Tuesday, November 30, 2010

You Talking To Me?

10x8, Oil/Linen Panel

This cocky fellow's photo was provided by my friend, Dianne Robertson Roper. Oscar, here, was Dianne's Mother's pet Rooster.. sadly, Oscar is no longer with us, but his legend lives on with The Robertson Clan. My partner, Ken provided the title, "You Talking To Me?"... so with the help of my friends, all I had to do was show up and paint.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Flower Triptych...

12x36, Oil/Linen Panels

I did each panel of this triptych independent of each other using the same arrangement of flowers in a vase. It is basically a walk around the vase... I have to admit that I was pretty surprised when I saw how well they fit together as a whole. That is when it became a triptych.

While working on these paintings, I first blocked in the forms of the different colors by finding the middle tones. To start making sense of the abstract forms, and to define the flowers, I laid in the darker areas with a swift and loaded paint brush. The lightest areas came next followed by a dance back and forth with accents of darks and varying middle tones, warmer or cooler. I did the same thing with the background and negative spaces, using them to define and clean up the edges.

The next step will be to frame it. My question is, "Do I frame each painting individually" or "Do I treat it as a singular piece by building one frame with narrow dividers between each panel"?

Friday, November 12, 2010

Wet Paint, In The Studio...

Key West Window Shopping
8x8, Oil/Linen Panel

When painting from a photo reference in the studio, I make an effort to hold onto the same process I use with my plein air pieces. This photo was actually taken on an overcast day, but I wanted the painting to show the brilliant sun light as seen on a typical Key West day. As in plein air, I first established my shadows , keeping my light source in this case, almost directly overhead towards high noon. This kept the front of the Conch cottage in shadow with the sunlight hitting the porch roof and the top of the picket fence. I let the sunlight wash out the sidewalk and pavement, blurring some of the edges with the heat starting to rise. Using the "Sargent Squint" helps me from getting caught up in too much detail while looking at the photo, keeping my rendering to the basics.

Monday, November 8, 2010


7x5, Oil/ Canvas Panel

Ibis aren't the most graceful of birds when landing, their ability for awkward gestures while landing is limitless. Miraculously they always seem to land on their feet and strut away with a calm pride. Guess they are not so different from me, I just don't have wings ...

Friday, November 5, 2010

Wet Paint, In The Studio...

Palm Sunset
5x11, Oil/Linen Panel
Private Collection

... A thin slice of a glowing sunset as seen on my return trip while walking the dogs. Fortunately I had my camera over my shoulder to take a reference photo.. a habit I hope the neighbors will get accustomed to seeing. I like the quietness of this time of day when some of the clouds are slipping into shadow, leaving their edges highlighted by the setting sun....

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Wet Paint, In The Studio...

Setting Sun
3.5x10, Oil/Linen Panel

I am pulling together some small paintings as possible candidates for an upcoming small works show. For this one, I plan on putting it in one of my handmade fames that will be 4" wide poplar with a black aniline dye. My thought is to give this small painting a large glowing presence as if looking through an open window watching the setting sun...

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Late For Work

8x8, Oil/Linen Panel

This rooster may have stayed too long at the hen house, missing his duty to announce the dawn from his post... but then again, he is a Key West Rooster, maybe he is right on time...

Monday, October 18, 2010

Birdsie, the Painted Dog...

"Feet, why do I need you when I have wings to fly?"- Frida Kahlo

This is Birdsie, a life size fiberglass dog that was commissioned for an upcoming private charity auction event in Jupiter, Florida. The auction will benefit a local wildlife center. The organizer of the event wanted it to be a Bird Dog, hence, Birdsie. With that in mind I painted her to have an ethereal space with the flying birds and resting birds, It can be either Dusk or Dawn with the subtle gradations of the sky with its illuminating horizon.

All the dogs will be painted by local painters and will receive a high gloss protective finish that will give them the appearance of porcelain and protect them from the elements. It will be a festive event for a great organization (waiting announcement)...

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Wet Paint, In The Studio...

Stepping Out
20x24, Oil/Linen

... an intimate glimpse of life in the warm, comforting glow of the evening light....

Friday, October 1, 2010

Garden Party, Revisited...

10x8, Oil/Canvas Panel

I revisited the idea of an earlier painting, "Garden Party" to do this zoomed in version yesterday. The original was 24x24 and seemed pretty complex when I did it two years ago. My goal wasn't to duplicate the first one. I wanted see how my process has changed and to create a little jewel of a painting with the same essence.. but different... reflecting who I am today as a painter. A reality check, if you will.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Painting The Dunes, Provincetown....

Low Tide, The Moors
8x8, Oil/Linen Panel

Beech Forest Dunes
10x8, Oil/Linen Panel

Dune Shack, The Provincelands
7x8, Oil/Linen Panel

I am just back from our annual trip to Cape Cod... as always it was wonderful and inspiring. For this trip I used the "Guerrilla Painter" Pochade that I recently received as a prize. It is the 6x8 Pochade, and it proved itself to be a perfect traveling companion and capable work horse.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Wet Paint, In the Studio ...

16x16, Oil/Linen Panel

I found it amusing when I noticed in my reference photo from Ross' Grill in Provincetown, that the cook was actually filling her cup with hot water for a cup of tea... next to the sign that declares the "Best Coffee in Town".

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Wet Paint, Plein Air...

The Bridge
12x12, Oil/Linen panel

It felt good to be outdoors painting Saturday morning with Janet Onofrey. We met behind Borders bookstore on The middle river. I was immediately taken by the abstract potential of the bridge and the way the sunlight illuminated the bank & sea wall on the other side. Well into it, I realized my painting was becoming more literal than I meant it to be... I then set about to "deconstructing" the landscape and found what I was after initially...

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Wet Paint, In The Studio...

Fiori Colorato
30x30, Oil/Linen

Once my colorful bouquet of Gladioli started opening, I decided on this cropped view with the light skimming across the top of the arrangement. I avoided getting too caught up in the tight rendering of the flowers with their individual petals. I focused on getting the forms and then built up the buds and the flowers using swift strokes of lighter and darker values. In the background I kept a subtle transition of colors, values and light.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Wet Paint, In The Studio...

30x10, Oil/Linen

I picked up a bunch of mixed color Gladiolus earlier this week with the intention of painting them. After staring at them for several days... willing them to open... these pink ones were the first to finally show their blossoms, yesterday. Once I got them in the studio, they seemed to start opening quickly before my very eyes.. actually adding to the feeling of movement I am after.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Wet Paint, In The Studio...

Window Seat
24x24, Oil/Linen

Sitting exposed at a table behind the glass walls of the restaurant, this woman found a peaceful and focused solitude with a good book... keeping the world outside with its passing reflections.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Mangos #3

17.5 x 10, Oil/Canvas

For this third and maybe final Mango painting... for now... I used a piece of blue stain glass for the background color and a reflective dark piece for the table top. I used Manganese Blue, probably my least used blue, for this painting along with my usual blues... Ultramarine & Cerulean. Manganese is a beautiful blue in the right application, just not my favorite for everyday use... seemed to work here though...

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Mangos #2

12x12, Oil/Linen Panel

I wanted to lighten up and loosen up for this second mango painting in my continued effort to find air and movement in the surrounding light. I placed a lighter semi opaque piece of stained glass for the background. These still lifes are the perfect place to work out the ideas that have been floating through my mind without being concerned with the changing light of plein air nor the time factor (and personalities) with a live model.

Monday, June 28, 2010


15x10,Oil/Linen Panel

Mango season has arrived with the first mangos falling... I picked these up this morning, painted them today and will be having them in a salad tonight! In the studio, I placed them in front of a deep hued piece of stained glass. For this still life I concentrated on movement in the paint and keeping the edges soft to imply the air around the mangos against the dark background, giving them space.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Wet Paint, In The Studio...

Five Star Proud
12x10, Oil/Linen Panel

This 12x10 studio piece may wind up being a study for a larger version. I am intrigued by the idea of finding life and color in what could be considered a dark toned painting. I also brought Chromatic Black onto my palette for this piece, replacing Ivory Black.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Interior With Landscape

10x8, Oil/Linen Panel

Unapologetically, I admit my paintings are usually of a high chroma nature ... just how I see it, folks. Once in a while though, I try to shoot for a little subtly to bring it down a notch... as in Interior With Landscape. For harmony, I was looking to warm up the cool blueness of the front room's shadowed areas while keeping the intensity of the morning light in the room beyond with its reflections in the floor and glass table top. The painting on the wall, fortunately, holds its own with its vivid presence.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Wet Paint, Plein Air...

Stranahan House Roses
16x8, Oil/Linen Panel

Saturday, three of my painter friends and I were asked to paint at Stranahan House, an historic home that is now found tucked into the shadows of the high rises that make up downtown Fort Lauderdale. Our being there was an effort by a local Museum Group to raise awareness of the arts, or in our case, painting en plein air. Of the hand full of people that stopped by, several just wanted to know where to catch the water taxi... but a few kids wanted to know if Stranahan House is really haunted?? I didn't have an answer and we all just smiled about the idea. Well, who's smiling now?... check this out. We will be painting there again on June 26, 1-4 PM. If you are in the area, stop by and feel the "Spirits" of Old Fort Lauderdale... if you dare....

Monday, May 24, 2010

Gold Coast Cultural Exchange

detail, Last Chance

My work will be representing me as an artist living and working in Fort Lauderdale as part of The Sister City Cultural Exchange between Fort Lauderdale and Gold Coast City, Australia. The works will also be included in future Cultural Exchanges with Sister Cities in Japan, Dubai, Taipei and China.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Southeastern Paint Out 2010, Day Five

Backwater Reflections
10x10,Oil/Linen Panel

Coosa Sunrise II
8x16, Oil/Linen Panel

Sunrise Serenade
Chuck & Katrina Weber

Day Five of the Plein Air Festival set the new standard for My Ultimate Plein Air Experience... I met Gadsden Artist, Gina Brown, at the Coosa River at 5:30 AM to catch the sunrise... you can see her painting here. Hunstville Artist, Katrina Weber and her Husband, Chuck, pulled up shortly thereafter. As the three of us started painting, Chuck started playing his fiddle, serenading the morning as the sun was rising. He and Katrina are both musicians specializing in a beautiful style of music played for Contradances... You can listen to samples of their music here.

In 'Coosa Sunrise II', I quickly put in the important notes of color to hold onto the drama of the initial appearance of the sun as it rose into the quiet surroundings of the dawn. I was then able to block in the forms of the silhouetted trees and their reflections with just enough information to keep me from straying as things were quickly changing. I finished the painting with the accents of light hitting the undersides of the clouds.

For my second painting, 'Backwater Reflections', I met Gina at Jim Martin Bird Sanctuary on the backwaters of the Coosa River. For this painting, I once again just focused on finding the forms of the trees and the backlit vegetation as they reflected into the type of water that seems perfect for Catfish.We both worked quickly in order to be at the picnic provided by the local art association and then turned our final paintings in for the opening that evening... our work was done.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Southeastern Paint Out 2010, Day Four

How now...?

Dairy Farm Road
14x11,Pastel/Wallis Paper

Day Four took us to Wright Dairy to paint, a beautifully acred farm rumored to have the best Chocolate Milk in the state of Alabama... unfortunately, I was too possessed to stop painting and try some.

I did two pastels at the dairy. The first one, a 16x12 of a flowering field (which I failed to photograph) was a complex assortment of greens, yellows, and pinks with a good feeling of distance. After a hearty lunch, provided by the Gadsden Museum under a large pavilion, I started on my second piece. For 'Dairy Farm Road' , I put away the majority of my pastels to simplify my palette and my painting. I kept out an assortment of warm and cool greens, a small range of blues and a few intense darks to get the mellow brightness of the afternoon. This limited palette also helped me keep my focus on painting the forms...

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Southeastern Paint Out 2010, Day Three

Turrentine Shadows
20x10,Oil/Linen Panel

Day Three we painted in the Historic Residential District. Turrentine Avenue is noted for its variety of beautiful old Southern homes and gardens, with several of the gardens being open to the artists for the event.

When I pulled in around 7AM I was immediately taken by the way the morning sun backlit this house... deepening its Puce tones to a shadowed purple and casting dark shadows on the vibrant yellow green lawn. Purple and green in a landscape... what's not to love?

As I began painting I found myself being curious about the draped table on the front porch. I was happily surprised as I saw a group of ladies come out and start arranging pitchers, glasses, plates and flowers. I then learned that several of the homeowners were each having small groups of the painters in for lunch that day. As it turned out, this was to be my lunch spot... right on the front porch, complete with Sweet Ice Tea and Deviled Eggs! Southern Hospitality is alive and gracious in Gadsden, Alabama... Y'all...

ps... I did two paintings this day but forgot to photograph the second one!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Southeastern Paint Out 2010, Day Two

Spring's Brilliance
10x8, Oil/Linen Panel

Noccalula Morning
8x8, Oil/Linen Panel

Noccalula Sunrise
10x8, Oil/Linen Panel

My second day of painting at The Southeastern Plein Air Festival began at sunrise at Noccalula Falls. I got there just in time to slam up the easel and start painting as the sun peaked through these trees on top of Lookout Mountain. A generous use of Indian Yellow gave my view of the happening a very golden glow... may have gotten a little carried away...

Noccalula Morning was painted right at the edge on the side of the falls less viewed. The morning sun was illuminating a particularly strong and loud flow of water while keeping the overall background falls in shadow. I found the contrast of the cool shadowed falling water behind the warmly lit water very interesting in its limited palette.

Feeling the need to do another painting on such a beautiful day, I went into the Pioneer Village and found myself on top of some large boulders looking at the white Azalea and pink Rhododendron in Spring's Brilliance. I used bold and loose brushwork and layers of paint to find the forms in the dappled light of the flowers tucked into the rocks... it was interesting to watch the painting evolve out of not much structure.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Southeastern Paint Out 2010, Day One

Connie's Coneys
10x10 Oil/Linen Panel

The Pitman
16x8 Oil/Linen Panel

The 2010 Southeastern Plein Air Festival sponsored by the Gadsden Museum of Art in Alabama was a fantastic week of painting with spectacular weather. It was great to be among my artist friends I made while there last year as well as the new ones I met this year.

My first painting was The Pitman... an old theater that had holds the memories of the movies we all grew up with... its marquee still boasts of being air conditioned. A young girl in a yellow T shirt and orange cap walked by at just the right time for me to quickly add her and call it finished.

My second painting, Connie's Coneys, was an opportunity for a quick and loose painting. There was nothing slow about these hot dog vendors and their brisk business here on Broad Street.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Plein Air Lite

Geisha On Holiday
15x8, Oil/Linen Panel

Eden Compton and I painted today in the Island City of Wilton Manors.. so named because its boundaries are defined by waterways. It is a nice little urban community that flies its Rainbow Flags proudly. I was drawn to this vibrantly colored restaurant, Simply Delish, with its white Putti on the eyebrow.. what's not to love? When Ken dropped by with Starbucks for Eden and me, they both pointed out the figure I had quickly blocked in looked like a geisha... That is all I needed to hear to go at it in full force and with a smile on my face! Brilliant vision from those two...

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Sweet Treat

30x10, Oil/Linen

From the moment I downloaded my reference photo that contained this subject matter, I knew it had Kim English all over it. The trick became how to make it mine, even with with the obvious nod to the master. I stumbled and kicked with my first go around largely because I wanted to change the light hues to a more golden light and wound up with some muted nothingness. I left it stewing for a few weeks and came back to it yesterday, treating what lay beneath as an underpainting. It became quite a game of push-pull with the values and tones as the painting eventually developed a life and identity of its own.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Downtown Canal

15x8, Oil/Linen Panel

This canal located on a downtown road less traveled will be providing us with several paintings just waiting to happen. Here is my view of the stationary boat parade looking down the tree lined canal. I have started making my panels using quarter inch Birch and oil primed linen that I wash with a warm orange glaze. This new surface with its underpainting is helping me to loosen up my brushwork and allows for varying thicknesses of paint while keeping some of the underpainting visible. I am finding that different surfaces can make subtle changes in the way my paint behaves and allows for new possibilities... change is good!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Jupiter Lighthouse

6.75x10, Oil/Linen Panel

I met my friend Eden up at the Jupiter Lighthouse, Friday morning for a change of scenery. Surprisingly, there aren't that many lighthouses here in South Florida, especially not with the character this one has being perched up on a hill. We set a time limit for our paintings since the morning became a hot and sunny preview to Summer. Eden really caught the mood of the day with her painting of one of the docks looking across the inlet. Take a look at it here...

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Deering Estate Paint Out

Gray Deering
16x8, Oil/Canvas Panel

Deering Estate Cattails
18x18, Oil/Canvas

Under Cover

It was a gray and rainy weekend for the Deering Estate en Plein Air. Fortunately, Saturday was only overcast all day. I was able to do the Cattail painting while searching for color amidst all the muted grayness of the field. On Sunday, we were all seeking shelter and cover to stay dry. I did Gray Deering as my attempt to portray the mood of the estate on such a day.

Deering Estate Cattails was awarded The Judges Recognition, for which I will receive a Pochade Box.... that will come in handy since you can never have too many easels!

Sunday, April 11, 2010


12x12. Oil/Canvas

I recently bought a new camera and have found myself taking lots of photos zooming in on different plants, leaves, seed pods, etc... Some of them I have found to be extremely beautiful in their cropped compositions. I suspect my efforts inspired me yesterday in my plein air outing. I stood next to this beautiful and vibrant Bromeliad. looking straight down and into its center...

Friday, April 9, 2010

Shift Change...

Private Collection
10x7, Oil/Canvas Panel

Went back to the Hillsboro Lighthouse this morning to catch the sunrise again. I got there in time to see the crescent moon on its way to rest. The weather prediction was for a mostly cloudy morning... I had visions of a moody painting with a slice of the sunrise peaking through at the horizon... but they were wrong. Instead I had to paint this typically beautiful, serene, South Florida Spring morning... oh well....

Monday, April 5, 2010

Himmarshee Court Palm

20x10, Oil/Linen Panel

Friday's sunrise painting invigorated me so much that I tried to get out Saturday Morning to catch it once again. Unfortunately, laying my head back on my pillow prevented me from making it on time! I did, however make it here next to Himmarshee Court to catch the early morning light as it illuminated this palm tree at the edge of the canal.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Catching the Sunrise...

Hillsboro Sunrise
12x12, Oil/Canvas Panel
Ellen Weiss & Eden Compton

Friday morning, two of my fellow painters and I went to the Hillsboro Inlet to catch the sunrise. Even though the sun rose a little further north of the lighthouse than I expected, it made for a serene glow, yet an energizing painting experience. A great way to start the day!