Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Kauai 1

 While my memories of Hawaii are fresh, I`m trying to get them down quickly.  As usual, I have some photos to help me structure a composition and then I imagine the experience as I paint. What did I notice most?
  Then I started to look for painting panels online. I found them but in just the standard rectangles past 12x12. It was frustrating because I wanted a size with more of a presence.  Wood was crucial rather than canvas because I could achieve more transparency on the hard surface. This was important because water is everywhere on the north shore. Discouraged and resigned to canvas, I then remembered Craigslist! I had seen local ads for panels several times before. Sure enough, one was right there. Within a day I had a deal with Steven of Panel Vision, and a few days later he brought me ten custom crafted and primed 20x20 panels at $30 apiece. They are wonderful and my Kauai series is underway.
oil on cradled panel 20"x20"

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Above the Canal

I`ve probably done less than a dozen commissions my whole life and this is one of them. More often than not, the client naturally feels like a collaborator. I find that too difficult, so rarely do them. The only request with this piece was to try to get close to a study I did last summer. I knew I could do it and I wanted to work with that palette again. The color seemed odd at the time but worth returning to.
I saw this marvelous and huge painting at the Hawaiian Airlines terminal in Honolulu. It was painted by the late John Wisnosky. This feels like Hawaii to me. I don`t post other people`s work generally but I want to help keep his memory alive. There are three other massive paintings in the terminal by Wisnosky just as good.

Website is updated! As usual, Jeremy did a wonderful job. Let me say it again, if any painter needs a website, Jeremy and his co-designer Anneliese are friendly, professional and really affordable. Their email addresses are in the sidebar.

oil on canvas 20"x16"

available work

Thursday, February 21, 2013


Wyoming and New Mexico. These tiny things I paint in the interim between more ambitious work. Doodles really.
Arroyo watermedia on paper 5"x6.75"
Geyser watermedia on paper 6"x6"
New Mexico Sky watercolor on paper 5"x5"

available work in my studio

Friday, February 15, 2013

The Weeping Place

Like an open wound near the bottom of the crater of Mt. Waialeale, the wettest place in the world. Water pours from the walls of this hollow. And what an evocative name! Who hasn`t wept?
I was shocked when the helicopter entered the small, vertical 'amphitheater', wondering if the blades had enough clearance. We were wearing heavy duty ear muffs with a speaker within for the pilot`s narration. Respectfully, he didn`t say much. Though it wasn`t raining, the pale green cliffs were moving with flowing water. It was like being inside of something breathing and alive. All of us were looking around in stunned silence as we hovered there.
watermedia on paper 12"x9"

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Up from the Forest Floor

I`ve lived [and painted] in some modest places; an old motel, a refurbished chicken coop, an Airstream trailer, and no matter where I`ve been or the fun I had, it`s always great to return again. Yet, when I move on into a new place, I barely have any curiosity about the home I left behind. Even nice ones. This seems odd but I guess home is where we invest ourselves, wherever we are and whenever it is.
This is a watercolor from 1995 [ish]. It was inspired by the profound work of the Arizona artist Jim Waid. His early work especially, seemed to get right to the spiritual core of the landscape in the most  generous, glorious and vibrant manner possible.
watercolor on paper 12"x9"

available work in my studio

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Valley of the Hanalei

That helicopter trip above Kauai was probably the most extravagant thing I`ve ever purchased and it was well worth it. We flew right into the the deep and narrow crater of the volcano that created the island. It is now considered the wettest place on earth. The three remaining sides of the crater had flowing waterfalls in every groove and the color of the walls was a pale green. It was extraordinary and such a privilege to see it.
This painting is of one of the many astounding views I saw.
watercolor on paper 18"x6"

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Taro Fields-Cloud Forest-Swamp

When the boat we had reservations on couldn`t guarantee a look at the Na Pali coast because of the weather, we said no thanks. Instead, we nearly killed ourselves climbing through the mud again to see the world`s highest altitude swamp. Quite atmospheric, cool and quiet, but we paid a heavy price to get there. Today is my last chance to see the Na Pali cliffs and we`re going to do it in a helicopter!
watercolor on paper 6"x18"

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Hanalei Mountains

This morning we walked along Ohki Road through the Hanalei National Wildlife Reserve. Much more civilized than yesterday`s scramble uphill in the mud.
watercolor on paper 18"x6"

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Above Hanalei

There is beauty everywhere you turn on the north shore of Kauai, and a whole lot of tourists. Wanting a more intimate experience with this unique landscape, John found the Okolehao Trail on Yelp. It was a challenging hike but exactly what I hoped for. It begins just past the Taro fields and climbs a mountain right into the clouds.
watercolor on paper 6"x7"

Monday, February 4, 2013

Na Pali - John on the Beach

At last, the jungle! It was worth the wait.
When I bought the long narrow block of paper I though I would do horizontal panoramas. But everything about the Na Pali coast is vertical. What no photo or painting can ever convey is scale. The size of those cliffs rising from the ocean is phenomenal and the vastness of the sea is breathtaking. I could see the curve of the earth! Being a native of Oregon, John is just stupefied by warmth in February.
watercolor on paper 18"x6"