Sunday, July 26, 2009


"Twilight Finale"
12" X 16" Oil on canvas
Both of my daughters were here this weekend so it was a mad house. Once everyone settled in for bed I came into the studio to poke through my reference material. I was looking for something close to twilight and came across a photo that looked good enough to work. These pink clouds are actually in the photo and I've been working on those lately so why not do another. The foreground in the photo was very dark so I lightened it up a but...too much I think, but it shows the grasses here so I like it. Most of this was finished last night but I needed to tweak things this morning after the girls left.

These skies are fun to do and I've figured out that there are two ways to do them. I did this version as if doing an alla prima painting. It works putting the light pinks over the blues but you lose some very nice details if done another way. I had painted the blues, both the light areas painted with Cerulean Blue/White and that duller shadowed area that is a mix of Ultramarine Blue and Alizarin. That is the shadow color for the clouds where the light isn't hitting them. If I left this part sit ovenight to tack up then adding the pink highlights of the clouds would be much easier and keep from blending with the blue mix which dulls down the pinks very quickly. The thing about doing it this second way is that it is way easier to control the intensity of the pinks and the amount of spread and softeness to the edges. It would also keep the blues cleaner and not dull them down with the pink mixture....just some thoughts on it.
Here is a detail of the hillside....

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Carpinteria Show

Urban Scenes, the latest show put on by the Carpinteria Valley Arts Council, starts tomorrow...Saturday July 25 at 10 am. I was very fortunate to have 3 of my paintings juried into this show. The work of this show was to depict Urban scenes and I managed to have just a few of them in the studio so why not! I really do not do urban art very much simply because they take too long. I also have a very bad habit of veering to the side of adding too much detail and sharper edge work and that's due to my pen & ink background. In pen & ink I went for accuracy in reproducing what was in front of me and rarely produced more "painterly" drawings. This sort of bleeds over whenever I do streetwork, as I call it, in paint. I often find myself going back over edges and lines smoothing or softening them out.
"Bookstore Flowers" ...."Myrtle Avenue, Monrovia"...."Santa Barbara Streets"

Here are the details of the show....
Show runs from July 25 to Sep 14
855 at the Arts Center gallery
855 Linden Ave, Carpinteria, CA.
10 AM - 4PM
Gallery Phone 805.684.7789

Sunday, July 19, 2009


"March Skies"
16" X 20" Oil on Canvas
We get great storms coming through here that bring the most amazing cloud formations. I always wait for the storms to end but before the clouds roll out to run with my camera and get good shots of these clouds. This painting was created from some of these clouds. Blue skies above but some wonderful pinks being lit up inside the cloud formation. I've got some images that get so fantastic looking that that's exactly what people would think of them if I painted them....he let his imagination run wild. If you want to see how fantastic nature can get go check out your local skies after a storm...or before one.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

More Eucalyptus Trees

Thumbnail sketch for this painting....
I wanted to throw the type of sky I have been doing lately with a scene of eucalyptus trees across a big valley. I sketched this one out in a small thumbnail sketch and then began painting. The only prerequisite to myself was to keep the foreground dark. After finishing up I now wish I had gone with a darker sky and even darker foreground....I'll leave that for another painting down the road.

"Evening with the Giants"

12"x 24" Oil on Canvas

Monday, July 13, 2009

Moonrise Near Foxen Canyon

"Moonrise Near Foxen Canyon"
16" X 20" Oil on canvas
I wanted a good sky and am working with these colors lately until I feel comfortable with the results. I wanted a good evening sky, close to twilight, and then decided to throw that moon in there. I had a brighter more intense moon but decided to back it off to look more like an early moonrise where it's value is closer to the sky surrounding it. A very pale moon since there is still a lot of daylight left. I'm pretty happy with the results.
A couple of details of the painting....

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Grass Mountain

"Below Grass Mountain"
12" x 24" Oil on Canvas

Grass Mountain is located in the Figueroa mountains which run on the north side of our valley. You can spot Grass mountain miles away since the side facing the valley is covered only in grass and a few sparse trees. There are 3 distinct ridges that come down the front side too so it looks sort of like a hand with 3 fingers.....however it is described you would spot it in a heatbeat. I have just finished this painting of Grass mountain in the distance. This hill in the foreground is part of the Chamberlain Ranch. The cad yellow highlights on that hill are really not as intense as you see here. My camera once again loving yellow to death! These afternoon scenes work well with rich yellows and oranges but getting a good photo of the painting is always a trick with those colors.

Here is a small detail shot of the hillside trees.....

Monday, July 06, 2009

California Landscape

"California Landscape"
12" X 24" Oil on canvas
What a generic title. The one thing about that title is that this painting really does represent most of the California hillsides all up and down the coast of California. This scene is just off the 101 freeway just north of the town of Buellton, CA. Warm summer dry grasses line the hillsides with a splattering of oak trees. Close to sunset you will see the amazing glow of light that I think is the highlight of any day here along the coast.