Saturday, August 12, 2017


24" x 18" oil on panel

I thought that Ivy looked cute in the outfit that 
she chose by herself (as only a three-year-old can). 
She was wearing this on the day of her 
birthday party. 

Simplifying the background and placing Ivy on 
an outdoor hopscotch seemed natural. It clearly 
made her the focal point of the painting.

Here's the image of Ivy that I used for a reference:

By editing our work we can create whatever we 
want in our paintings. Our references are merely ides 
that help us to catch the vision of what we 
want the viewer to see and feel.

We get to paint what we want!

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Water Park

"Water Park"
36" x 48" oil on panel

I love painting images of water during the summer 
months.It was fun to sling the paint around and create 
the look of splashing water!

Here are some of the images I considered before 
deciding on my final composition.

When considering these images I decided to eliminate the 
background information. Instead of going with the tube on a 
white waterslide I put my subjects in a swimming pool. 

The moving water and the splashes were more colorful 
and better portrayed the movement in the scene. I increased 
the contrast between the kids and the background 
by making the sky (actually a waterfall) lighter. 

This is the image I decided to paint:

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

All Hallow's Eve

"All Hallow's Eve"
12" x 24" oil on panel

I am painting pieces for an art show in October of this 
year. When a show is several months away it's helpful to 
think ahead about what the season will be 
and then create appropriate works. 

"Life As I See It" is the theme of my show and what's more 
fun than a mysterious jack-o-lantern painting for October?

Silver Creamer

"Silver Creamer"
9" x 11" oil on panel

Gosh, I just realized that I never did post this artwork on my here it is! This is a silver creamer that my 
mother owned and used occasionally. I have fond memories
of Sunday dinners with the crystal and china.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Summer Garden Art

My children gave me a stepping stone kit for Mother's Day.

Instead of making one giant stepping stone
I decided to make three smaller tiles to go under
the hose bib in my garden. The perfect spot
for me to stand when turning the faucet on and off.

Art is where you find it!

Saturday, June 24, 2017


8" x 8" oil on panel

My friend, Dean, keeps chickens in a coop at his office 
(in his beautiful French garden). He recently took two dozen 
of the eggs and blew the contents out so that I could 
store them in my studio without spoilage. Now, I can 
use the eggs in my still life work for many years to come. 

To thank him I painted 
this small painting of two eggs.

Fun fact: When I set up this still life I actually went 
through six eggs. When some eggs were cracked their 
yolks broke and I stopped to wipe up the mess. 

Once, when I cracked an egg I had my camera 
on the tripod. As I walked back to look through the lens 
I saw the egg slide off the table onto the floor. 
I tried again but then I noticed that the table wasn't level.

I placed a shim under one table leg and tried again. 
I focused the image in my lens and went to click 
the shutter when I noticed the the egg was 
no longer in the frame! Ha-ha! 

And so it went...

Simple painting - YES!  Simple set up? Nope.

Friday, May 26, 2017

My New Website Has a Store!

I have a new website! It has a fresher, cleaner 
look and is easy to use. It allows me 
to participate in online auctions to sell my work
and it has has a store (note card tab). Yay!

I have been wanting to sell affordable prints of my work 
and also make note cards available for purchase. 

The prints are not set up yet but the 
note cards are visible.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Day of the Dead

"Day of the Dead"
36" x 36" oil on canvas

Amber wanted an artwork to go in her master 
bedroom to match her comforter.

I didn't want to match the comforter design exactly, so I chose 
something that would compliment her room. The floors of her 
home are a turquoise color with yellow, purple and green accent 

Yes, She is an artist!

After toning the canvas with a transition of turquoise, 
I drew in the major shapes.

I began blocking in the major color masses and started 
to rough in the major structure of her face.

After tuning the major shapes and color masses, I had fun 
working the details of her face paint, moving her ponytail over, 
outlining the white borders of the background flowers and 
finishing the roses in her hair.

The finishing touch was to take my palette knife and distress 
the background so that it wouldn't compete with the figure. 
I scraped and added texture to give the painting some depth.

Completely fun!!!

Saturday, April 15, 2017


11" x 10" oil on panel

This was panel #1 of a three-part series for
the Art Access Gallery's  "300 Plates Show."

Want Coffee With That?

"Want Coffee With That?"
11" x 10" oil on panel

This was panel #2 of a three-part series for
the Art Access Gallery's  "300 Plates Show."

Friday, April 14, 2017


11" x 10" oil on panel

This was panel #3 of a three-part series for
the Art Access Gallery's  "300 Plates Show."

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Monday, March 27, 2017

Art & Soup Show

For three glorious days last week I was honored to be able to participate in the "Art & Soup" art show here at the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City, Utah.

There were 44 artists, each one with their own booth. Around the perimeter of the room were food vendors handing out samples of delicious food. There were pies, cake, soups, bread, cookies and drinks. There was live music performed by various artists.

Here are some fun pics of the event...

Ice Sculpture

I wonder how the sculptor managed to get the tulips and the brushes to be suspended in the ice!

I also had the opportunity to paint in the quick draw. Artists who wanted to join the event were asked to paint a painting in one hour (start to finish). Then our paintings were auctioned off to the highest bidder.

Here's my painting. The light was dim so this image is not very vibrant.

Here are some fun pics from the show.

Me with my son, Ben.

Me with my sister, Heidi.

Painting From Life

Usually when I paint flowers from life I place them in a vase with water.  Most often the flowers wilt under the heat of my lights. 

Last week I purchased a bucket of potted daffodils at the store - thinking that if the flowers were growing in dirt they might be a little more stable and last longer for the duration of my painting. 

Here is what I blocked in from the first day:

The very next day when I came into the studio, this is what had sprouted overnight: two red tulips and some hyacinths!! 

Two days later it was a completely different arrangement. Who knew? Ha-ha-ha!!

So much for a potted plant being more stable than flowers in a vase...

Friday, February 17, 2017

Want To Know How I Paint?

I usually employ one of these techniques::

  • Classic wipe-out method: First, I rub a mid-tone layer of burnt sienna across my blank panel. Then while the paint is wet I wipe out the light areas and add darker tones for the shadow areas. I let this dry completely and then paint with full color on top of the wipe-out painting matching the values of my colors to the values that I set when I was painting monochromatically. This technique of letting the paint dry in between sessions is called "indirect painting."
  • Alla Prima: This type of block-in begins with me applying the colored pigment directly onto the blank panel surface. I work "wet-on-wet" completing the painting in one session. Completing a painting in one sitting wet-on-wet is called "direct painting."
  • Under Painting: Sometimes I paint my canvas with a thin layer of acrylic to provide an "underpainting" for my composition. It's often the complimentary color of the predominant color in my image. For example, If I am painting a golden field of wheat I would under paint with purple. If I was blocking in a green forest I might under paint with a red-violet.Other times I look for the predominant color in the background of my painting and use that as an underpainting (saves time). On the painting below I used the main color of the sand as my underpainting.

On top of this underpainting I drew general shapes using angular lines to give my composition more strength.

Then I painted in the main colors of each shape leaving out the details. I broadly painted the shadow patterns in the sand.

Next, I painted in the values of the sand so that I could relate the other colors to it.

Using my designated value areas as a guide for how dark or light my colors should be, I put in some detail. I placed the sharpie marker next to my image so that you can see the size of my painting. It's 20" x 16."

Notice that the starfish above only has one layer of paint while the conch shell has more detail. Developing the main subject first, gave me a better sense of the overall composition. Everything else in my painting was developed later. 

The starfish below has more detail now. Since it is my secondary subject, I fine tuned it to have fewer details than the conch but more detail than the small shells.

Finally, I put a glaze on the background of the upper third of my painting to "lay the sand down." It gave my composition a little more depth and added drama and contrast to the large shell. 

Yay! It's fInished!