Monday, August 26, 2013

Tree Swing

This painting was another exercise in notan.... using a strong black & white design as an underpainting.  Backlighting usually creates a strong notan which is one reason that kind of light is so dramatic.  Even if it's not so obvious in the scene at hand, if you can effectively simplify your composition this way it will make the resulting painting a strong one.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Almost Ripe

8x8 acrylic

It's that time of year when everything is ripening.  My honey crisp tree has an insane number of apples on it.  I've removed at least 50, no probably 60 and still there are so many!  It is highly traumatic for me to twist off the little green orbs... they're so close to ripe, but the tree is literally tipping over and branches are breaking!  :( bad gardener, bad!.... most of my labor is either sat upon by the dog or eaten by the deer, slugs, birds, bunnies etc.  Ah, well, good thing I'm a painter.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

The Sunset Seats

Just waiting for you to enjoy the late summer sunsets!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Summer Rain

9x12" acrylic

A warm rain after a long, dry summer is welcome even if it is a bit of a steam bath.  Do you think these two ever talk about the weather?  Naw, me neither, it's more likely he's asking for a little scratch right behind his shoulder where he can't reach.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Clanninick Creek

8x8" original acrylic
Lest you think I've forgotten about color.... imagine a short paddle from the bluster of the Pacific Ocean into the quiet of this surreal alcove.  Clanninick Creek is a special place on NW Vancouver Island that is protected because of it's singular old growth spruce trees and for the salmon that spawn here.  When we paddled up the creek it was like floating into Wonder Land!  A looking glass stunningly clear and shimmering, yes, it was pretty much this vibrant.  Some of us plan to go back.... one way or another.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Whispers On The Wind

Well, sunshine's back!  I've updated the photo of this one.  I took some pains to get it right because you never know when a good digital image might come in handy.  The low key value range except for that bright field in the background makes it a challenge, but rules are meant to be broken I say, at least sometimes!

Here's another limited palette painting.  Love my Shire neighbors.  It's proving difficult to photograph, where's our sunshine?  I'll try for a better one later.  Otherwise, I am enjoying the soaking mist and rain!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Summer Pasture

8x8" acrylic

I'm fond of this piece.  This is a view along the road the dog and I walk every day and an endless source of inspiration.  Sometimes Arna just likes to graze along with the horses, he's not so nervous now about those big noses coming down to check him out.

I've always liked a limited palette approach.  Raw umber, yellow ochre with just a touch of cad red is plenty of spectrum with black & white at each end.  This one also has an easily discernible "notan" pattern that makes for a strong composition.  So many possibilities, so little time :)

Monday, August 12, 2013

Barred Owl

6x8' acrylic, see DPW for purchase information

Arna and I flushed this big barred owl on our walk through the woods yesterday at about 4:30 pm.  These owls have migrated from their east coast origins and seem to be quite content taking up residence in my woods.  They have a characteristic song described as "who cooks for youuuu" and a mating call that is weirdly wonderful echoing through the night woods.  (described as "hoo-aw" but my owls say  "eeeeeyour"- must be a west coast adaptation!)  They are more active during daylight hours than many of their kin and if you don't see them, you'll surely hear them if you frequent the forest around here.

This painting is another experiment on copper metal affixed to a foam core backing.  I prep it by sanding, cleaning with alcohol and then rubbing the surface with garlic juice.  Apparently the juice ever so finely etches the metal surface making it more receptive to paint.  I then apply acrylic medium over the entire surface to seal it and to lengthen my working time since I'm using acrylics.  Of course that makes the surface "slicker than snot" to paint on. (garlic notwithstanding)  The paint goes on grudgingly and somewhat transparent to begin with, slowly becoming more sticky and opaque as the medium dries.  If I commit myself to alla prima, I can't get too fussy with the details... generally a good thing all around :)  I like this one better than the first attempt, so I'll call that progress.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Sand Piper

8x6" acrylic painting
I've been looking at this reference a long time, finally tried a sketch.  I believe it may deserve another go on a bigger canvas with a slightly warmer color palette. (flute playing in the background)  This is another experiment painting on a metal surface.  I happen to have a frame that is just that odd hue in the mid-ground of the sand so I won't change the color on this one, I kinda like it :)

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

By The Sea Shore

6x6" acrylic painting, see DPW for sales information

Hot afternoon on the beach, tide seeping in between the rocks in gentle waves (except when a boat goes by and you get goosed!)  Gotta love summer by the water.

This is my first experiment painting on copper.  Can't really tell much in the digital reproduction here, yet another reason that original art is best :)  It's not one that you'll notice the copper itself a whole lot (in the hair & bits here and there) but I do like the slick surface and the color.  It will be fun to explore more possibilities.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Three's company

Here's the other side of the kid & pony show.  Squirt has his work cut out for him, teaching two little girls how to ride and take care of horses.  I think they're all up for the challenge though :)

Thursday, August 1, 2013


YoYo's mother and I think he is adorable.... I wonder if he'll loose those hazel eyes when grows up?  I'm quite sure he won't loose that penetrating Aussie gaze anyway!