Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Twilight Reflections

This is a little lake nearby where I used to live. The scene has so many possibilities and the first time I painted it as a demonstration for workshop students. I reworked it as a twilight scene to give it a bit of drama.
Oil on linen/panel, 6 x 6 inches.

Make a bid on "Twilight Reflections" at my gallery on Daily Paintworks

Monday, November 10, 2014

Riverbend Park

Riverbend Park is just above Great Falls on the Potomac River. Here the water is placid and there are these wonderful wide water areas with rocks and islands. I did this little painting from a plein air sketch that I had done with the Washington Society of Landscape Painters.
Oil on linen/panel, 6 x 6 inches.

Make a bid on "Riverbend Park" at my gallery on Daily Paintworks

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Green Shutters

This is another house on Main Street in New Market, MD. I have painted these windows so many times. I usually embellish them with special curtains and this particular case, a kitty in the window.

Oil on linen/panel, 7 x 5 inches.

Make a bid on "Green Shutters" at my gallery on Daily Paintworks

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Black Shutters

This window is in New Market, MD, one of my favorite places to paint, especially years ago. New Market was known as the antiques capital of Maryland. Almost every house along Main Street was an antique shop of sorts and the owners always kept the exteriors of their homes inviting. There were always planters with flowers and other assortments of arrangements. This is the only stone house on Main Street, and I have painted the doors and windows numerous times.

I think this window view is particularly neat because you can see right through the house to the trees on the other side.

Oil on linen/panel, 6 x 6 inches.

Make a bid on "Black Shutters" at my gallery on Daily Paintworks

Lander's Edge


Lander is a little crossroads along the C&O Canal in Frederick Co. MD. About all that's there is the lock house and maybe another 6 houses. The CSX train goes through there periodically loaded with coal for DC. This scene is at the Potomac River, looking up river and my DVD shows a demonstration of a painting looking down river.

It's a lovely peaceful area and when I've been there, I've only seen a few fishermen and tourists.

Oil on linen/panel, 6 x 6 inches.

Make a bid on "Lander's Edge" at my gallery on Daily Paintworks

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Old Hipsley Mill Road

Hipsley Mill Road is not far from where I used to live. I always found this scene particularly interesting with the road curving around the cedar trees and on into the distance.
Oil on linen/panel, 6 x 8 inches.

Make a bid on "Old Hisley Mill Road" at my gallery on Daily Paintworks

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Placid Reflections

This painting was from a plein air piece I did as a demonstration during a workshop in southwestern Pennsylvania. There is a painting around every corner in that area. I have numerous painting I have done this lake and it's easy to get a good one. The mountains supply a splendid soft background for the little island and the trees on the bank.
Oil on linen/panel, 6 x 6 inches.

Make a bid on "Placid Reflections" at my gallery on Daily Paintworks

Monday, November 3, 2014

Autumn Stroll

This painting was taken from a plein air demonstration that I did several years ago. I loved the silhouetted figure against the strong light as he walked over the crest of the hill. Dappled light is one of my favorite things to paint, so I incorporated as much into this painting as I could.
Oil on linen/panel, 6 x 6 inches.

Make a bid on "Autumn Stroll" at my gallery on Daily Paintworks

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Late for Brunch

This is another painting from the Patuxent Wildlife Research Center. The three geese in the painting were following a larger flock, and it seemed to me that they were late for something. I liked the way the foreground trees are silhouetted again the light water and sky.

 Oil on linen/panel, 6 x 8 inches.

Make a bid on "Late for Brunch" at my gallery on Daily Paintworks

Friday, October 31, 2014

Autumn Golds

After doing a small painting of the lake at Patuxent Research Center, I turned around and painted the scene behind me. I loved all the autumn colors with the light shining through and the interesting cast shadows on the path.

Oil on gessoed/panel, 6 x 6 inches.

Make a bid on "Autumn Golds" at my gallery on Daily Paintworks

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Mansfield's Corner

This little piece was begun as a plein air painting on a trip to the Gettysburg Battlefield in Pennsylvania. The battlefield is beautiful and expansive and there were many options from which to choose. I actually liked this scene the best since I could look down the road edged with the split rail fence and see the mountains in the distance.

Oil on gessoed/panel, 6 x 8 inches.

Make a bid on "Mansfield's Corner" at my gallery on Daily Paintworks

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Sunny Rapids

I have frequently painted the Patuxent River in Ellicott City, MD as it is very peaceful and quiet there. Usually I go with painting friends, and we line up along this path to paint, being careful not to block anyone's view. The bright light on the rocks and rapids were of special interest to me, so I highlighted them as much as possible. These light areas set off the darker rocks and silhouetted trees.
Oil on gessoed/panel, 6 x 8 inches.

Make a bid on "Sunny Rapids" at my gallery on Daily Paintworks

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Golden Lights

This is from a plein air piece painted at the Patuxent Wildlife Refuge outside of Washington, DC. It is where there is a lot of research being done on the endangered whooping cranes, though special permission needs to be granted in order to see these wonderful birds.There're a lot of other birds that use this land as a sanctuary and hence there are lots of scenes to paint.
I liked this one because of the gold leaves against the slightly purplish color of the distant trees. I am going back there tomorrow to paint again.
Oil on gessoed/panel, 6 x 8 inches.

Make a bid on "Golden Lights" at my gallery on Daily Paintworks

Monday, October 27, 2014

Autumn at Occoquan

This is a plein air painting from when the Washington Society of Landscape Painters went to Occoquan, VA, south of Washington DC. I had never been there before, but I liked this scene where I could peer through the trees to the little jut of land across the river. The colors had just started to turn and the reds and golds were amazing.
Oil on gessoed/panel, 6 x 8 inches.

Make a bid on "Autumn at Occoquan " at my gallery on Daily Paintworks

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Arboretum Morning

This is a plein air sketch that I did as a demo at a workshop I was conducting. I modified it a bit to make it more dramatic.  I had taken the class to the Virginia Arboretum near Berryville VA where there are wide expanses of land. The trick is to avoid the areas which appear manicured as I prefer the more natural look.  The other trick is to pick a location where 12 students can also fit in a decent view.

Make a bid on "Arboretum Morning" at my gallery on Daily Paintworks
Oil on gessoed/panel, 6 x 8 inches. 

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Corsica Reflections

This painting is from a plein air piece done on the edge of the Corsica River on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. There were about 50 members of the Mid-Atlantic Plein Air Painters (MAPAPA) who had convened for a special tribute to one of their founders and famous members, Ross Merrill. Ross had been chief of conservation at the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC
and was a well respected and entertaining individual. Unfortunately it was a gray day, so I changed the sky and added the lighter areas which was more indicative of the mood of the day
Make a bid on "Corsica Reflections" at my gallery on Daily Paintworks
Oil on gessoed/panel, 6 x 8 inches.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Sycamore Morning

The Washington Society of Landscape Painters often go to Belle Haven Marina just south of Alexandria VA on the Potomac River. There are a numerous spots to paint, and I particularly liked this one the way the sycamore tree was silhouetted against the rising sun. I also liked where the sunlight made little spots of warm color on the rocks. This is a small painting made from the plein air sketch.

Make a bid on "Sycamore Morning" at my gallery on Daily Paintworks
Oil on gessoed/panel, 6 x 8 inches. 

Thursday, October 23, 2014

River Rhythms

Another day, and another paintout with friends along the Patapsco River. I was really taken by the sharp contrast of the light on the far rocks with the shadows and reflections in the foreground.

Make a bid on "River Rhythms" at my gallery on Daily Paintworks
Oil on linen/panel, 6 x 8 inches. 

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Still Water

This is the same scene as "River Blues" but looking down the river and focusing a bit more to the left. Mainly I was interested in the reflections, because the river was so calm. Reflections are one of the things I love to paint. I find them quite fascinating.  I particularly like to add the little sparkles in the water.
Make a bid on "Still Water" at my gallery on Daily Paintworks
Oil on linen/panel, 6 x 6 inches. 

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

River Dance

Often I paint plein air with friends and this particular day a bunch of us went to Violette's Lock on the Potomac River near DC. This was one of many scenes that we could paint at this location.  Endless possibilities.
I was particularly drawn to the cool still water under the trees contrasting with the warm sunshine colors on the rocks and rapids.
Make a bid on "River Dance" at my gallery on Daily Paintworks
Oil on linen/panel, 6 x 6 inches. 

Sunday, October 19, 2014

River Blues

Many times I paint with friends here along the Patuxent River where it runs through Ellicott City, MD.  It is very quiet, and with a gentle breeze there are no mosquitoes or other biting bugs.  This is a little plein air piece I did about a month ago.
There are lots of rocks left over from the glaciers and the river formed this deep canyon, now filled with trees and more rocks. 
Make a bid on "River Blues" at my gallery on Daily Paintworks

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Srawberries with Battenburg Lace

Yes, it,s still strawberry season.  Time for compotes of fresh strawberries, strawberry shortcake, strawberry jam, and of course, to paint their lusciousness.
I selected these three and placed them on the Battenburg lace, which belonged to my grandmother.  I think the lace sets them off nicely. 
Make a bid on "Strawberries with Battenburg Lace" at my gallery on Daily Paintworks

Friday, July 11, 2014

Mountain View

The Washington Society of Landscape Painters, of which I have been a member for over fifteen years, holds a paintout once a month.  We have painted all around the Washington Metropolitan area in every park and scenic area available.  This particular view is from an overlook near Middleburg, Virginia and the Blue Ridge mountains are in the background. 
On that day, most of the other members painted in town, but I found this special place by driving for miles and miles. 
Make a bid on "Mountain View" at my gallery on Daily Paintworks

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Summer Meadow

This is from a plein air demonstration that I did while giving a workshop.  It was a true challenge, as there wasn't really much to paint.  Just a horse pasture, trees and some back ground trees.  No horses, though.   I accentuated a path that was barely there to help the eye get into the painting.
I have done a larger painting from this sketch, changing the sky, the direction of the path and adding cows.  Something this basic can go in many directions. 
Make a bid on "Summer Meadow" at my gallery on Daily Paintworks.  

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Day Lilies

A friend gave us these day lilies for our garden two years ago, and I love them!  These bright colors scream "summer!'  I like putting a dark background behind them to really make them pop. They should last another week or so.

Make a bid on "Day Lilies" at my gallery on Daily Paintworks.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Early Evening

This little painting is another example of reworking a plein air sketch.  That sketch was done with bright sunshine and a blue sky, and I thought the scene would be more interesting if I changed it to an early evening scene.  I am partial to these sunsets with the pinks and yellows in the sky.

The original scene is at a wildlife refuge and at any moment a flock of Canadian geese or other migratory birds could fly over. Nearby is a private and very protected area for nurturing endangered whooping cranes. It's very special.

Make a bid on "Early Evening" at my gallery on Daily Paintworks

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Fresh Cherries

I think cherries are my favorite fruit.  I love cherry yogurt, cherry pie, cherry ice cream, cherry preserves, and best of all, fresh cherries in July.  I eat as many as I can in that one month because know it has to hold me for a whole year.

Since it's that time again, I decided to paint fresh cherries with this graceful little Oriental cup.  I have used it in lots of still life paintings, as it is very versatile and accents the dark fruit.

Make a bid on "Fresh Cherries" at my gallery on Daily Paintworks.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Azalea Park

Now that I have rejoined Daily Paintworks, I am busy producing small painting for their website.  Inadvertently yesterday, an old image was posted, which received considerable attention.  So today, I reworked that painting into a 6 x 8 size.  I am calling this "Azalea Park."

Originally I did a plein air sketch at a nearby county park and then enlarged it to a 24 x 30, and you can see the steps below.  I have many paintings from that area, and will do more in these small sizes. I may even end up with a category of azalea paintings!

Friday, February 28, 2014

Azalea Park, Step 9


The Final Painting: Favorite Azaleas
This final step is where I start to tweak areas that bother me. Mainly I look at shapes and where my eye goes. I'll walk away from the painting and come back and take a look. If my eye goes to a place that I don't want it to go, then I know that's a problem area. 
One of the major things I did was make a more definitive light and shadow pattern on the light side of the trees where leaves were casting a shadow  I made them a little more distinctive.  I also lightened the light areas of the path which help make it sparkle more.
I added some pink above the background trees to add atmosphere and color in the sky.  I felt that some pink there would help move the colors around the painting.

This is the finished painting and the most difficult part was coming up with a title.  I have painted so many azalea paintings that I have nearly run out of ideas.  I settled on "Favorite Azaleas" as this is my favorite area to paint the flowers.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Azalea Park, Step 8

Painting the Azaleas
This part is really fun, as I enjoy painting these beautiful flowers and making them look like azaleas.  There are areas of the shrubs that need to be massed but the branches go every which way.  I have found that it is important to make some areas ditzy or they won't look like azaleas. 
I enjoyed making the subtle color and value changes so you could differentiate one bush from another.  The foreground bush on the right was the most difficult to paint convincingly.  You can see from the photos what the bush really looked like.  All these foreground bushes had lots of branches and dead leaves showing, and I didn't want that.  Fortunately, among all my reference photos, I have some shots of azalea bushes where the blooms go all the way to the ground. 
I refined the shadows and colors on the path and added some "dirt" and weeds to the grassy areas. I also added some light areas to the tree trunks where the sunlight was hitting them.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Azalea Park, Step 7

Painting the Background

Working back to front, I have refined the background mass of trees, trying to keep the edges soft so they don't attract too much attention. I want them kind of blurry since they are not the center of interest.

The reflections in the water suggest that there is some movement in the river.  The river would reflect the entire mass of trees if the water were calm.  I'll add a few ripples later.

I  have also put in some foliage on the large park trees, letting my brush dance to shape the leaves.  I always enjoy doing that since it is lively and animated.  I think it makes the leaves look more alive.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Azalea Park, Step 6

The Finished Underpainting


Here I have completed the color underpainting.  I have roughed in the values and a variety of colors in the garden and on the path. I am following the plein air sketch fairly faithfully. 

I have to stand back at least twenty feet and then squint to see the color and value masses clearly.  This is how I see what needs to be done.  For instance there are too many azalea bushes the same color and there is a stripe of pink ones on the right which looks dumb.  I like the little spots of red ones, but right now they stand out too much. 

Friday, February 14, 2014

Azalea Park, Step 5

Beginning the Color Underpainting
Working from back to front and top to bottom, I painted the sky, the far trees, and the water.  I used cool colors introducing some pinks here and there for the atmospheric perspective.

My limited palette consists Naples yellow dark, cadmium yellow light, cadmium orange, cadmium red light, permanent madder deep ( a more permanent color than alizarin crimson), burnt sienna, ultramarine blue, thalo blue, thalo green, and ivory black. 

So I used a lot of thalo blue and thalo green.  I have learned to be judicious with these powerful colors, but they have a wonderful tinting strength.  Many times I dilute the thalo colors with pinks and reds.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Azalea Park, Step 4

The Underpainting
For the underpainting, I combined burnt sienna and ultramarine blue to make a dark, warm tone.  Then I carefully followed the charcoal lines, wiping them off with a rag as I proceeded.  I used a medium of Liquin and OMS (odorless mineral spirits) in a proportion of about 1:1.

For the lighter areas, I used more medium to thin the paint.  I paid careful attention to the light and shadow patterns so I could begin to get a sense of the sunlight on the azaleas and the path.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Azalea Park, Step 3

Enlarging the Plein Air Sketch
Sorry this is hard to see, but it is a gridded enlargement of my plein air sketch onto my 24x30 linen canvas.  With plastic wrap taped over my sketch, I ruled a grid of squares with a pen and drew a corresponding larger grid on my canvas with soft vine charcoal.

Then following the sketch, I enlarged it square by square, carefully wiping off the charcoal as I went along.

Even though this sounds like an extremely elementary step, I find that I must do it to retain the accuracy and feeling that I had in the initial sketch. It definitely increases my comfort level.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Azalea Park, Step 2

Reference Photos
These are three of the photos I took that day.  You can see how I took liberties with the scene, especially showing more of the water than I could really see.  I also accentuated the light on the path and the way it turned behind the azalea bushes. 

The painting will be based on the plein air sketch but I will use these photos as reference information.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Azalea Park, Step 1

The Plein Air Sketch

Brighton Dam Azalea Gardens is one of my favorite places to paint in the spring.  These azaleas have been there for years and in the latter part of April and the first part of May the blooms are magnificent.  I try to go there every year .The gardens are adjacent to a reservoir which adds color and counterpoint to the many-colored flowers. 

This is a recent plein air sketch and I thought it would blow up nicely into a larger painting.  The frustrating thing about painting azaleas (and perhaps most flowers) is that the tube colors will never match the vibrancy and intensity of the real colors.  I am going to make it a 24 x 30.  This sketch is 11 x 14.