Monday, April 27, 2009


6"x6" oil/panel

Well the studio tour is now over and the remaining paintings are back home. It was an absolute gem of a weekend! Felt like summer and we all set up our booths alongside David's pond/lake. With some mature conifers providing shade and the close proximity to the water, conditions were fantastic. Not to mention the fact that David's wife supplied endless traditional Thai food for the whole weekend. The artists and viewers were well taken care of!

There were very few slow times, but when I had the chance I kept working at a little painting on site. I can't say this is a terribly focused painting. Between watching the schools of fish swim by and keeping an eye on the booth I just kind of had fun with this one. It was warm and green things were rapidly appearing.

I'll soon be getting caught up on what everyone's been up to.

Enlarge this one and try to find the Chester County bugs within the paint. There are several sacrificial critters that got a little too close.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

steeple at twilight

I've been busy lately preparing for the Studio Tour (see link to the right)

I don't expect everyone to get this painting. For me, I'm finally feeling it. With all disregard for reality I'm finally laying down paint instinctively. I shouldn't say disregard for reality but this is my interpretation of reality. It is really about finding freedom. My take on life as I see it. This may sound selfish, but really what artist isn"t self indulged? That's the beauty of art. We discover ourselves. No?
p.s. the sun had already set while doing this one.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

sunset steeple

8x8 oil/panel
I was able to sneak in an evening painting. Went back to where I did a scraper last night. Decided to focus on just the steeple. The sun was setting. I did this around 7 pm.

I have to say I have been quite frustrated lately. I made a decision to only paint from direct observation indoors and out. Well, it's much "easier" to turn out a serious piece in studio. I hate to say easy because there are still many years of painting involved to do a good studio piece. At any rate my goal is to produce work as strong as I can in studio on site. I think it's coming around. As far as taking a small plein air piece and building upon it in studio. I can no longer do that. I am a victim of my mind and my mind says if I do it once it's done. This proves quite difficult to complete a large piece in lowlight conditions. If I were able to return to site on multiple occasions with the same light this could be possible. The future proves inspiring.

House on Italian Lake

12x12 oil/panel

I tried a few things with this one that I normally don't like to do in landscape. One is including a house that is read as a house and two is centering an object. Since the panel is square and the water was creating a nice reflection it seemed to create an acceptable arrangement of masses. I especially liked the blossoming tree surrounded by dark spruce. For me, it is interesting as an abstraction. I did struggle a bit with getting the proper color relationships for time of day. I didn't know how to act. It was a beautiful morning and I got wrapped up in the experience. I thought while painting I was managing warm and cool properly, in fact I still do. However, I think I could have used better or different colors. Oh well, I have the rest of life to try and figure it out.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Zembo Mosque

8x8 oil/panel

Snuck out for a quick study. I was heading for Italian Lake but when I saw the Mosque bathed in light I knew I had to paint it. Beautiful day with spring colors. Yes, I pushed the pink a bit.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Dillsburg Street

8x8 oil/panel

I actually painted this yesterday from inside my car. I wasn't sure why but something inspired me to tackle this scene. I was cramped and uncomfortable. I resorted to an old mistake I used to frequently make. I took way too much time sketching in the cars and buildings to get an accurate rendering.

I was very dissapointed with the result and today scraped down the painting. This left a reasonable result. I began to see what attracted me. The abstract quality of the masses and the effect of good light. Ha! Isn't this always the case? In studio I carefully controlled color temperature and was able to see the painting develop. The result is a mix of thick and thin paint, pencil marks and scrape marks. I'm much more excited about it now. Above is the end result.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Orange at night

6"x6" oil/panel

Finally was able to get another quick sunset in. This time the sun was still above horizon. I plopped down behind a tree, blocking the sun from my eyes, held my panel and painted rapidly. This scene was absolutely beautiful while I painted. The river was very much alive as were the trees around it. I was very focused and calm while painting. In fact this is the best I've felt while painting in awhile. No wind! I know, yet again I've fallen behind on the award duties. I'm working on it and will say that one thing I love is painting the Susquehanna River.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Susquehanna evening

6"x6" oil/panel

I was able to get to the river at sunset. And I mean sunset. I had about 20 minutes to get a representation. Painted very quickly and went with a tiny panel knowing my light window was minimal. The only warmth was the sky so I made that predominate along with a bit of warm reflection on the water. The computers may or may not do justice to the colors, I can't tell. But I will say the variations in real life are so subtle that I doubt my photography skills are up to par with the paintings. In fact my paintings aren't up to par with the scene. This is the best I can do currently and am inspired to improve with these lowlight scenes.

susquehanna morning

8"x8" oil/panel

Haven't had anytime to paint recently, however I got a quick sketch in this morning. Sat on the steps along the river with the sun directly behind and barely up. The sun was striking the distant hills and islands but not the water in the foreground. I couldn't quite figure out how to vary the light in the water. It seemed all similar reflection whether in sun or not. It was darkest near me and brightest in the center where the distant buildings seemed to pull reflected light to the waters surface. Thats what I went with.