Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year

Fireworks 11x14 oil unframed
Fireworks being set off on a barge on the Delaware River in Philadelphia, Pa. I had made sketches while we were watching the celebration on TV last year.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Two plein-air paintings today

After taking care of a few things this morning I got a chance to get out and do a little painting this afternoon. Went up to Core Creek Park and scouted a few locations , didn't find anything right off so I went around to other side of the park and found a spot that had a green field in the foreground,a thin strip of trees and bushes in the middle ground , and a fog enshrouded background. I liked the contrast of colors the scene presented. All the time I was there geese kept taking off just behind the thin strip of trees. I put a suggestion of them in with a few smudges of grayed color. The good thing about overcast days is you don't have to worry about the sun moving before you finish.

After I did that painting I went over to Tyler State Park and went to the field I always visit. I spent about forty-five minutes on this painting too. Both are on 5"x7" canvas panels. I hadn't been out painting in a while, so it felt good to be out. I was lucky the fog stayed out all day, the forecast for tommorrow is heavy fog till 10:00 am. Maybe I'll go out in the morning.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

King of The Mountain

King of The Mountain 12x24 Acrylic

$385.00 Comes Framed

Currently at Delaware River Gallery

19 East Afton Ave. Yardley, PA

Winter Fields

Above you can see the on site sketch I used for my reference and the half finished painting. I decided to add a hawk in the tree in the upper right part of the painting. You almost don't notice him . And thats the way it is in nature, you suddently see a spot of color different than the surrounding color of the landscape and realize its a hawk. Like a gift of nature. A friend who veiwed this painting said she didn't realize winter could be so colorful.
Winter Fields 12x16 oil

Plein-air sketch for Winter Fields

Another painting in Tyler State Park. This is a pretty big park, with alot of walking trails,open fields,woods. You have to do some walking to reach some of the scenic areas.
I visit this field all thru the year, each time it serves up something different. There is a parking lot right next to this field so it makes it convient for painting, just unload everything and start painting. On this day it was'nt so much cold as it was wet. A wet snow had fallen earlier in the day and I wanted to get out and see how it transformed the landscape. I enjoy moody days like this.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Winter Afternoon

Winter Afternoon 11x15 Watercolor $85.00

I came upon this scene on one of my walks in Tyler State Park.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Reference Material

Icicles 10x8 Acrylic

Every morning when I get up for work I"ll go over to the living room window and check the weather, and every once in a while I'll see a skunk or an opossum foraging in the lawn. One winter morning I looked out and saw these icicles being lit by the full moon. I grabbed the sketchbook next to the couch and drew in the scene and wrote down the value ( how dark or light) of each object. Later on I did this painting using the sketch as my reference.

Gathering Reference Material for Paintings

There are different ways of getting material or ideas for your paintings. How you go about it depends on how much time you have, or maybe the location you are at. If you plan to go out for the day looking for reference material then you can load up on your supplies. I will bring my paint box, sketch pad, and my camera. Some of the best times for interesting light comes at dawn and dusk, the times spent traveling back and forth to work. Theres nothing more frustrating than driving on your way to work and seeing a sunrise with unique lighting and wishing you were there painting it. If I see on the news that it is going to be foggy on the way to work, I will bring my camera and see if I can catch some scenes. It doesn't matter if the picture is not in perfect focus, because I'm only trying to capture a mood.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


Bluefish 16x20 Acrylic
A day at the Jersey Shore.

Monday, December 15, 2008


Pop-R 7"x5" Acrylic
Another still life painting. I usually start the morning using this lure when we are out on the lake.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Last Call

Last Call 5"x7" acrylic http://
We have about 8 cardinals that visit the feeders. They stay right up till it gets dark. The last bit of sunlight spotlighted this guy as he got his last drink of the day. I like how the shadow of the unseen portion of the saucer creates the round shape of the saucer, in minature.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Warm Glow

Warm Glow 5"x7" oil
Sometimes I break away from my usual landscapes and paint a still life. The lighting of a subject is what I try to catch in my paintings. What interested me was the way the remaining wax glowed from inside. The flame was suggested by using thick paint, I think it gave it that flickering quality that you get from a dancing flame. (I had the candle set up in a dark bathroom)

Friday, December 12, 2008

Lunch Time

Lunch Time 5x7
Maria always has an apple with her lunch, the peelings she puts out for the squirrels. Its funny, if she is a little late they are patiently waiting there for her. One day I was picking Maria up from work and there was the squirrel on his favorite stump twirling the peel around trying to decide where to start.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Barnegat Light

Barnegat Light
9x12 oil $210

I took a ride to the Jersey Shore looking for some reference material for some paintings. I didn't have anything particular in mind so I was just wandering around looking for something to catch my eye. The one place I stopped was the Lighthouse at Barnegat Light. There were people fishing from land and in boats. The one guy was showing the woman in the red sweatshirt fish he had in his bucket.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

BlueJay Bath

Blue Jay Bath

5x7 oil $50.00

We enjoy watching the birds that come to eat at our feeders. The real fun starts when they take a bath and spray water all over the place. I tried to catch his energy in the late afternoon light.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Small Works Show 2008

I will be in the Small Works Show at Canal Frame-Crafts Gallery in Washington Crossing. The show runs from Nov. 9 to Dec. 27. The opening reception is Nov. 9 from 1:00 - 4:00pm

Workshop with Michael Budden

I attended a plein-air workshop today at Washington Crossing Park with painter Michael Budden. It was very informative, learned alot. He finished his demo painting and it started to rain so we found a dry place in back of the visitors center to paint. The bottom picture is what I painted today. I chose the statue of George Washington with the flags along the walkway.

Autumn Shadows with frame

This is Autumn Shadows with the frame. (sorry about the crooked picture,its the only picture I have of it in the frame.)   (SOLD)

Friday, November 7, 2008

Autumn Shadows

Autumn Shadows
10x8 oil

This was painted on location. What caught my eye was the color of the leaves laying at the base of the tree and the pattern of the shadows from the unseen trees. When I got home I touched up shadows and added the bright leaves that were caught in the sun spots. I remember I was the only one there that day. You can sense the peacefulness of the place.

This painting comes framed. Available at Canal Frame-Crafts Gallery.


Small Fish Contest

Tom and I like to see who can catch the smallest fish, this looks like a winner. This young trout tried to eat a Royal Coachman fly. We returned him to the water, maybe to catch him next year.

Uprooted 2008

This is what the tree in Uprooted looks like now in 2008.

Study for Splash of Color

I used a pallete knife to put on the bright reds and pinks. I wanted the bold color to stand out against the muted greens of the pine trees. It was cold and windy, I remember my fingers starting to take on the color of the reds of the tree.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

A Splash of Color

When we pulled up in the car this is what greeted us. After unpacking I did a quick study right before it got dark.

Yearly trip to Northcentral Pa.

When we arrived we had temperatures in the 30s and windy conditions. The streams were low again this year due to the drought they had in the summer. We managed to catch fish here and there. My brother Tom did catch a nice brown trout 17 inches out of Slate Run.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Autumn Walk

My wife and I took a ride up the Poconos to see the last of the fall colors. Prior commitments kept us from going up last week during the peak. Near the end of the day we stopped off at Promised Land State Park, a park we are very familar with. As we walked by this tree I noticed how the remaining leaves matched the color of Maria's sweatshirt and shoes.
Autumn Walk
10x8, Acrylic
Collection of Maria O'Driscoll

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


$385.00 unframed

Floods earlier in the year washed away the bank and exposed the roots. I stood there in awe of that massive root system. We passed by this tree every year in the twenty years we been going up there. I knew right away I wanted to do a painting of this, so I pulled out my portable paintbox I carry. The picture on top shows the on site sketch I did that day. In the studio painting I wanted to convey a feeling of sadness, perhaps I was wondering about myself in 20 years. The next year we went up, it had completely fallen over.



This was our breakfast each morning. Scrambled eggs, potatoes, spam, wrapped in tin foil . I cooked the breakfasts the day before we left, and wrapped them in tin foil so all we had to do was heat them up. No cleaning up, no dishes to wash, just throw the foil in the trash and we were on our way. I liked the warm glow from the embers on the side of the fire ring. It was a welcome sight and helped fight off the 38 degree morning temps.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Moonlit Night

Moonlit Night
Not for Sale

In the years when we used to camp in the tent, the nights were so quiet. You would be laying there waiting for sleep to take over and every once in a while you would hear an owl calling. And in the distance you would here the faint reply from another owl. That would go on back and forth and before you knew it you were asleep.
This painting is the result of all the memories from those quiet moonlit nights.

Fishing Pictures

Tom fighting a rainbow trout on Cross Fork Creek
Brook trout in spawning colors
Coopers Hawk we rescued, had a broken wing. It took a while to gain his confidence, I was waiting for him to take a hunk out of my hand. We found a wildlife rehabilitator that took him.
Our trip this year is from Oct 27 to Nov 1.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Light in the Forest

Light in the Forest 20x16 Acrylic Sold

This is a studio painting done from studies on site. I am out the door at first light while Tom enjoys a longer sleep. As the sun clears the edge of the mountain , shafts of light break thru the trees illuminating the pine needles on the forest floor. The good thing about it when I get back an hour later Tom has a big country breakfast ready. What a good morning.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Autumn the Season of Change

I think October is my favorite month. Not only for the explosion of color from the trees, but the fishing is in high gear in the trout streams this time of year. The trout 's mating colors start matching the color of the leaves. My brother Tom and I have been taking a trip up to northcentral Pa. every October since the early 80's. We fish streams like Slate Run, Young Womans Creek, Cedar Run, Spring Creek, Kettle Creek and the list goes on. All those years except for the last three we camped in a tent, cooked our meals over a fire, sat and talked around the campfire all night. Alot of those years it rained at least two or three days out of the week. Now we rent a modern cabin, eat indoors ,sleep on beds, stay dry. We are older now.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Meeting the Sun II 8x10
Oil on canvas panel $210 not framed

This was painted minutes after the previous painting. You can see how fast the sun moves.
I like being out this early, it is such a quiet time, and the colors are so much richer.

My Route

Meeting the sun 5"x 7"
Oil on canvas panel 55.00
Where I live (Bucks County,Pa.) we have a good number of County and State Parks. Core Creek Park is about 8 to 10 minutes away, so I usually start there to meet the sun as it comes up.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

New Blog

Welcome to my blog. In this blog I will be taking you painting with me. I will try to explain why I choose subjects to paint, which most of the time will be because of the mood each scene projects.

I have favorite areas I visit constantly, some because they are close to home (good for sunrises), others because I have spent a lot of time there fishing the lakes and streams and hiking thru the woods. These places end up meaning something to you , and this is what you try to get inside your paintings.

Oh yea, we are probably going to go fishing too. Wait till you see some of the trout streams we visit, crystal clear water, wild trout, deep forests. The quiet is unbelievable. Pennslvania has so many trout streams you couldnt fish them all in a lifetime.