Friday, December 30, 2011

"Sunlight on the Riverbank" ©

Pardon the photo, Santa brought me a new computer and we are still making friends. I am learning the Mac way, after 18 years of Windows. Today's little painting gives you a peek at the backside of the Hansen Dam recreational area. The sparkly white sand was what attracted me to the scene and became the focal point of the painting.

Oil on Canvas, 12" X 12"

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

"Softly Setting" ©

Today a collector and friend called and mentioned that he and his wife were waiting for me to paint some skies once again. Sounded like a great idea to me and so I spent the day in fluffy clouds and juicy paint.

Oil on Linen, 9" X 12"

Sunday, December 25, 2011

"Mailbu Lagoon" ©

Wishing you and your family the best Christmas holiday ever! After cleaning up the festivities and visiting relatives, I spent a little bit of the day at the easel painting a favorite classic California spot, Malibu Lagoon. Oil on linen panel, 5" X 7"   sold

Thursday, December 22, 2011

"Aspen Road" ©

Aspen lined dirt roads meander up and down the Teton Valley in Idaho. It would be interesting to see the valley in December with snow on the ground. If you would like to see good paintings of the Teton Valley in the winter, check out Bart Walkers work at

Oil on Canvas, 6" X 8"

Saturday, December 17, 2011

"Deep in the Forest" ©

Last night was the big show at Cope Studios in Glendale. The people flocked in , had a blast and seemed to really appreciate all the art. I was glad to be included in the show with my paintings. Today, after a day of Christmas shopping, painting "Deep in the Forest" was a welcome break.

Oil on panel, 12" X 9"

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

"Paramount Ranch" ©

Today was the last California Art Club paint out planned by George Malone for the 2011 year. We met at the Paramount Ranch near Malibu and had a beautiful winter day of painting.

Oil on Panel, 10" X 12"

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

"Winter Puddle" ©

After the last couple of days of rain there are a few puddles left standing in the sandy canyon soil.

Oil on Canvas, 6" X 8"

Sunday, December 11, 2011

"Streaks of Sun"

Walking along the path with my painting buddies, the views to paint were endless on this December day. What caught my eye was the streaks of sun across the brush and sandy path. The wind blew one easel over and thank goodness we recovered all the Rosemary Brushes that flew to the ground. All we left behind, lost in the bushes, is a favorite painting knife that we will go back and hunt for.

Oil on Panel, 10" X 12"

Thursday, December 08, 2011

"Winter Light"

Painting just down the road from home is a good
reminder that you don't have to drive for miles to find a painting spot.
Oil on Canvas, 6" X 8"


Wednesday, December 07, 2011

"Kern River, Morning"

Winter mid-week on the Kern River, completely quiet and void of human activity. A nice place to sit and think for a while.

Oil on panel, 8" X 10"

Friday, December 02, 2011

"Half Dome" ©

Half Dome, so easily identified that one of my daughters friends that cruised past my easel today exclaimed, "Hey that's Half Dome!"

Oil on Canvas, 16" X 20"

Thursday, December 01, 2011

"Desert Dusk" ©

The Rabbitbush are just ending their show of yellow blooms for the season, here in Southern California. Some naked now are a lovely lavender, blending with the copper Buckwheat and other desert scrub.

Oil on Canvas, 11" X 14"

Sunday, November 27, 2011

"Whitney Canyon Colors"

Living in So California, the mild weather lends an advantage to painting out. My painting buddy Lorelle and I hiked into Whitney Canyon to paint, meeting the one and only predator dressed in a cape, mankini (pink) and a lovely pink bra. I think someone should write a book, describing all the things plein air painters encounter.

Oil on panel, 10" X 12"

Friday, November 25, 2011

"Nice Place to Be" ©

About 4pm you witness the last rays of light down in Whitney Canyon. Standing still you can watch the sunlight drift though the trees lighting up different spots as the sun sinks. I was doing just that, thinking what a "nice place to be".

Oil on Canvas, 20" X 24"

Monday, November 21, 2011

"Simone" ©

Simone is one of the lovely large white cows that I met in France last year. She was mildly interested in me the day I painted her in a small sketch as one of her "sisters" attempted to snatch my backpack. I quickly dropped my brush and rushed over to save my gear from the dear girl.

Oil on Canvas, 20" X 16"


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Winter Day ©

The idea of this little painting was the light streaming though the Oaks with the last bit of warmth striking the very dry sand in the bottom of the creek.

My time was limited as the light slipped away from me. I do like the idea of the painting and it might be worth exploring on a larger canvas in the studio.

Oil on canvas, 6" X 8"

Monday, November 14, 2011

"Waiting for Sunrise" ©

Clouds announcing the appearance of the sun for the day, in shades of pink. This was the scene just before sunrise, in the heart of France as we headed out to the bakery for the morning baguettes.

Oil on canvas, 14" X 18"

available for purchase $850.

Friday, November 11, 2011

"Golden Glow" ©

Walking along this Quigley Canyon trail, that is used by horses more then anything else I saw a buck with large antlers watching me. He went back to nibbling his dinner and I enjoyed the glow from the sinking sun light up the hills beyond the oaks.

Oil on Canvas, 12" X 16"

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

"Golden Moment" ©

Once in a while there is a moment at the end of the day when the earth seems dusted in gold, just before the sunlit finally dims into dusk.

Oil on Canvas, 38.5" X 17"


Monday, November 07, 2011

"Morning on the Kern River" ©

You would never know that we were painting in downtown Kernville. A short walk though the park, down the little bank and your on the sandy beach watching the lazy river drift by. It's a bit of an illusion, it's a very dangerous river to stick your toe in. There is a strong current running under the serene surface that will take you down river into the rapids very quickly. Marian Fortunati, Diane Nelson Gold and Sharon Weaver were my painting buddies on this trip. We all painted this morning scene from different vantage points. After we finished, looking at our morning efforts I was once again amazed how artists will approach the same subject so very differently.

Oil on Panel, 10" X 12'

Thursday, November 03, 2011

"Desert Flowers" ©

This small painting was the plein air piece that I finished before packing up my gear and seeing the evening scene of the Rabbitbush that I just posted. This valley that the town of Onyx is nestled into must be the perfect condition for Rabbitbush to thrive in. It was a different subject for me and I struggled to pull it together but working it out helped pull off the studio piece "Radiant Rabbitbush".

Oil on linen panel, 8" X 10"

(available for purchase @ $450.)

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

"Radiant Rabbitbush" ©

The tiny town of Onyx, California is known for the 80 or so, Turkey Vultures that come to roost at night in the park pine trees. In the morning they spread their wings to warm up with the day, then fly off into the desert until the next night.

What captured me in this scene was the back lit Rabbitbush and evening light blanketing the desert.

Oil on Canvas, 16" X 20"

available for purchase: $1,100.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

"Kern River" ©

Driving up the Kern River Canyon there are several spots to pull over and picnic while enjoying the river view. This was my first attempt painting the Kern on the trip last week. The first painting is always exciting, figuring out the palette of the landscape and how to paint what I am seeing that is so different then what I typically paint at home.

Painting on Source Tek panels, #66, always helps, the little lovely linen panels practically paint themselves.

Oil on panel, 10" X 12"

Friday, October 28, 2011

"Riverkern Beach" ©

About 8:30am, along with artists Marian Fortunati, Diane Nelson Gold and Sharon Weaver we painted at Riverkern Beach, just a few minutes from downtown Kern River, CA. The conditions were perfect for painting, no bugs, snakes, wind and quiet except for a volleyball game at the campground next door. Actually, while your painting you don't hear anything, so the guys yelling didn't matter one bit. We had a great trip, painting and sharing. Lucky girls!

Oil on panel, 10" X 12"

Saturday, October 22, 2011

"Sun Dusted Creek"

Our city purchased more "open space" off Quigley for hiking, biking, horseback riding and just plain enjoyment recently. I was walking late in the day and saw this view. Of course it ended up on canvas, what else was I to do? It's only about a mile from my home, so there will be more paintings of the Quigley Open Space to come.

Oil on Canvas, 16" X 20"

Thursday, October 20, 2011

"King Gillette Ranch, Morning"

Yesterday the California Art Club's Ventura/Malibu chapter held a paint out at King Gillette Ranch. Located just over the mountain from the ocean, we were out of the haze but could see it drifting over the ridges. George organized the event perfectly as usual, he even sends us maps with little notes of where to park. This was my painting for the day, now looking at it I see bunches of details I should have adjusted while painting but standing out there it's too easy to just paint what you see. The never ending learning continues!

Oil on panel. 9" X 12"

Monday, October 17, 2011

"Morning Stream"

After being gone all weekend, exhibiting in Pasadena it felt great to be back at the easel today. Thank you to everyone that stopped by and visited the show, I so appreciate your time and purchases. This is a scene in the Teton Valley about a mile from my cabin last summer. I have wanted to explore painting the view since the morning that I saw it. It's typical of the valley, a meandering stream, lined with tall cottonwoods.

Oil on panel, 8" X 10"

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

"Alpine Summer" ©

This painting is about 75% done, but I was feeling neglectful about not blogging, so I am posting the process. The location is a mystery to me, the image was a gift from another artist. Actually she gave me 1,000's of landscape slides, a treasure chest of beautiful locations around the world.

Once the painting sets up a bit, I'll paint the detail. At the same time I will look at the tree tops to make sure they have some interest and add some rocks in the grass to balance the rocks right to left and lead the viewer a bit.

Working large (for me) my first goal was to get paint all over the canvas, to see how the patterns and values would work out. I have the mountain and sky pretty well figured out at this point.

After the line drawing I painted a local color wash

over the whole painting, very loosely. This is the really fun part, big brushes and great music playing.

Here is a little close up of the clouds, that you really can't see in the big photo. After I took this I did soften all the edges and did a little blending with my fingers. Just don't tell anyone, I don't want any lectures on safety.

This is the initial line drawing, in cadmium red light. It's a pretty rough road map for the painting but it allows easy movement of elements.

Oil on Canvas, 24" X 36"

Friday, October 07, 2011

"Midday Shade" ©

A bit of shade is so very welcome under the arid blue California skies.

Oil on Canvas, 11" X 14"

Thursday, October 06, 2011

"A Serene Moment II", Gamblin Artists Colors Co. Cheer!

I love Gamblin products. I tried to write that sentence many times (sounding business like) and decided to just go with my heart. Here is an example of one of the many benefits of using Gamblin's Gamar Picture Varnish.

The painting on the right has a "foreign" green in the large trees. After having to see it hang in an exhibit and wanting to snatch it off the wall. I brought it into the studio and removed the varnish, repainted the trees in a color that is harmonious with the rest of the painting and I think it's a better piece now.

Here is the beauty of Gamblin. To remove the Gamar Varnish, all you have to do is wipe it off with Gamsol and a clean white piece of sheet. Sheets are a cool oil painters tool because they don't leave lint, when your cleaning a painting. Another trick if you do have lint is the blue painters tape. Make a circle of tape, sticky side out and gently tap it over the lint. Back to Gamblin, after removing the varnish, repaint the area where you removed the varnish or the whole darn thing, let it dry and varnish again. Taa daa! Your happy and hopefully the painting will find a home with a collector.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

"Ruffles of Leaves" ©

Anytime I see an arch of tree limbs over a path or road, it's a painting, even if it's just in my head. This is a spot I painted last summer and recently a lovely patron said she would like a small version of this scene for a gift.

Oil on canvas, 9" X 12"

Monday, October 03, 2011

"Walker Basin" ©

I am standing a couple of curves in the road from the old Rankin Ranch family cemetery. Granite headstones can be touched by the three generations of the family still living in the basin. It's an emotional sight, even for a stranger.

Oil on canvas, 9" X 12"

Thursday, September 29, 2011

"Road to Rankin Ranch" ©

Driving down the mountain as the elevation drops pine trees give way to oaks, as you head to Rankin Ranch. This is the vista just as you arrive, once you hit the basin floor. This little painting is all about the early morning light.

12" X 16", Oil on Canvas

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

"Rankin Ranch Bridle Trail" ©

Set up on the side of the bridle path I learned that it's not a good idea to paint on the side of a hill nestled in a tangle of tree roots. True the legs of the tripod can adjust to the hill but after a while some muscles started protesting and I found it frustrating not being able to back away from the easel to look at the painting from a distance. The sound of a snake had me looking for something slithering, a real distraction to the painting process. Plein air painting joys.

Oil on Panel, 12" X 12"

Monday, September 26, 2011

"Walker Basin" ©

The strange limbs and trunk structure of the trees in the pasture immediately caught my attention when figuring out a spot to paint on the Rankin Ranch. I found out that the cows create the sculptural trees by using the bark as a scratching post.

Oil on Panel, 9" X 12"

Friday, September 23, 2011

"Old Stage Stop" ©

Pockets full of gold, men stopped here on a break from the dusty trail to Bakersfield. Rankin Ranch has several generations historically documented with great stories of snake races and kids smoking behind the water tank. Today I unpacked my car and repacked it for an art show this weekend at Moorpark Park, in Studio City. If your in town it should be a gem of a small show, under shady trees. It's on the corner of Laurel Canyon and Moorpark St. My spot number is B14.

Oil on Panel, 12" X 12"

Monday, September 19, 2011

"Teton Valley Creek" ©

Don't mind the bugs and dirt mixed into the paint. I am sure you have heard of "chick" magnets, oil paint is a "bug" magnet. speaking of bugs and dirt, I am headed out to paint at a dude ranch for a few days with about 20 other artists (fun). From what I hear there isn't any Internet available so I'll be off the grid for a bit. Sounds great to me. Consider the "gone painting" shingle hung......

Oil on Panel, 9" X 12"

Friday, September 16, 2011

"Eaton Canyon" ©

Eaton Canyon is a classic Southern California location for painting. This Sycamore dressed in it's fall glory greets every visitor as you head up to the waterfall.

Oil on Canvas, 18" X 24"

The response to the process images was so positive I thought a bit of brush work might be interesting too, since you can't see the work in the full view of the painting.

This little photo is a close up of part of the mountain.

Here is a bit of the sky.

Finally a bit of the tree. I'll keep working on the painting over the next several days. I have found it's of benefit to set the painting where I can pass it often during the day, spotting details that need adjustment at a glance.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

"Deep in the Arroyo" ©

It's been a while since I posted a painting in process. I thought this painting would be a good example. The last image is the beginning of the piece, where all the major decisions happen. The middle image shows blocked in color shapes. The view is under the 134 freeway, in the Arroyo, with the Colorado Street bridge behind me.

Oil on Canvas, 30" X 24"

Adding large areas of color, following the established pattern of the under painting. I am constantly adjusting and looking in the large mirror behind me to make sure all elements are visible and working.

Beginning the painting I used a wash of burnt sienna to establish patterns and values. I know that the whole painting is about the beautiful light on the sunlit trees, rocks and stream. By painting this wash I can guarantee success telling my story.
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