Thursday, December 23, 2010

A rocky coast

The day after the workshop I painted with Randy Sexton and Mark Brown who had just arrived from Oahu. They were painting for the rest of the week with others from the Islanders group for a show at the Mike Carroll Gallery. We found this great spot on Lanai's west side. Ancient lava flows, dramatic cliffs, great views. Challenging.
Lanai coast, Oil, 11" x 16"

Monday, December 20, 2010

Two birds

I painted this last week at the Four Seasons Lodge at Koele following the workshop I attended. Beautiful grounds at this resort with gardens and an orchid house. Our group painted for the morning here and I did this in the afternoon.
Birds of Lanai, oil 12" x 9"

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Hulopo'e Beach

I did this one my first full day on Lanai before the workshop started. This is a beautiful, crescent beach, part of a park and adjacent to the also beautiful, Four Seasons Resort. A great place to paint. Lots of subjects and angles. I went back twice--and hope to go back in the future.
Oil, 12" x 9"

Monday, December 13, 2010

Hotel Lana'i

After watching Randy Sexton do a demonstration of a cottage, the workshop participants gathered around the hotel to paint during some challenging weather. The "plantation" style architecture is everywhere here. The hotel was built in 1923 by James Dole who owned the island which was mostly covered in pineapple fields then. A nicely restored kind of bed and breakfast now where I'm staying.
Hotel Lana'i, oil, 12" x 16"

Friday, December 10, 2010

From Lana'i

Before my workshop with Randy Sexton, I had a day on my own to paint. This is one of Lana'i's landmarks, Sweet Heart Rock.
Oil, 14" x 11"

Monday, December 6, 2010

Island dreaming

I'm off to the island of Lanai (HI) this week for a few days
of painting and participation in Randall Sexton's workshop
that is being hosted by the Mike Carroll Gallery.
I'm really looking forward to some productive--and warm--
plein air painting. Aloha.
oil, 18" x 8.5"

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Monday, November 29, 2010

Red Hibiscus

Another small one, 6" x 6". This along with Laguna View, were juried into the Randy Higbee Gallery 6" Squared show in Costa Mesa, CA. They are doing a cool thing using traditional plein air frames, but "floating" the art in the opening. Carol Marine, who is also in the show, has some samples posted on her blog.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Small works

While working on a large commission, I'm taking breaks to do a few small pieces for an upcoming small works show I'm entering.
This one was done in reverse of the usual plein air to studio progression of small location work to larger studio painting. A few years ago I did a 12" x 16" plein air painting of this scene in Laguna Beach. I was never quite happy with it, so here is a cropped-in, smaller version I just finished. Maybe I'll get to a big version someday too.
Laguna view, oil, 6" x 6"

Friday, November 12, 2010

The season has changed

Our leaves have almost all fallen now here is Illinois. And our reprieve from cold is about over. More studio painting now. I started this one after returning from my trip to Michigan last month.
Autumn Birch, oil, 20" x 30"

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

A beach up north

Here's studio piece I just finished from summertime references I'd gathered.
Shoreline perspective, oil, 18" x 18"

Monday, October 18, 2010

Pine study

I've had a large painting in mind for a while of a big pine, so I did this little study for practice. The white pines around the Greatlakes are not your average conical, christmas conifers. Most are very asymmetrical, sometimes poking out of the woods, branches extended toward the light. Or out in the open, growing up being shaped by the prevailing winds. I love the unpredictability of them. This one is on the edge of the beach reaching north toward Sleeping Bear Bay.
Late day pine, oil, 12" x 7"

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

At Good Harbor

I was up in Glen Arbor, MI, this past weekend for the G.A. Art Association's member show (I sold two out of the three painting I had in the show). Perfect fall weather. Blue skies, 70+ degrees and peak fall colors. I did some exploring along the Sleeping Bear National Lakeshore and ended up at Good Harbor Bay. Miles of deserted beach lined with pines of all sizes.
Toward Good Harbor, oil, 9" x 12"

Thursday, September 23, 2010

A studio piece

Working from sketches and photos from my spring trip up north, I recently finished this in the studio. It's nice to make time to work larger and I enjoy working with non-standard proportions. To me the shape of the canvas should fit the subject, not the other way around. This will be in the Glen Arbor Art Association’s upcoming member show.
Springtime by the shore, oil 36" x 12" SOLD

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Oval Beach

A few weeks ago I had the chance to spend a couple of hours at Oval Beach In Saugatuk, MI. A beautiful place for a swim on a hot afternoon. Wish I'd brought my swimming suit along with my paints. But I found a shady spot under a tree with a view.
Oil, 9" x 12"

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Corn crib

A perfect late summer morning yesterday so I went to the farm (and the farmer's market). I found a great spot in the shade to do this painting of the dappled sunlight. But of course, my shade didn't last. As is often the case when my painting is in direct sunlight, I tend to make it a little too high-key--the darks a little too dark and the lights too light. Next time I'll remember my umbrella. I did a little studio adjusting and I'm happy with it now.
Oil, 10" x 12"

Sunday, August 22, 2010

A Plein Air Affair

I had a very enjoyable day Saturday in Saugatuck/Douglas, MI, at the paint-out sponsored by Water Street Gallery. There were twenty-something participants and an impressive one-day body of work. It was good to meet some other Michigan artists who's work I've followed, Brian Smith, Margo Burian, Molly Sturges, and others. And the gallery did a nice job hosting.

The day started gray and rainy, which turned out to be an advantage for my first painting. I found a gazebo in a park overlooking this small lake created by the Kalamazoo River. The air, heavy with mist, made for great atmosphere.

By the time I finished the sun was coming out so I headed to a boatyard, at a marina, I'd spotted earlier. This one took about three hours but I could have used a fourth.

The evening opening was well attended and both my paintings sold. A good day.

Morning Solace, oil, 10" x 16" SOLD

Out of Water, oil 11" x 16" SOLD

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Location, location, location

Someday I hope to live in a home with a view. It doesn't matter exactly of what, but as an artist, I require visual stimulation.

This is another plein air piece from my July trip. I love standing in the sand by the lake in the morning and painting (till the sand gets too hot). Summer is going by too fast. There's not enough time to do all I want.

But I'm participating in another one day paint-out and show this coming weekend: a Plein Air Affair sponsored by Water Street Gallery in Douglas, MI.

Home by the shore, oil, 14" x 11"

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Birch trees

To me birch trees are a symbol of northern Michigan. Along with White Pines, you see them wherever you drive up there. I painted these one afternoon in July standing on the side of a hill above Portage Lake. It got rather uncomfortable after a couple of hours and I lost the light so it went unfinished till now.
Above the lake, oil, 16" x 9"

My last painting with birch trees was North M 22. It's now available as a limited edition giclee print from Les Sirenes Gallery (a gallery I've just started exhibiting with in Frankfort, MI), MacBeth & Co. in Onekama and Glen Arbor, or from me.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Sleeping Bear Bay

Had a great day in Glen Arbor, MI on Saturday for the paint-out. Perfect weather, beautiful views. I arrived just in time to paint, so I didn't have time to search out new locations, and went right to a spot I'd seen last year: Thoreson Farm. It's a historic property that is now part of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. The farm is on a bluff overlooking the bay. I went with the intention of painting the farm house, but walking around I found this view and couldn't resist. I'll save the farm house for the studio.
Sleeping Bear Bay morning, oil, 11" x 14" SOLD

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

A barn

One more from Wisconsin. The last day of the plein air event I had about an hour-and-a-half before the opening reception so I set-up across the road from this barn. I'd driven by it several times trying to figure the best angle to paint from. But with just a short time to fill, I just started-in to get something down. If I go back sometime, I think it would be an interesting composition to do a wider version and include the crossroad.
Barn at the corner, oil, 6" x 8"

I have been traveling a lot in the last month, family trips to Michigan, England, and California. I got a few paintings done and a few more that need a little studio touch-up, so I'll be posting them as I can. This weekend it's back to Michigan where I'm participating the Glen Arbor Art Association's plein air paint-out and show on Saturday.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Shuttle in Her Hand

A just released book that I had the pleasure of designing and illustrating. Published by The Swedish-American Historical Society, it's a novel about a young Swedish woman in the early twentieth century, who's skill as a weaver brings her to a new life in America. The original is oil on canvas panel, 12" x 9".

Friday, July 16, 2010

Summer vacation

Our annual trip to Michigan for a week at Portage Lake. Summer as it should be. Relax and do what you want. My son chose to read by the water. I chose to do a little painting.
Summer Reading, oil, 6" x 8"

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Cedarburg Creek

I'm just back from a week in Michigan but haven't had time to photograph the paintings I did. Here's another from a couple of weeks ago. A quick one, about an hour-and-a-half before the light was gone and it started to rain.
Water over the rocks, oil, 8" x 10"

Friday, July 2, 2010


Another one from Cedarburg. I found this field of clover at the end of a road while driving around. A beautiful morning to spend out in the country painting for a couple of hours. My idyllic scene made more-so by a doe and her fawn trotting by--too quickly to include. Also, here's a picture of the show opening at the Cedarburg Cultural Center. Two of my paintings just to the right of the woman, top and middle.
Clover field, oil 8" x 10," SOLD

Sunday, June 27, 2010

'51 Chevy pickup

I spotted this great old truck parked in a driveway in Cedarburg. I've been wanting to paint something like this. I found a spot across the street in the shade, a very hot day, and started in. After a couple hours a woman came out to check on my progress and brought me a glass of ice water. She said it was her husband's truck and to come for something more to drink when I was done. He turned out to be sculptor Chuck Whitehouse and she was author Barbara Joosse. I had a nice visit with them and a tour of Chuck's studio, a converted 150-year-old barn.

This was my third time at the Cedarburg Plein Air event. Each time enjoyable, but this time even more so because of the artists, committee members, and others I got to know. Ken DeWaard, a nice guy and great artist did a demonstration one day. It was inspirational to watch Tom Nachreiner paint, as well as Mary Ulm Mayhew, Larry Seiler and many others. Fun to walk around this historic little town and see artists painting everywhere. We each were allowed to submit two paintings from the week plus one each from the "quick-paint" event and "Paint the strawberry festival" day. I was happy to sell two of my four submissions.

I'll post more soon.

'51 Chevy, oil, 10" x 12"

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Quick paint

Saturday I participated in the Cedarburg Plein Air "Quick-paint" event. Sign-in, have your canvas stamped, and return in two-and-a-half hours with a framed, ready to hang painting. We could choose any subject in the designated town and surrounding area. I picked Kuhefuss house, one of the many historic homes right on the main street in town. I liked the picket fence, garden and flag. My first time in the quick-paint. I liked having the clock ticking, no time for fussing and overworking.
Oil, 12" x 9" SOLD

Monday, June 21, 2010

Cedarburg Plein Air

I'm participating in the Cedarburg (WI) Plein Air competition again this year. It's a week-long event, but I can't be there every day. I was there Friday and Saturday, got four paintings done. Here is my first, the local, retro, drive-in. I was there on Friday, but wished I could have been there Thursday night. Thats when everyone comes with their "antique" cars and hot-rods. Maybe next year.

Wayne's, oil, 12" x 9"

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Back to the islands

I just finished this studio painting from a plein air study I did on Maui a few months back. Now that the warmth is here in the midwest, I'm not missing it quite so much. I hope to get lots of plein air time in this summer and some larger studio paintings done too. When it's nice weather I use my "outdoor studio." I have an easel on our deck where I get some good sky light.
Shore fisherman, oil, 20" x 14"

Monday, June 7, 2010

Cabin 10

The Michigan summer camp I've been going to for more than forty years has been slowly upgrading their facilities. Some nice changes, but some of us will miss the more rustic, old camp. There are three remaining original cabins (1940s I think) and the "Canteen" that I want to paint before they get demolished or "renovated." This is cabin 10, the one we've stayed in for the past few years at Family Camp. It's small, simple, and has a nice view facing the lake.
Oil on panel, 12" x 9"

Monday, May 31, 2010

The Steeple

A good post for Memorial Day. This is part of a three-small-paintings commission I'm working on. It's the chapel steeple of Portage Lake Covenant Bible Camp where I, and many friends, have been going every summer since we were kids.
Oil, 5.5" x 5"

Monday, May 24, 2010

Morning view

Here is another one I did last weekend in Michigan. Got an early start and set up in the shade on a dune in Elberta overlooking Lake Michigan. I did one from a nearby spot last year in the afternoon. This time I wanted to work quickly to capture the morning light and the dynamic of having the foreground in shadow and the beach and distant hills in sunlight.
Cedars on the dune, oil, 12" x 10"

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Little Sable Point

I spent this last weekend in N.W. Michigan, delivering paintings to my gallery, visiting friends, and of course a little plein air painting. This lighthouse is at Little Sable Point in the Silver Lake State Park.
Oil, 9" x 12"

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


I just finished this painting I have been meaning to do for years. M22 is a highway in northwest Michigan synonymous with summer vacation for many of us. It winds along the shore of Lake Michigan from Onekama, north through Frankfort and the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, then up the Leelanau Peninsula and along Traverse Bay to Traverse City. With historic, quaint, summer resort towns all along the way, it is designated a Michigan Heritage Route. To me, since childhood, it has meant going to Camp on Portage Lake.

North M22, oil, 16" x 20"
Available as a giclee print, $95, email me.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Platte Bay

Another view of South Manitou Island from across Platte Bay in the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. Summer up north.
Oil, 9" x 12"

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Point Betsie

I painted here at Point Betsie, just North of Frankfort, MI, last summer. Recently finished this one in the studio. It's a hard spot to find a perfect vantage point. The lighthouse is raised up and from the beach, mostly obscured by trees and shrubbery. I stood out on a thin seawall to take photos to get this angle. Then I made some adjustments to the tree locations for a better composition.
Gray day at Point Betsie, oil, 12" x 16"

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Colorful Cat

Another Portage Lake (my favorite summer retreat in Michigan) piece, a beached Hobie catamaran. This one is on it's way to the River Street Gallery in Manistee. I can't wait to get back up that way with my paints.
Oil, 10" x 8"

Monday, April 26, 2010

Morning at the Big Lake

Last summer I found this spot at the end of Esch Road in the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. I did a small plein air painting in about an hour-and-a-half. This is a slightly different angle piece I just completed in the studio. The big dune on the right is Empire Bluffs. In the distance is South Manitou Island. It was a beautiful morning. I only saw four people in the couple of hours I was there. About a three mile long, completely natural beach. I'll go back this summer.
Empire Bluffs morning, oil, 8" x 16"

Monday, April 19, 2010

Laguna Plein Air show

I'm happy to say that four of my paintings were juried into the Laguna Plein Air Painters Association Less is More show. It's a small works show, all paintings must have been painted en plein air, of course, and be 11" x 14" or less.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Healing Art

Swedish Covenant Hospital in Chicago is exhibiting their second annual Healing Art Show: Dreams of healing. This painting, recently finished, of my daughter was juried in. Although you can't tell, Sarah was wearing a cast from a broken arm at the time I took reference photos to paint from.
You can read more about the show at the Covenant Church's website where my painting was also featured.
Dreaming, oil on canvas, 18" x 24"

Monday, April 5, 2010

After Easter

This is a painting I did for the Covenant Companion magazine. It illustrates the story from John 21 of Jesus appearance to the disciples after the resurrection:

Afterward Jesus appeared again to his disciples, by the Sea of Tiberias. It happened this way: Simon Peter, Thomas (called Didymus), Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two other disciples were together. "I'm going out to fish," Simon Peter told them, and they said, "We'll go with you." So they went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing.

Early in the morning, Jesus stood on the shore, but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus.

He called out to them, "Friends, haven't you any fish?"

"No," they answered.

He said, "Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some." When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish.

Then the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, "It is the Lord!" As soon as Simon Peter heard him say, "It is the Lord," he wrapped his outer garment around him (for he had taken it off) and jumped into the water. The other disciples followed in the boat, towing the net full of fish, for they were not far from shore, about a hundred yards. When they landed, they saw a fire of burning coals there with fish on it, and some bread.

Jesus said to them, "Bring some of the fish you have just caught."

Simon Peter climbed aboard and dragged the net ashore. It was full of large fish, 153, but even with so many the net was not torn. Jesus said to them, "Come and have breakfast." None of the disciples dared ask him, "Who are you?" They knew it was the Lord. Jesus came, took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish. This was now the third time Jesus appeared to his disciples after he was raised from the dead.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Something different

I've never been much for urban painting, just not a subject that excites me (all those man-made straight lines). But I know there are things to be admired in the city. Artists like William Wray and Stephen Magsig can point them out.

For the more than thirty years I've lived in the Chicago area, I've driven by the Stars Motel at Lincoln and Kedzie avenues an uncountable number of times. As far as I can remember, It's always been seedy, but the graphic designer in me has always liked the--now retro--sign. In preparation for gentrification, they tore down the building a year or two ago. They left the sign and with the economy the way it is, I don't think anything will be happening there for a while. But just in case, I stopped the other day to paint before the era has completely gone by. When was the last time a motel advertised having a Switchboard?

The Stars, oil, 12' x 9"

Friday, March 19, 2010

Back to Michigan

Enough Hawaii for a bit. here's a new Michigan painting from a location I've spent summer vacations at for more than forty years.
Ready to go, oil, 14" x 20" SOLD

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

North Kaanapali

I started this late one afternoon and had to stop when I lost my light. I took to much time with the drawing. I figured I'd come back the next day, but didn't get to it. So back at home it became more en studio then en plein air. It lost some of the freshness and spontaneity, but I'm not completely unhappy with it.
North Kaanapali afternoon, oil, 11" x 14"

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Lots of palms

I just finished touching up this one from Maui. I painted it in a park on a very windy day. I lost my set-up once to a strong gust. Spent the rest of the time holding on to it.

I sometimes get into trouble painting in the sunlight (my oversized painting umbrella seemed like too much work to bring). That happened on this one. I painted it a bit dark and the palm trunks didn't read right against the big tree in the background. I worked on that a little during the touch up--as well as removing some of the dirt from the wind.

Through the palms, oil, 16" x 12"

Monday, March 1, 2010

Now showing

As a member of the Glenview Art League, I have the opportunity to exhibit in group shows around town. For the next couple of months I have paintings at the Bookmarket in the Glen Town Center. They have a nice kind of gallery/events/reading area adjacent to the bookstore. There are six of us who each have six to ten paintings. Stop by to see a nice little show.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Maui no ka 'oi

Maui no ka 'oi. That's the saying on the island. Maui is the best. All of the Hawaiian islands have unique personalities and I've enjoyed every visit. But there is one thing about Maui that makes it stand out for me: the views of the other islands. All along the west side you can see Kahoolawe, Lanai and Molokai. I never get tired of looking at them. Especially in the morning when the sun first rises. I painted this last week at a park on north Kaanapali beach.

At rest, oil, 16" x 12"