Friday, September 30, 2011

First landscape

                                               12"x16" Oil on panel 
Just for fun, I thought I'd show one of my earliest efforts.  It was a very long time ago.  A different world.
This was about my 5th landscape, but the first that was sold.  I started off doing George Braque type still life (just one or two) because I liked his color, but gravitated to landscape, which I enjoyed far more. You can see modernist in this painting in the false perspective and the outlined structures. I sort of like the color harmony in this scene,and yet it looks dirty in many spots.  I didn't know much about color then, I once tried to paint a model in a bright purple sweater, and I only had cerulean blue and cad red light.  Try getting a bright purple with those!    Have fun.    Mike

Thursday, September 29, 2011


Today, I have to vacuum and run a few errands.  Don't know if I will get to my easel.  Tomorrow I will be back to art.    Have a nice day.             Mike

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Carolina Setting

                                                   8"x10" Oil on linen panel
                                           Click here to bid on painting
This is a scene from around my area, but with a higher elevation than my home town.  It's much cooler, and the leaves have already started to change.   I rushed autumn a little more by removing most of the leaves from the mid ground trees and enhancing the colors of those in the background.  I will be painting outside a lot now, since the heat and humidity eased.   I really enjoy this time of year, and try to do a lot of small plein air sketches to convert into larger works in my studio later, when winter makes it's appearance.       Mike

Monday, September 26, 2011

Nevada snow

                                                16"x20" Oil on linen canvas
I have friends who own a home in the mountains above Lake Tahoe, and I was there one year when it snowed pretty heavily.  It was very cold, but I drove down the Nevada side of the grade and took a lot of photos of winter scenery.  This interesting setting is in the little town of Genoa, and I painted it later, with a few changes,  in my warm studio. Here, in NC, the leaves are starting to show the first signs of autumn.  My favorite times for plein air work here are autumn and late autumn, when just a few leaves are on the trees

Friday, September 23, 2011

Home again

I just returned from a two week trip to New Orleans to visit my three brothers.  Had a great time.  Ate far too much, but otherwise had a ball.  Golfed, which I'm not too crazy about,  flew, which I am, visited friends and relatives, which was nice, and returned today exhausted.  Since my brothers occasionally read this, thought I'd give them their 15 min.of fame(On my blog, that's a joke!) and show a photo of them.  The only decent one I have is unfortunately some years old.  They haven't changed very much, though, I unfortunately have aged considerably. 
That's Tucker, me, Donald, and Jerry.  Hope any art followers will be tolerant.  Tomorrow, I'll get back to work and show some art.                    Mike

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Pt. Loma lighthouse

                                          14"x18" Oil on canvas                                         
If you ever get to San Diego Ca. you should be sure to visit this historic location.  It is sited on a high hill overlooking the ocean, and looks the way a lighthouse should look.  I painted it on a beautiful blue day, but the wind was blowing off the ocean, as usual, and it was pretty chilly. I was with another artist and we were grateful for hot coffee and a sun warmed auto at breaktime.         Mike

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Gravel pit

                                            12"x16" Oil on linen board
A gravel pit work area seemed a totally different theme than my usually ideallic landscape subjects.  I had fun painting it and someone liked it enough to buy it, but I think that kind of thing is really more suited to modernists, than plein air artists.  At least, this plein air artist.  I guess at heart, I'm a romantic.   Mike

Monday, September 19, 2011

Blog Blab

I am going to just write a few lines today.  I have been goofing off, doing everything but painting, and I'm afraid I'm going to use up all my paintings if I keep showing one a day.  Tomorrow, I will post another work, and will get back to my easel.  Hope everyone is happy, and everyone else is working.   Mike

Friday, September 16, 2011


                                             16"x20" Oil on linen canvas
This is another Ca. painting, done a short distance from Morro Bay, the setting for most of my harbor scenes.   The water you see in the work is a tidal basin, and when the tide is out it's just marsh.   In the background is Morro Rock, around 800 ft, high, as I remember, (but don't bet on my memory!) standing alone in the real harbor, a couple of miles away.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Farm near SLO

                                            14"x18" Oilon linen canvas
Here's hoping this blog attempt goes smoothly.  My late friend, George Gibson, and I spent a nice day painting at this location.   I was up on a rise looking down,as you can see, George was a little bit to my right doing his usual masterpiece.  Cows are curious creatures, and they kept nosing up behind us like they were supervising our work.  Sort of satisfying.  One other day, though, three Charolais ( I think that spelling is right) bulls silently came up behind us.  Our first inkling was when the ranch manager came up on a four wheeler and shouted "I'll chase them off".  We turned around and  saw three really large animals that obviously were not cows.  He did chase them off, but we painted with one eye over our shoulder (a neat trick!) for the rest of the day.            Mike 

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


Yesterday's post drove me crazy.   Lines of text, individual words, and the stupid picture had lives of their own jumping haphazardly all over the blog.  Backspace and delete resulted in incredible happenings.  As you can see, I'm an expert poster.  Then, when I finally accepted that it wasn't going to improve and posted, I couldn't (and still can't) get my link to the auction site working.  So, today I'm going to use that traumatic experience for an excuse to avoid more work today.     Have fun!       Mike

Monday, September 12, 2011

Boatyard Afternoon

8"x10" Oil on linen  
Click here to buy this painting

A small work done at a boatyard in Oregon.   I was alone, really alone, no workers in sight and a pleasant sunny day.  Did two small ones which were both ok and then headed on home.  The next day, I traveled  to Seattle Wa. and did a few rainy day paintings.  I think watercolorists like rain more than oil painters, though In my case, I  guess I like landscapes with cumulous clouds best, as you can observe from my past postings,and I'll put more of those out in the very near future.  Please excuse the formatting on this posting, I've tried for a half hour to make it right and I give up.  It's late and I'm tired!  Have a nice day.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Lost Battle

                                              20"x30"  Oil on linen

Thought I'd show something a little different.   This was a far more subdued painting, on a dark day, of an old abandoned home near where I live.  I put an old bent figure in the background for mood, but when I finished I looked at it and realized I'd done a Halloween poster.   I went back, brightened up the color considerably, as you see it here, and then it looked like a Halloween poster with schizophrenia.   I removed the figure, but then it looked incomplete.   I put it aside, taking it out occasionally to brood over.   Finally, I gave up, ripped it off and threw it away.   Now, as I look at it, I wish I could have it back, to look at, brood over------and probably throw away again!   Sometimes, that's best.          Mike

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Carmel beach

                                              9"x12" Oil on linen panel

This is a painting of a scene near Carmel,Ca.   Carmel is a beautiful community in Central Ca. that was the location of the movie "Play Misty for Me" years ago and became more well known when Clint Eastwood became it's mayor a few years later.  The seascapes are wonderful in every direction,with interesting rocks, turquoise water patches, and great wave action.   I often muse that my own loved town of Cambria is remarkably like Carmel was many years ago.          Mike

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Fire loss

Just read Carol Marine's email confirming the loss of her home in the Texas fires.   What a sad thing for her and David.  I usually enjoy writing this blog, and try to be a little humorous.   Today, I'll just wish them a swift recovery and happier times.                Mike     

Tuesday, September 6, 2011


Today I am going to be very busy, have to do some gallery business,etc.   Had a lot of rain and wind yesterday, negating a plein air session I had planned.   Minor glitches.   Heard about Carol and David Marine's terrible calamity with the fire hitting their area, and am worried about their situation.   Hope they are able to salvage some of their possessions, and will be helped by their insurance.  Our hearts and concern are with you.       Mike 

Monday, September 5, 2011

Back yard

                                             6"x8"??? Oil on linen panel

This is one of a few very small paintings I have done over the years.  I guess at the size, am not really sure,  I didn't  keep very good records until fairly recently.  The scene is the view off my back deck in Huntington Beach Cal. many years ago. The bucolic view has been changed to a development with about sixty fairly large homes.   The reason I decide to paint that day was the cumulus clouds; usually days in Southern Cal are marked by blue skies, without a cloud in sight.   I kept this in my home until a few years ago, finally sold it.      Mike

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Yacht club

                                             8"x10" Oil on linen panel
                                           (Click here to buy this painting)

Another quick sketch I painted in Rockport, Mass.   This is the small harbor and yacht club there.  As I mentioned earlier, this is one of my two favorite places to visit, and I think anyone who is able should try to get to see it.  Most famous American plein air artists  have painted there,  and when I look at so many spots I recognize from their works, I get really pumped up.  My other favorite spot, as I seem to talk about  endlessly, is California's Central Coast.      

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Hazy morning at the harbor

                                             11"x14" Oil on linen board

The fog of the morning had started to disappear. but it still was a gray, hazy morning.  A cold morning.  I painted this with an old sweat sock over my painting hand and a cup of hot coffee in the other.  Started about 8am and finished about 10:30am.  Walked around looking for another viewpoint and around noon the sun really broke through and my friends and I had lunch.  That afternoon did another small one which I'll show some other day.  In case you're concerned, the sock was laundry clean when I started.           Mike