Saturday, July 31, 2010


"Pipe Bundles, Two Tanks"    SOLD
oil on panel, 2010
5" x 7" (12.7cm x 17.78)

Heavy sky, weighty foreground... mass and solidity. It's the middle ground that gets the attention here. The pipe bundles shoot in from the left giving rise to the two tanks, sharp and glossy against the softly focused pale apartment building.

Standing in solidarity, rearing up against the horizontal elements. Pyramid composition, echoed by the triangular dormer. Bracketed by the white bundle ties and painted steel girders.

I've talked before of what I see in industrial subjects and of changes I make to further strengthen my view... what to include, what to leave out.

In this painting I darkened the bundles and softened the edges of the building. I scrubbed in a leaden sky in favor of the clear blue one and changed the bundle ties to white, all to give more importance to the tanks. I also deepened and textured the shiny tanks and edged the color towards orange.

The last two (changes) both, unite tanks and sky in appearance but separate them in complimentary color.

I often come across some scene that strikes me in some way and want to capture it... but realize what is before me is a little short of that, so I edit and fine tune the image until I achieve that end.62
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Sunday, July 25, 2010

Peach Tree Mural

"Peach Tree" and drawings
acrylic on wall

Here's a mural I did in a home. It's located in their kitchen, which is decorated in a mixture of country and italian tuscany.

I worked directly with the homeowner on this one and they had a pretty good idea of what they wanted before we met so it was relatively straightforward.
I only needed to do some drawings of tree and container variations before beginning the finish.

The bottom two drawings were for the client. Showing the different fruit trees and containers. This way they can choose any given container and any given tree, mix and match, to come up with a final image. This helps me streamline the process and avoid doing endless variations of tree/container drawings.

The top drawing (showing the ghost images of the page underneath) was done for the purpose of working out specifics of leaves, branches, peaches and the bee, once it was decided to go with a peach tree.58,59,60,61
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Monday, July 19, 2010

Framed in Mass

"House w/ Eucalyptus"
Watercolor on paper, 2007
15" x 11" (23.80cm x 17.145cm)
For Sale at Daily Paintworks, CLICK HERE

I was generally happy with the way this watercolor turned out, going for the mass surrounding the house. The only problems I had with it was too much green, or at least not enough variance in the tones and colors of green. It would have benefitted from a mixture of warms and cools.

The foreground too could be a bit more interesting, even in it's simplicity.

Watercolor, at least painted in more traditional methods, is tough sometimes. You can not completely remove darker passages, making lightening or changing color temperature difficult.

Even with planning ahead, I still occasionally find the need to make changes to an image.
That said, I still consider this a successful painting.57
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Sunday, July 18, 2010

Orangey Rust Sky

oil on panel, 2009
3.5" x 5" (8.89cm x 12.7cm)
private collection

Like my last post this is one done for fun, more of a sci-fi image. This allows me to stray from from my usual palette and use brighter colors. It also gives me an excuse to paint the sky an orangey rusty color without having to paint a typical sunset.

Mounted in a simple black frame to show how much better my art looks when framed.
I will try to post more art this way when I can. The challenge is photographing it when it is behind glass, usually the more delicate mediums like drawings and watercolors. It is difficult to get a decent shot without the glare.56
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Wednesday, July 14, 2010


"Puffer Fish"
mixed media, 2006
9 ³ ⁄₈" x 6 ¾" (23.80cm x 17.145cm)
private collection

Only Mother Nature could come up with creatures that look so silly but are cool. This puffer looks at the viewer with an attitude of "What are you lookin' at?"

Most artists will break from their usual work from time to time to do something fun, something that has been in the back of their mind or sometimes totally random.
I had a lot fun with this one.55
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Sunday, July 11, 2010

Oddly Orb-like

"Nocturne-Tree (Park w/lights)
oil on panel, 2008
4¾" x 3¾" (12.065cm x 9.525cm)
For Sale at Daily Paintworks, CLICK HERE

A small nocturne... a ball of a tree, a park and suburban lights in the background. All that was needed for this image.

The tree unkept and over grown, no trunk showing, oddly orb-like, lit by a orangey/yellow sodium light.

From my imagination after having seen so many trees like this one. A simple image kept interesting by placing the tree off center and especially, consciously controlling or designing the shapes of lights and darks. The background lights added to give the inky dark some depth.54
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Thursday, July 8, 2010

Aging Relic

"L.B. Plant ( Arco Oil Plant)"  SOLD
oil on panel, 2010
6" x 8" (15.24cm x 20.32cm)

Back to one of my favorite subjects, the time worn industrial. This one an old oil plant from the 1930's or 40's, maybe the early 1950's I'm not sure.

The sky is actually darker than the photograph shows, and is a bit blurry here, so the painting looks better.
I always try to get the most accurate photo I can for my own archives, but sometimes I get so busy I don't have the time to spend. Always with regret once it's gone. Oh well, when I have the time I will adjust it in photoshop from memory then update it as I've done with the post 'Chilly Biting Air '.

This is the same site, different building, of the watercolor "Oil Plant Roof Detail" under the post heading ' Bleached White Sky '. An endlessly fascinating relic from a bygone era.
Painted in the fading light as the shadows slowly wick over the plant, consuming it once more in darkness. It's nearly a nocturne.

Dusk is my favorite time of day, I love the transition from day into night, so many of my paintings are at dusk. The temperature of air and color gradually cooling, forms melting together into single masses, the constant noisy clamor of day giving way to the sporadic crisper sounds of night.53
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Monday, July 5, 2010

Last Light 2

"Lighthouse at Dusk"
oil on panel, 2009
3.5" x 5" (8.89cm x 12.7cm)
private collection

This painting is very much like the previous post except that it is nature instead of manmade. Both show how the subject is sometimes secondary. They are more about the light or time of day than they are the scene itself.

This is worth noting because as I have said in other posts, seeing is very often a matter of interpreting, choosing what to focus on, picking out some facet of what is in front of you and putting that to the image. And it does not always need to be a deep concept. Whether a finished work or a study, it can be simplistic, one idea.52
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Saturday, July 3, 2010

Update-Previous Post

*I found a better photo of the painting "Power Pole #10(w/ rooftop)" under the post heading ' Chilly Biting Air ' in the May archives.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Last Light

"1st and Long Beach Blvd."
oil on panel, 2009
5" x 3.5" (12.7cm x 3.5cm)
private collection

A Long Beach cityscape at dusk, looking west down 1st Street. The last light flaming against the landscape, forcing the skyline into silhouette. The suns final rays, left clinging to edges only in the gaps between brick, steel and concrete, being replaced by the lights of the city.51
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