Thursday, December 31, 2009


35"x25" oil/canvas
Here is one of the entries for the figure show at AAH. It's not the one I worked tiredlessly on last night. More on that later..... Also, stay tuned. I'm rigging the Sprinter van up this weekend to be a travelling studio. Plein air painting out of a van. Just open the side or rear doors-pull up a chair and go! Cheating? perhaps. It will be the worlds most expensive umbrella. Off to David Oleski's place for New Years Eve. Those 60"x84" apple paintings have to seen in person to be believed. He's on my link list for a view. HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!! pray for a good stock market. It helps the art market

P.S. some of this years shows are lined up already. I'll be updating in a few weeks.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Winter Sycamores along the Susquehanna

12"x12" oil/panel

I find these mighty sycamores to be great subject matter during the winter time. On a side note The Art Association of Harrisburg's "Figuratively Speaking" show is coming up in the middle of January. I'll be exhibiting "girl in the striped dress" and I have an idea for the second painting to enter. I was going to enter my 3ft square Longhorn painting. Decided to dig out a figure study I did at Pratt Manhattan many years ago and paint over it with the new thick juicy style and see where it goes. I'll post before and after. I have to get it done soon so it will be dry. Perhaps tomorrow....I found out a few weeks ago that I was accepted into the OPA. Oil painters of America. A great group of artists keeping representational painting alive while appreciating the many different styles so many of us use to convey our visual world.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

youtube link

Just a test to see if youtube link works. I think I prefer this version. The blogger video is a bit too small. When I finally put together a real demo/video I'll go with youtube. Any input would be appreciated if there are issues viewing these. Remember, I only had a poor camera to use. You can't even see brush strokes!There might be a way to change size of video. I'll look into it. Hopefully I can get my hands on an actual video camera. Heck, my regular camera might have that option. I'm not very technically savvy. But I'm working on it. I've added the triptych on the end of the video.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Winter River

I'm testing some new ideas. Unfortunately, I only had my ancient camera today to take still shots during painting. The quality of images is poor but I'm more concerned with figuring out the programming. Basically, I did a triptych and posted the first one in action on youtube. I should note for the last 2 years I only play Vivaldi's 4 seasons while painting in studio. I must upload that somehow. This symphony is good however. Merry Christmas and all that good stuff..............................

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Christmas gifts

"Porsche 356"
6"x6" oil/board

"Medieval German Church"
6"x6" oil/board

Two impromptu pieces for the inlaws. No fear, they dont have a computer.

Sunday, December 13, 2009


10"x20" oil/canvas

It's pouring down freezing rain outside so I decided a summer scene was in order. I took a photo of a great cloud last summer. I was driving down rte. 283 and snapping photos out the passenger window at highway speed. Guard rails and trees obscured most of the pics but this one worked...I think..

Friday, November 27, 2009

A river runs through

6"x6" oil/panels

atmosphere, shape and geometry seem to be of particular interest again.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Annapolis revisited

16"x20" oil/canvas

A study from materials collected during Paint Annapolis 2009. I am fascinated with the overabundance of subject matter yet the calm, serene sensation that exists while being on location. I've tried to capture that.

For me, there is an attraction in finding calmness within the darkness.

Thursday, November 19, 2009


36"x48" oil/canvas

The last set of paintings had a purpose. I was very delibrate with the brush strokes, I maintained a minimalist approach, and I paid very close attention on how I mixed the paint. I also knew they were studies for a much larger painting that I wanted to do. I learned alot from those small ones. The main goal was to get the feeling of something big, ie a weather phenomenon, with as little detail as possible. Let the paint do the talking. I had an epiphany while doing the 3rd 6x6. I dont know why it took me so long to figure this out. Mix all the primaries individually with the stand oil first.... THEN mix the desired colors very loosely allowing many color varieties to happen in each brushstroke!!I should note I use only 3 warm red, yellow, and blues and 3 cool red, yellow and blues plus zinc white. As I appproached this big painting and started mixing I felt really good about the new approach. In fact I felt good during the entire session.

As usual, emotional impact is an important element in art for me. I seem to be gravitating towards a real theme. I've always been a weather freak, and the possible metaphors behind the various atmospheric conditions seem to be endless.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

clearing skies

6"x6" oil/panels




As the massive cloud formations build overhead, the strength of breeze and the distant blue sky to the west confirms-a break in the weather.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

flow and obstruction

6"x6" oil/board

I've been preoccupied lately with the idea of thought patterns and wellness of being. I attended a seminar years ago that addressed the issue of: our thoughts and the relationships of our thoughts on our health. Most of us have preoccupations of some sort with a particular issue. These preoccuopations manifest within the body. Certain preoccupations manifest at particular spots within the body.

Ok, I digress. The ancient greeks treated health as a lifestyle not a chronic disorder. How many chronic disorders do we all have now? How many people call art a health pursuit? Yes, people died from plague, malaria.... but not everyone was treated for a lifetime disorder in the "old days".

These 3 paintings represent my attempt to confront this issue. There is a current blockage of positive energy flow. The creek represents the flow and the few out croppings are the blockage. I'm working towards a dam break!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

burgundy and yellow iris

8"x8" oil/ panel

I've finished the third iris for my mom. They will make a nice display hung together. I've used an inferior camera for the photo of this one. Liz has the good camera this weekend.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Restaurant Row

16"x20" oil/canvas

A view of my city's local attraction. Bars. Yeah, they're down the street a bit. A busy place on the weekends. So they draw a crowd, now to keep the crowd in the city. Urban sprawl is a real issue . No shopping downtown, just bars and traffic.

Thursday, October 29, 2009


36"x36" oil/canvas

This is a new studio piece. I painted it over my big silos painting. It never had the feel of the plein air small version so it's gone. Sort of. I'm seeing more and more of these impressive longhorns around and find them incredibly interesting. I have a bunch of material to work with and will do more. I'm most impressed with the heaviness these beasts appear to have. That's what I tried to get. Alot of weight. I used both knife and brush on this big one.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

A pinkish white iris

8"x8" oil/ceramic tile

I've done a second iris painting for mom. They have a nice space for a triptyc so I just need to do one more. She started new rounds of chemo yesterday so hopefully the new drugs can hit it. I really want to get out and do some fall paintings but this weather is just nasty. 30s and raining in mid October. It's supposed to warm up next week. I'm off to Charlotte NC. next thursday for a weekend show so may not get much painting in yet again. I feel for my friends at the Bethesda row show this weekend. The weather's just as bad there. Hopefully something good comes of it.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Purple iris

8"x8" oil/ceramic tile

My mother is continuing to battle cancer and battle the drugs that battle cancer. She recently developed a persistent cough and chest pain. It got so bad she had to go to the emergency room. She had repeatedly told her doctors about this and they said it was nothing. Well, she has fluid around the heart - they drained a quart and continue to drain- she still is in pain and it turns out the fluid is a side effect of chemo and radiation. The doctors are claiming the pain is probably cancer in the bones. That's a pretty bold statement when they don't know. I'm now on a soapbox and would like to hear others experiences. I've never seen her look so ill. This is difficult to see. Especially when every other commercial is about cancer awareness. Is anyone not aware of this epidemic? How about studying the cause instead of the treatment?

She always wanted me to paint her a purple iris. I always put it off claiming I needed to want to paint a purple iris. Well now I want to paint a purple iris.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Busy, Busy , Busy

11x14 oil/board

I'm back home from the Peoria show. I'm excited that a couple of paintings found new homes in the midwest. The show was great and the people wonderful!

I'm off to the Colt's Neck New jersey show this weekend. If anyone is in the neighborhood please stop by. I like meeting new people at the shows and it keeps the days interesting. I also will have 5 paintings on display at Gallery Blu in midtown Harrisburg. The opening is Friday evening 6pm-close. Unfortunately, I'll be in New Jersey but if anyone's in the area check out the show. I just saw the pieces and it will be a very good show. Gallery Blu 1633 N. 3rd st. Harrisburg, PA.

I've been insanely busy lately and painting time has been limited. I'm posting a piece I did last year in honor of the season. It's titled "corn harvest".

Monday, September 21, 2009

Paint Annapolis 2009

16"x20" oil/canvas
plein air

I'm back from the exciting Paint Annapolis 2009 compettition. No awards for me but thats alright.
I did this one during the Saturday morning quick draw competition. We had bright sun and I picked a less than usual subject for me.
Saturday night was the artists party and it was great to meet up with friends made last year and new ones made this year. Thanks Jane, you know how to entertain!

At 5:00pm I was honored to be one of 6 artists selected by Kenn Backhaus to do a round table type discussion aimed at educating collectors and the general public as to what plein air painting is all our differing styles developed....the importance of the plein air movement to each of us.....etcc... I really enjoyed the evening and hearing the other 5 artists comments. They were... Lee Boynton, Abigail Mcbride, Stewart White, Lisa Egeli, and Mary Pritchard. Due to the timing of this event I didn't get an afternoon painting in, however, I'm very honored to have particpated in the group discussion and would do it again in a heartbeat!

20"x16" oil/canvas
plein air

I did this one Friday afternoon when the sun finally made an appearance. After I finished painting, a local fellow docked his sailboat . We talked a bit and he took me to a local Eastport pub for a beer. A nice way to cap off the evening and yet again meet interesting folks in an unfamiliar town.

20"x16" oil/canvas
plein air

This is from Friday morning. Still low cloud deck and gray day conditions. I felt good about the location and liked how the boats lead the eye to the Annapolis side of Spa creek.

16"x20" oil/canvas
plein air

I did this nocturne Thursday evening. I scraped down 2 paintings during the day. I was struggling with staying loose and just about everything else. So as night fell I headed back to Eastport. I completely let loose, mixing and applying paint like a madman. I use a little battery powered light that actually illuminates my palette more than my canvas. Basically you don't know what you have while you're painting. I just trusted my eye and mixing skills. I use cool colors for nightlight and warm colors for the darker areas. I realised the next day that parts of this are quite difficult to read, however I have not touched it since the session. I didn't want to kill the blurred, energetic night scene that I had witnessed.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Gallery walk river paintings

3 6x6" panels
plein air

I went back to the river today and did these. Paint Annapolis begins Thursday so I'm heading down tomorrow to check in and find some painting locations. I may or may not post during the competition, but will take the stuff along just in case.

3 6x6" panels

I no more than got home from the Bethany Beach show and found out I had one first place in the Art Association of Harrisburg members show for my painting of the Louvre. Yes, I was excited but I wasn't able to paint everything I wanted to for gallery walk. I attended the awards ceremony and decided to focus on the river for my painting. I taped up 3 little canvases and ended up scraping down 6 versions and ended up with these pieces.

Monday, September 7, 2009

4th and Boas #2

12"x24" oil/panel
I decided to do a second painting of this abandoned structure. I'm fascinated by the building and am trying to find the best way to convey it. I find it to be a haunting structure, so I've gone more with a colorist palette on this one to help convey emotion. I've darkened the value of the building mass and simply massed in 3 shapes then painted wet on wet within the masses. I stayed more loose with this one and tried to simplify all shapes.

I will do a 3rd version en plein air this Sunday. Combining what I've learned thus far, and a bit more research I look forward to seeing what the result will be. Normally I never paint the same thing more than once, but this thing has my interest.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

morning light

11"x14" oil/board
plein air
After all these looks at buildings I had to post a landscape. I'm currently working on how to make the last post a more interesting piece. Just Blocking in major shapes... really playing with the light. I was most interested in the light and the eerieness of the structure.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

4th and Boas

12"x24" oil/board

It's been awhile. 2 weeks ago hurricane Bill spared eastern long island so the Westhampton beach show was pretty good. Actually, it was brutally hot and the patrons commented that they just wanted to go home. But a couple of folks stuck it out. A week later tropical depression Danny? wasn't so kind. The cape cod show got hammered by rain. Saturday was cancelled and Sunday was greeted by a good 4 hours of heavy drizzle and rain. Needless to say not a whole lot happened.

I have this weekend off and am hosting artists Robert Barab and Peter Stolvoort. They are in the Long's Park show in Lancaster. I finally got in front of the easel today and did this piece. As of next weekend I am showing and competing every weekend through mid October. Next weekend I do the Bethany beach show Saturday and then come home and do Harrisburgs gallery walk on Sunday. We paint on the street as Gallery viewers walk from gallery to gallery and view plein air painters at work. I chose this subject because I plan on doing an arcitectural work Sunday. I did this one in studio and plan on trying it Sunday en plein air. I'm curious to see how the results differ. If anyone local wants to know the location it's on the corner of Boas and 4th st.'s.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Susquehanna thunderstorm

6"x6" oil/panel
plein air

6"x6" oil/panel
plein air

I slipped out last evening as a storm was approaching Harrisburg. I took two little canvassas and painted them simultaneously. I mixed paint rapidly....applied via brushes even more rapidly! I ran back to the house and just barely got the door open when the skies let loose.

On another note, I'm very excited to have been picked by plein air phenom Kenn Backhaus to participate on a 6 artist panel discussing our approaches to plein air painting. The event will be Saturday evening, during Paint Annapolis week. Kenn will be the moderator..asking each artist questions to help the public understand our individual approaches, influences, techniques etc...This should be a very educational and fun evening.

I'm off to the Westhampton Beach fine art festival. It runs Saturday and Sunday. Fingers crossed the Hurricane stays far enough away that we can do the show. Also, after yesterdays stormy evening I've been really admiring the threatening skies again today. Turns out there was just a tornado north of Harrisburg. Visually incredible... but destruction...not good. I talked to fellow painter David Oleski a bit ago and mentioned the tornado. He said " wow, did you paint it? That would really put you on the map." That guy is funny. He gets where I'm coming from.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Rehoboth Art Show

36"x36" oil/canvas
I'm off to the Rehoboth art league fine art show.The show runs Saturday and Sunday. If anyones around stop by and say hi. I will have some of the big new pieces there. Art show link

Here is a 36"x36" blow up of the grain silos plein air piece from a year and a half ago.

Monday, August 10, 2009

City Island Marina

30"x40" plein air

Back in studio I break out the brushes... Do some edge work.... More boat markings..... By applying so much paint on site I was able to keep the same atmosphere back in the studio. Just had to push a little paint here and there. The energy that goes into these big plein air pieces is hard to describe. I felt like I was back racing mountain bikes!

As I slowly make markings for the boats, the thunder is getting closer. Since I'm on top of a building.... on the river.....With a storm approaching... Probably wise to pack up... So I do...The sky lets loose just as I cross the river in my car.... Close call....

Mixed some more values......Decided to include the foreground tree...tweaked the buildings... Pondered just exactly how to tackle the boats.... Way too busy to attempt detail.... I decided to just use markings and forget about the fact that they are boats....Thunder gets my attention...

Brought out my studio palette, cans of paint included. Going big... using lots of paint....mixed my darks and knifed them in....

Yikes, That's alot of canvas. 30"x 40" to be exact. Saturday morning....on top of the parking garage...on city Harrisburg, PA.... I decide to tackle a big plein air piece. I checked weather radar.....Storms were in State College...

Thursday, August 6, 2009

river at sunset

24"x24" oil/canvas

24"x24" oil/canvas

finished the two paintings for the conference room. The river is a predominate subject around here and it never gets old. Visually, I find it to be the most outstanding thing in Harrisburg. The bridges are a strong second but incredibly challenging to paint. The river proves calming in summer yet can flood almost the entire city at times.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Big Spaces

36"x48" oil/canvas

36"x48" oil/canvas

When I heard that the business I will be displaying some paintings at has large walls.... I went to work. After viewing the space I see I was a bit ambitious. That's ok. I'm working on some smaller complementary pieces for the conference room. I'm posting the first big ones today(which will be going to the outdoor shows) and finishing the second smaller one tonight. These are grown up versions of smaller plein air pieces as will be the next two.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Wellfleet harbor revisited

30"x40" oil/canvas

I did a large painting referenced from a plein air piece from the Cape Cod trip. This piece required alot of energy. I premixed most colors, loaded up with stand oil, and still didn't have near enough paint to knife on. Mixed just as much paint the second day and got after it again. Finally got a good result.....I think.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

susquehanna summer

16"x20" plein air

plein air

I had to get back to the river for some plein air work. I've been doing alot of studio work and will now be doing even more. I'm exhibiting at Martin Sacks in Linglestown PA. September through November. I just talked to the organizer and she said they have big walls so bring big work. I'll be checking the site this week to see just how BIG. As I've mentioned I'm doing larger scale work for the outdoor shows and they are about to really kick in for me. I'll be showing practically every weekend from mid August through early October. I've also been asked to exhibit in a 3 person show at Lynden gallery, Elizabethtown PA. The theme is 3 different styles from 3 direct observation painters. More on that show as the details get ironed out.

The posted paintings were both done yesterday. The horizontal first the vertical second. I was very focused with the first one and very happy to be back in a familiar spot painting. The second painting had less light and I stuggled to find form in the tree mass. The sky began to grab my attention. The humidity was extremely high so the variations in value were diminshed and with the decreasing light the scene was almost flat. I mixed colors on my palette and added straight stand oil right onto the palette mixed in with colors. I used knife to apply then brushes to orchestrate the arrangements. The focus put into painting one affected me in painting 2. I got a little sloppy.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

The Louvre

36"x48" oil/canvas

I went to the quickdraw competition at Plein air Easton yesterday. I severely struggled with the painting. I chose to paint the local church with backlighting, including the office. It has a great roof pitch over the door. The natural effect was great, but my painting was not. You have 2 hours to paint and 1 hour in I scraped it down. I took on too much subject matter. I decided to narrow down to just painting the office with the interesting roof. Well this just wasn't working and spectators were coming by to view the artists at work. Normally I'm fine with that but I WAS STRUGGLING BIG TIME. In frustration I wiped my effort away with about 10 minutes left to paint. I packed up and drove home not even seeing the awards or any other work for that matter. A tough day. I did get to view the week long participants work at the museum. Incredible work. This is probably the top show in the country and the work proves it. There are some incredible painters there.

I dug through some photos when I got home. I found one of the Louvre in Paris. I took the shot years ago. I was just as interested in mass and line then as I am now. The photo had 3 figures almost dead center on the canvas. Frankly, they were one the most compelling things to me. I painted them in and was happy with the loose, gestural result. The problem was they were centered and equally distanced apart. I blocked them out visually and realized they were not helping the piece. I painted them out. I think they would be good enough subject matter by themselves. Just as at Easton most times less is more.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Los Laureles Lodge

48"x36" oil

Here is a large painting (for me). The outdoor shows are conducive to big paintings. I dug out an old figure painting to cover with some fresh paint. The subject is Los Laureles lodge in Carmel Valley. Our favorite place to stay in the valley. This is from studies during a stay there several years ago.

I knifed in the darks first. After most darks were in I had to establish sky. Painting over paintings is incredibly interesting for me. To try and establish values with this old painting screaming out makes me dig deep. To see a person vanish into a landscape is quite intriguing.