Monday, December 23, 2013

Dusk Christmas Eve

Dusk Christmas Eve  8x10 oil painting

I wanted to capture a quiet peaceful mood of Christmas Eve. After weeks of the hustle and bustle of getting ready for Christmas a feeling of relief comes,  now its time to relax and enjoy Christmas.
Wishing everyone a safe and wonderful holiday season.

Pat and Maria

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Sunrise Valley Forge National Historic Park.

I painted this from photos I took a couple years ago. I wanted to try to capture the feeling of the sun slowly rising lighting up the landscape.
I used a 12"x24" canvas to emphasize the long rolling fields found here.
The moon was setting as the sun came up.


Sunday, November 17, 2013

Falls Twp Park quick sketch before work

I had to be in work at 7:00 this morning so I had time for a 15-20 minute sketch. I used a 3.5"x5" piece of 300lb watercolor paper that was primed with grey gesso. I have a box of these in different sizes just for this purpose. At 6:30  I had paintable light even with the heavily overcast  sky, and it helps that this park is only 5 minutes from work so it makes it convenient to get a quick sketch in before heading to work.
The lights from the parking lot in the background added a bit of sparkle to the scene.

Falls Twp. Park  11x14 oil 

This is the finished painting using the sketch and what I remember from this morning.

A little side story from this morning, when I arrived in the parking lot a white duck came running over looking for food from me which I didn't have.  I'm trying to hurry taking the paintbox and supplies out of my bag and all the while he is nipping at my hand and has his head buried in the bag looking for food. 

Monday, November 4, 2013

Moonlit Nocturne, Core Creek Park, 11x14 oil painting

Moon Over the Lake 11x14 oil

This was painted from one of the sketches I did on Sept 20 at Core Creek Park during the Harvest Moon.

  When attempting to paint at night a lot of my time  on location is spent just looking at and memorizing what is in front of me. After I lay out my paint and have brushes and everything ready I turn the light out on my easel and let my eyes adjust to the dark.  When my eyes have adjusted I start comparing the values of each object in the scene to see what is darker, lighter or the same value. I'm actually painting the scene in my mind before I pick up a brush, so when I start to paint I have the confidence to paint what I already know.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Back from upstate Pa.

My brother and I returned from our yearly flyfishing trip to upstate Pa.  We enjoyed some good trout fishing at the four streams we visited.

 I took my acrylics with me so I didn't have to worry about wet paintings up there.

The one set up I made was a piece of masonite with holes drilled in the four sides which I tape a piece of canvas to and a bungee cord for wrapping around a tree or in this case a clothes line pole, this takes the place of a tripod The moon was minutes from disappearing over the mountain at dawn and I had to hurry to catch some of it.

We had the full moon at night so I wanted to sketch the shadow pattens thrown by the trees

The temps were in the low 30s at night so we had the fire place going and it gave me a chance to sketch it.

I started a painting of the cabin we stay in, I'm going to put it aside for a bit and look at it with fresh eyes before finishing it.

And last,a video of a friend we see each year, Whitey the skunk. This guy is so friendly, we have seen him the last four years and always wonder if he made it thru another winter up there.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Night Painting the Harvest Moon, Core Creek Park

I went out to the park right before sunset to wait for the harvest moon to rise. I used two  8x10  reused (gessoed over) panels.

In the first sketch I still had a little bit of light left in the landscape where you could just make out colors. My concern though was capturing the values of the scene the best I could.


For the second sketch I went around to a different part of the park that would give me a view of  some water and the moons reflection.

As you can see in the picture I had my Mighty Bright light clamped on to my easel giving me enough light to see with.

Now I have some reference material to use for studio paintings that I have confidence in. I had taken photos too but they were useless, they just don't capture what the eyes really see.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Still Life Ice Tea and Lemon

Ice Tea and Lemon 5"x7" oil

I painted this during one of the the heat waves we had this year, I found it in one of the drying racks which are just dish racks, but work perfectly for keeping wet paintings separated. I have one rack for small paintings 5x7 to 8x10 and another for larger paintings 11x14 and up.

This started out as a practice piece to see if I could capture the barely recognizable tea bags sitting in the ice tea, then I became interested in the shadow and reflected light from the tea. I think I painted the lemon 3 or 4 times before it looked like a lemon.

The reason I found it is I periodically go thru paintings after they have been out of sight for a while and when I see them with fresh eyes the mistakes seem to stand out. I'll try to repaint them, if that doesn't work they get the gesso treatment. The paintings not good enough get coats of grey gesso made by mixing some black with the gesso, now I have panels ready for outdoor sketching, these plein air sketches  capture the essence of the scene when painting on location. Recycling the panels like this also  helps save money on buying panels for sketching.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Early Morning at the Lake

Maria Fishing 8x10 oil

This was from the same morning as the last post, I had just finished photographing the tree and as I was walking by I looked over to see how Maria was doing and noticed the way the light was hitting her from the left side making her stand out from the background.
I try to be inconspicuous when getting reference photos, sometimes it works and sometimes.......

I wonder if she knew what I was doing?

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Tree of Love

6"x6" oil

I saw this tree while Maria and I were fishing Saturday morning. I can't tell you how many times I passed this tree and never noticed or wondered anything before but Sat. morning seeing the light reflecting off the grass and hitting the trunk made me take notice and suddenly I was aware of the multitude of initials carved into the trunk over the years.
I painted this from photos I shot, I was careful to get the right exposure for the shadowed area showing the reflected light and the carved initials.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Still Life oil painting

Scallions and Knife 6x8 oil

 I had an itch to do a still life this afternoon/ evening so the scallions I bought yesterday helped to complete the story.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Saturday Still Life

Maria and I went out at 6:00 am to get our exercise in, it was 81 degrees already, we walked two miles and by the time we were done WE were done. Didn't bother fishing.

We had spaghetti and Italian bread last night so........ 91 degree heat today and Italian bread = a still life inside.
5"x5"  acrylic

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Evening Clouds over Core Creek Park

Evening Clouds Core Creek Park  11x14  oil

I painted this using last weeks plein air sketch as a reference.
When I was en route to the park last week I remember looking at the sky and seeing all the giant cumulus clouds and quickly decided what I was going to paint.

The park is only 10 minutes away so theres not a lot of travel time, which makes it convenient to be able to run there to sketch for an hour or two.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Sunday plein air sketches

Went out this morning to Core Creek park to do some sketching.
A view looking across the lake as the sun was pushing through the thin clouds.

Went back up after dinner and found a spot affording me a view of the sky and the clouds overlooking the corn field.

I had to stop at this point because the light was changing dramatically, when I turned around this is what I saw. The winds kicked up pretty bad and the sky got dark quickly, time to leave.

4th of July Fireworks, kinda

We went out early on July 4th morning and the fireworks went off at 7:45am when maria caught this 21" largemouth. This is from a local lake we fish.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Moon painting

Moon Reflections  8x10  acrylic

I wanted to experiment a little more with the moon and its reflections trying to capture a quiet mood.
 By keeping the shapes big and most of the values close together I was able to accomplish a feeling of peacefulness in the painting.
I used the plein air sketch from the last post as reference and adjusted things from there.


Sunday, June 23, 2013

Super moon sketches 2013

I went to the park at dusk to get ready for the appearance of the super moon. While I was looking for a spot to set up I noticed the low cloud cover and no moon which should have been up already.

While I waited for the moon to get above the cloud cover I made my way over to a part of the park that gives me a view of the sky which still had some color left from sunset.

I did a quick sketch on a 2.5"x3.5" Aceo.   Art Card Editions Originals.

I wondered if the moon was going to show at all because you could barely see the glow behind the bank of clouds.
I went to the main parking lot overlooking the lake hoping to capture the moons reflection, the moon finally cleared the clouds and made its appearance. You can see a few insects that got stuck in the paint in the lower left corner on the painting.

                                     5x7 oil

I went home and did one more sketch in the back yard but had to wait till the moon cleared the tall trees in the yard.  Finished up at 11:30.

                  8x10 oil

Monday, June 17, 2013

Devils Hole Creek Fly Fishing Art

Devils Hole Creek  6"x8" oil   (SOLD)

This is one of the streams we fish in the Pocono Mountains. Its a lot of work getting down to the stream and walking along its banks which are rimmed with mountain laurel and other thick brush, but the solitude, scenery and fishing are worth it. This was one of the deeper pools which held some nice trout.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

The Light Show

The Light Show  11x14 oil

On the walk back to the car after an evening of fishing we always look forward to the light show at the end of the night. Some nights its dull others times its brilliant.

Friday, May 31, 2013

The End of a Good Night

This was at the end of a evening of fishing. I watched as my wife Maria put down her rod for a minute and took out her camera to record the beautiful clouds above.
Below is a short video of Maria catching a nice largemouth after we went two hours of not getting a hit.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013


This was painted from the location sketch and photos from the last trip.
It was overcast that morning so I experimented with the lighting in the painting to give it a little more punch than the original scene.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Sketching at Tyler State Park

Here are some sketches done on a early May Sunday morning at Tyler State Park. The weather for that Sunday was supposed to be sunny in the morning but when I was loading the car the skies were solid grey overcast.
My plan was to paint the fields and groups of trees with sunlight illuminating the upright trees trying to catch the early morning light.

When I walked into the one field with a horse path I saw a field of yellow and decided to sketch this bit of color on a drab morning. I am currently working on a 12x16 painting of this scene using this sketch as reference.

After I finished this I wanted to take a look at a farmhouse a couple of fields over. On the way I stopped to watch  a baby Grey Catbird catching insects on the path. It was amusing watching him fly a little, look and grab a morsel.

When I got to the farmhouse the skies were starting to brighten up a little so I set up to paint.


Both sketches are 5x7

On my way back who do I run into but the Catbird sleeping right in the middle of the path.

I gently picked him up and put him under some bushes out of harms way because the path is used by bike riders, joggers, and people walking who might not see him.

It turned out to be a good morning after all.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Fly Fishing in the Pocono's

My brother Tom and I got out Saturday for a day trip in the Pocono Mountains.  I was thinking of bring ing my paintbox but the weather was calling for overcast skies with possible rain, they didn't lie.

We had a good day fishing, in the morning the trout were active because of the insect activity and the highlight of the day was we both caught 17" brown trout. At noon the rain started and kept going till we left at 4:30. We put on the rain gear and continued to have a good time.
Tom with his fish.

Me with mine.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Forest Road

Forest Road Cross Fork Creek 18x24  oil painting

This is a gravel road that winds along Cross Fork Creek a trout stream in north central Pa. My brother and I  use this road to get back to the car after a long day of fishing. Its a lot easier and less tiring than walking on all the rocks.
We came by at just the right time to catch the late afternoon light filtering thru the trees.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Tropical Scene

Ocean Catamaran  12x16 oil

This was our view from the balcony of our hotel room in Antigua.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Spring Color

I pass this forsythia bush on the way to work on the exit to lower morrisville rd. Its one of the first bushes to show its color in the spring and adds a little something to the drab landscape left over from winter.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Red-bellied Woodpecker

Red-bellied Woodpecker 10x8 oil on canvas

One of the benefits of having bird feeders in your yard is its allows you to get close up views of birds you normally wouldn't be able to get that close too in nature. Over time you learn behavior traits identification markings and its fun watching their antics as they jostle for food.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

  On Charge 10x10 oil

The last things I do before going to bed at night is get the coffee ready for the morning and put my phone on charge on the end table in the living room. I couldn't help noticing the subtle light thrown off by the phone and how it illuminates objects close by.
It reminds me of how a landscape is transformed by the moon at night.
The hardest part was deciding what to leave out because I saw a lot more than what is here.
I like the subtle light on the wall and how part of the lamp is illuminated.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Winter's End

Winter"s End  11x14 oil

This was painted from photos taken on an afternoon walk in Tyler State Park.
It had snowed earlier that day and most of it had melted by the afternoon except for the snow that was left in shaded areas not reached by the sun.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

The Arrival of Spring

Spring Robin  5x7 oil on Masonite

A sure sign that spring is here. I have been seeing flocks of robins around now.

On a different note my wife and I went to the park after dinner to enjoy the sunset, while we were scouting around we saw some deer crossing the road up ahead of us. One of them was a piebald deer, it was brown on the front half and white on the rear half. By the time I could swing around the deer were on the other side of the field. I couldn't get a good picture of it broadside cause it kept its head down feeding.

The sunset was nice too.