Sunday, December 27, 2009

Landscape #2

This was also from a quick watercolor sketch I did this morning, and a lot of fun to do. It's 12" X 16" --- larger than my other recent paintings.

Landscape #1

I had a fun time doing this oil painting from a watercolor sketch I had done earlier while watching David Dunlop Landscape Through Time this morning. It's been a very enjoyably productive day today. 12 X 16 oil (I haven't posted the watercolor sketch - only the oil painting.)

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Completed Acrylic of Willow

I started this acrylic a couple of years ago and only finished Willow's face, neck, hand and hair. The rest was left as a sketch. Willow always wanted me to finish it, so I finally did, in time for her birthday this year. It felt strange working with acrylics again and running into the same limitations that had always frustrated me in the past. The experience made me very glad that I'm not allergic to oils!

Sunday in Menton

This is another little one, on a 6 X 8 X 3/4" wood panel. I took the reference photos for this and the last painting on our last day on the French Riviera, a beautiful, if chilly, day like most of the others. We'd taken the local bus from Monaco to Menton for all of 1 Euro, and had a final wonderful lunch at one of the sidewalk cafes. Menton was somewhat atypical according to what our local guide had told us the previous Sunday, in that many businesses were open and quite busy.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Visiting Galleries in Fredericksburg

A good start to the day of hooky from our chores, an excellent lunch at Rather Sweet.

Gaye, Thad Hanna & Kris on upper porch of InSight Gallery.

Visiting Galleries in Fredericksburg

Yesterday, I met two artist friends, Gaye Sekula and Kris Kelson, for a day in Fredericksburg. Unlike my past visits to this picturesque little town, this one was not about shopping. After a delicious lunch at Rather Sweet we first went to the Whistle Pik Gallery to see their impressive Christmas miniatures show.

Gaye & I agreed that our very favorite painting was this one: by Jeff Legg. Though the photo is good, you can't really tell how wonderfully the paint was handled. I wasn't all that impressed by his other paintings, but that one is a true gem. There were lots of other excellent paintings to linger over and study, and we stayed far longer than we'd intended.

There was another gallery that we had to be sure to visit before closing, so we headed to the other end of town to the new InSight Gallery. I'd been so impressed by Whistle Pik that I was totally unprepared to be absolutely blown away by the art at the InSight Gallery. And it turned out that their opening reception was last night. They represent a lot of excellent and well-known artists (Carolyn Anderson, Nancy Bush, Dan Gerhartz, Qiang Huang, C.W. Munday, among many others) and the reception was attended by a number of them. One of the artists that I was most impressed with is John Austin Hanna whose son is one of the owners of the gallery.
Thad Hanna (above, with Gaye and Kris) gave us the extended tour upstairs to see even more beautiful original art and also a room of excellent giclee prints. Everyone at both galleries was very welcoming and gracious, and the entire day was fun from start to finish.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Contemplation in Menton

I painted this yesterday and today from a photo I took in Menton, France on a Sunday morning. The man was deep in thought, and his pose spoke a volume.

It's on a little 6 X 8 X 3/4" wood panel, my new favorite painting surface. Just as I was finishing painting the edges, I dropped it and gouged a couple of grooves out of the paint. Fortunately the paint was still so wet that it didn't take too long to fix it.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Upside down

Last weekend I decided to challenge myself with an upside down painting. I picked a photo I had taken looking down at the construction area at the new Austonian Building on Congress Ave. By painting it upside down it was impossible to focus on details. It was all shapes. But when I finally turned it right side up, I kinda liked the results.

This won first place in a Wimberley Valley Art League juried show.

Saturday, November 21, 2009


I used a glaze to push the background crowd back and to accentuate the Congressman.

This is our central Texas Congressman, Lloyd Doggett, who was holding a townhall meeting in this summer's scorching heat. He and many around him found a spot in the shade, but the heat was ferocious that day. (6X6 oil on wood panel)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Two tiny portraits (4" X 4") SOLD

I had a lot of fun doing both of these last weekend for the Teeny-Tiny Show at the Birdhouse Gallery during the East Austin Studio Tour. The subject of both is my daughter's best friend, Kevin Foote, Mr. Birdhouse himself.

SOLD. Giclee prints available at

Saturday, November 7, 2009

St. Paul de Vence

This was a problematic painting I took with me to the Masters Class in Color and Glazing given by Edward Povey in March 2011. With glazes it acquired more depth and architectural clarity.

I did some alterations on this. The version above is what it currently looks like.

I started this in St. Paul de Vence after schlepping all my equipment up the steep cobbled alleys and doing a bit of exploration. What a beautiful place the old walled city is, and filled with art galleries. I went back without my art supplies a couple of days later and visited all that were open. If we'd gone in the summer, the streets and alleys would have been wall to wall tourists, but at this time of year it was generally possible to set up easels and paint without being an impediment to foot or motor traffic.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Sea Wall at Antibes

This is another painting I was dissatisfied with. I think it benefited from some touch-ups and glazing.

I started this painting on a chilly morning in Antibes, racing the changing of the shadows. Finally, worn out and hungry, I packed it up and left it to be finished later. Since getting home, I've been working on it. Another look at it again tomorrow and I'll decide if it's finished. And yes, the Mediterranean is really that color.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Cote d' Azur trip

I just returned from a plein air painting trip to Cote d' Azur (beautiful) and wish I'd simply left the paints behind and taken more photos. With all the insistence that you HAVE to paint plein air to see the colors, I found that I actually had a hell of a time seeing the colors on my palette and canvas well enough to have any idea what I was doing. Had I worn sunglasses, all the colors would have been contaminated. Without them, I was simply blinded by so much light.

In 10 days, I started but did not complete, 4 paintings. But I had a great time and will finish at least a couple of the paintings from photos I took. So, no new paintings to post today.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Sunday, September 27, 2009


When I laid eyes on this policeman, I was fascinated by his exceptional beauty and all the colors in his skin. He was surprised when I asked his permission to paint him, and may have ended up the butt of some teasing by his fellow officers.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Prepared to Wait (16x20)

I revisited this painting a number of times and the top image is it's current stage.

First iteration:

This one has taken awhile. It's painted on 16X20 stretched canvas. And, of course, the model is my daughter, Laurel.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

My first true plein air painting

It's only 5 X 7, much smaller than I'm used to painting, but the Texas weather was finally cool enough to spend a few hours outside. Since it was a wonderfully rainy day (if you don't live in central or south Texas, you can't imagine the significance of this!) I set up my easel on my front porch. This was a trial run for the equipment I'm planning to schlep to France with me next month, and it functioned very well.

Austin Visual Arts Association Juried Show

I finally submitted some pieces for the annual juried show that Austin Visual Arts Association holds at the Dougherty Arts Center. My painting, "The Man from the Valley" was selected for the show, a very eclectic mix of interesting works of art.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Willow with Gold

This painting of my daughter, Willow, seemed to come together on its own. The colors in the photo are a little off --- the background actually has more yellow tones and the green is not so blue.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Respite in the Old Spanish Governor's Garden

I painted this from a photo I took in the luxuriant garden of the Old Spanish Governor's Mansion in San Antonio. Since the city is home to many military bases, and the young man was so obviously in the military, I suspect that this was a poignant interlude before, after or between deployments.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Every Picture Tells a Story

One of my paintings was featured at this website:

You can add a story or poem or song to go with it.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Long, long drive

No new painting today. Yesterday, I drove a long, long way to far, far NW Texas for my nephew's wedding. The weather was clear and hot and once I got a little way north of Fredericksburg it was apparent that the hideous heat and drought we've been suffering in the Austin area had not extended nearly as far north as I thought.

As I whizzed along on the lonely roads and highways, the colors became more and more diverse and vibrant. I wished I had the time to at least photograph some of what I saw, but when you're going 70, it's near 100 degrees out, and people are expecting you to show up, it's hard to stop, turn around and seek out a safe spot to park to take a couple of resource photos you may never get around to using.

But, LORD, the colors were enchanting. I challenge you non-painters to start looking for variations in the colors outside. Notice what areas are cool and which are warm, and where the contrasts are. You will greatly enrich your experience of what is around you.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Plein Air Crocheting

Once again, my favorite model doing her own creating. One of these days, maybe she'll actually sit for a live session. Until then, she's a wonderful sport about letting me photograph her. The photo I worked from for this was not shot by me, but by Alan Prevallet.

I always struggle with the second stage (the second day), but, as usual, I hit a tipping point when it was no longer difficult, but simply an exhilarating challenge.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Dancer at Arneson Theater

I've started working on this painting of a young dancer who was practicing at the Arneson Theater the day Gaye Sekula, Kris Kelson and I spent walking around San Antonio.

Original SOLD. Giclee prints available at

Inventing in preparation for travel

I'm excited about being able to participate in a Charles Gruppe workshop in Monaco and the French Riviera in October, but planning how to schlep all the art materials I'll need is a bit of a challenge. My French easel is just too bulky and unwieldy to take, but the only easel I really want, a Soltek, is outrageously expensive. Since I haven't been able to find anything lightweight that has a shelf for the palette, I've been forced into creating one.

Here are photos of my solution:

Hose clamps and L-shaped shelf supports are the only additions to the light-weight metal easel. The easel's plastic canvas panel holders are adjusted just above the tops of the L supports.
I set a palette on the shelf supports to act as a shelf. The easel's plastic canvas supports hold the top of the shelf in place.
This shows the L-shaped shelf supports held my hose clamps with the wooden palette topped by the baking pan I use as a travel palette. The baking pan can be slipped into a big zip-lock bag for transport. The paint will stay usable until the next day's session.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Slim Fiddler for Peace

I just finished this portrait of an Austin musician named Slim Richey. He always wears the white-framed sunglasses and will be easily recognized by other Austin musicians, most of whom he's probably played with at one time or another.

Currently on display at the Austin Bergstrom International Airport. Giclee prints available at

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Wimberley Valley Art League Juried Show

Last night was the opening of the Wimberley Valley Art League Juried Show where my painting, "Well?" placed third among the 2-D entries (behind 2 photos). It was the only painting that placed above an honorable mention. Having seen the delivery of many of the entries, a lot of them very good paintings, I was very surprised that there were not more works on display.

The process for juried shows was explained to me by a fellow Art League member, shedding some light. The League asks a different gallery owner or art expert unassociated with the League to be the sole jurist for each juried show. The jurist for this particular show owns a contemporary art gallery in Johnson City.

A Feral Cloud

This week I've been working on this painting of the feral cat who's been "ours" since she was born under our porch. The dappled afternoon light gave added interest to the subject.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Garden and Windmill at GenHaven - SOLD

These paintings were a commission I've just completed. The location is a beautiful country property not far from where I live. It was so hard to choose what to paint that I painted a second view as well.

SOLD. Giclee prints available at

I used my daughter as a model for this but it's not a portrait. Next week I'll submit a few paintings to a juried show at the Wimberley Valley Art League.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

The Conversation - altered

I changed what bothered me about the composition, and think this works better. Comments?

Monday, May 25, 2009

Church in Baveno - corrected - SOLD

I tweaked the painting after getting some feedback from fellow-artists at I like the result.

SOLD. Giclee prints available at

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Church in Baveno

I painted this from a photo I snapped on a wonderful trip to northern Italy in October, 2001. We stayed each night at the Hotel Lido Palace in Baveno, a wonderful, elegant, welcoming hotel owned and run by the D'Amico family. (I've posted a painting of the operatic patriarch, Paulo D'Amico at I've wanted to return ever since, but I in still indulge mini-vacations by reviewing my photos (and 0ccassionally painting a scene from the trip).

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


Last Saturday the Wimberley Valley Art League held a very well-organized "Arts Fest" complete with many artists, jewelers and musicians. A number of my paintings were displayed in one of the pavilions, and I set up my easel and paints.

I used as reference a photo of someone I'd caught unawares at my daughter's SXSW party. He has such a great profile that I knew I wanted to paint him as soon as I laid eyes on him. (Danny, do you know him?)

A lady making the rounds of the Arts Fest thought he looked like Jesus. I can see that. There's an intent intelligence in his benign expression.

Sunday, April 26, 2009


I used a reference photo I found on WetCanvas to paint this one.

16 X 20 on stretched canvas

Giclee prints available at

Saturday, March 21, 2009

By the Quiet Stream

I really enjoyed painting this one from a photo of my daughter, Laurel. The original painting is definitely better than the photo of it. This currently on display at the Austin Bergstrom International Airport.

Monday, March 9, 2009


This was painted from one of the photos I took of some goats in my neighborhood. It taught me that if I want to paint animals, I HAVE to start out with a good drawing before starting with the paint. Not doing so made this a lot harder than it needed to be.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

The Man from the Valley

I saw this man on the street in East Austin and immediately knew that I wanted to paint him. He very kindly let me take some photos of him, and this is the resulting painting.

Giclee prints available at