Thursday, October 20, 2016

Settled In and Ready to Paint.

We spent the last few months looking for, buying, and moving into our house. All of my painting equipment was packed away except for one plein air bag so when I found some time I could
paint a little.

We have good views of the sky everywhere you turn,  so I have been practicing painting cloud patterns at sunrise and sunset.
Here are a few paintings I managed after a 3 month layoff.

My neighbors shed 5x7

Monday, July 18, 2016

Late Evening plein air

Two 5x7's oil

Painted these last night at sunset. I wanted to find a spot looking across the lake showcasing the last rays of sunlight. All I had to do was turn to the left to paint the  moon scene.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Acrylic Nocturne

Waiting for Daybreak  8x10, acrylic

Our boat in the driveway lit by the moon. I like to go out and observe the lighting effects from the moon. Good practice for painting nocturnes.
I try to keep the values close together but still readable.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

After Dinner Relaxation

My wife Maria and I like going out after dinner when we have time, either going fishing, spotting wildlife or walking to stay fit. And at the end of our activity for the night we enjoy watching the sky go through its light show as the sun drops below the horizon.

On this night we were fishing at a local park and right before sunset Maria had caught a nice bass measuring 18.5 inches.
 A few minutes later we were treated to a nice sunset. I snapped some photos and
two days later completed a painting of the sunset we saw that night.
Sunset on the Lake  8x10 acrylic on canvas

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Early Morning Surprise

I was making the coffee this morning looked out the window and saw a fox getting a drink out of the water bowl for the birds. He just sat  there looking around and then turned and trotted off, we lost track of him after that.
 A nice way to start the morning.

I finished up on a fly fishing painting recently, a scene from an upstate Pa trout stream. My brother Tom poised to catch a trout from a mountain stream.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Sunrise walk,

Sunrise Walk, 11x14 oil on cradled wood panel

This painting is based on the sky study I did on March 11th.
I wanted to portray a peaceful feeling that shows the few minutes of dramatic color right before the sun is all the way up and everything is brightened.
As you can see I toned down the sky from the study to help create the peaceful feeling I was going for.
I painted a woman walking her dog for the human interest side to the story. It also gave me a chance to practice painting reflections.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Fly Fishing Art,

Trout Stream, Late Afternoon, 12x16 oil

This painting is finally finished, it took two years of working on it, putting it away for a while then bringing it out again and seeing things that needed changing, now I'm happy with it.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Early morning practice

I painted this at sunrise before heading in to work at 7:00. I'm fortunate, this park is only 5 minutes from work so getting some early morning practice in is easy. On this morning I had 25 minutes to get something down, sunrise was at 6:21.  The night before I saw we were going to have clouds in the sky at sunrise so I wanted to be there to try to capture the drama in the sky. When I got home from work I cleaned up the painting.

Sunrise Falls Twp. Park, 6"x8"  oil

I'm going to try a bigger painting using this as a guide but I was thinking of a larger area of subdued sky reflection in the water and maybe put in a figure walking their dog along the shoreline.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Recent snow paintings

A Stand of Pines,  8x10, oil on canvas

I pass these pine trees on my way to the park, the road they are on has no area to pull over so I had to get a shot on my phone as I passed by on the way home. I was attracted to the contrast of the bright clouds and snow against the darks of the pine trees. The hard part was trying to make the pines look like a group without overdoing it.

Farmhouse and Fields 6"x8" acrylic on wood panel

I like the peaceful feeling of this painting, a subdued winter sunset and a warm fire in the fireplace.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Forest Landscape,painting the sounds of nature

8x10 oil on a RayMar linen panel

This is the stream that runs through the state park we stay at in the fall in upstate Pa.
We spend the day slowly walking along the stream trying not to alert the trout of our presence,
these are wild fish that hide at the slightest sign of danger.
You take in all the sounds of the forest, from woodpeckers hammering away to grouse drumming and even one year we rescued an injured hawk that couldn't fly. We found a wildlife rehibilitator to make sure the hawk was in good hands.

Our reward for the day are the brightly colored jewels we catch and release back into the stream.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

The Blizzard of 2016

I painted this on the night of the blizzard looking out the window. My thoughts were on how much snow we were going to have to clear in the next two days then I noticed the neighbors driveway light
 glowing in the snow. It made me forget about shoveling for a while.

Night Light  5"x7" oil on cradled wood panel

Monday, January 11, 2016

Fly Fishing Art, A Good Run, 12x16

Fly Fishing Art, A Good Run, 12x16, oil on RayMar canvas panel  ( SOLD)

I repainted this recently after looking at it and seeing things that I didn't see before. It helps putting the painting away for a while and when you take it out again the areas that need help stand out.
The composition of the painting pretty much stayed the same but I repainted it using a limited palette.
I wanted to experiment this year using six primary colors and white.

Cad Yellow Lt.
Cad.Yellow Medium
Cad Red Light
Permanent Alizarin Crimson
Ultramarine Blue
Cerulean Blue
Titanium White

Thats me in the water, that section of stream has been good to us over the years.

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Early Morning on the Lake, Pocono Mountains

Early Morning  11x14 oil on canvas

This painting sat around half finished for over a year, it went through changes with value and color but I was never able to bring it to completion.  Recently I have been working with a limited palette of colors.
I used to rely on Phthalo green  (yellow and blue shade) and I would temper them with different reds but my greens still looked a little too garish. Now I am using ultramarine blue and cerulean blue with my two yellows cad yellow light and cad yellow medium.

This little 5x7 study has been on my wall as a reminder to try a larger version the painting. This is a favorite  lake we fish throughout the year, its a shame its three hours away in the Pocono Mountains.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Sketch at Dawn

Dawn Core Creek Park  8x10 oil

On the drive to work each day I have been watching the landscape start to wake up from darkness to just being able to see the objects out there.
We have been in a warm spell this year so there has been a lot of hazy mornings with blue greys in the distance creating nice atmospheric conditions. On the way to work I'm on a highway so I don't have time to stop and take pictures so I have to try to remember what I see for later use.

This morning I went to Core Creek Park which is only 8-10 minutes away to try to capture the subtleties of dawn. I set up at a favorite spot and did my best to capture what was in front of me, unfortunately I was out of practice and made a mess of everything, so when I got home I adjusted the painting to what I remembered from the morning while it was still fresh in my mind.
The lake and the far shoreline values blended together creating one solid mass, there was a slight mist on the lake making the water ever so slightly lighter. I liked the thin reflection of the sky at the edge of the water separating land from water.

As I was cleaning up this morning an older couple pulled in next to me and the husband asked me where they could see a nice sunset. I told them the spot I use for painting sunsets which is at another park about 7 minutes away. He smiled and said, I told my wife a painter probably knows where good sunset viewing spots are.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

A Good Pool  6"x 8" oil on wood panel

This is one of the streams in north central Pa my brother and I fish on our yearly vacation.
A careful approach and long casts are needed to help catch the trout in this clear water.

In this painting I tried to use a loose paint application aiming for correct values and shapes, the right blobs of color in the right place.
I like the trout skipping across the water. The idea for that came from watching fishing shows on TV.
I'll pay attention to the action shots on the show and make notes on how to depict it in a painting.

I have been experimenting with a limited palette of colors to try to bring more color harmony in my work.

From left to right titanium white, cad yellow lt, cad yellow med., Cad red lt., alizarin crimson, ultramarine blue, cerulean blue(not shown).
For the darks I'll mix all three primaries to get a dark value then adjust it whatever way it needs to go.
It will be a lot of experimenting and learning.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Autumn Drive

One of our favorite things to do during the fall is take drives in the country admiring all the fall foliage.
If you are able to time it right you can visit different areas of the state as the leaves reach peak color.
11x14  oil on wood panel

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Autumn plein air sketches

I got out to paint this morning even though it was overcast and windy, but the important part is I did get out. I wanted to sneak in a few hours before taking care of todays commitments.

Went to Core Creek Park to search out some color, most of the trees are past its peak, but I wanted to challenge myself to try to find something that expressed the feeling of fall.
A great foil for color is an overcast sky, the sky helps the colors appear more saturated.

I wanted to experiment using a limited palette of Cad. Yellow Lt., Alizarin Crimson, Ultramarine Blue, and Colbalt Blue. I made a medium grey by mixing the three primaries together and a touch of white so I had something to dull the intensity of the colors for this overcast day.

Both sketches are 5x7's.  They fit perfectly in the lid of my sketch box when painting.

This bottom sketch tells the story of fall coming to an end, a touch of sadness to the season and winter looking over our shoulders.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Fishing and painting week in upstate Pa.

We had a wonderful week of fishing on this trip, the weather was fantastic with the temps starting in the high 30's in the mornings and getting in the mid 60's in the afternoon.
I did some painting early in the morning before we left for the streams and again at dusk when we got back.

When we arrived on Monday afternoon we noticed the maple was still green with a touch of red leaves at the top.

After we got settled in I set up my cigar box easel to do a sketch of the mountain and pine trees at sunset.
I liked the way the tip of the mountain and clouds were lit up with the last rays of sunlight.
This is a 5x7 on canvas board. All paintings were done in acrylics this year.

The streams were a little low this year so we had to take a stealthy approach so we didn't spook the fish before we could cast.

Sometimes long casts were necessary if we couldn't get close.

I did a sketch of a tree and fall leaves as the sun came up one morning.

And when we got back from fishing I did a sketch of a pine tree catching the last rays of the sun.

Each night we had a sky filled with stars and the moon, Tues night we watched the meteor shower.

It was a great trip, I have some material to work with this winter.

And the maple tree in the yard that was green when we got there had turned completely red, now we can go home.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Working with acrylics

My brother and I are heading upstate for our annual fly fishing trip tomorrow. I am going to take the acrylics with me and hope to get in a good amount of painting. I like the idea of not having a lot of wet paintings laying around like I would with oils.

I have been practicing with acrylics trying to get used to them again.
I used a sketch from 2004 at a local park as reference. The morning was foggy with the sun trying to burn thru.

My wife and I went up the Poconos looking at the fall colors, while we were waiting at a light I snapped a picture of a group of trees reflected in a pond.
8x10 acrylic

Saturday, October 10, 2015

The Start of Autumn

The Start of Autumn  8x10 oil

A scene showing that brief period between the end of summer and the beginning of autumn.
Saying goodbye to the warm days of summer and awaiting autumn's last hurrah.
I used a reference photo from last year when we were at Promised Land State Park in the Poconos.
We try to go up at least once in October each year to see the color and do a little fishing.

Maria and I went up  Promised Land today to take in the fall foliage.  It was a little cold in the morning, 41 degrees but it did warm up to 56 in the afternoon.

Oh yea, we did take the fishing rods too, Maria caught a nice bass across from the boat rentals.

Tobyhanna Lake