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

Monday, September 21, 2015

Quick Sketch of the Moon's light

Acrylic sketch 6"x6"

Last night I took notice of the light from the moon with the tree shadows, but what struck me was the reflection of the moon in the window.
 I studied the scene a little and went in and made a sketch as reference for a painting at a later date.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Gladiolus and Impatiens

Gladiolus and Inpatiens    11x14 oil

Inspired my my wife's Gladiolus this year. I invented and abstracted the background to bring focus to the flowers.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Neshaminy Creek, Tyler State Park, 11x14 oil

I finished this painting after nibbling away on it for a few weeks. That is the Shofield Ford Covered Bridge in the background. When we were there in May I painted the covered bridge red as an experiment to see how it would contrast with all the green foliage in the scene. This is the real color  of the bridge.

Before we left I collected a few rocks for Maria's rock paintings.
Here is a what Maria is working on.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Plein Air Day

My brother Chris and I got out for a little painting on Monday and headed to Tyler State Park down by the covered bridge. Its been a while since I was out painting and I felt a little rusty.
 I tried to  capture the atmosphere of the sunny morning. I have enough information in the sketch to do a bigger painting.

8x10 oil

When we got home we got a little more practice in and painted one of Maria's flower pots.
I put the finishing touches on it in the studio.

8x10 oil

My wife Maria has been doing some rock painting for her flower plots, we will go out and spend a hour or two hunting for rocks along river banks and come home with a bag full of rock canvases.

These are Maria's creations,

Friday, May 22, 2015

Fly Fishing Art, The Strike

The Strike  8x10 oil

This painting sat around unfinished for close to a year. Last weekend my brother and I got out fishing and this week I was able to finish it, funny how that works. Thats him from a trip we took a couple years ago.

Dolphin Rock Painting acrylic,  5 1/2" x 3"

I finished this rock painting of a dolphin, also known as a mahi-mahi.
When I spotted the shape of this rock it reminded me of the high forehead of a dolphin.
I keep forgetting to photograph the rock before painting it.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Painted Rock , Ruby Throated Hummingbird

5" x 6"
This one came easier as I tried to keep the design simple.
The shape of the rock mimics both the shape of the flower and the curving pattern of the hummingbirds wings.
I apply a couple coats of varnish which protects the rock and keeps the colors bright and fresh.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Painted rock, blowfish

I found this rock while we were fishing. Its all about shapes. When I held it in my hand I saw the air filled stomach of a blowfish. An added bonus is it has a flat bottom where it can stand up on its own.