Tuesday, December 30, 2008


Nice to finish the year with a painting of my son.
20 x 30 oil, Thanks Ave.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Michael and Avery Playing at the Fair

What a good memory of Michael and Avery playing music at the San Juan County Fair this past summer.
24 x 30 acrylic, copper leaf on canvas.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Portrait Drawing, Wet Canvas!

Working with the On-line group over at Wetcanvas, for the weekly drawing event. Here's last night's efforts on a portrait done with prismacolor pencils. 9" x 7"

I'm working on getting the Sunday Morning Art class up and running for January and Feb.
More to follow as to times and location. Also considering an afternoon painting class on Sundays too.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The Manhattan Bag!

My friend Sarah Hart has one of these bags, hers is made out of Phifertex, a lightweight, but very durable outdoor fabric. I liked it so much that I wanted to have one too. She told me where and we proceeded to look at several locations in New York, but each place was out. Back home, I found the same phifertex fabric, and created the same bag, as I remembered it. I added an inside pocket and used heavy-duty zipper and pull to give a slight industrial look.

What can you put in a Manhattan bag? A sketchbook, a laptop, files, your lunch, an overnight bundle, Farmer's market produce, what ever you like.

I just finished making 8 bags. They measure approx 17" x 17", straps for over the shoulder, walking up 7th avenue, or South Beach. Cost, $80. I have them at Funk & Junk, or email if you are interested in one.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Figure Painting

New work from this week's figure drawing session. 2 quick oil sketches and a long pose 24" x 24", all in oil.
The big painting has been changed, copper leaf, and deep blue glaze over the dress. I'm working on a big canvas of the standing pose. Will post some updated pictures as soon as I can.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Portrait of Long-time Islander, Al Sundstrom

This week our figure drawing group painted Al Sundstrom, long time San Juan Island farmer. Al brought a portrait that Ernie Gann had painted of him 40 years ago and hung it on the wall behind his chair. Here's my 12" x 12" oil on panel portrait, a 2 hour sit.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Updates, Fall on San Juan Island

Out on location, a start on a fall painting near an island pond. The colors of foliage here are olive, gold, red and mustard. Though, it's not like fall in New England, the fall colors here in Washington have a certain kind of beautiful feel.
Hopefully the weather will cooperate for another day or 2 out on location.

Good news, our weekly figure drawing group is hanging a show at the Island Arts Museum this week. The opening will be on Friday , Oct 17, 5 to 7 pm. Participating artists include Ann Walbert, Paul Chadwick, Bryne Barnard, Richard Barnhart, Linda Degnan-Cobos, Matt Dollahite, and myself.

I was just informed that one of my 100 Soldiers series was choosen to be the featured artwork on Artdoxa, an international website devoted to contemporary art.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Flower Bouquet, Reverse Painting on Glass

Enjoying the end of summer bouquet grown by Margaret Thorson from Waldron Island.
This is a reverse painting on glass, a new technique for me, best done in the studio, using a big sheet of glass to paint on. I used oil paints and painted in layers, going backwards, no corrections...... I've been inspired by Gabriel Munter to try this.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Flower Series has begun! Experimenting with Blackwrap

Lora Meyer brought a roll of blackwrap, which is like thick tin foil nonreflective matt-black, on her recent visit from New York,to see what we could do with it. She has created several art projects with it, using it 3-dimensionally with copper. I decided to create a surface with it, as a begining point to a painting.
I was inspired by the colors of beach glass for this lily.

Reverse Painting on Glass, New Experiements

Here are the first results of a new technique I'm trying, reverse painting on glass. This was done in the 19th C and it is commonly seen on old mirrors and clocks. In reading about Gabriel Munter, Kandinsky and other German Expressionists, they collected reverse painting on glass, done as folk art. Gabriel adapted this idea to her own artwork and created some beautiful pieces.

Not knowing how to do this technique, I have been experimenting and learning as I go. The work is viewed from the other side; what you paint, comes out reverse to how you paint it. Oil paint sticks nicely to the glass and there is something rather similar to monoprinting, just like preparing the plate with oil based inks. I have mostly used brushes and rags, but I can see there are many possibilities. I'm now trying to understand light over dark and dark over light and how that all works. I have been letting layers dry before painting the next sequence, this can create some exciting color combinations. Information about transparent vs. opaques pigments is important to this technique. I'm working on a large painting now and will post it up when it is finished. I'd love to hear from any other glass painters, what works for you?

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The Evolution of a Painting, 3 Times at the Lighthouse

3 different end of summer days out at Cattle Point lighthouse, the very southern most tip of San Juan Island. Since you are standing on a cliff looking up at the lighthouse, there is no room to get back from this angle. Here are three different version, a small 8" x 10",the last one posted was the first one painted. Liking the composition potential, I thought I'd try it again as a bigger format, the second one. 12" x 16" is the second version. The final, a 24" x 24" was started out on location with a sienna underpainting. Though the lighthouse seem deceptively simple, I found it to be complex, especially with the changing light. It is not often possible to paint out there due to too much wind. I felt lucky to get in 3 sessions before the weather turns.

Saturday, September 20, 2008


Lora and Jeff Meyer arrived from NYC to the most beautiful week of the year. We loaded up our paints, Jeff got a fishing license.... coffee in the morning with the seals, wine at night with the full moon. It was a perfect week with great people to share it with. Lora, Linda and I met that the Arts Student League while drawing with George Cannata. A total treat to share from one island to another.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

September Workshop, Day 1

Today we were lucky to visit Deidre's new house in San Juan Valley. We talked about plein air painting, how to approach finding a subject by drawing several thumbnail sketches. Everyone looked around and quickly found numerous possibilities. Some people concentrated on mixing colors, some shook the rust off their painting skills, and others painted for the first time. This was a group with a high level of skill, and everyone took right to plein air painting. We did some color mixing and discovered that in September, the greens of nature have a lot of orange in them. Here's my small demo talking about color mixing, using a mother color, with slight degrees of color variations. Many tried a palette knife for the first time. Thank you Deidre for sharing your new home with us!

September Day 2 at Jensen's, Let the Painting Begin!

Let the painting begin! Sharon created fantastic paintings today inspired by the Fauvist and the German Expressionists. Cloud developed good paint texture on her old buildings, and Sharon from Olympia did a wonderful expressive painting capturing the feeling of the old and new at the shipyard. In the photo is the start of Sharon's painting with black gesso, some glaze and the beginning of opaques.

Down to the Docks, September Workshop Day 2

Jensen's Shipyard is a great place to paint. Everyone stepped up to the challenge of painting FAUVE today, pushing colors farther than what you normally see. Lea worked in pastel, Maureen used acrylics, and everyone else used oils. I teach a method of painting plein air oils where we start with black gesso, glaze our painting with an under color, then work with opaques to create our paintings. All worked beautifully with this technique. I am especially happy for our 11 year old artists, Sophie and Fiona.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

A Great Day on Lopez Island

It doesn't get any better than a day painting on Lopez Island. We wandered around sketching and ended up at the south end, at the old Richardson dock. This old building looks out to the Straights of Juan de Fuca, with a perfect little beach below. 18" x 18" plein air with thick impasto paint.
Sold, Thank you Scott!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Coming Soon ......September Plein Air Workshop

This afternoon out at Cattle Point, the very tip of San Juan Island, looking back to the Cattle Point Lighthouse. Not an easy place to paint, as it seems always to be windy. A plein air oil on canvas, 14 x 18.
Thinking about why the lighthouse feels like it is tipping forward. It is not very often here on San Juan Island that we get a chance to use the third upward point of vanishing point perspective. As I was sketching for a large version of this view, I realized looking up at the building, to include the diminishing third point up of vanishing point perspective.(smaller at the top...)

Hope you can join us for 2 great days of painting. Call 378 2638 to sign up. We have a wonderful group gathered, from Olympia to Roche Harbor. So far it couldn't be prettier than this time of year.

2 More Recent Figures

The first one is oil on canvas, 20" x 24". Painted from a drawing.
Second tall figure is collaged and stabilio pencil, with prismacolor, 8" X 20", soon to be framed. Drawn from life.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Lifting Fog at Cattle Pass, Studio Version with Plein Air below

The south end of San Juan Island, we set up over looking Cattle Pass as the fog was lifting. Across the pass is Lopez's Shark Reef through the fog. Such a beautiful location, at the McHugh's, thank you Lisa!!
These 2 paintings represent the interesting process of painting on location and later using that information to create a studio painting. Incase you happened by the demonstration at the San Juan County Fair Art both, this is the completed version of the painting started during my demonstration. Studio version 18 x 20", next one down, on location..... plein air, 12" x 12.
The low island in the middle of Cattle Pass is known as Goose Island, currently home to thousands of seabirds. Years ago when there was talk of building a bridge from Lopez to San Juan Island (Horrors!) the Nature Conservancy purchased the island, as a way to stop any bridge building that might have happened, no thought now using that island as a bridge footing.
Plein air version sold, thank you Robin!!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

October Figurative Show at Island Arts Museum

I just heard that our small figure painting group will be having a show at Island Art Museum on Spring Street in Friday Harbor. This will be a group show with a variety of aproaches to the figure. I have been exploring mixed media, collage and line. These images are pieces completed this year at the Arts Student League: Prismacolor, sumi ink, collage.
Drawn from life. Available at Funk & Junk.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Path to the Beach, Summer Morning ....Impasto

Impasto, thick paint, capturing the scene, path to the beach. 11 x 14 oil on canvas.

Coming up, September Plein Air Workshop
Sept 6 and 7th. I have changed the workshop to a 2 day event, instead of 4 days. I think that will work better for everyone.
Call to sign up, and we welcome the artists coming from Olympia! Telephone: (360)378 2638

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Return of the Bonaparte Gulls

Set up out on the shore today, with boat traffic, sailing club, and the annual return of the Boneparte Gulls. A perfect summer day. Here's 16 x 20 plein air oil on canvas, and a second photo of the location. I have been inspired by German Expressionist Gabriele Munter lately.I worked on this over 2 different days.
Sold, thanks Peggy!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Plein Air Paint Out, San Juan Island

Today's paint out event was held at Dodie Gann's beautiful farm. From 1pm to 3pm artists set up with easels, canvases, and paints to create a painting in 2 hours time. Immediately after, the paintings were brought to the podium and auctioned off, as a benefit to San Juan Preservation Trust. I managed to take a few shots of my painting in progress, the initial sketch, my ORANGE underpainting, the final version, and a close up of the paint strokes, my impasto paint. Finally, a photograph of several neighboring artists in the thick of it. Claudia Mills is the new owner of this plein air oil,"the Farm over the Hill"