Friday, May 30, 2014

Oregon Chestnut Grove

                                                               oil on Yupo 6.5x9.25"

Thirteen sessions into my boggy forest, I can`t close the deal. When it is finished and I post the photo sequence of it`s development, the struggle will be obvious. Since it has felt so close to resolution but hasn`t, I fear a structural problem that I just can`t see. So again a break is necessary.
Last weekend we were visiting Laura Foster and she walked us down to her in law`s home. They grow actual edible chestnuts! I had never seen one much less an orchard of them. Locally, the nuts  appear in New Season`s Market in the fall. Laura and her husband Kevin have turned some of their partly empty nest into an Air BnB. Anyone wanting a dose of lush Northwest nature would love their country home. Kevin even built a 'tree house' that has water and heat and would make a wonderful little studio.

work for sale in my studio

Friday, May 23, 2014

Naked Men!

I think the best way to learn to draw is by drawing the figure. I think the best way to draw the figure is in a group of fun people. These were done in New Mexico with a bunch of painters that met every week. Everyone was funny and smart and we talked the whole time, even to the model! It was never convenient to go but I did and always had such a good time. I  got better at it over the years and eventually took watercolors and painted. We alternated men and women models every week which is unusual having an even ratio. Naked men make people nervous! Although I did sell some of these paintings, there were not many takers for the boys. So I still have them. The experience was so valuable I strongly recommend it, especially if drawing is difficult. Nothing much better than sitting around drinking coffee, laughing and sketching nudes!

updated works for sale now in my studio

Watermedia on Yupo workshop in Lincoln City July 19 and 20. Email me for details.

Saturday, May 17, 2014


                                                          oil on canvas 24x18 1985

In the mid 80`s I did a big body of abstract work using horizontal divisions within the painting. Not real original but sometimes I got something worthy. This was a favorite and seemed to have the feel of a summer dusk.

work for sale in my studio

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Small Works

                                                  Marsh Study watermedia on Yupo 6x16

                                               December Wetlands Study oil on Yupo 7x5

                                                Arch Cape Creek Study oil on panel 6x6

In a discussion with a group of artists recently, discipline came up. I made the point that if you`re on the right track, your work is challenging yet fun and if you`re capable of doing it, discipline won`t be an issue. You`ll want to do it. In fact, avoidance might be a sign that the fit isn`t good. Wrong subject, medium, style or even activity. I have an apt personal experience with this. Because I loved music so much, I decided to major in it during my brief college career. I had already been painting for a long time and knew it would continue too. Bad decision. Although I applied myself rigorously, there was absolutely no talent there to stimulate. It was really difficult and mechanical and a misguided choice all together!
I`m now in a situation requiring discipline. The way I work, there is chaos for a long time and this means anxiety for a long time. On a large painting it can be days before there is hope or direction. So like now, I`ll set it aside and work small. When I feel competent again I`ll return to my boggy forest. It`s in me and I think it will be a good one.

work for sale in my studio

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Finley Refuge + a business issue

                                                           watermedia on Yupo 26x20

Another from my gorgeous day at the refuge last Monday. I wasn`t sure if this composition was going to work. I liked the idea of a very busy band of foliage and a simple, peaceful sky and reflection. It wasn`t right until I extended the blue to the bottom of the painting. I guess it needed to be weighted down.
The other day, Jo directed me to the Art Biz Blog where there was an ongoing discussion about posting prices next to artwork on our blogs and websites. Many felt it was practical. Who would try to sell something without being clear about the price? After thinking about this with an open mind, I still felt uneasy. I find it off putting when I see it and the reason is, it seems to diminish the art, reducing it to another commercial transaction. An artist has a deeper mission than just being a manufacturer and merchant of pleasing objects. Now I want to make a living as much as anyone and I try to make it apparent that my work is for sale by adding a link at the bottom of a posting directing the reader to a website of 'available work'. There is a link to a price list in the sidebar as well. I think that is all I`m comfortable doing. However, it seems like a brilliant idea to put prices on my Pinterest  board of 'My Own Work'. There is something voracious about the way images are consumed in that social media forum. Would a price tag slow someone down and allow them to consider owning art? Or is it a waste of time, or worse, a turn off? And if it`s such a great concept, why haven`t I seen it done yet? I ran it by someone I respect who is active on Pinterest and loves painting and he wasn`t in favor. If anyone who reads this has an opinion, I`d love to hear it. As a comment or directly; Thanks!

work for sale in my studio

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Oregon Refuge 4-Demo-Finley Preserve

                                                          watermedia on Yupo 20x20

Last night I did a painting demonstration for the Corvallis Art Guild. I took advantage of being in Corvallis to visit the Finley Wildlife Refuge. It is an extravagantly beautiful place and yesterday was a particularly glorious spring day. We have these perfect conditions in May. The breeze feels warm and loving, the new grasses and blossoms smell sweet, the air is clean and fresh from the rain and here, the vistas are of wetlands and mountains. The world has never looked better!
So I arrived at the gathering with my mind thoroughly infused with beauty. Because I had anticipated all the various spring greens at the refuge, I had tinted the paper pink. I like to have something to react to. But the sky was the commanding feature of the afternoon so it became my subject.
The time allowed for the demo was short and the microphone wasn`t working so I was painting furiously and trying to project my voice. The shapes of those trees changed many times, especially today as I developed it in my studio. The longer I worked I realized what was most important was a sense of loft and buoyancy.

available work in the studio