Tuesday, January 31, 2012


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

When my friends look at this painting, they all think it's a middle eastern scene with a temple or mosque.  I understand.  Actually it's an "Old Navy" store in a themed shopping center in Los Osos California, where there are several buildings with similar domes.  I was with my Wednesday group and they were painting an interesting grouping of barns on a nearby hill, but I get a little weary of barns so I elected to do the store.  If no one exposes me, new viewers will be happy thinking it's a mysterious mosque.  Mums the word!     Mike

Monday, January 30, 2012

High noon

12"x16" Oil on linen panel

It was a bright hot day when I painted this scene.  I was with my slow to set up friend, and by the time I actually started painting it was probably around 11 am.  As most are, this farm is old, but unlike many, the structures are well maintained and ideal for plein air, with many potential  viewpoints and subjects.  The caretakers, who live in the house on the right, are very pleasant and accomodating, and always offer cool drinks, orange slices, etc.  Writing this,as usual, I think how lucky I am to be an artist.     Mike

Saturday, January 28, 2012


Here it is, almost February.  My neighbors and I got together and bought a snow blower last November and it worked wonderfully.  Haven't had a bit of snow since.  I have intentionally avoided posting a picture every day, because I am nearing the end of my photo collection of sold works, and have been painting large stuff for my galleries for the last few weeks.  Today I am going to start a few small ones for this blog.  This spring I intend to do a lot more plein air work instead of working from slides in my studio.  In the past, almost all of my paintings were done on location, but east coast weather, both heat and cold, revealed me as a wimp, and I fell into the habit of slinking down to my comfortable studio to work.  This year will be different!        Mike   

Friday, January 27, 2012

White house, NC

                                                 9"x12"  Oil on canvas on wood
                                              Click here to bid on painting

I have some panels I made up a long time ago, where I glued canvas to a wood veneer backing.  I am waiting for an order of commercial panels to arrive, so I tried one for the first time in a while.  This is the resulting work.  It shows all right, I guess, but the back is just bare wood.   I sort of like the painting, though.  Ah well!  Perhaps someone else will, too.                           Mike

Thursday, January 26, 2012


Yesterday I sat down in my studio and picked up one of my favorite books, New York Hispanic museum's Joaquin Sorolla Catalogue.  I intended to spend a few minutes getting inspired and then move to my easel and do some painting.  As has happened many times before, though, I got hooked on the book and never made it to my easel.  It's easy to do, especially with Sorolla.  My emotions were mixed afterwards.  When I see the paintings of a real artist, I realize how low a mark on the art scale my own work attains. On the other hand, I do have a lot of fun.  Tomorrow, a masterpiece!!!              Mike   

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Boatyard in Oregon

                                                   12"x16" Oil on linen                                     

Another boatyard.  Painted this one on a trip up to Seattle.  One of the days when the weather was fairly nice,and although rain threatened, it held off.   I actually did two paintings that day, but one of them really was a clunker and I later scraped it off.  Later,in Seattle, I got to paint with some really good artists, one of whom was Ned Mueller, a master.  I've been really lucky to have traveled and met so many real talents.  Hope I can continue for a while.        Mike

Thursday, January 19, 2012

More talk

I/m sitting here at my keyboard, talking to an artist friend who is interested in creating her own blog.  I've been painting so tomorrow I'll post another photo.  Healthy again with no sign of the cold.  Yeah!!!                       Mike

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Nova Scotia scene

                                                      6"x8" Oil on board

Boats were high up on this beach in Nova Scotia and I had taken a lot of photos, I had my pochade box, a small board, and a beautiful day, so I did this quick oil sketch.  Nova Scotia has many very paintable maritime locations and multihued fishing boats everywhere.  Marine Artist paradise!  I hope to go there again, someday.                                Mike

Monday, January 16, 2012

Nothing much

Today I am busy working on a large "gallery" painting.  It is cold outside so I am happy in my studio.  Have a nice day.      Mike

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Cliff at Leffingwell

                                                   9'X12' Oil on linen                                      

This is painted from a beach in Cambria, Ca.  I have shown the setting from a different viewpoint in previous posts.   On this day, I was painting with the local group on a beautiful Wednesday morning.  We meet in the morning, paint till around noon, then have lunch and very kind critiques, which are helpful without being too disheartening.  Since everyone in the group is a fairly decent artist, it's no big deal.  I remember I had a great turkey on french roll sandwich that day.Great day!    Mike

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Old sycamore

                                                         9"x12" Oi; on linen
Painted this old tree on a Wednesday outing with my California group.  The only thing notable about it is that it is one of my very rare verticals.  I have always liked sycamores, because of their twisting branches, and the fact that they show up so white against backgrounds.  There are many of them in the central coast area where I usually do my plein air work and their white accents frequently spice up a landscape.      Mike

Monday, January 9, 2012

Blog talk

I am still not over the demon cold I have.  I intended to paint like crazy this week to catch up, but I still feel like the bottom of a bird cage.  Hope everyone else is OK.  Hopefully I will soon be back on a normal basis, soon.    Mike  

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Old church on bridge st.

                                              9"x12" Oil on linen

Another small painting done with my Cal.Wednesday group.  This is an old church in Cambria that has changed functions over the years, from a church to a hostel and, I believe, back to a church at the present time.  It is a local landmark in any event and has been painted many, many times.  I remember this as a beautiful crisp sunny morning, as most are in Cambria, and a wonderful morning of painting.  Ah!  Memories!    Mike

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Dirk's barn

                                                        16"x20" Oil on linen

A while back, I think I mentioned that my first lessons were with an old gentleman named Dirk Smit, who passed away about twenty years ago or so.  Dirk is fairly well remembered as a Chicago and Indiana painter.  I owned several of his works over the years; he was, and is, one of my inspirations.  The scene above was one of his favorite subjects, I have seen at least five or six variations.  One day we painted in his studio, and I did this from one of his sketches.  Memories!        Mike

Wednesday, January 4, 2012


I believe this time I'm may be really getting over the COLD I've been trying to survive.  I've gone at least 20 minutes without coughing.  If tomorrow I feel halfway decent, I will start my regular post with photos, again.  I hadn't had a cold in several years, I'd forgotten how miserable they are.  Ogden Nash, the famous humorist poet wrote a wonderful poem about the "common " cold.  If you get a chance you should read it.  It's hilarious.                                        Mike

Sunday, January 1, 2012


Yesterday ACK! I thought I was ACK! over my cold ACK!  I was wrong.  No painting for a while ACK! ACK!    Hope you are all well.    Mike