Wednesday, November 28, 2012


 Jade Cove

Last week we took the dogs and headed over to the coast for a camping trip.  We set up camp at the Kirk Creek Campground, right on the cliffs overlooking the big blue ocean.

 Kirk Creek Flows into the Ocean

We drove up and down the coast each day and did many hikes, exploring, and had a real nice time.

Near Sand Dollar Beach

I was able to take a little bit of time each day to do a small oil sketch.   Each of them are 8"x 10" and done in about an hour or so (except for the Jade Cove piece - I only spent about 30 minutes on that one ~ I didn't like the way that it was going).

Painting near Sand Dollar Beach, using my pochade box.

Friday, November 9, 2012


Here are a few things that I've been working on.
 The first is yet another stagecoach painting!  How many does that make?  I'm not sure ... they were all fun, but I'm kinda over Wawona for right now.  This one was done as a commission for one of the rangers.  It's actually one of my favorites.  I like the composition much more than many of them ... and the way that I got the coach to pop. 
 This one is ... well, it's a bad photo of a "quick-sketch" painting.  It's only 8" square.  We got some plums from the landlord a few weeks ago ... quite delicious, too ... and I thought that they would be great still life materiel.  Well, I should have acted much more quickly.  When I saw a puddle of goo forming under them and saw that they were beginning to become prunes, I knew I had to act quickly.  It was a royal mess to set up ... especially since I brought the gooey basket with me to the gallery to have a project on which to work while I sat.  Fun.
Finally, this "green" painting of Eldon on his tractor was done as another "quick sketch" done in my little pochade box (oil on recycled materiel - probably a pizza or cereal box) while sitting at the other gallery -- from photos.
I'm in the habit of doing a sketch or two every day and I thought that I should also be doing some small oil sketches each day as well.  This one started out very free and loose and thick and fun!  It looks like I've worked in a lot of detail, but, really, very little of it is more than bold strokes.  I've been seeing a slight change in the way that I go about painting lately, and I'm liking it ... trying to push myself to express myself better.  Hopefully I'll figure all of this stuff out in the next 200 years or so.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Nudes in November

I entered the "Nudes in November" show again this year at Sorensen's studio in Fresno.  This time with two pieces ~ the one shown here ("Nach der Ersten Umarmung" ~ After the First Embrace) is a wood cut that I did several years ago and had never framed properly (though, I think that I showed it in the cheep Wall*Mart poster frame once in Spokane ... briefly).  It was kind of a pain in the buttox to cut down a frame that I got at a thrift store (for $3), then I repainted it gold ... then painted over that with a mixture of liquin and burnt umber oil paint ... which I then dabbed with a rolled up rubber glove to give a nice texture (and hide all of the nicks and imperfections).  Then I had to get a piece of 16" x 40" plexi ~ which cost me about $40 ... and I had to use 1/2 a sheet of mat board ~ on which I mounted the wood cut -- which was a bleed print (meaning that the image actually was larger than the paper, so there is no white boarder, just a nice, deckled edge).  Mounting it shows off those nice edges ... and saved me time and the frustration of cutting a mat. Finally, I put the whole thing together ... eight or nine times ... as there was always one more piece of hair, lint, flotsam, whatever between the mat and the glass when I put it all together ... but, eventually it all went smoothly.

I also entered an oil painting ~ "The Empresses New Necklace" which I've only shown briefly before this.

  Looking at all of the entries, while I was in the gallery briefly to enter my stuff, I was blown away by all of the great stuff I saw.  Last year there wasn't nearly that level of competition.  I doubt that I fare as well as I did then.  It doesn't really matter, though ~ just entering shows gets my stuff out there.  It's really hard to get patrons or sell stuff if it's in the garage or in the flat file.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Cathedral Peak and Bud Lake

 Last Sunday we went on a hike up into the high country again.  This time it was with Belinda and some of her friends (now also my friends); Jason, Catherine, and Kylie.  Jason showed us a different route than when we hiked to Cathedral Lakes, then, when we got on the east side of the mountain, he pointed out Bud Lake off in the distance, telling me that if he were a painter, that's where he would go.  We had been headed down to Cathedral Lakes, but I liked his idea much more.  Last time that we went to Cathedral Lakes, the whole scene was washed out by the afternoon sun.  So, while Jason and Kylie climbed up Cathedral Peaks (not to be confused with Cathedral Rock or Cathedral Spires down in Yosemite Valley), and Belinda and Catherine went on a little side hike of their own, I headed over to Bud Lake and found it every bit as wondrous as Jason had suggested.

 I had only brought my little paint box with me, but I didn't have much time to paint, either.  It was a little after 1 o'clock when I started painting, and I had to meet up with everyone back at the rig by 3:30.  The hike back would take over an hour (well over an hour if one stops every other step to take another picture, as I'm wont to do).  So that left me only a little over an hour.

I painted, though, as if I had all of the time in the world ... only picking up the pace in the last five or ten minutes.  The strokes were bold and the paint was thick (it was cold, so the paint really requires that you use a lot, anyway) - and it was so much fun!
This is definitely one of my favorite places in Yosemite, now.  'Course, I say that every time I go out --- wonder where my next favorite spot is going to be.  Still, I'm going to have to return here and do a bigger, more involved composition.  I was really inspired by all of the huge boulders left behind by the receding glaciers - they caught the light in fascinating ways. I especially loved the jetty of them through the middle of the lake. 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Talus, man.

Last Thursday I went into Yosemite to do a little plein air painting.  It had been a little while since I've painted in the park and I was excited to be oot und aboot.  It's very difficult to find a spot to paint here -- but for different reasons than many places.  One can usually find something to paint anywhere, but some places are more of a challenge than others.  Here, one could just set their easel down anywhere and start painting whatever was in front of them.  The hard part is choosing between a fantastic spot and a fabulous one ... and then choosing the angle ... taking into account the changing sun ... yada-yada.

What happens a lot, for me, anyway, is that I spend so much time hiking and exploring and trying to find that one great spot, that I end up wasting all of my time and have to rush through the work.  Sounds like a good excuse, anyway. To keep from doing that now, I try to have a place in mind when I leave the house so that I don't get too distracted.  I know the park well enough now that I know what time of day is best from what angle, etc ... although, it can be tricky because it changes as the seasons do.
One of the places that I had in mind was an area by the river where one can see the Three Brothers (rock formation), El Capitan, and Catheral Rocks/Cathedral Spires from the same location just by turning the easel and having the river in the foreground of each.  Just down from there, at the bend in the river, one can also get a great view of Sentinel Rock.

I wasn't really ready to jump right into the painting, though, and would have had to have been already started to catch the Three Brothers just right.  It would be an hour before the Cathedral Rocks would be ready, and El Cap is just too close right there ... at least for me that day.  So ... it was on to plan B -- Coffee!

 I stopped at Degnan's Deli and got a hot cup and headed on to my next location - The Meadow ... well, that didn't work out because there was a big photography class of some sort going on there.  My idea there was to try to make it look like there were still natives on hand in their bark huts and that sort of thing .... I suppose that's a composition that I'll have to figure out later.
Plan C ... this is a place that I scouted out about a year ago ... one that I found very peaceful from which to work as I had sat up there drawing one lovely afternoon.
It was quite a work-out to carry all of my equipment up there ... but what a view!

As you can see from the photos, it was the talus below Eagle Peak, looking east up the valley towards Half Dome, North Dome, Washington column, and the Royal Arches.
The painting went well and I was able to take my time for the most part.  For a while at that point the sun almost seems to stand still ... but after about 2 hours it takes off like a shot and everything that had been slowly changing from shadow to light simply drops all vestiges of the morning and steps out into the brightness.  Oy.
At that point I was having to hold onto the umbrella while painting anyway.

Then came the tricky part ... heading down the rocky talus with all of that gear!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Gold Rush Show again

I painted the large version of "Noon Stage to Wawona" with the Gold Rush show in mind.  After winning best in show last year, I felt that I only had one way to go from there ... so, to make sure of a repeat, I painted this large picture with the thought that it would do the job for Gold Rush ... and then I could probably sell it in one of the galleries.  I was hoping to be disappointed ~ in that maybe it would sell in the art trails and I wouldn't have it to put into the Gold rush show.  In stead, I was disappointed in a different way - it was too big for the show!  It could be no larger than 48" -- it was 48" without the frame.  Oy.

"Noon Stage to Wawona" 24" x 48"
So, I used one of the studies for it instead, thinking that maybe it would do as well.  I also put in two of my old favorites that haven't seen much gallery time ... "Crosswalk Politics" and "Vanitas" (which hasn't seen any gallery time that I know of ... and I've never had it up for anything else -- for more on this painting see April 11th, 2010 entry).

It was a shock to me when I went into the gallery where the show was hanging to find that Vanitas had won the best of show, Crosswalk took first place for oil paintings, and the one that I thought would clean up, took a third place.  It just shows that you can't predict these things!

So, I'm putting the Noon Stage piece into a different show ... I just hope it makes the cut - anything over 40" is not assured of making the show, depending on wall space.  Fingers crossed.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Art Trails

Art Trails was last weekend.  I had about half as many people as last year, but made about as much in revenue.  Being so far off of the beaten path doesn't help ... neither do gas prices that are over $4.50.  Perhaps next year I'll find a venue in Oakhurst or Mariposa instead of my studio (which is a shame).

Part of the "fun" of the whole experience is gearing up for it for weeks ahead of time ... cleaning out the studio ... and the garage where my printmaking operation is ... and the whole house.  Getting things framed and arranging everything takes a lot of time  -- it's a lot like putting together a big puzzle.

Disappointing as it was, I had to step it up and get another large painting done in the few days right afterward.  

And today, I entered three pieces into the Gold Rush Show in Mariposa ... hopefully with the same results as last year.

Friday, September 21, 2012


I'm still working on the large version of the "Noon Stage to Wawona" - I'm getting to the point where I'm adding details and all of that.  Yesterday I was harnessing horses most of the day.  It was kinda fun ... and yet, not so much.  Once I have all of the details in ... I'm going to work some of them out ... and make some look more spontaneous.  That's always a trick - too much detail slows down the movement and can give a very stiff, overworked feel.  Still a long way to go on this one.

Today at the YWA Friday morning painting group, we had a model, Miki, that got into a real nice pose, and held it very well.  She reminded me of John Singer Sargent's Madam X in a way.  Maybe it was the pose or just the strong profile.  At any rate, she was a good model - I had a fun time painting today.

Now it's back to the studio to work on the stagecoach thing again.

Friday, September 14, 2012


After all the studies, sketches, and even 4 stages of an intaglio print, I'm finally working on the full size painting of "Noon Stage to Wawona" (24" x 42").  It's not quite to the half-way point, but I'm enjoying it and excited about the way that it's going.  That doesn't always happen.

Some of the charcoals from the Wawona Pioneer History Centre:

And some of the paintings:

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Time Gets Away

This small (8" x 10") painting was done the other day in the Ahwahnee Meadow in Yosemite Valley, using my little pochade box. It was a nice afternoon.  I brought my lunch and a folding canvas chair and really enjoyed the time.  Clouds scuttled across the sky behind Tis - Ay - Ack (Half Dome) and the breezes felt nice.  This time of year the temperatures are just right and it felt great to be out working from life in Yosemite Valley again.
Time rushed by, though.  Between chatting with tourists, who watched me work, and just letting my mind wander while I worked, the painting almost seemed to create itself.  But, afternoon sprinkles brought me back to reality, and I had to call it finished.  The light was also changing rapidly.  I'm still debating on "finishing'' this up from photos ... or just letting it stand as a plein air study -- maybe do a larger one from the same spot and finishing that one up in a series of sittings.  With so many different spectacular things to paint around here, though, those choices are difficult to make.  And time rushes onward!

Today my oldest son, Tim, turns 31.  I ask myself how that's even possible.  I don't feel as though I've even reached my twenties yet!  Time gets away.  Where, I wonder, could it go?

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Painting in the Artist's Cabin

It's been in the three digits lately.  It's hot ... no matter what the humidity.  So, I spent the last couple of days doing quick out-door sketches in the mornings and went into the Artist's Cabin when the sun began to flog me with his rays.

From a charcoal sketch, I'm working on the third "thumbnail" of what will be a much larger piece entitled "Noon Stage to Wawona".  I'm also using an oil sketch that I made up on the old stagecoach road ... so that Yosemite Valley is seen in the background.  The first one that I did had too much landscape and not enough stagecoach ... at least for what I wanted to say.  Anyone can get a good look at Yosemite Valley as it was a hundred years ago ... but not with a stagecoach coming out of it.

I think that this is the composition that I'm going with - though, I may push the stagecoach back just a little to give it more room to "move".  How large will I paint it?  Not sure, yet.  I'm thinking about two and a half feet by five.  Somewhere in there.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Small Green Paintings

While up in Wawona, I've done about a dozen paintings, I guess.  Some are almost ready to post here ... but most of 'em I'm still playing with.  Here are two of the "green" ones (paintings done on recycled materiel).  The first is the chicken coop.  They had chickens in there when they used to have people who reenacted the period in costume and all of that.  Sadly, the budget cuts put an end to the reenactors ... but not before the foxes put an end to the chickens.

There are a lot of things left behind by the citizens who once peopled this area.  I find the state of decay and decline a poetic inspiration.  For some reason it makes one nostalgic, and one can't help but to remember ... or, at least conjure a memory, of these denizens of a by-gone day ... to wonder what it was like and to imagine ones self in their stead.  

All that being said ... I'm still glad that I never had to change one of these!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

More Work at Wawona

It's been a while since I posted here ... a whole bunch of stuff going on.  I've been doing a lot of work at Wawona ... of the History Center and the people there.  I haven't really got any finished pieces to show, though.  I have several that are nearing completion, and I should have pictures of them to share soon.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

4th of July in Wawona

Meanwhile, back in Wawona ...
 The Wawona History Centre has a longstanding tradition of celebrating America's Independence in style.  It was a busy place yesterday as many volunteers arrived, dressed in period costumes (well, okay, so I didn't exactly dress up ... but it probably looked like I did).  All of the buildings were opened for the public to enter and enjoy the feeling of stepping through a time portal (no Stargate or DeLorian required).

I worked on a couple of paintings ... one of which I started last weekend ... which involves trying to paint the stagecoach as it hurtles its way through the little village.  Quite a challange.  At this rate, it's going to take me a month or more just to paint that part of the picture.

 Belinda, because of the cool job she has, was able to join me and still be at work!  She wore one of their costumes, and looked great in it.

While I was working on one of my paintings, the front porch of the cabin that I work out of was slowly taken over by a bunch of musicians.  It was great fun listening to them play old songs and sing (I even joined in at one point when the guitar player did the Smother's Brothers version of "Loredo").
It's always pleasant up there and, as I know more and more of the characters, I enjoy it a little more each week. 
I have several paintings that I'm working on up there.  As the sun makes its great arc across the sky, I have to keep changing canvases.  Maybe I'll finish some of these things, and show them here soon.

Parker Pass and Beyond

On July 1st Belinda, Brandon Gower, and I headed out on a 3 day backpacking trip.  We started in Yosemite National Park at the Mono Pass trail head ... which is also the trail head for Parker Pass ... and ended at Silver Lake.  It was beautiful, but a little tough in a few places ... mostly made so by the heavy packs and the high elevations.  It was well worth it, though.  I'll put up a bunch of pictures on FB ... and maybe a short account of it here at a later date.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Mono Pass/Bloody Canyon

Last Sunday, Belinda and I hiked from Tioga road through Mono Pass, and part way down Bloody Canyon.  It was a spectacular hike in the high country.  There was about a half mile of steep elevation gain, but it wasn't bad at all compared with some of our more strenuous hikes.  The fact that we started at 10,000 feet, though, made breathing a little more difficult than normal, but our last three or four hikes have been at these elevations, so, we're getting a little more used to it.

The sights along the way of snow covered peaks and distant craggy spires was amazing.  I'm not sure what I expected at the far side of the pass ~ surely a nice vista of distant Mono Lake, but when we headed down Bloody Canyon and could finally see around a bend in the trail, the sight was nothing less than jaw-dropping. A real pay-off for our hike of 4 miles or so.

We ate our lunch on some glacier-smoothed rocks above one of the Sardine Lakes.  The tale is that they are named that because of a clumsy pack animal which was carrying a load of sardines to the upper camps and slipped into one of the lakes and drown.  Perhaps a better name for them would be Clumsy Ass Lakes, or Dumb Ass Lakes ... just a suggestion.

I got out my watercolour kit and started a little sketch, then we headed down Bloody Canyon (named that because of two factors - that the pack animals cut themselves so much on the sharp rocks, and because the rocks have a deep red hue which is sort of blood coloured) to where we had a view of the lower Sardine Lake. 

There was another lake beyond that which would have been nice to see ... but the elevation grade at that point was quite substantial ... and we would have had to huff and puff our way back up ... and we still had some exploring to do on a side trail, back up at the top of the pass.

When we took the side-trail, I wasn't expecting much, really.  The word was that there was an old mining camp up there - the Golden Crown Mines.  I figured it would be like the last ones that we explored above Gaylor Lakes, but I was pleasantly surprised to find a half dozen old cabins in various stages of disrepair and the mouth of an abandoned mine about a quarter of a mile above.  The mouth of the mine was still full of snow, so I couldn't see or venture in (which is probably just as well).  But it was exciting, nonetheless.


Artist's Cabin

More fun at the Wawona "Pioneer Village" (although, I've been told by the Ranger in charge, Dean Shenk, that they prefer it to be called the "Pioneer History Centre").  I could give you all a lot of history on the History Centre, but, well, that's what google is for, right?  What I can tell you is that the cabin where I do my volunteer bit on the weekends was built in the Valley around 1900 and moved up to its present location in the 1950s or so.  It's located on what used to be the main road from Frensno and Oakhurst (now hwy 41) before it was re-routed slightly.  The road used to go through the covered bridge, which is still located on its original spot.  Most of the other structures were brought from various locations throughout the park.

I've only spent a few days up there so far, but I'm having a great time.  I share with tourists and do some painting - simple as that.  It's not a stretch to imagine how it must have been in those simpler times.  An hour or two may go by when I don't have any visitors and, in the cabin, I have a peace and solitude rarely achieved in modern dwellings.  There is the occasional clatter of hooves as the wagon goes through the covered bridge a few hundred feet from the cabin, and I hear the driver, Burl, urging the horses to "get the lead out" as he hurtles through the little village.  I can also hear the infrequent sound of the blacksmith hammering away at his anvil, but, other than that, it's the sound of birds and insects as I paint away, using graphite and watercolour sketches as references from which to work.

                                          Watching the stagecoach through the old, wavy glass.

It's taking a bit of adjustment for me to work without music.  Not sure how those guys did it without ipods or stereos. The lighting is also an issue.  I know from photos that Jorgensen had a sky-light in his real studio ~ this cabin does not, although it does have a nice north facing window, it's still rather dim in there -- making painting a strain on the eyes ... and photographing anything in there is kinda tricky too, as you can tell.

I am looking forward to next week when I'll see about getting someone to throw on a costume from the time period and pose for me on the porch of the cabin.

An aside note: I sold a painting of Tenaya Lake yesterday at the Mariposa gallery to a woman from Oslo, Norway; the birth place of Chris Jorgensen (she pronounced it Yorgensen).  So, next week, that piece will be hanging in her livingroom in Norway ~ nice.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Pioneer Village

In the Wawona area of Yosemite National Park, there is a Pioneer Village where they have old buildings that they've restored and brought from all over the park.  One of these was built by Pioneer Artist, Chris Jorgensen (1860 - 1935) who was one of the early artists in Yosemite.  He had a studio down in Yosemite Valley, just north of the "Swinging Bridge" (which doesn't actually swing at all), along the Merced River.

My sketch of Jorgensen from a photo ... made to look like a Jorgensen "self portrait".

At the Pioneer Village one can ride an old stage coach, watch a blacksmith at his craft, visit the old telegraph office and Wells Fargo station, and, occasionally this summer, one can catch me up there in costume pretending to be an artist of yesteryear. I will be at the "Jorgensen Studio" On Friday afternoons and Saturdays, whenever possible.I'll bring sketches and watercolours from which to work, just as those guys used to. 
I'm not allowed to sell anything there, but I'm going to see about the possibility of doing charcoal sketches of people for a donation to the Yosemite Concervancy.
Stay tuned for photos of my adventures.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

On the Easel

About a year ago I painted up at Olmstead Point, and while I was there I started a second painting looking over into Tenaya Canyon and Tenaya Lake.  There was a storm brewing, though, and I didn't get much more than a basic outline of the landscape.  Much, much later, I took some of the photos that I'd snapped off and worked into the composition again.  And there it sat, in my studio, on the floor, leaning against the wall awaiting my eventual attention again.  It's actually not a bad way to work, sometimes.  There are many pieces that I've started that take me a while to come back to.  I eventually finish about 90% of them ... the other 10% probably don't really need to be finished, anyway.

The thing is, that part of me keeps working on these things subconsciously, and when I do return to them, I have a better understanding and a lot more enthusiasm.  Such was the case with this painting of "Storm over Tenaya".  I returned to it a couple of days ago and spent all day "toe to toe" with it, working out some of the spots where I was stuck before.  It's not done ... I'll probably spend another full day on it next week, but it's finally on the right track, I think.  What's more, I'm actually liking it more.  I'm trying to go well beyond the photographs and memories ... and I want to give it a more fantasy, romantic, dreamlike feel ~ like Albert Bierstadt, Thomas Cole, or Frederic Church would give it -- but without ripping off their styles.  It's a tall order, but a fun challenge.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Lilac Painting

In late April I started a painting of lilacs while working at the Sierra Artist's Gallery (see blog from May 5th) ~ I had it about half done ... maybe more, when I brought it back to the studio.  I've poked at it a few times since then, but never with much alacrity.  I kept shifting it from one place to another as it kept getting in my way (done on purpose to remind me to get it finished), and I finally blocked out some time for it yesterday.

I'm calling it complete ... though I reserve the right to rework it over and over until I finally get tired of looking at it or I absolutely ruin it.

The letter in the still life is one that my son, Ben sent to me from Africa when he was on a Teen Mission there in the summer of 1996. On the morning that I set up this still life at the gallery in Mariposa, I had grabbed a bunch of stuff that I thought would go together.  I was kinda running late and put a plethora of things into a box including a letter opener that belonged to my father, a vase that Belinda got for me, a place mat that Mom made for me, a tea cup, and I just picked up a letter from a box of old correspondence ~ it was a happy accident that it turned out to be a letter that is near and dear to me. There were also a bunch of items that I didn't use.
It's always amused me how still life set-ups seem to have a mind of their own.  I actually love the process, even though it can be maddening sometimes.  One can start off with an idea and a bunch of objects and end up with something completely different than the original thoughts.  In this case, I had brought three different vases, several different table cloths, and some other, small items.  The main idea ... the hidden "story", if you will, remained the same, though. 
I sometimes miss doing these kinds of things with other artists; going through the process of arranging the composition and fine tuning the idea.  I especially loved creating still life arrangements with Del.  We had so much fun just trying different things and bouncing ideas off of each other. He is the undisputed master of arrangements, though.

As with many still life pieces, this composition went through about a zillion changes while setting it up ~ not helped by people coming into the gallery ~ and I also started it as a horizontal ... but had to scale everything down too much to suit me.
I've been thinking about putting tea or coffee in the cup ... maybe a tea bag, too, and a spoon.  But it's such a small painting (11" x 14") and already seems a little cluttered.  The story is there, simple and direct, without beating someone over the head with it.
And that's all I have to say about that.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012


Lately I've been hiking in the high country more than usual.  Man, there are some beautiful places up there in the high Sierras!  Last Sunday we hiked to Bennetville, which is an abandoned silver mining town from the late 1880s.  There are only two buildings remaining (that I think have been restored a little too much ~ they hardly look 150 years old), but there are a few mining artifacts still remaining by the mine.
We hiked beyond that, up past a few lakes, and took a break at Fantail Lake on our way back out, where I worked briefly on a small watercolour sketch.  Mt Dana looked resplendent in the afternoon sun and features prominently in most of the photos that I took throughout the day.  I want to do a few paintings of it and kept thinking that I had the best picture possible from which to work, when we'd round another bend or pass a different lake, and get a whole new perspective of it.  I may have to do half a dozen paintings of that area. Dang, that will mean that I'll have to return.
There are so many great hiking trails around here that it's hard to choose them.  It's nice to go back to some that you love, but -- there are so many yet to explore! I'm going to try to make an extra effort to post pictures of the paintings that I do from our hikes each week.

Saturday, May 19, 2012


I'm working on another triptych ... there will be a larger painting of Irises in the garden between these two. 

Here are some of the miniatures that I've been working on.  The smaller ones go for about $35 - 40, the larger about twice that.  I realize that the top middle painting is hard to see, and if you've never seen a snow plant up close and personal, it probably doesn't even look like a plant to you -- even seeing them in person, they look alien.  They can only be found in higher elevations where the snow has recently receded. We saw this one while hiking up to the top of Yosemite Falls last weekend.

Saturday, May 5, 2012


Why is it that the people who put out these things want to arbitrarily change things?  If I'd wanted to change the way that my blog looked and worked, I'd have changed it myself!

Last week I missed the Gertrude painting session because I had to work in one of the galleries that represent my work.  While I was there, though, I brought in some lilacs and painted.  It's still in construction, though, so, no, I don't have a picture of it yet.  All of these lilacs and irises and poppies in bloom are so fantastic ... but also causing me fits.  It seems like all of nature has conspired to kill me!  Oy, I hate allergies!

Yesterday, our model wore a wedding dress.  Very pretty.

 I did several drawings, none of which were spectacular, but I was just happy to be able to go and feel somewhat good enough to stand for several hours without coughing my head off or sneezing it loose.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

At the Gertrude

Again I brought out the charcoals and did a sketch of the younger sister of Heidi, who posed for us a few weeks ago. For a young lady in her first posing session, Tabitha did quite well. We look forward to drawing and painting her for years to come - hopefully - along with all of her siblings.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

On the Press

Yesterday the Friday group was canceled due to snow. Last week I brought my press into the session and made prints from life, so to speak. Our model was a beautiful young lady, Heidi Bugg, who did a wonderful job of posing.

I did three monotype prints first, working on a small (5" x 8") board ~ painting in oil, then running it through the press. A ghost of the image was left on the board after each printing, and I developed it each time. Finally, after three prints, I developed the board into a final painting (notice, in the painting above, the texture on her shirt left from the printing process).

I also did one of my w.i.m. (woodcut/intaglio/monotype) prints. I drew the model on the board and then worked into the drawing with an etching needle to establish the darkest passages. Then I inked the entire board and, again, working directly from the model, wiped away the ink, leaving a middle tone ~ then used a cloth, my fingers, and q-tips to wipe away the ink in varying values.

The plate still needs work. The neck is too thick, etc, but that's easily fixed (it wouldn't have been if I'd made it too thin). I'll do a few more prints from this plate using the photos that I took during the session.

One of the other artists present took advantage of the press and did a nice little etching using plexi glass (wish I had a picture of it to show you). I hope that more people take advantage the next time that I bring the press in.

Next week Heidi's younger sister will be posing for us. She and her family were there last week while Heidi was posing and they all look like they would be amazing models.