Wednesday, June 13, 2012

"Tree Sketch-study 2"

It's important when you are learning to paint, to do a lot of drawing and get as good as you can, then later when you are painting things that you hope will sell, you can be quite good at it. Winning ribbons at shows doesn't hurt either.  In mid- carrier, you should go back in and take another look at fundamentals and sketch with paint to improve your drawing and speed up the process, if that is important to you.

Friday, May 11, 2012

"Apple and Orange"

There are probably enough objects in the average household to keep a painter busy for several years, and if you step outside into the yard or garage, and let the seasons work their magic, you will find several more years of great paintings, just keep using your imagination and keep on working and designing.  Look at what others are doing and finding what appeals to you, especially in your early years into the process.

Friday, April 27, 2012

"Red Oil Can" SOLD

This is an oil can built, I think, in the 1940's or 50's and now is collectible, which I find amazing.  Somehow oil cans have become desirable, which shouldn't be much of a stretch for me, as I find high-performance tire tread designs exciting.  Really.  I'm going to do a few more traditional still lifes, but not like the Americana style that I have worked in before....a bit more formal.  I really enjoyed painting this but a little more "elegance" is being suggested by my wife.  More elegant than a collectible oil can?

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

I just did three paintings in a row and they were all bad, so I'm not going to show them to anyone.  People who paint know what I'm talking about, and maybe others get the idea too.  I want to say something profound here, but it's just not coming out.  Does anyone out there have good ideas how to get back on track mentally?  I know what skills I do have didn't just go away overnight, but summon all I want, nothing seems to work.  When I did commercial artwork, you didn't have the luxury of messing up, so you just kept going until it looked professional.  Come to think of it, I just did a job for a dental surgeon in our family that we trade work with.  Wait, let me get it.  Ok. here it is.  When I took the job ( I say "job", but it was for free, and I wanted it that way), I didn't know how to design a dental tool, but together we came up with this.  Thank you, Photoshop.  There's no option to fail in the middle of the work, so here it is.  Whoever says a landscape should be an easy painting, just doesn't understand the process, or got good at it a long time ago.  Bye for now.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

"Warm, Lazy Summer"

If it were August, wouldn't it be fun to get some inner tubes from the garage and go to the river and jump in, get on the tubes and take a couple of hours to go to the lake where a good friend is waiting in his car to take us back to the start and he would get his turn.  This is the Jordan River in Utah, and the lake is shallow and the river is WARM.  I guess I'll just paint it this year.
A few will notice that I lost all my posts a week or ten days ago.  Not sure what I did, or maybe it wasn't me, can't be sure.  Now I've learned to back up the photos and comments in one part of the saving process and save the template, even though I can get a new one into shape pretty quickly.  So, all you bloggers, save your work.  my blog was only a month old, but think if someone had five or six years of work into it.  It would be like a computer without a back-up.  Oh, wait.  It WOULD be a computer without a back-up.

"Back to School Time"

I always enjoy the time of year when the leaves turn colours and you see the little kids dressed in their new school clothes getting dropped off by their parents.  I've been both the little kid, and the parent so that makes me an expert.  The world returns to order and the cosmos is as it should be.  Oh how we longed for September when we had a bunch of little guys, but the days go by quickly and we have photos and memories to get us through.

Monday, April 9, 2012

"Sunrise" SOLD

This is a spot in the road without big rocks or deep ruts that I ride regularly about half the year.  I love to mountain bike and I get a lot of ideas for paintings while I'm out.  This year I carry a sketch pad and pencil along with my camera.  I did this one two years ago and it sold right away.  Terrific. It is on gessoed and sanded hardboard.

"New Morning"

This is an acrylic painting, 14"x28", on 300 lb illustration board and is very durable and colour-fast.  The idea of this painting was to make a morning look very, very cold like you remember when you were a kid and lived in a frigid part of the country.  Me?  I grew up in Southern California.  Brrrrr.

Monday, April 2, 2012

"St. George Afternoon" SOLD

When you drive through the city of St. George right on the border of Utah and Arizona, you are entering the part of the world that "arguably" could be called the most beautiful landscape in the world.  If you have a chance to spend a few days in Souther Utah, take your camera, walking shoes or mountain bike, and explore a small part of it.  Or, of course, you could take your paints.

"Yellow Caboose"

This is an acrylic painting on gessoed hardboard, 8"x10" and is ready to be framed and displayed.  I love old trains and find that many of them make great "still lifes", the old Pullman cars, caboose cars and others.

"Rocks and Water"

This is an original oil painting on primed hardboard and measures 7"x5".  As Timpanogos Highway begins to climb up American Fork Canyon, you become aware that there is a stream that parallels the road up to a beautiful fishing lake surrounded by magnificent mountain scenery.  If someone wanted to, he could spend his whole life just painting what is near this mountain and along this road.  It's really nice.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

"Oak Phone 2"

This is an acrylic painting done on primed and sanded hardboard, 8"x10".  I really like working with acrylics because I can get many layers of transparent colour and enjoy the textures that I put down.  "Put colour on with the right hand, and blow it dry with the hair dryer in the left hand".  I really have worked that way, especially under the gun with a deadline when I worked commercially.  I like to do things made from wood 'cause you can get some fun graining, and the wall in the background has a lot of layering and scraping.  It's almost like building something.  I would have been a good finish carpenter.

"Late Summer Trees"

This original oil painting is on canvas panel measuring 11"x16" and ready to be framed.  The inspiration is from the Jordan River in Utah, not far from our home, and where I have used the bike trail that parallels the river up to the Great Salt Lake. This would be in late August, very warm days that are beginning to shorten and lead to great colours and cool evenings.  Here I was experimenting with trees in oils to see what works for me.  I like this one.

"Victorian House 2"

This is an acrylic painting, 15"x19", and is painted on 300 lb. Bainbridge artist's board which is what I used to use to paint architectural illustrations.  It is the highest quality and will last longer than us.  Being that it is on paper, I would use double layer mat board and glass, like you would use for a watercolour painting.  This house exists only in my imagination, but the Victorian style is my favorite and if I could, I would design my own and build it, with all the wonderful detailing and glass doors leading to the great room.

"Umbrella and Boots"

This is and acrylic painting that measures 12"x9" and is on a primed and sanded piece of hardboard.  I use acrylics when I want to do a lot of layers to get effects or textures in the piece.  I know I could do it in oil, but waiting for oils to dry drives me nuts, and having been an illustrator for a bunch of years makes me want to move quickly.  I use a hair dryer to speed things up, too.

In case you don't recognize the subject of the painting, it's an old ice box that people used just before refrigerators made their entry into the homes of almost everyone.  A block of ice went into the top of the box, and water was collected at the bottom.  The food went in the door.

"Slow Evening"

This is an original oil painting on canvas panel, primed and ready to be framed.  It measures 11"x14".  The inspiration goes to my frequency on the bike trail that parallels the Jordan River from Utah Lake north to the Great Salt Lake.  It runs slowly and carries a lot of silt, so it appears quite muddy, but that's alright.  Normally I ride in the hills or mountains, but when my wife comes along, we go a little slower on a paved trail.
This painting is a little different from most of my others, being more impressionistic in style.

"Sandie's House" SOLD

This house is now abandoned, but appears they built a new, larger one across the road, as there is nothing but farm land close by.  We saw this on the way to a town near the South end of the state.  There are a few horses around, some sheep, and, of course chickens.  This is about 8000 ft. high, so they get deeper snow and colder nights in the winter.  Really one of the more scenic areas in the state, and not at all crowded.

"Path Through the Aspens"

This is an oil painting on primed and sanded 3/16" hardboard, and is 7"x5".  The path starts at a mountain lake and goes in and around the back country up there.  As I write this the snow is all but gone and and people have started to fish, bicycle and hike, and maybe a few are painting.  My wife actually took the photo I'm working from, hiking with a girlfriend from work on a Saturday morning, almost a year ago.

Friday, March 30, 2012


This is a 9"x12" acrylic painting on gessoed hardboard and is framed in a neutral hardwood frame which I made with my framing equipment in my garage, sealed with a dust cover on the back, and wire to hang it.  I will sell without the frame, but it's nice and if interested, I will send a picture of the painting in the frame.  There is a bike trail going from Draper, Point of the Mountain, up a ways then turns and comes out in Highland.  I walked part-way in and found this discarded piece of old water management technology.  Just had to paint it.

"Porch with Blue Door"

This is an acrylic painting on primed hardboard, 5"x7" in size.  The Cox Farm first began in what is now Lehi, Utah around 1860 and grew to many acres, part of which has been sold off occasionally to make way for housing tracts.  We have gotten to know the owners, now in their seventies, and walked the land with them.  They have ten or eleven cows, a bull, some calfs, chickens, lots of cats.  Grapes, squash, string beans, broccoli and many other tasty veggies.  We get invited every Summer to pick some of the fresh food for our dinner.  The farm is surrounded now by new houses and Lehi will continue to grow as the population gets larger, but I have my house, everybody else please go away. :-)

Thursday, March 29, 2012

"Rock Wall

This oil painting is 5"x7" in size and was a study for a larger painting that is still waiting to be done.   Soon, soon.  It was done from a collective memory I have of a lot of old houses that stand near the San Bernardino mountains, and rock from the local river that goes to the sea through the famous Orange County, where my wife and I raised our six kids.  Whoa, that's a lot of information.  It's one of the few places that makes me want to slow down and just look around.  One of the few places that isn't covered with concrete and asphalt.

"Blue Trailer"

This oil painting on primed hardboard is 12"x16" and ready to hang with an antiqued gold leaf PleinAir frame.  It may be purchased with or without the frame.  The work was initiated due to my driving and riding by the road that goes past this little farm.  The main house is just to the right of this scene.  They have cows, a few horses, some chickens and some old cars.  It's constantly changing.

"Hammer and Rock"

This painting is done in acrylic paint on a primed piece of hardboard and is 5"x7" in size.  The hammer head is the oldest part, I suspect made in the 1800's or early 1900's.  It is obviously a crude design, yet here it is in the 21st Century.  The handle probably has been changed several times, as this one is about thirty years old; just a guess, but it looks mass-produced.

"Tree Row" SOLD

This is an painting on gessoed hardboard done about a year ago and sold quickly.  It's another example of a painting that, once finished, seemed a bit dull and had no point of view, so to speak.  I redid the sky and changed colours in the trees from green to Autumn gold.  It's not as hard as you might think to change a colour scheme in oil or acrylics, and usually it's a much better painting.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

"Weathered Fence"

We artists try to make each painting as great looking, in many different ways, but once in a while we don't expect much....maybe we're not comfortable with the subject, the design, or any one of a hundred things, but we keep going until the end.  And near the end can come a time when we begin to see a little magic coming together and whoa!  This little guy has life all it's own and we are happy with it.  I like this painting.  It's acrylic on primed hardboard and is 7"x5".

"Farm Creek" SOLD

This oil painting was done with oil paints on primed hardboard, and is 12"x16" in size.  The challenge of this painting was that I did it once with a blue sky and normal green landscape.  And it just sat there, whimpering.  It needed stronger colour, so I did the sky in sunset hues and changed everything to accommodate the time of day, and a client bought it and gave it a good home.  Success story!

"Farm Creek near Springville"

This is an original oil painting on 5"x7" primed hardboard.  The Wasatch Mountain Range of the Rocky Mountains runs North and South through the center of Utah, and there are small streams coming out from them through the length of the state.  During every Spring the waters are full and beautiful, and almost stop in the Fall, except last year when we got a huge snowpack in the mountains and the water continued until the early Spring storms.

"Warm Summer Days"

This is an oil painting on primed hardboard, 6"x8".  It represents the landscape where I drive my truck with mountain bike, on the way to ride in the hills that you see here. I used a warm red underpainting and let it come through here and there as I paint.  I've been a commercial studio painter for years and have been trying the plein aire thing and am finding that it's more natural for me to go to a good site and just start the painting and take some photos, go back to the studio and finish it.

"Cathedral and Cookies"

It's no secret that many artists like to paint old things, and I love to do my "old things" paintings in acrylics so I can work quickly and use numerous layers to achieve interesting textures with worn woods and metals and such.  This one is a style of radio called "Cathedral" and tons of them were sold in the thirties and forties and now you can buy replicas, which have really bad speakers and a slot for CDs and casette tapes, and if anyone has any vinyl records ( I do ), there are "Crosley" radios that have turntables on the top.  I know because my aunt bought me one, and I'm going to try getting a good needle for it and we'll see what happens.  Thanks for coming by.

Monday, March 19, 2012

"End of Winter"

This painting is acrylic on 300# finest illustration board, and was done a few years back, but is now framed in my studio, and I'm running out of room.  It's 24"x14", with a double mat and natural oak frame, with plexiglass for durability.  It's still one of my favorites.  All the objects are from my wife's kitchen.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

"Late Afternoon Clouds"

The scale of the sky that covers us is vast, and the clouds that travel through the heavens can be the most memorable things we see in nature.  Here in Utah, we get some of the best skies that occur on this earth, and it can happen on any day.  Beats smog, which does happen here also, but we call it the "inversion layer".

"Toy Train"

This one was created during the Christmas season, and therefore has several iconic Season objects....the large,candle, the star, the bells, the candle in a bottle and the, yes, toy train engine that hung on the Christmas tree and was a favorite with the kids.


This painting is a favorite of mine.  As an artist, you don't always have the ability to make a painting that you love after it's done.  Sometimes it's sheer will, sometimes you get lucky.  It's the nature of the animal.  I tend not to repeat myself to the extent that if I'm not trying something new, or in a new way, I would be bored.

"Late Summer Colour"

In the late Summer you get days that are very warm and lazy coupled with clues in the colours of the landscape that tell you the weather is about to change. For me, it's a sad time because I love the Summer so much, then everything turns brown, red, orange, and yellow and it's exciting again.

"South Gate"

There is an historical, but small farm about a thousand feet from where we live in a small track of houses.  It was first settled by the ancestors of the folks who live there still.  It is the Cox farm.  The house on the property was started in 1860 and has been added to several times until it became as it is seen now.  About ten cows and a friendly bull live behind this fence.

"California Fields" SOLD

When you drive up through the middle of California, there are areas of beautiful flowers being grown for market, and makes for a never-to-be forgotten road trip.  This painting is 5"x7" oil on hardboard.

"Kamas Farm"

This oil painting on hardboard shows a picturesque working farm in the central high valleys of Utah.  There are no big cities here.  Several towns dot the landscape, and almost every one is built around small business and farm supply and equipment retailers.  This painting is framed in a most cool manner, and may be purchased framed or unframed on Daily

"Please Foreward" NFS

This was a painting that I did several years ago to test my ability to use layers of acrylic paint to create different kinds of textures in the medium.  Came out kinda cool, I think.   Look at the large picture by clicking once, and take note of the sky which I stippled with different colours using a small sponge, then using that same sponge to add layers of pastel colours, very thinly to lower the value of the sky.

"Road to the Campground"

I'm really kind of new to painting oil landscapes, because my background is drawing, painting, photoshopping architectural renderings for the building community in California and Utah (a few, anyway).  I'm really enjoying oil painting, the process is just plain fun, even when problems arise, oh, excuse me, I didn't mean problems, I meant stepping stones to success.