Tuesday, December 27, 2016

What makes a painting better.

This was my painting for the day (the one on top).  I tried this same subject a couple years ago. It turned out rather disappointing (the one on the bottom). This one I'm happy with. It's what I love about painting. To find the shapes and colors and arrangement that create a song across the canvas, regardless the subject. Why does this one work better? Better color. The relationship/contrast between the cool shadow planes and the warm light, especially that one yellow building. The warms and cools on the face of the granary in the middle.  Better resolution of forms and shapes. Cropping in closer made the negative shapes more interesting. I like the repetition of angles across the picture. That gets a little lost in the older one. There is a good rhythm across the canvas on top that doesn't happen on the bottom one. The accents/beats of the darks: the tree, the dark shape in the granary, the palm tree and the tracks along the bottom, with the smaller beats of the tall and short posts. That said, looking at the older one now after a couple years, I like it better than I thought. I like seeing the whole granary up to the top, the way the link fence is articulated and the perspective of the fence and building at right. But I still like the new one better. What do you think?

Friday, November 4, 2016


Miracles seem to me to rest not so much upon healing power coming suddenly near us from afar but upon our perceptions being made finer, so that, for a moment, our eyes can see and our ears can hear what is there around us always. – Willa Cather

 That's one reason I paint. It opens me up to those finer moments.

I've been enjoying doing these small landscapes out in the desert a few miles from my house.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015


I've been looking at Sorolla's apunte's lately. That's the word used in a book I have for his small, quick oil sketches he made on sight. The english translation is simply note. And that's what they are, quick notes of a scene. I'll put some up on a later post, but not here with mine!

This is a quick apunte I did in downtown Phoenix. The Westward Ho, Fillmore and Central.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Late Afternoon Sun

A view of Phoenix on a winter day, late afternoon.
Focused on simplifying shapes and values.

6 x 8, oil on card board

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Along the Canal

Painting Again

I haven't been out painting much lately. I've been busy with illustration work and teaching. But I finally got out last week and painted this house in Mesa. I intended to add the windows when I got back to the studio but I liked the relationship of the masses too much and decided to leave them out.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015


I did this little gouache sketch this morning. I was a little disappointed with it until I scanned it and viewed it on the screen. It looked a lot better. The problem is, it looked better because my scanner intensified the color. So my plan is to do a larger oil painting based on the saturated color. Is that cheating? I don't know and I don't really care. I just like the color.

On another note, I have a lot of illustration work going on right now ( for which I am glad!) so I don't have much time for my own painting. Additionally, the gallery that I have been showing at for the last 8 years closed last month. So I'm taking this time to do some things for myself without bothering with that great creativity killer: will it sell. I'm taking an hour here and an hour there to do quick little paintings, exploring different means of visual expression, trying to get back to some of my more abstract roots.