Sunday, December 29, 2013

More winter

Winter at the Olsen’s farm along M22 near Glen Arbor. I love the long shadows when the sun is low.

Olsen’s barn, oil, 12" x 16"

Wednesday, December 18, 2013


I just returned from a long weekend up north. I had hoped for some plein air, but it was a little too frigid. I did have a chance for some sketching and photographic reference time. Mostly gray skies, but one glorious day of sunshine on fresh snow. Got lots of images for studio work in the coming months.

Here is one I just completed.

Winter light, oil, 10" x 18"

Thursday, December 5, 2013


After my shows this past summer, I received a half-dozen commissions. Here’s one I just finished of one of my favorite Michigan beaches. I find it makes a lot of difference for a studio painting if I have painted plein air at the same or similar spot. I can’t count the number of times I have painted at this location near Onekama. And I can’t wait to get back there again.

Off-shore breeze, 
oil, 16" x 22"

Monday, November 18, 2013

Lake Michigan Wind

On one of my trips to Michigan last year I stopped at the Van Buren State Park along the western shore. It was cool and windy and I didn’t quite have enough time to set-up for plein air. But I took a bunch of pictures and recently got around to working up this one. It’s now at Water Street Gallery.

September Wind, oil, 30" x 30"

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Small works

I've been working on some small pieces lately getting ready for a couple of shows. It's become popular to have small works shows just before gift-giving season.

Dune study
oil, 6" x 8"

Winter sunlight
oil, 8" x 6"

Surf fishing
oil, 6" x 6"

By the shore
oil, 6" x 6"

Winter shadows study
oil, 8" x 6"

Friday, October 18, 2013

Fall plein air

It’s a great time to be out for some colorful plein air. Last weekend had the perfect fall weather in northwest Michigan. This hundred-year-old schoolhouse is part of the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. The dunes are nearby, a study for a an upcoming commission. While painting, photographer Todd Smigelski wandered by and took this shot of me.

oil, 11" x 14"

Shore study, 
oil, 12" x 14" 

Thursday, October 10, 2013

New work, new gallery

Here’s a new one that will be in the Glen Arbor Art Association's member show this weekend. I’m also being featured in the Underbark Furniture / Carol Spaulding Gallery in for the month of October.

Shore Birch, oil, 18" x 9"

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

ArtPrize — plein air to studio

This year, I again entered ArtPrize in Grand Rapids, Michigan. It’s one of the largest art competitions and probably pays out the most award money, more than $500,000. 1500-plus artist must “connect” with a venue to show their work.  I have been wanting to do a larger piece, so this was a good opportunity. Last year (click here) I entered a 24" x 30" piece, this year, 60" x 48." My piece is showing at Cathedral Square.

Since the audience is mostly from Michigan, and I paint a lot of Michigan subjects, I thought “A Michigan Shore” would fit well. This spot near Elberta is one of my favorite coastal views. I've painted en plein air there several times, so having studied the subject, doing a large studio painting was made easier. Here is my entry and some plein air versions from the last few years.

A Michigan Shore,
oil, 60" x 48"

At ArtPrize

8" x 6"

12" x 10"

11" x 14"

Saturday, September 7, 2013

From up in the dune

I have probably referred to this before, but in case you’ve never been to northwest Michigan’s dunes, you have to go up. From the beach, with the prevailing westerly winds, you have to climb. At one spot, a very steep 450 feet. From the eastern side it’s mostly a gradual hike up. The views from the top are worth the effort.

This is a painting I did last week from atop Sleeping Bear Point looking north. I headed up the dune at the end of the day after my show with photographer Jim Jacoby at the Glen Arbor Art Association. Blue sky and long blue shadows always gets my attention.

View to North Manitou Island, oil, 9" x 12"

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

A little tree study

I love trees with character. These were on the edge of a small drop-off where the forest becomes beach. Holding on against erosion, for how long I don’t know. The lake water has been down for the past few years so there is hope. Oil, 8"x6"

Monday, August 26, 2013

Workshop and demos

I had a great time giving a two-day workshop for the Glen Arbor Art Association last weekend. Couldn’t beat the location, a historic farm and a beautiful beach, both a part of the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore in northwest Michigan. Good to be with other painters eager to capture the up-north summer scenery.

Out house and hen house,
oil, 9" x 12"

Admiring each others work

On Sleeping Bear Bay

First light on the beach, oil, 11" x 14"

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Two from Douglas

It was a perfect day for the Water Street Gallery paint-out last Saturday in Michigan. I did a morning and an afternoon painting and happily, both sold at the evening reception. Others of mine are still hanging in the gallery for their continuing “Are we there yet?” landscape show.

Morning shadows, Saugatuck Dunes, oil, 11" x 14"

Oval Beach, oil,
12" x 10"

Friday, August 9, 2013

Michigan Plein Air

Last week I was in Glen Arbor for the Art Associations annual paint-out. This is my morning painting from atop Sleeping Bear Point. A beautiful view, watching the sail boats and freighters go by.
This weekend I'm in Douglas for Water Street Gallery's “Wet Paint” day of painting and evening reception.

The Manitou Passage, oil, 10" x 12"

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Are we there yet?

I've spent most weekends this summer traveling—shows, painting events, vacation. This coming weekend is no different, I'm on my way to Glen Arbor, Michigan, again for the Art Association's annual plein air paint-out. There is a quick-paint on Friday afternoon, and the all day competition on Saturday. Hoping for good weather.

At the same time, Water Street Gallery's landscape show "Are we there yet?" opens Saturday, August 3.  This painting is a recently finished studio piece that will be a part of their show.

Spring Aspens,
oil, 24" x 36"

Saturday, July 20, 2013

New studio work

I've been spending time in the studio for another upcoming exhibit. Water Street Gallery's annual landscape show. Here's a new one that I will be taking up to Douglas, Michigan. The show opens August 3.

This is a location I painted at last fall in Manistee.

Afternoon clouds, oil, 16" x 20"

Saturday, July 13, 2013

With sand and without

A couple of my recent Michigan plein air paintings.

The first was from atop Sleeping Bear Point first thing in the morning. So calm and quite. I was about a half-a-mile above the beach on the dune but I could hear the gulls splashing in the water below.

The second one is at Portage Lake, again, in the morning. When I arrived you could barely make out the opposite shore through the fog. It began to burn off as I was finishing.

Morning on Sleeping Bear Point,
oil, 12" x 9"

Beside the lake, oil, 8" x 8"

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Two weeks in Michigan

I just returned from a great two weeks in Michigan. I spent the first week painting and getting ready for my Center Gallery show in Glen Arbor. A nice opening reception with a few sales then and more during the week-long show.

At the end of the week I got a last minute invitation to be a part of the first Fishtown Plein Air Paint-out. Fishtown is an historic little fishing village and dock area in Leland, Michigan. The Fishtown Preservation Society put this on as a fund-raiser. Fifteen artists did two paintings each for the Sunday evening reception and sale at Main Street Gallery. My painting of one of the old fishing tugs, the Janice Sue, was awarded 2nd place.

The Janice Sue, 
oil, 12" x 12"

The second week was spent with family relaxing at Family Camp. But I did get some painting in and also had a reception of some recent pieces at MacBeth & Co. in Onekama. More images to come.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Running out of light

I like the idea of painting at dusk or of doing nocturns, but I need to get a light. I started this painting last week as the sun was setting. I got as far as I could before it got too dark to find my way up the path and  before too many mosquitos attacked. Finished it up at home.

Elberta dusk, oil, 11" x 14"

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

A busy season

The midwest summer is here, time for painting, shows, and a workshop. I'm just back from a few days in Michigan after delivering my son to his summer job on staff at Portage Lake Covenant Bible Camp. I’ll miss him, but will see him on more than a few upcoming trips.

I had a couple of days for plein air painting while up there and am getting as much studio time in as I can. After being a part of the “Who’s that?” show which opened last month at Water Street Gallery in Douglas, Michigan, I’m preparing for a solo show at Center Gallery in Glen Arbor which will open June 28. MacBeth & Co. will also be hosting a reception for some new work of mine July 3, in Onekama.

On August 2 and 3, I’ll be participating in the Glen Arbor Art Association’s plein air paint-out, followed by Water Street Gallery’s “Wet Paint” event on August 10. The next weekend, back to Glen Arbor to teach a 2-day workshop “Plein Air Basics” sponsored by the Art Association, August 16 and 17 (for more info or to sign up go here). Finally ending the summer Labor Day weekend, when photographer Jim Jacoby and I show our work together in the Glen Arbor Art Association’s gallery.

A fun summer and lots of painting ahead.

 Looking up, oil, 12" x 9"
Spring shore, oil,
12" x 9"
Arcadia dunes, oil, 9" x 12"

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

From Carmel

I love painting in Michigan and I love painting in Hawaii, but California was really made for painters. With such variety of subjects from the mountains to the coast, golden hills, farms and cities. And the foliage: ancient, giant trees, palms, cactus, and wildflowers. Four days was hardly enough, but the Carmel Art Festival was a great experience. A perfect, little, picturesque town for plein air. I concentrated mainly on the coast and wished I had more time to explore inland.

The town is jammed with galleries. Many of the artists in the event were represented there. There are some galleries showing only 19th and 20th century California art. I saw my first Edgar Payne’s up close and personal. This 29" x 29" Sierra painting was amazing, and only $145,000.

Here’s a few of mine. Can’t wait to get back there.

China Cove morning, oil, 16" x 12"

Toward Pebble Beach from Carmel
oil, 9" x 12"

Monday, May 13, 2013

Leaving for Carmel

I'm happy to have been juried in to the Carmel Art Festival starting later this week in Carmel, California. Two days of plein air painting with a show to follow. I'm honored to be among some great artists: Randy Sexton, Kevin Courter, Brian Blood, Robin Purcell, Marc Dalessio, Thomas Kitts, and many more. I'll have a day of scouting and warm-up before the start. Haven't had a lot of chance to get out with the up and down thermometer we've had here in the midwest. And just as I leave the warmth is arriving.

Here's a studio painting just completed. Rocky coast, Maui, north shore, oil 12" x 18"

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Almost Spring

Friday I drove to Water Street Gallery in Douglas, Michigan, to drop off paintings for their upcoming “Who’s That?” show of new-to-the-gallery artists. Paintings, sculpture, and glass work, opening reception Saturday, May 4, 6 to 8 pm. Come by if you are near.

On the way back I stopped off at the Indiana Dunes to scout sites and do a little painting.

Almost Spring, oil, 12" x 9"

Monday, April 22, 2013

Going large...

I'm happy to announce that I'm being represented by a new gallery, Water Street Gallery, in Douglas, Michigan. Beginning next week, I'll be a part of their “Who’s That?” show, an exhibit of new-to-the-gallery artists. I’ve painted in their summer plein air event for the past few years and after the last, they invited me to show this year.

This will be part of the show, it’s one of the largest paintings I’ve done. It’s a spot north of Manistee, Michigan, where I have plein air painted a couple of times. I worked from photos for this. The bluff was very overgrown with brush and saplings, so I simplified.

Opening reception: May 4, 6 - 8 pm
Water Street Gallery
98 Center Street
Douglas, MI

On a bluff above the lake, oil, 24" x 48"

Friday, April 12, 2013

Small works show

In my suburban Chicago town a call for entries went out from Art Post Gallery for a small paintings show. The gallery provided 6" x 6" stretched canvases to 81 artists with a month-plus window to return them ready-to-hang. The theme was “Botany magnified.” Being that I love everything tropical, I decided I’d paint a Bird of Paradise on my trip to Hawaii. But, we had quite a bit of rain while there and, for some reason, until the last day I didn’t come across any blooming. So back in the studio I did this last week from photos in time to turn in for next weeks show.

Tropical bird, oil, 6" x 6"