Sunday, October 31, 2010

The skies have it

5"x7" oil

My glass is neither half full nor half empty. It simply contains 1/2 of its potential volume.

The weather isn't getting better or worse. It is changing due to changing conditions.

It's election time. Seems to be lots of money for adds. Rock the to the kitchen to fill my glass.

Happy Halloween



This is a pumpkin I carved out with a palette knife a few years back. In fact, I think it was my first blog post.
Back from Pittsburgh. I reshot the gray day paintings in better light so you can see them a bit better on the post 2 days ago. Tom now has the west end view piece so couldn't reshoot it. May or may not paint tonight. At anyrate, I'll be sure and cast a spell....heeeheeeheeeeheeeeheeee

Saturday, October 30, 2010

west end overview

11"x14" oil plein air
Wen't to the Pittsburgh overview park. Great spot. A couple photographers there. I could only paint around noon time so no interesting light. Just tried to get Pittsburgh skyline. Most cityscapes boil down to a few essentials. The challenge is finding them!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Pittsburgh gray day

both 5"x7" oil plein air

The day was rather lackluster for painting. Cloudy, cold and windy. Held these 2 in my hand while painting. My friend here want's a painting showing the traditional view from the westend lookout. Will try tomorrow. It's supposed to be sunny. These are from settlers cabin park.

My friend here is an abstract painter and I will be attending his opening tonight. Congrats Tom! Now get online!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Ommegangs backside

11"x14" oil

This is the brewery viewed from the rear. It's such an interestingly designed structure. I fought tooth and nail with this one.

Off to Pittsburgh for a few days. Will be plein air painting there.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Ommegang Brewery

5"x7" oil
Paint the things you have feelings for. Ok, I love Ommegang's beer. Particularly three philosophers and hennepin. Ommegang is a belgian style brewery near Cooperstown, NY. and near our camp. They make beer the way it's supposed to be. GOOD! Very creative folks with new varieties every now and then but the standards are always strong in more ways than one. The brewhouse looks very European. You drive "through" the structure to park. All brewing is done on one side and bottling and storage on the other. This is a view of the "drive through". Prepare for more pieces of this place. I intend on a winter excursion back there to paint alot.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

City rain

40"x30" oil
So I did this one. The blog image is a bit dark. Will retake a photo under better conditions. The goal is to capture the city. The eye tends to get caught up in the photo taken in natural light is now showing.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

back in the cool morning air

12"x12" oil plein air
Finally got outside to paint this morning. Nice crisp air. I went back to my buddy's farm where I did the grain silos painting oh so long ago. I don't think I've done a plein air piece since spring so I was happy with the experience and the piece I think. I always need to see them in a month or two to gauge the result.
Might just do the cityscape this afternoon. Will probably use yesterdays piece for reference.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Manhattan rain

7"x5" oil
Another preparatory piece for the big cityscape. I seem to be getting quite loose. I wonder what will happen with the big one. Plein air tomorrow. First in a long time. Might need the longjohns in the morning.

Thursday, October 21, 2010


5"x7" oil

A quick study. I'm planning a large city scene, preferably in the rain. Possibly a nocturne. Haven't done a cityscape in awhile. This one felt good. Same approach as the coastal scene but a totally differnt feel. Feels abstract but recognizable. AAHHH, that is my goal! Create a tension then balance it.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Goin' Coastal (not postal)

16"x20" oil

I've regained my composure. Loose but delibrate brushwork on this one. It reads a bit tight but blow up image and see the strokes. Its probably more about the edges than anything. I can say my mind didn't wander a bit on this one. I still like that last one......whatever I was thinking...

Monday, October 18, 2010

a rare one (for me)

5"x7" oil
So here is a glimpse at a piece that I almost never let the public see. I've mentioned before that when I paint my mind rarely wanders on anything other than the next stroke. Well this one was scrubbed down once... sworn at multiple times....given a total death sentence.... all premixed paint was disregarded... my mind was all over the place...I finally said Typically, I destroy these immediately. For some unknown reason this one still lives. I actually want to see what's inside this structure. I'm actually tempted to let my mind get in the way again. Perhaps some level of consciousness wants to be awoken. Just when you think your approach to painting is becoming "solidified" this happens. I'll sleep on it and see what happens tomorrow.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

fall foliage

30"x40" oil
I had a bunch of paint on the palette and did not want to waste it. To be honest I struggled with a subject to paint. It reminds me of athletes that have to perform even on their off days. It felt like one of those days. You have to step up whether you like it or not. So I went big again. Contrast in edge work is significant. Below is a book that I find amazing and recommend for anyone who appreciates painting.

This book showcases a group that predates William Wendt and Diebenkorn. California colorists that sum up painting better than I could ever do. I wish my artist statement could be as well described as this groups. Here's a quote from the book that Wayne Thiebaud coined..,"the issue of transposition, where the painting always stays a painting, but there is this kind of duplicity of both being paint and material at the same time, sort of a simultaniety of variables. For instance, When Gile is painting a tree. yes it is clearly a brushstroke, but it's a brushstroke that periodically right in the middle of its being a brushstroke turns into a branch. It is that capacity and propensity for the paint to become the actual objectification of materials that I think are quite extraodinary."

Saturday, October 16, 2010

happy birthday to me

30"x40" oil
Ok. So it's my birthday. Well, when you throw in leap years and time changes technically it's not. Frankly, I no longer remember my age. I really do have to do the math from my birth year. Turns out I'm 43. Anyway, I did this larger piece with the intent of keeping the looseness of the smaller ones. I think this one turned out well. I stuck with the large brush for almost everything. Keeping to the 1/7th size brush relative to canvas size. Indeed, up close one wonders what they are looking at. From a distance it becomes apparent. Again I took the photo indoors. Left side is a bit lighter but not a bunch.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Defining the artist

5"x7" oil

one last little guy before I go large tomorrow in studio. The wind is howling right now and will continue through tomorrow so plein air is on hold. (yeah the van would work but I'm staying in studio) I've been contemplating what makes an artist recognizable as an individual. Think about it. All the greats have a destinguishable body of work. When you see it you know who done it! Aside from the pop art stuff(find a niche and fill it) I'm intrigued by landscape painters that are identifiable by their work. What makes this so? Subject matter.....application....perspective....composition... palette....indeed all these things describe the artist. The ones we remember......did their own thing. Just a thought.....but one that I continually have.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

feeling fine

5"x7" oil
I'm back to feeling good about pushing paint. Things are starting to click. Will approach large work this weekend..... Painting can solve many... many... issues. Painting can create many..... many..... issues.. Yes, we create our own environment!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


5"x7" oil
This scene reminds me of our family fishing trips to Ontario, Canada. There would be outpost camps along the lakes for the hunters and fishermen to camp. We stayed at the main lodge and boated in.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

along the lake

5"x7" oil

Feeling better. It's strange. As my health improves I feel I need to slowly develope my work all over again. I have multiple large canvases ready but fear a relapse. I still tend to overheat while working. At any rate the process feels intact again and I have a positive approach to the direction the work is heading.

Monday, October 11, 2010


12"x12" oil
So I'm feeling a good bit better. Can't resist the metaphor of feeling like being up against a mountain while fighting illness. So here's a view in the Adirondacks. Painted it tonight.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

the flu sucks

3 6"x6" oils on panels

So I spent 3 days running through the woods of upstate New York chasing turkeys in the rain. Yes I eat them. Came home with a sore throat. Woke up with the flu. Barely could stand up for a few days. No energy to raise a brush. Today I finally limped into studio highly medicated. Did these 3 pieces. Go figure, the weather is nice and I still can't go out. At any rate things seem to be improving. These are loose, maybe too loose. Still trying to get my act together.