Saturday, March 26, 2011

The Magnolia at Night

I went back to the tree I mentioned and photographed it at night.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

2011 Magnolia Study

After waiting so patiently for them, I had begun to think they had all frozen.
Coming home from the barbershop the other day, I stopped by a florist to see if they had any and the shop was closed.
As I turned onto my street I saw a small tree beginning to bloom in a forlorn corner of a strip mall. I walked back with my pruning shears, cut off three blossoms, laid them on a table and painted this.
I think it would make a great Hawaiian shirt.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Winter Marsh

Even though I`ve painted focused studies of wetlands, this one didn`t come easy. With big paintings, there is no confidence from day to day that it will work out. There is no choice but to accept the anxiety. In the worst situations there will be an extensive commitment of time and intention to no avail. Something is fatally wrong and it has to go. Defeat is what it is. I will have photographed it however and sometime years later, I`ll see in the image what should have been obvious. The solution will seem simple. Of course it`s long gone, I don`t tolerate failures sitting around mocking me too well. Kill it and move on.

Thursday, March 17, 2011


A new 'daily' painting as I figure out my next strategy on a big painting of some wetlands. It`s a close up and very busy.
I was accepted as an artist in residence at the Whiskeytown National Recreational Area,which is part of the national park system, in May. Twenty nine parks offer short residencies for artists and it`s a program ideal for landscape painters.
Speaking of residencies, the Sitka Center for Art and Ecology has asked the 'alumni' to help get out the word about its program. The deadline is April 22. Imagine a mountain with rolling meadows and herds of elk under a huge moving sky. Now look down and there is the ocean, behind you is the beach! This is the massive piece of geology called Cascade Head and Sitka sits on its flank. All you landscape painters and writers listen to me, this is an extraordinary opportunity. My painter friends in Colorado, New Mexico and Texas, come west, true west. The rain will heal your parched souls. Truly, anyone who can get away from their lives for a while, this is an awesome place to create.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Saturday Rain

While waiting for the paint to dry on a new large canvas, I did this.
Like everyone, I`m ready for Spring. Just for the change, and for some color. Last year it began in February but it`s much later this year. Anyone who knows me has heard how I love winter. It`s so true, I could be the Public Relations guy for winter, encouraging everybody to bundle up and just go outside for a walk. You`ll be glad you did!
Now though, I want a sunny day with giant drifting white clouds, 72 degrees, and beautiful scents in the breeze. I`m sure the Japanese were wishing for the same.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Johnson Creek Series #3

I hope to complete another big painting within the week. I`m feeling more comfortable with these big canvases and have adjusted the studio to accommodate them. However, for the first time in years I`m using an easel. The big ones are just too wide to reach across when painted flat on a table like I prefer. It usually takes me awhile to remember to get out some oversize brushes too, often house painter brushes.
Meanwhile, here is one of a series I did shortly after moving into my last home. That neighborhood was seriously lacking trees and shade and I visited a nearby tiny nature preserve for refuge in the summer. The modest yet beautiful Johnson Creek winds through the park and inspired this group of paintings.

Monday, March 7, 2011

[Untitled] Thicket

The whole time I was painting this I was also groping for a title. No luck. The subject is a tangle of trees in late autumn.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Winter Creek

The dark mouth of Oswego Creek as it joins the Willamette.