Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Color Matters

As Labor Day approaches, 
my favorite subject matter is diminishing. 
I'm getting in a few more busy beach scenes 
before they disappear! 

"Color Matters 2"
20 x 20 oil 

NOTE: On the first "pass",
I wasn't happy with the dull background
and wishy washy sky color.  

So I used the "Brushes" app on I Pad 
and experimented with removing the background 
and bumping up the color of the sky. 

I pad experiment

A great tool to try out different color combinations
before you change a whole painting! 

Sunday, August 28, 2016

My Greatest Influence

The greatest influence on my work was my college art professor

He was chairman of the art department at Muskingum College 
in New Concord, Ohio
 where I studied from 1968 - 1972.
I was his teaching assistant and worked in his gallery
 on Martha's Vineyard for three summers. 

I have many fond memories of us 
sketching and exploring the Vineyard together. 

Some of his sketches:

He taught me the joy of "capturing a moment in time."
A talented and generous artist,
he was first and foremost;
a true gentle man.

His Artist’s Statement:
(from a show he had in the late 90's)
“The doing of these paintings represent many pleasurable hours. If my work has a purpose, it is the eternal one of trying to maintain a positive attitude in a seemingly indifferent world. The excitement is in the trying to get ever closer; to capture the magic of that moment in time. The incentive comes from the illusion of improvement; that the next experience will meet the goal. The rewards are too numerous to mention, but financial and honorary and not on the list.” 

I feel so fortunate to have spent so much time with him 
at such an influential time my artist journey.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016


"Color Matters" 
20 x 20 
oil on canvas

An artist friend recently commented that my work
was reminiscent of the work of Alfred Chadbourn.
I was flattered because he was an instructor of
who I took a few workshops with years ago.
To this day, I consider Charles one of my biggest influences.

I've been studying this book and have 
 realized that while my approach and style may be changing, 
I'm not really doing anything new. 
I'm just doing the same thing, differently.   

Thursday, August 18, 2016


I'm becoming addicted to the magic of gouache. 
It really has a mind of it's own. 
You have to just go with the flow. 
I find that very exciting. 

 (close up) 
Green Matters
5 x 7 gouache on paper

I had these these framed
under glass with a 2 1/2 inch mat 
and dropped them off a the Copley Society today.

"Green Matters" Series
11x 13 framed 
"Green Matters" Series
13 x 11 framed 
"Green Matters" Series
13 x 11 framed

I need to learn how to photograph 
paintings framed under glass. 
Any suggestions?

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Tweaking Paintings

I finally got around to "tweaking" some of the paintings
I've done so far this summer,
so I thought I'd share some of the results. 

"Docked" (Final version) 
12 x 16 oil 

 The initial version  

The white shape at the upper left corner bothered me
so I took it out, 
and the values on the sail boat and reflections were too dark
so I lightened them. 

"Busy Beach Day" ( Final version)
9 x 9 oil 

The initial version 

The blue chair on the right needed some definition
so I added a red cooler 
and the hint of another chair to break up the space.  

Tweaking paintings "after the fact" can be risky.
I've ruined many paintings that way, 
as I tend to forget my initial spontaneous response to the subject
and end up over working them.

I think these survived.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Happily Back to Teaching

After a year long break from teaching,
 I had such fun teaching my first two day 
Conquering Color workshop
this week.
It was an adventurous group, 
as we were using gouache on bristol board;
a medium no one had used before. 

Here are a few of the results from the exercises.
They were obviously up for the challenge! 

Value plans

Same Subject/ Four Colors 

Value to Color 

Two Color Value Pattern 

  At the end, they painted on their own
 from a photo or a still life
of their choosing. 

 This all got me very excited! 

I've really missed the sharing of ideas and camaraderie 
in a class environment 
and I'm so happy to be back! 

Stay tuned for upcoming workshops and classes! 

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Conquering Color

I've been preparing for a 
Conquering Color workshop
 I'm teaching at the South Shore Art Center this week. 

I call this the 
"Two Value/ Crazy color"

Gouache color exercise 

You pre-mix two of your favorite contrasting colors, 
making one darker than the other.
Do a simple contour drawing of a simple set up,
and fill everything in shadow in the darker color.
Fill in everything in light in the lighter color.

This exercise helps you forget about representational colors 
and allows you to be more expressive! 

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Experimenting with Mark Making

 Along with limiting my shapes and colors, 
I've been experimenting with "mark making".
This little one 
took many turns along the way. 

Busy Beach 
9 x 9 oil 

First, I used a different image of the same subject and 
blocked it in over an old painting on a carton board. 

I got it this far,  then scraped the whole thing off 
because I didn't like the composition. 
(I kind of wish I had kept working in to it 
at this point) 

I chose a different "view" of the same scene, 
and let it dry a bit after I got it this far. 

Once tacky, I was able to go back in and soften some of the edges,
and adjust some of the color shapes. 

We are in the height of summer, 
so I think there will be more experiments 
with this subject matter!