How Hard Could This Be?

It's been quite some time since I posted a painting. I have to admit that I've been in a bit of a lull. But a creative block isn't all there is to blame. I began this painting on Oct. 5. I started with the red grain elevator and then spent a few days looking at it. I didn't like it. I gave a lot of consideration to painting over it. But then I added just a little shadow on the roof of the building. At first, I didn't like that either, but by the end of the day, I was glad I painted that shadow. It saved the building.
I added the horizon with little issue. The painting, as a whole, wasn't exciting me. I felt like it needed something. My plan all along was to paint the entire surrounding white. As I did this, I thought something was missing and planned to add a line of telephone poles that would grow smaller toward the left side of the canvas.
I finished the white portion of the painting -- which is most of it -- and waited for it to dry enough for me to add the telephone poles. Over the span of about a week, I grew to appreciating the starkness of the painting. The white really pushed across the feeling of a cold, wide-open land -- like some place in Montana.
Despite this growing appreciation, I painted telephone poles. I immediately regretted it. "What was I thinking?" I asked myself. I thought of tossing this one away. This is supposed to be relaxing and rewarding. I was feeling neither.
Once I calmed down, I let the ill-fated telephone poles dry and then eliminated them.
And, once again, I am at peace with my painting.
I hope you enjoy it. It's called "The Brisk Morning."

This painting has sold.

The Art of Suggestion, Part 2

   Have you ever gone out on a summer day where it was so hot that it seemed like the heat melted all of the color out of the sky, leaving just a white sheet of nothingness?
     That is the kind of day these sailboats are spending on the water in this painting I call "Noon Sails." The luke-warm water reflects the colorless sky to where -- were it not for the gradual rise of distant mountains -- one wouldn't know where the the water stops and the sky starts.
     I decided, again, to merely suggest the shape of the sails by having them cut their shapes into the horizon. One one hand, you can see the sails. On the other hand, you could see triangular pieces missing from the mountains.
     I see the sails. On a blisteringly hot day.
     I've enjoyed exploring this style of painting. I probably will not continue with it, but now and then it's nice to push myself in another direction.
     I hope you enjoy!

The Art of Suggestion

I decided to further strip down my already barebones grain elevators. In this painting I just finished, I experimented with using negative space as a means for giving structure to the building. The left edge of the grain elevator is suggested, but it is there, thanks to the natural tendency our brain has for filling in patterns.
I kept the sky white, and the grain elevator appears even more aged and washed out as a result. All in all, I'm pleased with this little painting. I call it "Grainery."

This painting has sold.

Red and Yellow

This latest completed painting is called "Red and Yellow." It's the second painting of a 'partial' building I've done. I like this one quite a bit, and hope that you will, too.

Since I'm hitting a lull in art shows, I'm going to post a few paintings on Etsy in the coming days. Please feel free to pop in and check out what's for sale.

Take care!

The Bluest Sky

I started this painting at Parisian Promenade. I'm really enjoying the look of it. Not only the modern feel of it, but the color and composition. There's no ground in the painting. It's a snapshot; a portrait of these grain elevators.
The colors are very bold. I usually have an idea of the colors I want to use for my paintings, and then I'll mix until I get what I want. But for this one, the blue sky is right out of the tube. The yellow is also a color I didn't have to mix. Only the green was mixed.
I'm really pretty proud of this one.

This painting has sold.

Little House on the Prairie

"On the prairie, what you are left with is the bare truth, the land pared down to the bone, the basic dirt and grass and sky that shape the lives that play out upon it."
- Tom Groneberg, The Secret Life of Cowboys (2003)

This quote fairly well encapsulates my feeling — and often my description — of my landscapes. I frequently tell people that the sky and land are the main characters of my work -- anything in between is a sub-plot.

That said, I do like the way the bright sun blasts the front of this little farmhouse.

Looking forward to Parisian Promenade on June 1, at Bicentennial Park in Greensboro.

This painting is sold.

Sails for Sale

I sometimes tell people that my paintings are like my children. I love each one of them. I love to see them; I'm proud and enjoy seeing them. I get a little sad when one of them leaves.

However, also like my children, I  get a little tired of seeing them hanging around my house. So I'm ready to move them on. One June 1, I'll be taking part in the Parisian Promenade. The show is from  noon to 5:00. There will be games, music, food, a dog parade and, of course, art. And my artwork will be there at reduced prices.

I think my paintings are reasonably priced, but, lets face it, artwork is not usually a priority expense. So I'm going to lower the prices on most of my artwork, some of it quite a bit. Now, the smaller paintings will not be marked down as much, as there's a point where I'm actually losing money. Also, if you're interested in commissioning a painting, it will be for an agreed upon price based around my usual pricing methods (there is always room for negotiation, though).

I'm not going to stop painting. I will have new artwork at the show (including the painting above, called "Sails"). And I don't plan on changing my style. I just want new paintings to look at.

I hope you can come to Parisian Promenade. It's usually a great time for the whole family.

This painting has sold.

Spring is Here. Really, it is

"In the spring I have counted one hundred and thirty-six different kinds of weather inside of four and twenty hours." -Mark Twain

Spring has officially arrived. So throw open the curtains, open the blinds. Have your coffee outside on the porch. Take a walk during lunch. Grill out. Refill your bird feeders, because there's bound to be birds nests being built to be home for newly laid eggs.

I'm doing my part with this group of bird paintings. Looks like these feathered friends are ready for warmer weather. However, see if you can spot the kitty that looks like she's ready to get a little closer to the birds.

Enjoy the birdies (before the cat does).

More New Paintings


   Shortly after this past Christmas, I bought myself a new easel. Having three easels has made a tremendous difference in my productivity. I'm now able to work on three -- sometimes four -- paintings at the same time. I'm wasting less paint and making greater use of the small amount of time I have to devote to painting.
   I actually finished up three paintings last night: a lighthouse, a bird painting and a grain elevator. The lighthouse is a totally new subject for me. I'm pleased with the results, but I hope I can improve on it and do others.
   I'm nearly finished with another red birds painting. I'm planning to do a couple more bird paintings and maybe a large boat painting before the end of the month. I may also try to knock out a large painting of a fruit.
   Thanks for looking.

Most of the time I'm using my cellphone to take the photos of my paintings. This doesn't always work out as well as I'd like. It's why I sometimes get shadows in the photos of my paintings. This happened on all three of the above photos. sorry.

The lighthouse painting and the grain elevator painting have sold.

The Buzz in Winston-Salem

So the end of March wasn't going to be a busy enough time for me. I was already slated to take part as an exhibiting artist for the Southern Ideal Home Show at the Greensboro Coliseum from March 28-30, when I received an email from someone who bought a painting from me in the Fall at ArtsFest. It was an invitation to be the first featured artist at the grand opening of a coffee and chocolate shop called Twin City Hive in downtown Winston-Salem. One of the owners, who also runs a Segway tours business, which will also locate at the venue, told me Twin City Hive will have a soft opening and a grand opening on March 28 and 29.

I believe I have enough artwork to split between the two exhibits. My concern is having enough time and energy to spend the day at the coliseum and then run over to Winston-Salem for the opening of the coffee/chocolate shop (can you think of a better combination?).

I don't know how long my artwork will be on display at the Twin City Hive. I don't really care. The photos I've seen of the renovation show what an impressive job the owners are doing to create a very modern, hip and attractive place to spend time. I'm sure if I lived closer I'd be a regular.

Here's a link to the Twin City Hive Facebook page: ('like' it!) If you scroll down a bit you can find the mention of me. I'm sure they will be continuing to update the plan as the end of the month nears.

I'll post a reminder closer to the date. Maybe I'll see you!

Cherries Jubilee

Well, I believe I have the makings of a fruit salad. I just finished this little (6"X6") painting of three cherries. In fact, it's called "Three Cherries."This was one of the quickest paintings I've ever done. The hardest part was mixing a color that was deep and rich enough to resemble the model cherries. I'm pretty pleased with the result.

I'm going into a very busy time. It's funny how things come in waves. I'll be taking part in the Southern Ideal Home Show in late March, as I was asked by someone who bought one of my paintings at ArtsFest in Winston-Salem, if I would be interested in having my paintings on display at the grand opening of his coffee/chocolate shop.

I've very excited about each of these.

"Three Cherries" has sold! Thank you!

Winter Break

   Our usually snow-less winter was interrupted by, of all things, snow. It's funny how a population of people that hasn't felt any real effects from snow can be thrown into such misery by the first real snowstorm to hit this area in a decade. It has been beautiful to look at. It was nice to have the pace of life slowed to a crawl.
   But I'm ready for warmer weather. If you feel the same, maybe these sailboats will help tide you over until the sun is warming our backs on a more consistent basis. I call this one "Summer Sails." That water is not ice-cold. It's warm, like bath water. The sand is hot enough to need flip flops. The breeze filling those sails is cool and refreshing.

This painting has sold. Thanks Twin City Hive for promoting my artwork!

The Best Pomegranate I've Ever Painted

This is the best pomegranate I've ever painted. It is the only one, but I'm really happy with it. I'm particularly pleased with the texture of the skin of the fruit. I'm nearly finished with a painting of cherries. Once I finish that one, I'll be able to have a produce section when I display my paintings.

This is a 10"X10" painting. Let me know if you're interested.

Thanks for looking!

“One only understands the things that one tames”

The title of this blog entry is a quote from "The Little Prince." It is said by the fox from this book. I have veered slightly from painting birds to painting a fox. He is a simple fox, hiding behind some trees. I like the shape of his head; his bright red coat and paintbrush tail. I have a feeling that he and my birds will become companions and show up in many paintings, in many other settings.

"A Fox in the Woods" is 12"X12" oil on canvas. $85. (This painting has sold! Thank you.)

Thanks for looking!

A Pear with Flair


   While I love to paint birds, barns, boats and grain elevators, sometimes I just want to paint fruit. We received a Christmas gift from my sister that contained pears. I took some photos of them and this is one of  the pears.
   I really like the background color. It helps the pear stand out.
   I have several projects that I'm just getting rolling on. Some of them will be quite different in terms of subjects. I have a painting that I'm working on that will have birds and a fox. It was suggested that I try painting a pomegranate, so I think I'll do that. And I'm going to return to painting boats. It has been a long time.
   For now, though, I hope you enjoy Yellow Pear. It is oil on 12"X12" canvas, and available for $75.

   Thanks for looking!

This painting has sold!

Blue Yonder

I don't always know how my colors are going to turn out. Ok, I almost never know exactly how my colors are going to turn out. When I began this painting I only knew I wanted the sky to be a certain shade of blue. I mixed a plate of paints and came up with a color I liked, but not as a sky. So, instead of continuing to mix the color until I achieved the desired shade, I set it aside and started over. I would later use the original color to paint the building. I like the unevenness, as it makes the building look weathered.
This painting is 16"X12", and can be purchased upon request.  $90 (plus shipping, if necessary).