Saturday, October 29, 2011

Boats at Rocky Neck

                                                    8"x10" Oil on linen panel
                                                 Click here to buy this painting
A painting from a photo I took a while back in Massachusetts.  Rocky Neck is near Gloucester and is a wonderful place to find New England type fishing boats, boatyards, etc.  On this occasion, I was out painting with Anita Hampton, a well known California artist, and an old friend. We painted all over the Cape Ann area, produced several "keepers", and had a great time.  You have one ,too.      Mike

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Stonybrook Autumn

                                                            14"x18" Oil on linen panel

Painted en plein air on a large estate near Hendersonville, NC.   Autumn colors were particularly bright that year, and knowing full well that winter cold was not far away, I took advantage of a beautiful crisp day,  went out and just had a lot of fun.  This year, the foliage is not nearly as colorful, but my french easel is full of cadmiums, and I think I will still have a lot of fun.           Mike. 

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

October clunker

The weather here in NC has become warmer and beautiful.  Yesterday I drove down to SC to paint with my friend, Jane, and, after a short recon, set up on a country road with some nice choices.  I made a bad one.  Jane chose a home on a hill with fields and fences and composed and finished a nice little outdoor sketch.  I decided to paint some prominent trees in a small woods across the road from her.  Well, I was looking into a dark area with sunlight filtering down and I thought I could do a keeper. Wrong!  I started off with a nice lay in and then got into values.   What a royal mess!  I fought it for about two hours, fought nausea looking at it for another ten minutes, and finally accepted that it was only good for a reused painting board.  I scraped it off, wiped it down, and have a nice toned surface to try another painting.  Years ago, when I was less experienced, I would have taken it home, kept it for months, and finally given up;  then had to chip, scrape, and sand it to make it usable again.  Other than that, I had a fun day.  You have one, too.   Mike

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Puerta Vallarta

                                                14"x18" Oil on linen panel
Years ago, I spent a week in Puerta Vallarta, Mexico.  It was an interesting week, and many paintings resulted, from the photos I took.  This is one of them.  Unfortunately, when I took the painting's photo, I accidentally cropped a little from the top of the church steeple.  I didn't notice at the time, and since the painting was sold, I can't remedy it .now.  My life has been that way--Klutzy.    Anyway, I still sort of like it.  Have a nice day.        Mike

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Farm house with cattle

                                             9"x12" Oil on linen panel
A small farmhouse and cowshed became more interesting to me when a few hungry cattle wandered into the scene.  I was painting with a couple of other artists on a crisp autumn morning and we all did just about the same composition.  The finished works,though, were strikingly different. One saw more orange and yellow, one more brown and purple.  I am always amazed at the way different artists see the same thing.  We all had the same fun, though!  That's the most important thing.      Mike

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


Today I'm going to work on some paintings for my galleries.  I am happy that this stage of fall is here. Temperatures are nice, leaves are falling and tree skeletons are visible.  Plein aire is so much nicer than studio painting.  Hope winter drags it's feet while it's coming.     Mike

Monday, October 17, 2011

Oregon scene

                                                      20"x24" Oil on linen
Painted from a small sketch I did on the Oregon coast.  It was a misty, dreary, day, but I had an overhang over me and a really good subject in front of me, so I enjoyed it.  The small boat in front was one of several running back and forth, and my camera was handy for reference.  Turned out to be a nice day.       Mike

Saturday, October 15, 2011


Today I have a ton of things to do and little time to do them.  Hope all you artists are working hard and happy.   Hope non artists the same.     Mike

Thursday, October 13, 2011

First snow

                                              8"x10" Oil in linen panel
                                             Click here to buy painting                                                                                                      
I was going through some snow photos, yesterday, and decided to jump the snow season up a month or so.  There was a small creek right behind the trees, but it can't be seen from the painters vantage point.  As I previously mentioned, all snow paintings are done in my studio, now.  At my age, life is hard enough without having to wade through drifts.            Have a snug day.       Mike

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Little red shack

                                                         9"x12" Oil on linen panel
For some reason I tend to avoid vertical compositions.   Since I do mostly land and seascapes, I suppose that's not too strange.  One warm sunny day I was painting with my friend, David Jonas, on a farm near Morro Bay, Ca. and this little structure caught our interest.  We set up side by side and started to paint.  I tease David (who does move slowly in everything he does) that he's the only person I know who could be overtaken and killed by a glacier.  I finished well in front of him, and yet, the paintings were pretty similar.  In years of painting together, that has only happened twice, if my memory serves.           Mike. 

Monday, October 10, 2011

Dark day at the boatyard

                                            12" x16" Oil on linen board
It was a dark and stormy night.  (Homage to Snoopy, who always started his mystery novels with that line).  Actually it was a dark and cloudy day, with the sun occasionally breaking through, giving a foreboding cast to the light.  I started the painting thinking it might become a rainy day scene, and painted quickly, but, the day remained the same with what appeared to be stage lighting on the boat.  I really enjoy painting in boatyards.    Mike

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Another just talk

Today I have to work on some paintings for my galleries.  I show mostly local subjects, but try to avoid green grass and trees with blue mountains in the background.  Nothing wrong with that, but there are lots of paintings of that around here.  And although Mother Nature forces me in that direction when spring is here, I am not a big fan of green paintings.  I loved Richard Schmid's comment about naming his book " Do you think it's too green?".   Tomorrow, if all goes well,  I'll post another painting.          Mike

Friday, October 7, 2011

First Still Life

                                                16"x20" Oil on canvas
This, I believe, is my first attempt at a realistic still life.  I had a couple of those $1 "How To Paint" books and I stole oops! borrowed several items from the demos. One of my brothers wanted it and I gave it to him.  It still hangs on his wall.  I look at it now and it's so different from my present work.  I have always admired grayed down paintings and sometimes I look at my work and think "too much color".  Oh well!  For many years I have tried to decide which style is mine---and I'm still not sure.  I have some nice photos of some gray Nova Scotia fishing shacks.  Think I'll try a gray one again.      Mike

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Ollie's Place

                                                     9"x12" Oil on linen panel
An old farm house down the road a piece from Cambria, Ca.   I painted it with my Wed. group, and it was probably the third or fourth time I have worked at that location.  The house is owned by a very friendly gentleman, who welcomes artists on the property (locals are used to seeing local artists out painting).  I did an earlier version of this some years ago, and gave it to him for being so hospitable.  The chickens were friendly, too.         Mike

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Old Favorite

                                                      24"x30" Oil on linen
This painting is a little larger than I usually paint.   Normally I stop at about 16"x20"; smaller works just seem to interest me more.  My galleries are not always happy with that sentiment, and I understand.  I guess there is more money in the big ones---if you sell them.  Anyway, as the title indicates, this is one of my favorite subjects.  If you go back through this blog you will find another painting of it.  I am doing a few boats at the present time, and will show them soon, if they look OK.              Mike

Monday, October 3, 2011

Boats at dock

                                                  9"x12" Oil on linen panel
                                                Click here to buy this painting
I have painted this small dock in Morro Bay many times, usually with my friend Anita Hampton.   I showed her in a group photo a while back, but I'd like to include another of her.   I always ask first, unfortunately, she doesn't answer her phone right now.  Probably out painting.   Anyway, this is a nice site, many boats, fairly predictable weather, and lots of places to get coffee or food.    Tomorrow I'm going out with NC friends to do some local autumn stuff.      Mike

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Just talk

It went from warm 85deg.summer to chilly 52deg autumn last night.  And windy!  It's supposed to warm up a little next week, and I'm excited about painting outside for a while.  I'll do some autumn tree scenes and perhaps some creeks and ponds.  There is a lot of horse riding activity near here, and the young lady riders, with their pink and blue blouses, are exciting to watch doing their jumping routines.  I'm going to take photos of them and try to do some larger paintings of groups.  Degas admirers, have no fear.  In my opinion, nobody can even hope to approach his equestrian work,   I just try to have fun.      Mike.