Sunday, November 29, 2015

Hay Bales over Thanksgiving

Hay Bales, 6 x 8 oil on panel

Apple A Day Works

an apple a day promotes good health, and a quick work at the start of each day keeps me aware of the color, design and shape of my art.

Over Thanksgiving our daughter and I visited my eighty-four year old mother in Macre GA. We cooked and got caught up with yard work. She's very active and although there's plenty more to do, we worked hard. Early that morning, before the real labor began, I took the opportunity to get out my paint box and do another type of landscaping - painting. ;)

The hay bales image above shows early morning light across one of the fields close by. I wanted to do a small work that allowed me to focus on counting brush strokes, using a limited palette of ultramarine and pthalo blue, cad red, cad yellow, plus white and touches of ochre. It's warmer at my mother's and the leaves have begun their change, but not to the extreme we have here above Atlanta in Northwest GA. Her grassy areas have warmer greens still but much of that landscape has turned pale in color.

I began by blocking in large forms with warm tones, a mixture of ultramarine blue plus cad red with a larger brush. The number has long since worn off, but it's larger than a 10. After this I began to look at ways to brighten up those base colors with warmer and some cooler greens. The hay bales were in shadow. Purple hues against the pale grass allowed them to stand out more readily. Brights from the light of the early morning were done with a small knife, and a mixture of alizarin plus yellow and white.

Upcoming shows include the annual fundraising gala for Georgia Lawyer's for the Arts. This takes place on 10 December 2016 at the King Plow Arts Center in Atlanta. I have two works in this show, one 18 x 24 charcoal and an 8 x 10 oil, both are presented in antique frames I found at estate sales. Each are included below without frames. Information at

Direction VII, Charcoal on Paper

Bridge Early Morning, 8 x 10 oil on panel

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Rainy Day Painting


Apple A Day Works

an apple a day helps keeps us in good health - a quick work at the start of each day teaches me and keeps me aware of the color, design and shape of my art.

The holiday season is here and I've been spending more time painting at the square in Marietta GA. We've had several consecutive days of rain in November, and loads of wet pavement. I set up inside my vehicle one afternoon and took advantage of this. When I do this small panels are easy to work with, 5 x 7 or 6 x 8 panels and a small limited palette of colors. Folks are beginning to trickle in to the square in Marietta for the new skating rink and Candlelight Shopping Nights. Business vendors set out wine and snacks as an offering to those who stop by. Hot Cidar is one of my favorite drinks to offer up as the weather gets chilly and folks appreciate the thought of something warm. :)

Strand Theatre, oil on 6 x 8 panel

Quick Charcoal of the scene, maybe 6 x 9 paper

So I previously posted a few small hand made paper works with ink drawings. These were made as gifts for a media party last week at the Marietta Square. At that time I mentioned a few basic instructions for paper making. I'm self taught, but have sort of come to realize the process can be as simple or as labor intensive as you have time and energy for. The results can yield note cards, journals or sheets for collage works. Here are a few of my works over the years plus a few link for paper making processes.

Hieroglyphs, Hand Made Paper, Watercolor, Metal Screening, Hemp

Book of Hand Made Papers

Pulled Sheet with poured processes

Witches Boots, note card

I make hand made papers from natural materials like branches that are stripped and boiled down, leaves, grass, flowers and the like. That said, I also recycle materials like shredded printer paper, cardboard egg cartons, non-glossy junk mail, old phone books, newspaper...I like to get creative and mix things up. :)

Their are plenty of kits on the market for purchase that have basic supplies, or you can purchase supplies and make some things yourself, but I have come to learn that a few household items can get me what I need; for example, picture frames of the same size paired with metal screening works great for pulling sheets. I'll see about getting something up soon with photos to better explain this simple process. 

Here's are a couple of good sources for paper making information - take a look and have fun.

How to on Handmade Paper -

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Apple A Day Works

an apple a day helps keeps us in good health - a quick work at the start of each day teaches me and keeps me aware of the color, design and shape of my art.

Today was a travel day. I delivered work to the Georgia Lawyer's for the Arts and took a look through Westside Antique Market on the west side of Atlanta. There space is impressive. I was interested in showing work, possibly even becoming a vendor there. Here's a link to their website -

The GLA, or Georgia Lawyer's for the Arts annual art event is the second week of December. They do great work for artists. Please check them out here

I returned to my home studio and did a few things; one was to look at seascape palettes. 

That's all for now - thanks for stopping by. Peace and Health all -

Spray, 8 x 10 oil on canvas

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Blue Green Waters, 6 x 8 oil on panel
Apple A Day Works

an apple a day helps keeps us in good health - a quick work at the start of each day teaches me and keeps me aware of the color, design and shape of my art.

This study is something I'm returning to as a reference for a larger painting. Although I would like to improve certain aspects of color, the information here is invaluable. Having a good idea of the local color on site is so helpful. These small paintings help me in terms of the memory of that day, the climate, atmospheric conditions, and even how I felt out at a particular location. I take notes about temperature, sun and shade, as well as the visible color within the environment. A sketchbook is invaluable to me and I keep one pretty close. I can leave one in my car with a tin of charcoal for quick sketches on the road. A small piece of sandpaper taped to the backing of the book gives me a way to sharpen up vine or pencils. Quick and easy...

It was raining like cats and dogs today, but here is a small daily piece from an outdoor session last week with charcoal.

Mother and Child by Fountain, charcoal on paper, sketchbook

The past couple of days I've been working to get pieces ready for an event at the Marietta Square in Marietta GA. They are putting together a Winter Wonderland for the upcoming season, and Red Door Gallery is helping with a media party. I've put together twenty-five small gifts for various media folks. The two pictured below feature ink, hand made and commercial paper, reclaimed note cards and thread. They are a playful look at a series I've worked on for a number of years now - Common Threads Works. My intent is to call attention to the commonalities that make us more similar than different.
Anyone interested in making paper can do the basics with a few materials. When I do paper making workshops, I have folks bring in non-glossy junk mail, old phone books, cardboard egg cartons - anything meant for recycling. A blender is needed, plus a kitty litter size tray, two frames of the same size, metal or plastic screening, metal staples, and water.  I'll work to post about the process tomorrow or Friday. It's really fun - a bit labor intensive, but really fun. Dyes can be added and there are loads of organics out there that make great color on paper, beets, spinach, paprika, turmeric...lovely natural colors.

Elf Hat, ink, hand made and commercial paper, thread

Bells, ink, hand made and commercial paper, thread

One of the first works I decided to do with this Common Threads concept in mind was Working Hands. I love the idea of hands and the things they do each day. We each have chores, jobs and our hands are a wonderful tool. They certainly help me get things done.

Thanks for stopping by and have a great evening. Peace and Health -

Working Hands Study, watercolor and thread on paper, about 12 x 14

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

6 x 6 oil on panel, Fountain, Marietta GA

Apple A Day Works

an apple a day helps keeps us in good health - a quick work at the start of each day teaches me and keeps me aware of the color, design and shape of my art.

On this crisp morning, I'm looking through summer works and catching up with photography. I try to take care of these things as they are done, but some slip through the cracks; if I'm honest, many do... :)

The painting above is a study from early in the summer of 2015. The square in Marietta, GA is a beautiful spot and this antique fountain just prompts folks to sit and chat on Saturday afternoons. Kids play all 'round the fountain, delighted by the cool spray as grandparents watch on in complete wonder. Sound good? It is...see for yourself...

Marietta, GA - Plaza and antique fountain

I painted this little one with a couple of painting knives. I find these tools great for broadcasting color, and creating interesting detail. The ease of color change is quite liberating and very exciting. They clean up easily in between color application with a wipe of my rag, and when I'm outdoors trying to work with my tools and the environment, that is a wonderful thing. :)

Here is a selection of my painting knives.

I have others, but these are a few favorites. The size I choose depends on the need, and often the size of my painting. Smaller works, smaller knives and larger knives are helpful for blocking in larger areas efficiently. I also use knives to apply leftover paint to canvas paper, or panel. It's a fun way for me to use up the paint and just play with color, directional lines, form and space. Try it and have some fun with that leftover material....

Abstract with leftover paint

Detail of abstract with leftover paint

Here's are a few daily works in charcoal - straight out of my sketchbook. Thanks for stopping by and have a great day. I appreciate your time. :)

RR Crossing, Marietta GA

Blue Heron

Water Founain

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Wave Value Study on leftover paper, about 12 x 14
Apple A Day Works

an apple a day helps keeps us in good health - a quick work at the start of each day teaches me and keeps me aware of the color, design and shape of my art.

Seascapes are a favorite of mine to work through. I learn so much each time I make the attempt to draw or paint water. This wave was great fun to play around with in charcoal.

I like to try these out in charcoal first, experimenting with light and dark values and looking at the varying degrees of those really helps me with composition, proportion and value.

A range of values allows me to utilize black, gray and white to the advantage of the composition.
Value Scale picture below courtesy of

I've incorporated simple value scales using vine and compressed charcoal with my drawing of this sphere. The dark value in my background helps me show the edges of the sphere without need for line.
Sphere, charcoal on paper

Cone, charcoal on paper

Just for fun, I decided to draw a cone too -
it's my favorite. 

That's all for now - Thanks for stopping by.
Have a good evening

Peace and Health -

Daily - Orange with Oil, 5 x 7 oil on canvas

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Portuguese Village, oil on 6 x 6 panel
Apple A Day Works

an apple a day helps keeps us in good health - a quick work at the start of each day teaches me and keeps me aware of the color, design and shape of my art.

Today was spent talking with a couple of artist friends and measuring gallery space for a January showing, so this evening I decided to revisit some field works from a while back. I've always had the desire to look at sketches done when we visited family in Portugal, but finding time can be an issue. This evening I worked up a small painting of a village - I believe this is Real, Portugal where we have family; beautiful area.

This has certainly made me want to do larger paintings of these areas...tonight is questionable, but tomorrow is another day. :)

Here's an 8 x 8 from earlier in the summer. A quiet place by the lakeside here in Woodstock, GA where the rocks glow pink and red early morning. By ten this spot really is quite breathtaking.

8 x 8 oil on canvas

That's all for now - thanks for stopping by and have a great evening. I appreciate your time.
Peace and Health -

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Working up a Portrait and studying Sargent...

Portrait Detail, charcoal on wood panel 

Apple A Day Works

an apple a day helps keeps us in good health - a quick work at the start of each day teaches me and keeps me aware of the color, design and shape of my art.

Today is a portrait work session in preparation for a January showing. These pieces begin with charcoal studies like the one above. I make decisions afterward concerning which will become works in oil. Please wish me luck...:)

In looking at these pieces, I can't help but consider the works of John Singer Sargent. Just a few of my favorites can be seen below...thanks for stopping by. Have a great evening - Peace and Health

John Singer Sargent, Mrs. Charles Hunter

John Singer Sargent, Portrait of Vaslav Nijinsky

      John Singer Sargent, Carmela Bertagna,  beautiful...

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Slice Anyone? 5 x 7 oil on canvas

Apple A Day Works

an apple a day helps keeps us in good health - a quick work at the start of each day teaches me and keeps me aware of the color, design and shape of my art.

Today I'm preparing materials for a presentation and chat tomorrow night in Dallas, Georgia. Members of the Northwest Georgia Artist's Guild have invited me to chat, give a demonstration and show work. I happily accepted and am most grateful for this opportunity.

That said, I'm putting things together and trying to organize in studio. Although my work can takeover our home at times, I use two room for my art. There's a portion of our common area that I've sort of quartered off for painting and computer work. Then I also have a room for storage of finished work and framing. I've decided it's time to invite clients to tour my studio and have a demonstration, showing here. I think clients appreciate this - they are able to see my work in various stages...we talk and they can ask questions. It's a personable experience and they can get to know me a bit better.
So, I am actively working to better organize my space for my benefit and for those who enter. The process is good for my own well being and overall confidence, not to mention when I need something, tools are placed within reach or eyesight. I don't spend valuable time looking for things, and that's a good thing. It makes me more productive and ready to create.

This morning I worked with a quick set up of dark grapes and a single clementine. The contrasting color combination won me over instantly. It was a good, fun set up for a limited palette - ultramarine blue, touches of pthalo blue, terra rosa, cad yellow, plus white. I took this shot 30 minutes into the work. After a quick break I went back and make final touches to the work.

Morning set up still in progress
Final work is here - I like the developed, undeveloped look of this daily and they are quick to finish up as well.

Add caption

Friday, November 6, 2015

Apple A Day Works

an apple a day helps keeps us in good health - a quick work at the start of each day teaches me and keeps me aware of the color, design and shape of my art.

Lighthouse, 6 x 8 oil on canvas
Who loves the coastline? No matter the location, I enjoy the rocks, sand and water. Give me a spot by the water with paint box and a good every time. If only I had more opportunity to visit these places. :)  
As much as I love the water, painting it certainly makes me think hard. I find knives helpful with bodies of water. They work nicely for laying broad values of paint down.
For shallow water I rely more on energetic marks or brushstrokes and for deeper waters I often use those broad strokes with a large flat brush or the painting knife. A softer edge at the horizon helps to give the illusion of distance.
I have to remember that water in lakes or rivers is affected by the environment, lush green foliage, sand and rocks. They tend to be green in color; the deeper the water the greener the value. Although I don't tend to use black on my palette very often, I find that Mars or Ivory Black mixed with a yellow gives a nice natural looking green. Reds are a nice compliment when mixing, they warm up my greens. 

Lake Sketch, 8 x 10 oil on canvas

Today's value study in charcoal - good information for work in oil. Getting an idea of values - the varying degrees of light and dark areas - will help me better determine those same values in oil. I find these more important than color.

Value Study of River, charcoal on 9 x 12 paper

That's all for now. Thanks for taking time to stop by. Have a great weekend...
Peace and Health


Thursday, November 5, 2015

Apple A Day Works

an apple a day helps keeps us in good health - a quick work at the start of each day teaches me and keeps me aware of the color, design and shape of my art.

Not to compare apples to oranges, or in this case clementines - these little guys aren't apples, but for me the principle of Apple A Day works is in the benefit from good practices.

It's the idea that we can strive each day to just do...and even reach beyond comfort levels, play with color, form and line to advance skills and learn. Whatever our profession, these daily exercises offer experience; from a personal viewpoint, without the doing I will not improve.

Daily practice also means caring for those tools that help me create. Artistic inspiration strikes but if my tools suffer, so does my work. I take breaks to refresh - get a drink or food and care for my brushes or knives. With a little care, I save money in the long run. After all, tools are too expensive to neglect. I keep a rag close by to wipe brushes and knives, and when it comes time to clean I've had good luck with Master's Brush Cleaner. It does last a good while and works well to keep the shape in my brushes.

Here's are some tips from the folks at Winsor Newton - you can take in the whole write up at

Cleaning Oil Colour Brushes

If you’ve been working with oils, use a rag to wipe away as much colour as possible from your brush. Then rinse any remaining colour using Winsor & Newton Artists’ White Spirit or Brush Cleaner. Next, as you would when cleaning your hands, create a lather and rinse the brush under warm, not hot, water until the water runs clear of colour and soap.

Oil Colour Brush Care

Stay away from detergent, as this will damage the individual bristles on your brush. Another thing to avoid is paint stripper. Many artists use it to resuscitate a brush with dried paint on it, but this often takes the shape away from your brush.

With water colour and acrylic brushes, it is important to remove excess water, dry ferrules and handles, reshape brush heads and rest them with the bristles facing upwards to dry off. If you notice a stain in your bristles, don’t worry, as this has no effect on the performance or life of the bristles. When it comes to storage, you should place the brushes in a pot or jar with the bristles facing upward, only storing them when they are completely dry.

Oil Colour Brush Care

Follow the same detailed process as you would as when caring for a water colour and / or acrylic brush. If you are storing hog brushes for any length of time, make sure they are clean and completely dry. A box with a tight fitting lid is ideal and will prevent moth damage. Brushes that are not dry may develop mildew.

Today's sketch in charcoal is entitled White Barge; a work on primed wood panel. I usually use these panels for my series that highlights dance. I've included one of these works below White Barge.

White Barge, charcoal on 12 x 26 primed wood panel

Excel, 12 x 29 charcoal on primed wood panel, polyurethane finish - no glass is necessary

In this case I wanted to try something different, well similar surface with other subject matter. These panels are nice, inexpensive at under $20 for a 6 foot sheet at Home Depot. I cut them at home with my table saw, prime cut pieces with Blick Artist Gesso and go to it. The charcoal works nicely with the surface. Blick's Artist Gesso has a grit which helps to grab and hold the medium. They're a little like Gator Board for pastels, but much cheaper. I finish the work with a non-yellowing polyurethane so no glass is needed. I like that -

I painted a small version of White Barge with a limited palette during the summer, leaving out details, and bringing focus to the boat and a few rocks. I actually like the vertical orientation and will likely return to that for a larger painting.

White Barge, oil on 6 x 8 panel
That's all for now - Thanks so much for stopping by. I appreciate your time. Peace and Health

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Apple A Day Works

an apple a day helps keeps us in good health - a quick work at the start of each day teaches me and keeps me aware of the color, design and shape of my art.

Today's morning work - just playing with color and brush strokes. Apples are one of my favorite subjects to work on and they're healthy eating after. I looked up the benefits of Granny Smith Apples and found some interesting reading. These guys are more than a pretty face, and are rich in antioxidants and more...

Color of Green, 6 x 6 oil on panel


Apples are the main source of flavonoids in the Western diet and they are rich in vitamin C, explains Dr. Silvina Lotito, a research associate with the Linus Pauling Institute. Granny Smith apples are particularly high in the flavonoids cyanidin and epicatechin, although Red Delicious has more. Vitamin C and flavonoids act as antioxidants in your system and neutralize harmful free radicals. Having an abundance of free radicals roaming through your body leads to permanent damage of healthy cells and increases your risk of chronic diseases. Powerful antioxidants from Granny Smith apples lessen your risk of heart disease, diabetes and stroke.

Information courtesy

Today's outdoor sketch in charcoal by Lake Allatoona in Woodstock, Georgia. It's been rather cold and wet lately, so this was a quick study with just a bit of sun now and again. I almost broke out paint, but then it began to sprinkle so I headed back to the studio. My dogs were glad because it was lunchtime. : )

I returned in studio and thought about coastal areas I've visited and painted. It's time to get back to these. This was done with knife and a limited palette of warm and cool blues, alizarin crimson, umber plus white. The day was beautiful and very much contributed to this work.

Being, Rocks and Water, 8 x 10 oil on canvas - featured in International Artist Magazine, 2014

Thanks for stopping by all and hope your day is great. I appreciate your time...Peace and Health

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Apple A Day Works

an apple a day helps keeps us in good health - a quick work at the start of each day teaches me and keeps me aware of the color, design and shape of my art.

When it comes to paint tubes, I do my best to keep these precious items sealed to protect the paint. A pair of pliers works well for those stuck paint caps. I try to keep these tools close by because finding things can take me as much time as the work itself. :) For those times, I have been known to cut the bottom of a paint tube and then just secure it with one of those small metal clips from Home Depot.

There was no fruit on the verge of becoming wine today so I set up this paint tube - almost completely used up but still good subject matter. I folded it and gave it an interesting shape that I thought would be a challenge. It certainly was...and that's a good thing. Hope you enjoy -

Oil on 6 x 8 panel

This charcoal sketch is in preparation for a similar work in oil. I always like to do a value study before moving into oil; very helpful. Beautiful little girl. :) I'm looking forward to beginning the oil study.

Running, charcoal on about 14 x 24 size paper

I'll close today with a work from the spring. I love this spot. The green is lush and the shade is inviting. It's not too far from my house and although there's not a great place to set up, my car does pretty well. The cattle don't venture toward the road very often, but I'm hoping to coax them my way soon. :)

Oil on wood panel, about 7 x 10

That's all for now...thanks very much for stopping by. Hope your day is good - Peace and Health