Friday, December 5, 2014

A Large Commission

Just finished this 24" x 48" commission I received over the summer. Point Betsy in the northwest part of Michigan’s lower peninsula. On a sunny, summer day the Lake Michigan water looks like the caribbean.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

More from the shore

I just packaged and shipped more paintings to Village Galleries of Maui so I thought I'd post a few more while they are fresh.

Another Charlie Young Beach morning, oil, 12" x 16"

Ready to surf, oil 8" x 6"

Harbored Boats, oil, 12" x 9'

Monday, October 27, 2014

Selective inclusion

A part of being a painter is being a designer. You can’t always find a scene with perfect composition and just paint it as-is. Most of the time what is in front of you needs editing or designing. Moving a tree, adjusting the angle of a road, altering the relationship of subjects to the horizon, or just leaving something out. This can be done to simplify a scene, take away a distraction, or just because you find it more aesthetically pleasing. Artistic license.

In the case of this painting, I preferred to have a more natural scene of paradise than to include the Hyatt Hotel sticking up above the palm trees.

Island Shore, oil, 9" x 12"

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

From Maui

I am just back from a week-plus of painting on Maui, Hawaii. Beautiful, inspirational views in every direction for me (except for the last two days when hurricane Ana was passing just south). I also get inspired when visiting galleries, which I did on several parts on the island, including Village Galleries where I am represented. Friday evening in Lahaina is art night. You can walk around town and visit all of the galleries which stay open late and serve libations and pupus. I was invited to do a demo at the gallery along with Rich Kenny, another of Village Galleries’ artists. A very enjoyable evening.

I was able to leave a couple of new paintings with the gallery, one of which sold the first day it was hung. Here are a few from my week, more to come.

Morning at Charlie Young Beach, oil, 11" x 14"

West Maui Dusk, oil, 8" x 10" SOLD

Three Canoes, oil, 8" x 10"

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Last days of summer

A couple of beautiful days by the shore in Michigan last week.

 Last of Summer, oil, 10" x 10"

Dune mounds, oil, 9" x 12"

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

A Grand View and island horses

I painted A Grand View last month and sent it up to Mackinac’s Little Gallery and I just heard it sold. Here are some “Curious” horses from my trip up there earlier this summer that are now on there way to the gallery.

A Grand View, oil, 10" x 12"

Curious, oil, 16" x 12"

Friday, September 5, 2014

A demo and more

A couple of weeks ago I taught a two-day workshop: Plein Air Basics for the Glen Arbor Art Association. A fun time with some dedicated artists. Here is a demo I did at Thoreson Farm and a couple of others done the same weekend in the Sleeping Bear Dunes area. I'm looking forward to another trip up there soon for some Fall color.

The Thoreson Granary, oil, 12" x 9"

Long morning shadows, oil, 11" x 14"

Inspirational view, oil, 8" x 10"

Monday, August 18, 2014

More paint-outs

I just finished two more annual summer paint-outs. First was the Glen Arbor Art Association’s, which included a Friday afternoon quick-paint at Glen Haven, and an all-day Saturday paint-out around Glen Arbor and the Sleeping Bear Dunes. The first three images are from there.

Then, the following weekend I was in Douglas, MI, for Water Street Gallery’s Wet Paint. 

Both events had great weather and great turn-out. And happily, all of my paintings have new homes.

Glen Haven quick-paint

Morning, Point Oneida shore, oil, 14" x 11"

Sleeping Bear Point, oil, 8" x 10"

Laktown Beach morning, oil, 8" x 10"

Shaka Surf, oil, 11" x 14"

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Event and show

I was in Michigan last weekend to deliver artwork and do a little painting. And I’ll be there again for the next three weekends for other various events.

This coming Friday the Glen Arbor Art Associations annual plein air paint-out starts with the quick-paint. Two hours to paint in Glen Haven, a small, historic town, now a part of the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. All day Saturday artists will be in and around Glen Arbor and the dunes.

I’ll turn in my paintings for the reception and then head down to Douglas for “4 Eyes,” Water Street Gallery’s landscape show. Four paintings, one subject. Fun times.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Another favorite spot

At the northwest corner of the Sleeping Bear Dunes is Sleeping Bear Point. I have hiked up the sand trail many times to enjoy the views. Early morning is my favorite time. This is looking east at Sleeping Bear Bay and toward Glen Haven and Glen arbor.

Morning on Sleeping Bear Bay, oil, 12" x 16"

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Two weeks in Michigan...

...and more to come. A week of painting in Glen Arbor then a week of family vacation at Portage Lake (where I still got some more painting in).

Here’s a couple that I did. The first is from the look-out at Elberta where I watched friends sailing past the Arcadia Dunes.

The second is at Portage Point, one of my favorite places to paint in the morning.

 Passing by Arcadia, oil, 9" x 12"

Summer morning, oil, 11" x 14"

Monday, June 16, 2014

Mackinac Island

Later this week I’ll be driving up to Mackinac Island. A resort destination right between the upper and lower peninsulas of Michigan. Over the winter I was invited to show in Mackinac’s Little Gallery. It’s a beautiful, historic, island where cars aren’t allowed. Most transportation is by bicycle or horse drawn carriage. I sent this painting up a few weeks ago and happily it sold shortly after they hung it. I will paint en plein air there for a couple of days and gather lots of reference for future studio work.

Then I’m on to Glen Arbor for a week of painting and a reception at the Old School Gallery.

Carriage horse, 
oil, 12" x 9"

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Weekend deliveries

The past two weekends I've made trips from Illinois to Michigan. About 12 hours in the car each time. The first trip I delivered paintings to several galleries and hung a wall of them at the new Old School Gallery in Glen Arbor. The second trip I delivered my son to his summer position on staff at Portage Lake Covenant Bible Camp.

During both weekends I managed to find some time to paint at my favorite locations. Morning and late afternoon, the best times to paint.

Morning study, oil, 8" x 10"

Late afternoon, Arcadia Beach, oil, 9" x 12"

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Leland Air

I had a great weekend in Michigan. I hung paintings at Glen Arbor's Old School Gallery for the summer season and participated in The Old Art Building's "Leland Air" plein air event. Couldn't have asked for better weather. Finally summer is near.

The Janice Sue at Fishtown, oil, 12" x 12" (sold)

Early summer—Van's Beach, oil, 11" x 14"

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Let the season begin

In many of the resort areas of Michigan, summer is the high season, of course. A couple of the galleries I show in are only open for the warm months. Others, in larger towns, are open all year.

This week I'm headed north to deliver paintings and to participate in my first plein air event of the year, Leland Air, put on by The Old Art Building in Leland, Michigan. Should be a good day.

Here's a painting that is going to Water Street Gallery in Douglas, Michigan. It's a large version of the small study I did last month.

Grass roots, oil, 30" x 48"

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Dune study and Workshop

Here is a small dune study done in preparation for a larger piece. It was Fall and the sun being lower in an all blue sky made for great shadows.

I have another two-day workshop scheduled for this summer in Michigan with the Glen Arbor Art Association. We'll start at the Thoresen Farm, part of the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, Beautiful countryside, preserved historic farms, dunes and beaches. Lots of interesting subjects for plein air painting. For beginners and up.

Dune study, oil, 8" x 8"

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Spring-break painting

Last week we spent spring-break with our kids at Disney World. A great getaway from the cold. I brought my paints along and had time for a couple of sketches at the Beach & Yacht Club.

Beach Club Light, oil, 10" x 8"

Thursday, March 20, 2014

New works to Michigan

Here are a couple of recent studio pieces that just went to Water Street Gallery in Douglas, Michigan.

Summer afternoon, oil, 20" x 30"

Thursday, March 6, 2014

A warmer shore

I'm tired of winter. Here’s a recent painting of a Maui shore looking toward Lanai. Just sent this off to Village Galleries of Maui.

Canoe on the shore, oil, 9" x 12"

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Sun, snow, and 40 degrees

We had a perfect, spring-like day here in the Chicago area this week. I packed up my plein air stuff and went out for the first time this year. Just like the sun and shadows on the dunes, I love the shadow patterns in the snow. Unfortunately, we've gone back to colder weather now, but as soon as it warms up again I'll be back out. Until then, more studio work for upcoming summer shows.

Winter forest, oil, 12" x 9"

Wednesday, February 12, 2014


The Arcadia dunes lie between Onekama and Frankfort, Michigan. The little town of Arcadia might best be known for their world-class golf course, Arcadia Bluffs, but the shore and dunes there are just as magnificent. Luckily much of this beautiful natural area along the lake is protected. I painted at Green Point Dunes Preserve last summer. This painting is new studio work from a little different vantage point than my plein air.

South to Arcadia, oil, 12" x 16" SOLD

Friday, January 31, 2014

Planning commissions

It was great in the fall to get several commissions to work on over the winter. The subjects were mostly places where I had already painted, which of course, makes it easier. One was for a beach I hadn’t visited, down a private drive. Turned out to be a great spot. I made multiples visits, painted en plein air, and took lots of pictures. The final composition for the commission hasn't been established yet, but I’m having fun getting ready for it.

Here’s one of my studio versions of At the end of Sylvan Road, 
oil, 12" x 14"

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Plein air revisit

While on Maui a couple of years ago I painted at Secret Beach (original here). It’s a tiny little cove beach not easily found in a residential neighborhood behind a wall. But it’s worth the trouble. I was never satisfied with what I produced that day, so I just got around to doing a studio version. Some editing, simplifying and arranging, I’m a little happier now.

Secret morning, oil, 16" x 13"

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Along the shore

Summer along the Port Oneida shore. A part of the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, Port Oneida was a rural farm and logging community established about 150 years ago on the lake in northern Michigan. Now preserved by the National Park Service, the beaches, farms, dunes and forests make it a great place to paint.

Port Oneida shore, oil, 11" x 14"