Monday, September 6, 2010

Two Months!

So, I can't believe that I haven't posted anything for over two months! No excuses, I'll just lift where I stand:). This is a painting of Kaysville that I am putting some finishing touches on. I say that it's done, but that may only last until the folks at work critique it tomorrow. It's amazing how the transition from being relatively pleased with a piece to thinking it's the worst thing ever to come out of your hand is sometimes only a matter of minutes. I believe I have an older post with an earlier version (or at least the color study). You'll notice that quite a lot has changed. Happy Labor Day!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Two Plein Airs and a Study

Here are three recent pieces. The top piece is a plein air piece that I did last Saturday up near Taconic State Park about 2 hours North of Manhattan. It had rained in the morning and started again just as I was finishing this up. The indirect light was wonderful to paint in, and I felt that I accurately described the color and mood of the scene.

The middle piece is a quick study I did from an old photo I had of West Layton. I added in the trees as a compositional element (they weren't in the photo), but if I were to paint the scene as a larger piece I think I would leave them out, push the horizon even lower, and just focus on the clouds, which is the main focal point.

The last piece is a plein air painting that I did right across the street at Blue Sky a few months back in early Spring. There had been a bad storm the day before which had cut off power to much of the area, so we had gotten word that work wouldn't start until later. "Great" I thought "I'll just go in and do a painting first and then jump into work when it starts after lunch". I raced through this painting and, having taken longer than I had planned on it, I cleaned up in a huff and rushed over to work only to find that the power was still out and work was canceled for the day. Oh well, deadlines help us paint better.

Friday, April 23, 2010

So, I realized that I haven't ever really posted any of my sketchbook, and I feel like it really is the foundation for any artist. Having said that, I don't sketch nearly enough. So, here is a sampling of some sketches from the past year.

The first sketches were value studies of some of the murals by John Singer Sargent and Edwin Austin Abbey at the Boston Public Library. Stunning work. The murals, I mean.

These were some sketches I did on the plane home to Utah and at the farm last summer. Hollyhocks are always photogenic.

Waiting for the train at the Crestwood station near our home in Tuckahoe. This was around the time that I saw the train at the station from the hill and raced down, arriving breathless and smiling just as the doors closed. The train then proceeded to pull away and headed the opposite direction I wanted to be going. I didn't ever do that again.

This was in Golden Gate Park during our summer trip to San Francisco. Liz is always great to sit still for me:)

Several figure studies from the last year. The sketchbook pieces are mostly 1-2 minute poses, and the more refined piece above was 20 minutes,

Saturday, March 20, 2010

New Study

This is a little study (5 x 7) of a West Kaysville scene that I have been working on for a few weeks (Antelope Island is in the distance). I'm considering doing a larger piece of it, but I'm not sure yet. Compared to the original, this photo tends slightly more towards yellow-green, and I may have lightened up the values a hair too much, but generally it's in the ballpark. More to come!

Thursday, February 11, 2010


Here is a little 5"x 7" study that I did last weekend in anticipation of a larger painting to come. It's always interesting to see how pieces work at different sizes. A lot of great paintings that are fine as small pieces just don't work as large paintings. But, as with any process of creation, you'll never know for sure what it is just by mulling it over in your mind. It has to take physical form before you can see it for what it is and assess things correctly. I also think it's funny that we always want to paint summer scenes in the winter and vice-versa. Digital photography has heightened this ability. I would wager that some of the most sentimental Christmas songs were written in the heat of July when the memories were sweetest. Enjoy.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Brownstones to Red Dirt

I did this little painting for a charity auction that is part of a great project called "Brownstones to Red Dirt". Several people at Blue Sky created this project connecting kids from Brooklyn and Sierra Leone, and have made a documentary about it. Their website is:, and explains things more in-depth. As part of the project, they have asked a variety of artists to create a piece of art on a small wooden postcard which will then be auctioned off. They have created a blog where they are posting the artists' submissions: I'm a little chagrined that my piece has much less in common thematically with the subject matter than the other pieces, but it's always good fun to paint a lady with leaves in her hair. And while we're into full disclosure, the brush I used was on its last leg and quite ratty, so hold it back and squint for a slightly better experience...

Saturday, January 9, 2010

This is a little sketch I did for Seeing the Everyday magazine ( I finished it a few weeks ago, but have just posted this revised version from the initial pass I had up for awhile. The changes were minor but I think strengthened the piece. I was reminded again of just how vital good photo reference is to work from. This had to be highly stylized as a result of poor reference, and the results, while ok to go out the door, weren't as I would have hoped. Sure, blame it on the reference:)...