Monday, April 25, 2011

A Graduation Gift

A friend of mine had a great idea for a personalized graduation gift for the daughter of a close friend, so she commissioned me to carry it out. Three small paintings of important places in the recipient's life. The steeple is from the summer camp she has gone to her whole life. The tower is part of the church she grew up in. And the cupola is at the University she will attend. The family happens to be close friends of mine as well, so that made it an extra-enjoyable project for me.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Two in the show

I had two paintings juried into the Randy Higbee Gallery 6"x6" show opening today in Costa Mesa, CA. They are also known for great frames at King of Frame.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Canoe Beach

Just at the south end of Kaanapali beach on Maui is a public park that is also home to the Lahaina Canoe Club. They often have their outrigger canoes lined-up on the beach ready to go. I was there for the morning shadows one day and did this. Took lots of reference photos so I'd like to do something bigger in the studio.
Canoe Beach morning, oil, 9" x 12"

Monday, April 11, 2011

Back from Maui

Had a great time with my family for spring-break on Maui. Wonderful weather, just a bit breezy from the trade winds. And I even had the chance for a few plein air pieces. My family likes to sleep-in on vacation. I'd rather be up with the sun--especially in paradise--the perfect time to paint.

I spent a couple of hours first thing one morning at a small park on the south side of Lahaina to paint this one. It's a great spot with paintable views in all directions.

Island solitude, oil 16" x 8"

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


Here is a commission I recently finished. It was a wife's gift to her husband, their favorite path to the lake from their cottage.

To the Lake, oil, 14" x 20"

And here are some work-in-progress images. I generally follow the usual rules of oil painting, thin to thick, dark to light. On a warm-toned canvas, I begin with a transparent wash-in of the composition with Alizarin and a little Ultramarine blue, establishing the dark values still with semi-transparent paints before moving to opaques. In a scene like this, I work for the most part foreground to background, so I can cut-in around object to define their shapes. But I like to bring up the whole painting at once as much as I can to make sure it holds together and doesn't end up looking like a paint-by-number. Rocks, sand, foliage, water, and sky.