Sunday, December 20, 2015

Taking Time to Learn How to See Things...

Jelly Ingredients, 8 x 10 oil on canvas
Over the past few weeks I've been working quite a few set ups with those really dark grapes from market and produce days. They provide such strong low key values to gauge other items by, and I do enjoy eating them afterward. :)

In truth, these grapes are helping me to see. Their dark mass helps me forget detail and block in a large area very quickly. The basic structure of the grapes is what I must do first; the overall comes before the break down of individual grapes. This is a good thing because we tend to see mass better than line. So I block in the whole of the grapes and find highlights to help me establish one individual grape from the other. From there I can begin to fidget with the two extremes of intense dark, and lightest light to locate mid-tones and help give detail to the bunch.

Here's my set up from a few mornings ago and I've included a portrait sketch in ink. Once again, those lovely darker values come through. :) This beautiful young man is a drummer that often works with a group of dancers that I sketch on occasion. He's great...Thanks for stopping by. Please visit me at

 I enjoy messages there and here. I appreciate your time. Enjoy the day!

Set up for Jelly Ingredients

Drummer, ink on 11 x 14 paper, to accompany dance series

Monday, December 14, 2015

Getting my exercise...stepping across the room and back to paint :)

Little Teapot, 8 x 8 oil on canvas - in process

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.






When I was in school there were classes where I was taught the direct study methods of John Singer Sargent. The idea of working from life was stressed as it offers more than a photograph, and we see better because of this. I struggled but learned things which until recently I did not realize.

To say that admire the work of past and present day artists like John Singer Sargent and Carolyn Anderson goes without saying. Sargent and Anderson share a similar skill set in drawing and painting so wonderfully well. Have a look at the beautiful simplicity of Anderson's Yellow Finch just below - Audible Sigh here... :)

Carolyn Anderson, Yellow Finch,

 And Sargent's roses are beyond my comprehension...

John Singer Sargent, Roses,

Even though I can't afford to take workshops by Anderson, I know from listening to interviews with her that she firmly believes in the idea of keeping some distance between ourselves and the canvas. I've read that Sargent would lay down paint on his very large canvases, walk across the room and run back up to create a brushstroke. I keep this in mind each day...great exercise in terms of painting and could be a pretty fine work out too. Who needs the gym?

Little Teapot with Citrus from morning set up, 8 x 8 oil on canvas

Thanks for stopping by and enjoy the day! Peace and Health all -

Pitcher and Eats, 10 x 10 oil on canvas

Sunday, December 6, 2015


Learning from the process of wiping paint away...


Dark Grapes and Apple, oil on 6 x 8 canvas 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.





Ever have that feeling that wiping away whatever you've just begun is the best way to go? You know, we set up that small still life or get outdoors to paint until the light shifts, and somehow things seem off...not in accordance to the stars or our painter's soul. ;-)


It happens to me almost daily, and when it does sometimes I hold off and at other times, I just go for it. The rag is there, just waiting to be used in a big way. If I'm honest, on some level it hurts a bit but once it's done, I feel liberated. 


 These times work to my advantage all too often. That is to say, if I've wiped away a scene, plein air or still life, I've practiced...studied the objects or the scene and have some idea of what is before me. The values make sense to me, I see the line or the design that works best. I've tried things out. More to the point, I CAN do it again and I can do it as good or better than before.

That's all for now...take care all and Happy Painting. Peace and Health - 

City of Water, oil on 6 x 8 canvas

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

 The Act of Painting is What Matters Most...


Quartered Apples, 6 x 6 oil on canvas


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.

Quartered Apple Set Up   

To me, a good painting has much to do with shapes and color. Keeping this theory in mind, I really enjoy the act of loosening up and getting my shoulder into the process of painting a work, 
no matter the size.

Marsh, 4 x 6 plein air study, oil on canvas

Abstract Storm Study, 30 x 30 oil on canvas

Whether drawing or painting, good decisions go a long way - do this enough and we're in good shape, even on our way to success. :)

Dance Series Study, ink on paper

That's all for now....thanks for stopping by and happy drawing/painting! Peace and Health