Tuesday, December 15, 2009

River Garden triptych

each panel 6" x 12"
Acrylic paint on canvas board

I painted this at least a year ago, and sold it recently. Thinking about developing this style further...

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Mug Shot

8" x 10", oil on gessoed masonite

Contrast and compare

Two scenes of Topsail Island
6" x 6" oil on gessoed masonite

I followed Laurel Daniel's excellent tutorial, and was really pleased with the results. I did the painting on the left in mid-September, the one on the right last week. Of course there's a difference in the hues, as they are different times of the year, but I got a lot more depth and a more solid foundation after studying her work.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Friday, December 4, 2009

Walking Home

12" x 16", acrylic on stretched canvas.

I liked the previous painting so much, I did another version.


Monday, November 30, 2009

There is an Eminence

8" x 15.5" acrylic paint on gessoed masonite

"There is an Eminence,--of these our hills
The last that parleys with the setting sun;
We can behold it from our orchard-seat;
And, when at evening we pursue our walk"
—William Wordsworth


Sunday, November 29, 2009


5"x7", mixed media

This was a good loosening up exercise. I made up the technique as I went along, incorporating all sorts of media. First I painted the sky with opalescent inks and an opalescent glaze. The landscape is torn paper glued to the board, then painted over with oil pastel crayons. Finally a wash of black ink vignetting the edges. I like the dreamy quality.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Pool in the White Garden

18" x 24" acrylic paint on stretched canvas.

A view of the lily pond in the Raulston Arboretum in Raleigh.

This painting will be for sale at the Festival of Trees to benefit the ARC of Orange County, on December 5th. More information at their website: http://www.arcoforangefot.org/

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Open House tomorrow night

Thursday November 19, from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the Resale Marketplace. It's a great place to shop for gifts, furniture, and clothing. There will be food and drinks, and door prizes contributed by the vendors. I'm offering this little pepper painting. Hope to see you all there!

All Fired Up
6" x 6", oil on masonite

Monday, November 16, 2009

Blue Morning - sold!

11 x 14" oil on canvas

Many thanks to the purchaser of this painting. 75% of the sales price went to benefit the Raleigh Rescue Mission - a win/win for all of us!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Challenge - Airport Travelers

Airport Travelers challenge from Different Strokes From Different Folks
7" x 7" acrylic on masonite panel

I did this one in two stages. First, I painted the scene in 5 values only: black, white, light gray, medium gray, dark gray. However, I used green instead of gray—Hookers Green with some Burnt Sienna to tone it down. I was going for a graphic approach, in fact at first I was leaving a little white space between the areas. It looked quite a bit like a paint-by-numbers :)

I scanned that step, as I wasn't sure whether to leave it as-is or add color. Then I used watercolor pencils to put just a slight warm or cool cast on different areas, and a few denser areas of color, such as the red bag and the yellow hair.

It's such a dark photo, with high contrast. I found the five values were quite extreme: the two lightest were very far away from the three darkest, and the middle value was still very dark. I cheated a little bit on the floor—really it was the same value as the darkest shadows, but I wanted it to separate from the suits, so I mixed up a half-step value for it, somewhere between 4 and 5. I think adding the cool and warm colors helped bring out some definition from the dark areas, although I like the monotone of the all-green version.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Grove of Trees - sold!

Grove of Trees
24"x30" oil on canvas

I am very excited to announce that this painting will be part of the 19th annual Works of Heart Art Auction Against AIDS. The proceeds from the sales go to the Alliance of AIDS Services Carolina.

You can see the painting by clicking the View the 2009 Artwork link and choosing "L". More information about the auction, how to bid on artwork, and other info about the organization can be found on the website.

Update November 11: Many many thanks to the buyer of this painting - you're supporting a very important cause!

p.s. look for an upcoming post about a benefit for the ARC of Orange.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

New Deal exhibit opens October 29

In Search of a New Deal: Images of North Carolina, 1935-1941 opens this Thursday at the NC Museum of History in Raleigh. I'm the graphic designer for the exhibit—I created the artwork for the signs, posters, etc. Hope all the local folks will get a chance to see it!

More info about the exhibit.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Challenge - City Rooftops

6"x6", oil on masonite

I'm a big fan of the website Different Strokes from Different Folks. Every 2 to 3 weeks Karin Jurick posts a reference photo, and anyone who cares to is invited to paint the image (or use whatever medium), then the paintings are posted on the website. It's fantastic seeing the different interpretations of the same photo.

This is the first one I've tried. I was really smitten with the subtle warm and cool grays in the reference photo, the linearity of the buildings, and the textures of metal and stone. I tried an experimental technique - first I drafted the shapes fairly precisely on the canvas, using pencil and drafting tools. I covered that with a thin layer of gesso - the lines were still visible, but muted (and would not bleed into the paint). Then I used oil paints in a very thin wash, almost as though they were watercolors. The texture of the board really came through.

This is the orientation I liked best. It's rotated 90° from the original. I meant the painting to be a collection of abstract shapes and this is how it looks best to me.

Monday, October 12, 2009


8"x10", oil on masonite panel

100% of the proceeds from the sale of this painting will be donated to the Durham (NC) Rescue Mission to provide Thanksgiving dinners for the homeless - your help can make a big difference in someone's life! Click here to purchase.

"Through grass, through amber'd cornfields, our slow Stream--
Fringed with its flags and reeds and rushes tall,
And Meadowsweet, the chosen of them all"
--William Allingham

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Two Apples

8x10, oil on masonite

A little different direction for me - I've only painted a couple other still lifes, both of pears.

I didn't like these apples until I set it aside to dry and stepped back a few feet - then it all came together. I think the fruits are not large enough on the canvas, but when framed it's less apparent. And by the way they were very delicious apples.

The great thing about painting food is that the items are a tax-deductible business expense. I'm thinking next time I will paint a large pizza and a pitcher of beer.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Summer Field

6" x 6" oil on masonite

A scene from the grounds of the NC Museum of Art in Raleigh.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Nag's Head Woods

6"x6" oil on Masonite
My first plein air painting.

I've been putting this off, because I'm terrified of painting outdoors - it's so difficult to frame the scene. I decided to bite the bullet while we were in Kill Devil Hills last week. I visited the Nags Head Woods Ecological Preserve. It's a gorgeous area with several trails. The one I chose was very steep and difficult and never resolved into a view of anything. So I picked a spot where I could at least stand on flat ground and painted the backlit trees - that's a scene I'm familiar with, given the several renditions of Grove of Trees I painted recently.

The result wasn't the best painting I've ever done; it was a little flat. One mistake is that I used Sap Green as a shortcut—no more greens from the tube ever again, they never look right. But my setup worked great, and now I've broken the ice with plein air painting. Later I touched up the painting in my studio (below), and I'm pretty happy with it now. It looks like I completely repainted the scene, but really I only spent about five minutes improving the contrast and adding a few more tree trunks.

p.s. If you visit the Woods, I highly recommend the Roanoke trail, which we walked a few days later, sans painting equipment. Gorgeous scenery; a smooth, flat trail; and it ends at a little beach on the sound. It's marked as "moderate" on the trail guide, the same as the tortuous Sweetgum trail. It has to be a typo; there is a world of difference in difficulty between the two.

Monday, August 17, 2009

A Song of the Good Green Grass [sold]

8"x10", oil on masonite panel

"A song of the good green grass!
A song no more of the city streets;
A song of farms--a song of the soil of fields."
—Walt Whitman

Monday, August 3, 2009

Little Shores and Safe Harbors

8"x10", oil on canvas board

"There are little shores and safe harbors,
Caves for cool and plains for sun and wind.
Lovely is the sound of the rivers,
Lovely the flashing brightness
Of the lovely peaks."

Friday, July 24, 2009

Many Skies Have Covered Me [sold]

9x16", oil on masonite

"And many skies have covered me
And many winds have blown me forth
And I have loved the green, bright north
And I have loved the cold, sweet sea."

Thursday, July 9, 2009

By the Deep Sea [sold]

6x12" oil on masonite

"There is pleasure in the pathless woods,
there is rapture in the lonely shore,
there is society where none intrudes
by the deep sea, and music in its roar.
I love not man the less, but nature more"

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Painting titles

I have such a hard time coming up with a title for my paintings. It's always "Lake with Sunset" or "Tree." I'm not creative that way. Then recently something I was painting reminded me of a poem I like, and I realized that is a good source for titles. It's not hard to find a snippet of poetry that reflects what I was trying to say in a painting.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Cape Fear River

12x16" oil on canvas

There is a derelict wooden tugboat on the banks of the Cape Fear River across from Wilmington. I'm fascinated by it and have drawn and painted it several times. The last I was there, in September 2008, it was barely holding together. It's been almost a year since I took the reference photo for this painting; I wonder if it will be there the next time I visit.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Monday, January 12, 2009

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...