painting I've had on my wall for a while.
I  painted this 7 years ago and at the time I thought it was ok.

As the years go on all the practice you do starts paying off and you start seeing where improvements could be made to paintings that were done earlier in your career.

There was not enough variety in the green foliage, everything looked the same and the painting needed some darks.

I decided to change seasons and hopefully make it more interesting.

I softened the edges in the background trees to keep them in the background, added darks and lights to the rocks and tried to balance the color in the foliage, and finally added the reflections in the water.

You can find this painting on my website

Sunday, October 1, 2017


   11" x 14" oil on a RayMar archival canvas panel     (SOLD)

I finished this painting after a few sessions at the easel.
I had intended painting this scene on location in August  but cloud cover had a different idea that morning. ( 3 posts ago)
A different painting came about from that morning as I was able to snap a few pictures before the clouds covered up the sun.

This park is about 10 minutes away so its a convenient place to paint or photograph without investing a lot of time driving back and forth.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Sometimes You Get Lucky

I had gone up to Washington Crossing State Park to do a little fishing and or some painting. As it turned out they were cutting the grass on the grounds and the parking lot close to the river entrance was filled with equipment and trailers so I headed to another part of the park to paint.

It was a nice sunny day so it was a chance to practice painting tree groupings with their light and dark patterns and the shadows they throw on the ground. I got a quarter of the way thru when a woman and her dog settled down for lunch, I thought what a great chance to paint a figure into the landscape.

I used a few strokes for the major shapes that made the woman look like she was sitting there. The dog kept moving so I waited for him to stop for a second and laid him in the best I could.
8" x 10"  oil on canvas panel

The woman and her dog finished and left and I put some final touches to the painting.
What a great experience and a great afternoon.

8 x 10 oil on a handmade canvas panel.

If I had gone fishing first this painting would not have happened, sometimes you get lucky.

Monday, August 7, 2017

DPW challenge painting, " Light and Shadow

This weeks Daily Paintworks  painting challenge is Light and Shadow.
This scene was from an early morning walk through Neshaminy State Park this spring.
I was attracted to the long shadows the tree line was throwing on the field.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Making the best of it.

Last week I had gone to the park at sunrise to paint a particular scene, a scene I had painted before at sunset but I was not happy with the results.

When I got there the clouds had started moving in towards the sun and I knew I wasn't going to have the light I wanted. At sunrise the group of trees to the left get a blast of sunlight creating a nice contrast with the trees in the background. That wasn't going to happen today so I grabbed my camera and started taking photos to the right of me looking into the sun.
What interested me was the reflection of the sun in the water.
About a minute later the sun was swallowed up by the clouds and there would be no more sun that morning.
The Daily Paintworks challenge this week is painting water so I used the photo to help create my entry.
Sunrise Reflections,   6 x 6 oil on canvas on panel.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Successful Rock Hunt

This was the result of an hour of rock hunting. The fun part is trying to find interesting shaped rocks that resemble something, a rabbit, fish,etc. And if it has a flat bottom and stands on its own that is a bonus.

Here is an example of flat bottoms.

When we bring the rocks home they get washed in soapy water to get rid of dirt and debris.
When they are dry I apply 2 coats of grey acrylic paint as a primer, after that they are ready to paint on.
This is when your imagination comes into play.

The smooth  rocks are good for painting an image on, you try to paint an image that goes with the design of the rock.

A good amount of time and work goes into producing a finished rock and the best part is when your customers tell you how happy they are with their new rock.
It is very satisfying when someone likes your creations enough to buy them, for that I am very grateful.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Winter Sky, Sunset

Winter Sky 5x7 oil
Daily Paintworks Challenge

This weeks challenge was to paint clouds. I selected a photo from the end of the day when you get the last rays of light touching the bottom of the clouds.

My gallery on Daily Paintworks is

Friday, May 5, 2017

Fly Fishing Art, Seclusion

11x14 oil    ( SOLD)
The places we seek out to fish takes a little effort to get to so its not often we see other fishermen, but when we do they usually have the same goals as we do so it is fun exchanging information on what is working on this day, or other streams in the area that have been fishing good lately.

The best part of it though is the seclusion from everyday life, a little downtime to recharge the batteries where your only worries are figuring out the best way to approach the trout without spooking him and hoping you chose the right fly.

Painting is very similar, your concentration is so focused you forget about life's problems even if its only for a little while.

Being cooped up in the winter gives me time to get all the fly fishing paintings out of my system.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Brown Trout Portrait

Brown Trout Study  5"x 7" oil                    (SOLD)

This started out as a study to see if I could do a decent portrait of a trout.
It gives me encouragement to paint something bigger.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

11x14  oil on wood panel.

A perfect ending to a peaceful day spent on a trout stream in northcentral Pa.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Ringneck Pheasant  11x14  oil on canvas

This sat in the studio half finished since last year. The recent snowfall we just had rekindled the inspiration I originally had when I started this.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Scouting around for new painting locations

There is a park about 8 minutes away from me, Playwiki Farm Park, that has a paved walking path for exercise . I"m at the park at sunrise to walk 2 to 3 laps. The park has 110 acres, but I only utilized the walking path until recently I started exploring the other parts of the park.
The other day I decided to scout around for possible locations for painting. The one part of the park has a good amount of thickets and a small brook running thru it. I watched as a mink worked his way along the bank looking for food.  This is where I'll start tomorrow.

I went in the afternoon enjoying the 63 degree temps as I painted. I found a section of the brook to start at and did an 8x10. When I got home I refined the rest of the painting.

An important part of painting outdoors is having one or two locations close by so it makes it easy to visit them often. Luckily I have a few of these parks to paint at.

Another point is to have your outside equipment organized and ready to go. I've learned this the hard way more than once. Its no fun getting to your painting spot and forgetting either  brushes, or paints or panels. After a few times of that I decided to keep the outdoor equipment in one bag and it doesn't leave that bag.
You can see in the picture my outdoor painting stuff organized on the shelf.

On the top shelf is the bag with everything in it, paints brushes, rags, thinner and cigar box easel for 8x10 and smaller panels. On the second shelf is the big paintbox, to the left are 2 tripods, one for the cigar box easel the other for the big paintbox. All those panels on the second shelf are failed paintings that have received two coats of acrylic paint and now are ready for outdoor work.

The outdoor work is all about practice and learning about outdoor light. The sketches that have enough information in them can be used for studio paintings, and a good example of this are my last two posts where I was able to use the sketches to make studio paintings.
It doesn't work that easy all the time, but when it does it feels great.

Get out and enjoy the outdoors, its a great stress reliever.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Fall Foliage

Fall Foliage  11x14 oil on wood panel.

I finished this painting recently after about three different sessions on the easel. It usually takes that amount of time to get things adjusted to the way you want them.
One thing I've learned to do is to put the painting away for a while and when you bring it out again the areas that need adjusting stand out clear.
I painted this using a location sketch I did in November as reference.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Winter Sketching

A couple of weeks ago a stretch of cold weather had put a layer of ice on the lake.  I went out for a walk with my painting gear, and on days like this (overcast and dreary) I"ll have a little fun and challenge myself to find something interesting to paint.

What interested me was the zig zag pattern of the ice and the reflection of the land on the ice.
I did a small sketch capturing the important facts of the scene.

On days I'll be out sketching at different locations I'll take a couple of 11x14 panels and tape them off into 4 sections as seen above. The two panels fit into the slots on the back of the easel.
From the information I got from the location sketch and things I remember from that day I was able to do this 9x12 acrylic painting.
Thin Ice  9x12  acrylic

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Capturing Some Late Fall Color

I had some time to kill in the morning so I grabbed my plein air bag and headed out to one of the nearby parks to see if I could catch some leftover color still on the trees.
After driving around a bit I settled on a stand of trees with a good light and shadow pattern to help add some depth to the scene. I spent an hour capturing the light before it changed.

Late Fall Color,  8x10 oil on canvas panel.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Early Morning Sketch

 I didn't have to travel far for this sketch.The rising sun backlighting the leaves on the trees was the motivation for today.
When I saw the light taking shape I set up my small cigar box easel by the window to capture the scene.

I used acrylics on an 8x10 canvas panel. I was able to block in all the shapes and the general lighting conditions before the light had changed. 

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Working with Acrylics Outside

Bird Feeder 8x10 acrylic

I painted this at the end of the day about a half hour before sunset. I took advantage of the acrylics fast drying time.  I worked from background to foreground blocking in shapes, so by the time I finished blocking in the bird feeder the background was already dry and I was able to adjust the values and modeling of each shape without worrying about lifting the first layer of  paint.
Then I'll compare shapes sitting next to each other and keep adjusting back and forth until it reads the way you want it too.

I had installed a piece of glass in the bottom of the paint box for oil paints, but it  also works great for acrylics too. I keep a small spray bottle with water and mist the acrylics as they start to dry. And when the leftover mixed paint dries I use a scraper that lifts the paint in a matter of seconds, and you have a clean mixing area again.
A jar of water hangs on the outside of the box keeping it free of the mixing area.

I try to keep the setup as simple as possible so there is less to carry, and if you make it easy on yourself you will more inclined to go out and paint.