Saturday, September 15, 2018

“John’s View of Mount Shasta”

This is one of four of my paintings on display at the Westhaven Center For the Arts in the Representational Art League annual “New Works” show on display Sat./Sun. Afternoons until Oct. 28th. Several weeks ago, I met with John Crater at his studio on a foggy day and we pawed through his collection of photos taken from his many hikes. This subject caught my eye, because it had the warm hued boulders in the mid ground. I’ve been trying to train myself to pick out a section of the painting to focus the eye more than others, so that the viewer has a sense of where to go, and so the painting has a center of gravity. I did this by making the colors and contrasts slightly more crisp, and the edges slightly more sharp in the focal point region. Now that I’m gaining more comfort with this concept, it makes me want to repaint all my old paintings!

“John’s View of Shasta” 

oil on canvas 



Available at Westhaven Center For the Arts

Monday, September 10, 2018

Girl Playing in the Tide

This was the painting that I created and sold at the auction with a little help from Matt Stanton Beard for the Trinidad Coastal Land trust 40th anniversary celebration! It was a fun celebration with great food, lots of good peeps and the perfect party music by “The Sand Fleas”. 

Several of us took turns on another painting that was set up next to the band, tapping each other out when we thought we had an idea for what it needed next. Pretty fun! It evolved into a sunset scene with rocks and stylistic waves.

This piece in the photo was another of my attempts at putting figures into the landscape. Initially I had her father standing to the right, waiting, but he looked kinda creepy, so I scraped him off and let her swim unsupervised instead. Another thing that was interesting, was after the encouragement from Matt, I scraped off the two foreground rocks and repainted them darker to make them pop forward in space. I just painted them quickly and unselfconsciously and it seemed to work a lot better than before. I think Matt also lightened my Trinidad head mass in the far background when I wasn’t looking, which helped the depth as well.

The effect is termed “atmospheric perspective” for those of you who haven’t been indoctrinated in the science behind creating landscape paintings. As items are further away from the eye, they tend to get lighter and cooler, due to having to look through layers of atmosphere. 

Thanks to Jim for being the top bidder of the night!

Sunday, September 02, 2018

Surf at the Mouth of the Klamath

Opening today(Sunday Sept. 2nd) at the Westhaven Center for the Arts from 1pm to 4pm. The Representational Art League will be doing a group show there until Oct. 27th. This is our big show for the year; each member was invited to bring 5 pieces, so it ought to be an interesting display. 

This piece was a break through for me. I decided to go back to working smaller(11” x 14”), so that I could really work on getting my technique to flow. Often, I meet with John Craater to paint, if the weather is poor, then we paint from his big screen monitor in his studio. The source photo was one of his, taken at the mouth of the Klamath. I really liked being able to go after the vivid warm earth tones on the rocks, and set them off against the crashing surf! Sometimes if a source is challenging enough, I have to turn of my analytical brain and just trust in the process in order to get through it!

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Samoa Neighborhoods

One week left for the big show at the “Garden Gate” in Arcata. This piece “Samoa Neighborhood” is up with another one Samoa piece at the Redwood Artist’s Association for September. It features the house of Debbie Krug, so if you know her, she might be tickled to see it! I really liked how the house shapes were stacked up on each other, then cordoned off with a picket fence, later on a lower point cordoned off with a bit of razor wire, can’t be too careful! The washed out, dogged out tones on these old pastel houses said both “beach town” and “mill town” to me.  There’s a bit of working class dignity to the scene! Painting so many straight lines is usually something I avoid, but lately I’m trying to face my demons, because they seem to be powerful teachers!

This painting is part of a series of paintings I’m working on as I try and confront my fear of painting architecture. The pastel hued houses are from the Mill town of Samoa. My notion with this painting was to be more aware of using a focal point in the composition. In the past, people have told me that I needed to do things like “put my lightest color next to my darkest color in the focal point.” Well it recently really struck home that I need to make the focal point more tightly focused, and then make the rest less interesting and less tightly focused. I needed to really slow down and enjoy making subtle relationships happen in the focal area, so that the viewer would in turn enjoy looking at it. This feels like a big deal to me, but I’m sure it all sounds obvious to you all.

The other thing I’m finding is that as my standards for paintings rise, my productivity falls! I end up working and reworking small paintings for several days, figuring that one good painting will do much more for my career than 10 mediocre paintings... oh well, it’s a good thing I have two day jobs!

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Pierson Horse Barn

My show at the Garden Gate in Arcata is still up until Sept. 4th. In this piece I set out to break a long streak of overworked paintings. My goal was to work through this piece from start to finish in one morning. So, I ended up painting this in two coats, a thin coat, and then a thick one. It felt good. It felt right. I think I’m going to continue on in the same vane for a while. Small works. Done economically.

Today I was excited to paint the horse barn on the Cathy Ray Pierson and Hank Pierson Property, (thank you Cathy for inviting us!) It was so fun getting together with the Sunday Paintout Group today. Painting alongside Burleigh Wilson and Richard R Stockwell and getting to know them better! “Pierson Horse Barn” oil on canvas

Available from the artist


Thursday, June 07, 2018

Whacky Goats Northcoast Open Studios

This collection of whacky goat portraits will be on display this weekend at Northcoast Open Studios June 9,10 (info below). Sometimes I just get a wild hair in my brush and want to make silly paintings. When I got into this series I had been painting a bunch of portraits and had two in a row with bad proportions to the point where I scraped off two day’s work and abandoned the paintings. Still in the mood for painting portraits I landed on goats. No goat is going to come bleating and naaaging you for getting their eyeball placed an inch away from its rightful position. There just gonna eye you up and down, in hopes that you might look away long enough to get a bite of your shirt. Anyway, I started having so much fun, that one portrait begat another until I had myself a herd of whacky goat paintings. I’m not proud, it was just something that needed exorcising. 

This piece along with 300 paintings (many older pieces marked down) as well as cards and prints will be on display for Northcoast Open Studios. Over a hundred other artists will also be showing their work. Find catalogs around town or follow the link below for the online directory. Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

View from Luffenholtz Point

Rick Tolley convinced me to go out Painting this morning with Paul Rickard when I should have been preparing for Northcoast Open Studios this weekend (info below). I’ve attempted this view a few times, but this is the first time that I have put bushes in the foreground. That would have been something I avoided in the past, but now those kinds of elements are really appealing to me. Humboldt is just overflowing with life, bushes growing on top of bushes, with trees reaching through. 

In this piece I tried a new technique, by making a thinned down monochromatic painting in violet, then painting the scene on top. It turned out to be really helpful because I had a strong feeling for the shapes, compositions and values before even starting to plug in the observed colors of the scene. It actually really felt easier.

Northcoast Open Studios is this June 1,2,3,9,10. Pick up a catalog around town or follow this link to the online directory. A ton of artists all over the Northcoast will be opening their studios. My Arcata home will be opened up to the public with around 300 artworks on display,(many older works steeply discounted) as well as prints and cards. I hope you come by!

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Northcoast Open Studios June 1,2,3,9,10

Made another morning marshscape for Northcoast Open Studios June 1,2,3,9,10. (see below) The sun was just coming up over Fickle Hill as I worked on this one. I decided to focus on color, atmosphere, and light, instead of detail. It made it possible to get through all of the information I wanted in the painting before the light quality changed too much. Starting to really see the possibilities that wet into wet painting provide. It’s a very interesting, and fun way to paint!

If you are interested in seeing more of my art and the work of many other artists pick up a Northcoast Open Studios catalog around town or follow this link to the online directory. I’ll have about 300 artworks on display along with cards and prints. Hope to see yah there!

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Painting at Morris Graves Property then/now

Northcoast Open Studios is June 1,2,3,9,10 link below. This piece was also painted at the Representational Art Leagues retreat. It was a really windy day, so I tried to let the kinetic energy in the air influence my brushwork. It was a bit of a chaotic dance that had and goal of depicting the scene! I tried this same angle 3 years earlier at a painting workshop with Jim McVicker, where he helped me out a bunch. Every time he passed by, I would hand him my brush to see how he would solve that stage of the painting. It was super helpful! Wanted to see how much of that information got internalized over time, and wanted to see what it would look like with just me behind the brush. I’ll post a pic of our collaborated piece below.

Northcoast Open Studios guide is right here:

Friday, May 18, 2018

Dark Reflected Forest

Northcoast Open Studios is coming up June 1,2,3,9 & 10. This piece was painted during the Representational Art League’s annual retreat out at the Morris Graves property. I worked fast and loose and atmospheric. Was surprised at how much can be said painting in this manner.

Find the directory to Open Studios here: