Wednesday, August 2, 2017


                                                                Window oil on panel 26x24

 When I paint purely from imagination, I can sure get bogged down in my compositions. Lots of trial and error to get this to look plausible. I`ve never seen such a view but I like the idea of openings leading to another 'reality'. Portals if you will. Coastal Oregon has so much in common with Hawaii, you can sit on the beach [with a blanket] and imagine the tropics just on the other side of those rocks.


                                                                            6x6 paper

                                                           Grove 11x9 Yupo [plein air]

And here are some paintings I reworked. When I`m lacking an agenda in the studio, there are always lots of paintings around to improve or ruin.

                                                       Rainforest Windfall oil on canvas 40x56

                                              Streamside Spring watermedia on yupo 14x11

                                                     Fog in the Forest oil on canvas 40x30

                                     From Albuquerque to Home watermedia on paper 16x12

 A non-Tipton relative sent me a large box of Tipton memorabilia she had come into possession of. I poked through it some and it was wonderful to see photos of some of the elders I knew in New Mexico, younger and having fun. I`m waiting to be with one of my brothers to really dig in together. Ultimately I`ll share it with my Mormon niece who will know exactly how significant the trove is.
What the box will not contain is any information on my grandfather.
Anthony Meyers was a Catholic priest in Watrous New Mexico. He had a love affair with my grandmother Mary Tipton. The community was tiny and this scandalous relationship had to be hidden. When she became pregnant she fled to Durango Colorado to a home for unwed mothers where my father was born. She returned to New Mexico saying she had adopted her baby. She maintained that fiction well into my Dad`s life and as you can imagine this damaged him in many ways. There are many reasons I have so little respect for religious institutions and this a major one. It`s my understanding my grandfather never acknowledged my Dad as his son and the 'sin' of my grandmothers` tortured her the rest of her life. She was no fool, he had to have had compelling characteristics but they were imprisoned by their time and could not be honest. How utterly sad.
Priests still cannot marry.

                                                           painting by Harry Stooshinoff

 Harry Stooshinoff is a painter from Ontario Canada that I admire very much and have written about before. He takes the modest landscape where he lives and mines it for gold. His work is a rich exploration of what surrounds him. Then he sells them at very affordable prices. He`s really prolific and explains how he came to his unusual self representation in this podcast. It`s well worth listening to as he talks about practical matters such as economic survival and his business model. Great interview!

                                                              Harry Stooshinoff

 A friend asked me recently what my take on this 'virtue' of looseness in painting. My thoughts seem, even to me,  too extreme on the subject. Unfortunately it looks to me as just another way to impose hierarchy. The idea that an improvisatory technique is a pinnacle to strive for is absurd. Even if my own methods are described this way. I have the chaotic closets that prove it but others like more structure in their work [and lives too maybe]. The motives and means for painting are vast. It irks me to see earnest painters condemned for being 'tight' or careful or meticulous. Everyones nature is different! And the term plays into the worse stereotypes of artists. That we are irresponsible, libertine, unrealistic hedonists. Artists are so carefree!
Not at all, but we are resourceful. If you have a problem and a limited budget, talk to an artist before a lawyer.
 I can be an opinionated asshole about painting too but I try hard not to be. I shouldn`t criticize others. All life suffers, we know that. The painting path is rewarding but certainly not easy. Let`s try to be respectful and tolerant of all artists.

some work for sale in my studio

White Bird Show in Cannon Beach OR - September 1 through October 16
watercolor on yupo demonstration Sept. 23, 2 pm

Sunday, July 16, 2017

New Work Summer 2017

                                                  My Marsh in Winter oil on panel 26x24

 Mine because I go there, the wetlands of Bryant Woods. I get in with the mud to see what`s happening. Last January I was able to walk into places I hadn`t seen because the ground was frozen. The previous summer`s vegetation was dead and  new grasses and cattails were sprouting. The Northwest winter often looks festive in its decay and regeneration.

                                              In the Bishop`s Garden watercolor on Yupo 12x9

 Las LOPAS convened at the beautiful Bishop`s Close last week to paint the gardens from life. A fine time it was! We have decided to return this coming Friday but with an earlier start. Please join us if you can. No one chased us off the lawn.

                                                                  Las LOPAS

                                                      January Moon oil on panel 26x24

 Every so often I like to create an 'all over' painting. The subject is usually a dense winter forest with the incredible complexity of the bare trees. With hints of foreground and back to anchor the frenzy of marks. The coastal stands of alders with their luminescent branches always excite me.

                                         Flooding Fanno Creek oil and oil pastel on Yupo 12x9

 More exciting branches, OK?

                                                       Path to the Sea 2 oil on canvas 30x30

 Sometimes if I`m lost in my studio I`ll paint again a favorite from the past. Not exactly the Warrior Way but I just want to be working, to have a brush in my hand should the spirit arrive.
 As my legs slowly heal, I`ve questioned the career aspects of being an artist, wondering how to proceed? What do I really want from my efforts? The answer is always good paintings but not how to disperse them into the world.

                                                               Immature Honeycrisp

 Six years ago I was going broke eating so many Honeycrisp apples. They are not cheap! I thought, how hard could it be to grow them? This is Oregon after all. So we planted a dwarf variety along with a small Japanese Akane to pollinate them and boom!, the first year the tree nearly broke from the weight of the fruit!
 I wasn`t able to prune it this winter and with all the rain, this crop will be huge. That bucket is filled with at least a hundred apples I thinned from the tree the other day. Here`s the problem though, bugs also like them. Do any of you know of any remedies that aren`t pure poison? My neighbor suggested copper sulfate. Any other ideas? Thanks.

 I`ve loved the work of Lynn Boggess for years and he just gets better. Though not a fan of thick impasto paint, when he uses the technique, it`s poetry. Take a look;

                                                            Lynn Boggess

                                                               Lynn Boggess

                                                             Lynn Boggess

 He goes out into the local forests where he lives in West Virginia, chooses a humble scene then brings it glory. In this video you`ll see his astonishing set up as he paints a canvas 68x80 on location!
Oh my, Las LOPAS has a lot to learn! He looks like the guy in the hardware store but this man speaks to God!

 I will be having a show at the White Bird Gallery in Cannon Beach OR Sept.1 through Oct.16. I`ve shown with this gallery for 32 years! First with the founder Evelyn Georges, now with the new owner Allyn Cantor.
I won`t be at the opening but I`ll be giving a demonstration of watermedia on Yupo Sept. 23rd. 2pm. Stop by if you`re on the coast.

some available work in my studio

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Arch Cape Creek

                                                      Arch Cape Creek oil on canvas 20x20

 Nine years ago today I began this blog. What it means for me has changed over time. Its promotional aspect is still my priority but now I also think of it as a journal of sorts. This may be why I`m so surprised when I hear someone reads it. Thank you for doing so! I never thought what I said would be of interest particularly when my passion was painting. A blog visitor told me she reads it to her husband at dinner! Now that is gratifying.
I`ve thought if my eyes failed I would take up writing seriously. Try to study with somebody I admire. But for now, I`ll focus on painting. It`s been going well, it feels natural again.
 Nine years ago, I had no idea my world would be forever sadder. I did not know on July 1, my comic and dear brother Gary would be given the diagnosis of pancreatic cancer in three weeks, then die two months later. This is when I finally grew up. This is when I understood at last how fragile reality is.
Pancreatic cancer is very fast once it is obvious. There is no 'pap smear' test to alert us but there are some warnings. Please look these over.

                                                  Slow Summer Water oil on canvas 56x44

 This was in my show at the Coos Art Museum last summer. Before I sent the paintings off I carefully reviewed each one for glitches. I had time for corrections, then away they went. When I retrieved them in the fall, several seemed to have glaring problems. They didn`t change, it was me. So I`ve reworked some of them including the one above. It`s better now.

Below are my last two small plein air efforts. The weather has been sublime and I`ve been much more inclined to relax and soak in summer once we`re set up, than paint. With all the walking I do [or did], I rarely just sit outside and do nothing. It`s nice. Smells good.

 Here is a thoughtful set of remarks by professionals in the art market. The demise of smaller, less well heeled galleries has been accelerating. The usual culprit, the internet, is to blame. Collectors are buying from the artists directly, from the comfort of their homes. Like everything else.
I got involved in this when my Portland gallery closed just before the Big Recession.The galleries that still did represent me were not close and I felt I had to try something to earn some income. This blog was part of that effort and it was the best business decision I ever made. It definitely begat sales and even better, led to friendships. Strangers wrote to me, bought paintings and some became companions.
The downside to all this oncoming digital commerce is that real places to see art are intimate, offering a richer experience. Local venues will take chances on unknown artists too. My first show in New Mexico [1978] was at the Los Alamos public library. Because a gallery owner saw it, I was offered representation in Santa Fe. Good things happen when our communities have the opportunity to experiment. The pop-up shows of recent years are a great example. Portlander Chris Haberman came up with the idea for a huge show of affordable work created by 500 different artists at Christmas time. Brilliant! It earns the artists some cash and exposure and benefits the worthy Oregon Food Bank.
 I hope there will always be art galleries.

 It`s shocking, but listen to the new advertisement from the NRA if you haven`t seen it. It`s important to know what the opposition thinks although this is obviously inflammatory.
We really have so much more in common than our differences.
We are always better together.

                                                                   by Su Sheedy

                                                            by Su Sheedy

 Finally the glorious, intelligent paintings of Su Sheedy! Damn, I can look at one of her paintings for hours! They are so generous, teaming with squirming, pulsating color! Mesmerizing! So skillful in balancing such strong color with patterns and neutrals. Her work makes me glad to be alive.

This is as good a definition as I`ve ever heard;

work for sale, mostly in my studio

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Early Summer Field

                                                 Early Summer Field watermedia on Yupo 12x9

 From two weeks ago, a beautiful morning in the meadow at Bryant Woods.
A week later we began to paint under an overcast sky and we were deluged within a half hour. I was a deer in the headlights but the intrepid founder of Las LOPAS*, Mitch Burrell, came prepared with a canopy! We struggled in the downpour, but up it went and I began my second painting. The first had literally melted off the Yupo [plastic paper] in the rain. Then the wind started gusting and the storm turned sideways. We were beat.


 This outdoor work has been extremely therapeutic after being inside all winter.

A couple of days later, John and I went to southern California to visit my brother Tom and my extended family there. The weather was perfect and his community quite interesting. Irvine consists of mostly planned neighborhoods which are thoughtful and new. As I was growing up, the area was all orange groves. Its schools have an excellent reputation which have attracted an international population. Nearly everyone on their block was from another country. Walking the artfully designed streets, we saw a racial blend that was amazing. I love California for this. It is what can be.
Like all my brothers, Tom has a big collection of my work, many from 2004. At that time, I was living in deep southeast Portland. The subject of my work was the nearby Johnson Creek Nature Park;

 He also has a giant seascape I did in 1974;

 The Futurists were my inspiration then, with their interest in depicting motion.
There were other paintings that tortured me during the visit. Many painters suffer when they return to their families and temporarily live again with work decades old. Unfortunately, these have become 'treasures' and the suggestion to throw them out is not taken kindly.

 Last week, Nicole Serratore wrote a fascinating op-ed for the New York Times entitled "James Comey and the Predator in Chief". She drew parallels with the president`s interactions with the FBI director and the sexual harassment of women in the workplace. There seems to be a pattern in such behavior that I had never realized. I thought these incidents were mostly spontaneous, not the sickening calculated moves of men in authority. Well worth reading.

                                                        painting by Elizabeth Cummings

 I`ve written about her before but praising Elizabeth Cummings is always deserved. Now in her 80s, she continues to produce paintings of great complexity and power. Though I`ll probably never visit Australia, if I did, I would recognize it because of her. The work can be completely abstract yet the scorching light and gritty texture of the continent`s interior is foundational. You can feel the heat, the paintings  make you thirsty. And she is generous in her compositions, there is much to explore.

June of course, is Pride month. All over the world!

                                                          photo by Leonce Raphael Agbodjelou

* Lake Oswego Plein Air Society

work for sale, mostly in my studio

Sunday, May 28, 2017


                                        Above the Canal 2 watercolor on yupo 14x11

 A couple of friends and a Facebook algorithm have contacted me to see if I`m OK. They noticed I haven`t posted in a while. More often than not, when I sit down to write and show my new work, I really don`t know what to say. That doesn`t usually stop me. But I`m sick of my knees, sick about our country and until recently, didn`t have much painting to show either. But I began working outdoors in the warm light with my pals and it has helped me a lot. I painted the piece above last Friday on the bank above the canal. It began with lots of random brushstrokes and a poured on wash for a background. It didn`t take long for it to develop into an image of what I was feeling that morning, sitting in that rainforest above the water with my buddies.
We had two guest artists [anyone is welcome] along and the setting was lovely. Our long wet difficult winter has produced an even more extravagant spring than usual. Everything is huge and healthy.

                                                          watermedia on paper 24x18

 This is a rare commission. My cousin wanted something like the post card sized painting I had given her two years ago. I thought, 'I can do that'. The whole task of painting by request is tricky business, too much most of the time. The client has legitimate desires, the artist has a personal vision. Getting these in agreement is not something I`m good at. Yet I paint forests all the time so I thought it a small risk. She`s on vacation so I don`t know what her reaction will be but if it isn`t what she hoped for, I`m fine with that. It will find a home in due time.

                                                           watermedia on Terraskin 8x7

A practice exercise before hand.

                                                  Along the Canal watercolor on Yupo 12x9

 My plein air effort from a week ago.

                                                             watermedia on Yupo 26x20

 The demonstration painting I did in my studio on May 20th. I will revisit this I imagine. It doesn`t live up to its potential.

                                                        Cypress egg tempura 12x9 1972

 My first and only egg tempura, painted when I was nineteen. It`s a view from a tree I used to sit in, I was a devoted tree climber. I remember sometime in my 50`s realizing with sadness I wouldn`t be doing that ever again.

                                               Phantom Bluff 1 watermedia on Yupo 12x9

                                                    Phantom Bluff 2 watermedia on Yupo 12x9

 The two above were rescues of plein air attempts I made in a boat last year. They were awful and now are better but still fall short of doing that bluff justice. It`s an heroic mass of basalt rising out of the lake with all manner of colorful and decorative vegetation spilling from it. It reminds me of a Christmas tree.

 After the election, in my despair I wanted badly to be of use to someone. Use my white maleness to protect something. The fear of what had just been unloosed was palpable.
 Last Friday three men on a train in Portland were attacked for doing just that, shielding someone vulnerable, a muslim young woman and her friend. The men were stabbed in the throat and two of them died. Everyone is aware of the story.
That this unspeakable horror happened in daylight, on a commuter train in ultra liberal Portland has the community in shock. I`ve asked of myself since, would I have done anything? Would I be brave enough to confront a raving racist man? Would I remember and honor my instinct to protect?

                                                 The Deep Blue Sea by Fran Coca

work for sale in my studio

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Inside Passage - Iron Mt. Spring

                                             Inside Passage watermedia on Terraskin 9.5x13.5

                                             Iron Mt. Spring watermedia on Terraskin 11x8.5

 Still aimless and liking it. Professionally, I should be working on larger oil paintings but that doesn`t seem appropriate at the moment. Lots of stuff percolating in my mind and for once I can pay attention. Being so unsure of the how and when of my recovery, I cleared most everything from my calendar. Doing so has left me with the time to think. In the end, it would be great if I could use the experience to become a better painter.

  If the state of our country is a relentless worry, finding a way to make a difference and stay sane is a worthy ambition. Not surprisingly, psychotherapists have their hands full right now. On Facebook I read an essay from Robin Chancer, a therapist, on finding this balance. It was super helpful to me and I think others would similarly benefit.
Optimism can be a way of avoiding responsibility.
I think I`ve been guilty of that.

                                                              by Georgia O`Keefe

 A couple of years ago I began a search to find out what the paper was that Georgia O`Keefe used for her modernist watercolors from the early years of her career. These paintings are extremely sensitive yet simple. Betsy Chang had been curious too and sent me a huge pdf file she had obtained from the Museum of Modern Art in New York. It contained detailed information about the materials the artist used. The watercolors were painted on 'cartridge paper', basically cheap and non-archival. I expected so as she was teaching school and probably didn`t have much money.
Anyhow, Betsy and I became friends. Here is one of her glorious watercolors;

                                                                by Betsy Chang

 A few days ago I was avoiding work and decided to google myself. There I ran into a very flattering blog post Betsy wrote about me a year ago. Immodestly, I present you the link.  Thanks Betsy!

Studio demo next Saturday [May 20] at 10 am. Let me know if you`d like to watch.
5373 Lakeview Blvd
Lake Oswego OR 97035

work for sale in the studio