Saturday, December 31, 2011

How I Spent my Christmas Vacation

I had a full week off at Christmas time so I vowed to get out and do at least one plein air painting every day. The weather was incredible so it wasn’t too much of an effort!

Here are some of the results:


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Now that I see these together I notice that I was definitely in a “horizontal” mood!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Early Autumn

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12 x 6 pastel on sanded paper

Ok, ok. It's way past Autumn but remembering all of the bright colors on the day I painted this warmed me up today.

This painting is available at DailyPaintworks

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Leaving Town

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5 x 7 gouache on watercolor paper
This little study is from a photo I took on the way out of Borrego Springs – just as the light was fading.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Bow Willow

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5 x 7 gouache on watercolor paper

Here’s a little gouache study done at Bow Willow in the Borrego Valley. I’m having a lot of fun with this medium!

The painting is available at DailyPaintworks

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Last Light–Borrego Springs

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11 x 14 oil on panel

Back to the cold, rainy weather today. So, I blew the dust off an old memory and photo of a warm, late evening walk through the little desert town of Borrego Springs.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Old Sycamore

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7 x 5 Gouache on watercolor paper

Got way too busy this week and started to neglect my painting itch so I stopped and painted this old sycamore that's been haunting me. It's been dropping leaves so fast and I wanted to catch it before it looked like winter...

Monday, November 21, 2011

November Demo

9 x 12 pastel on Uart paper

I had an opportunity give a demonstration for the Pastel Society of San Diego on November 20th. I had a wonderful time with a fantastic group of artists.

A special thank you to President Debbie Johnson for being a gracious host and to Karen Howard for the photos.


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Monday, November 14, 2011

Zion Study #3

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5 x 7 gouache on watercolor paper

Rain all day so I decided to paint something sunny!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Pala Valley #2

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4 x 8 gouache on watercolor paper

Here’s today’s study. This is also in gouache…..

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Zion Study #2

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5 x 7 gouache on watercolor paper

Another little gouache study, this time of A view from the Emerald Pools trail in Zion NP.

This painting is available at DailyPaintworks

Friday, November 4, 2011

Pala Valley

4 x 8 gouache on watercolor paper
Here’s another little gouache study done from a photo I took last spring while attending a workshop by John Budicin. It was a wonderful week and John’s a great teacher.

This painting is available at DailyPaintworks

Monday, October 31, 2011

Forest for the Trees

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5 x 7 gouache on watercolor paper

Here’s another little gouache study on watercolor paper. I’m having a lot of fun with these and plan on doing some more. It’s also an excellent way to sharpen skills of composition, color and value without investing many hours.

This painting is available at Daily Paintworks

Sunday, October 30, 2011

A Few Little Studies

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5 x 7 gouache on watercolor paper


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5 x 7 gouache on watercolor paper


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7 x 5 gouache on watercolor paper

One of the things I tried on my recent painting weekend was starting some of my paintings with a little gouache study. I've only tried them once before, several years ago but I had a bag of little tubes and a watercolor pad so I decided to "go for it".

Sunday, October 23, 2011

End of the Trail

8 x 12 oil on linen panel

Here’s another little study I did on my recent trip to Joshua Tree NP. It was VERY hot and hazy. Fortunately, I found a nice sized juniper tree that I could hide under while I painted this!

Thursday, September 29, 2011


8 x 10 pastel on sanded paper

Been way too busy at work. Not enough time to do the fun stuff - Paint! Out of frustration I dashed off this quick sketch this morning before I left for the salt mines.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Pastel Demo

A while back I did a pastel demo which was recorded on video. I have since edited it into a time-lapsed version and posted it on YouTube. It's still a bit long and the finished painting underwent some much needed clean-up and revision after the demo but here it is. It's kind of fun to watch the process in high speed.

Sunday, September 18, 2011


8 x 10 oil on canvas panel

This is a favorite Michigan fly fishing spot of mine (looking away from the river, of course).

This painting is available at Daily Paintworks

Wednesday, September 7, 2011


14 x 18 pastel on PastelMat

Back to the 100 degree weather here in Southern California. So to cool off I decided to paint a much cooler scene. This is another view of Lake Huron on a cool afternoon. The wind was almost calm but there must have been a breeze of some sort because these boats were making steady progress.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

A Walk at the Big Lake

9 x 12 pastel on La Carte paper

I'm still going through photos from our Michigan trip. I came across the one I used for this painting and instantly remembered the cool morning when I took it. Translating it into pastels was like walking the beach again. Guess that's why we do this!

Available at Daily Paintworks

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Riverside Meadow

9 x 12 pastel on La Carte paper

Finally got tired of the "Hot Weather" theme I was on so I pulled out a photo from my recent trip back to Michigan that I took on an evening walk along the Au Sable river. Awww. Much cooler now.

This painting is available at Daily Paintworks

Monday, August 29, 2011

Ring of Light

8 x 12 Pastel on Uart paper

We've been having some very hot weather here in Southern California and although I should be dreaming of cool mountain streams, the heat inspired me to re-visit some images from a recent trip to the Anza Borrego desert area. It was pretty warm during that trip so we were doing most of our hiking early in the day.

Here in Sheep Canyon the sun was just starting to creep into the rocks. The other side was already fully illuminated which cast a golden yellow light into all of the shadows instead of the usual blues that would normally dominate. That warm light throughout is what I was trying to capture in this painting.

This painting is available at Daily Paintworks

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Sails on Lake Huron

14 x 18 Pan Pastels on PastelMat paper

It's been foggy here in Southern California but I've been thinking about sunny days so I pulled out one of my little studies from Michigan and tried something a little bigger from it. I also tried out the new pan pastels on this one.

This painting is available at Daily Paintworks

Monday, August 8, 2011

Back Home

Haven't posted for a while because I was in Michigan for ten days. We just got back and I'm starting to unpack.

All the heat you've been reading about is so much more than true. 102 degrees with 95% humidity in Ann Arbor the day we arrived. Yikes! It cooled a bit as the week went on and we headed up north where it was bearable. We even got a bit of rain.

I had to be a little creative with the times and locations where I painted - mostly because of the heat.

The state has been a little short on rain so things were a bit dried out around the edges. But compared to Southern California it was very, very green.

Here are a few of the studies I did over the week. I'm still sorting through the sketches and studies but this is a little sampling.....

Some of these paintings are available at my Daily Paintworks gallery.

Gray Day
6 x 8 oil on canvas panel

This was a very gray day. It rained quite hard later that evening.

6 x 8 oil on canvas panel

There were still a lot of wildflowers in spite of the drier weather. I was disappointed that there were only a few black eyed susans around but there was still plenty of color!

Lakeside Dunes
6 x 8 pastel

This was done one evening right outside the back door of the cabin where we were staying. There's not much water showing but this is on the shoreline of Lake Huron.

Sturgeon Point
6 x 8 pastel on sanded paper

Most people come here to see the lighthouse (almost behind me as I painted this) but I was fascinated with this view across the lawn - looking out on the big lake.

Tawas Bay
8 x 10 pastel on sanded paper

This was done at the home of another well know lighthouse. Not surprising, I decided to face in another direction and paint this gorgeous view looking south across Tawas Bay.

Sun Streaked
6 x 8 pastel

This is a veiw along the Au Sable river - at a place were I often go fly fishing earlier in the summer. This time the hot weather was showing in the dried grasses along the path. The morning started out pleasant but by the time I finished this it was pushing into the 90's again. Back to the Lake!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Pink Sands

5 x 7 pastel on Uart Paper

I'm trying to put together a small set of pastels that will work on our trip to Michigan next week so I'm doing some very small sketches with different combinations. I'm using photos from our last trip to help get the right colors.

This painting is available at: Daily Paintworks

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Owens Valley Sunset

6 x 12 Pastel on PastelMat paper

Yep, I'm still playing around with the new PanPastels. There's a lot to figure out but I can see a lot of potential with this product. Next, I want to try a lot of different papers and see how they compare.

This painting is available at: Daily Paintworks

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Bishop, Ca

8 x 10 pastel on PastelMat paper

Here's another study using the Pan Pastels. These are going to be fun!

This painting is available on auction at my new gallery at Daily Paintworks. I'm trying this out as an alternative to the other less-friendly auction sites. Let me know what you think.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

More Big Rocks

This weekend I came across another photo from our recent trip to Borrego Springs and I had to paint it. This was pretty far back in Palm Canyon where just a small shaft of light was sneaking in.

12 x 12 pastel on PastelMat paper

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Au Sable River Shoreline

While I have a break at work, I'm trying to do at least one painting a day. This is today's from a photo I took in Michigan a couple of summers ago. We're going back again this year so I'm trying to tune up a bit before we go...

8 x 10 pastel on PastelBoard


I've never done a nocturne before so I thought I'd give it a try. I think I'm hooked..

This one was done in pastels using a new Great American set that I just got.

8 x 10 pastel on PastelBoard

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Bishop Creek Canyon

Came across some photos from a fishing trip I took to Bishop Creek canyon in the Eastern Sierra and I couldn't resist painting this view across one of the little lakes....


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8 x 10 oil on linen panel

Monday, May 23, 2011

Bishop Valley

This is a quick little study that I did from a photo I took in the Sierra foothills – just north of Bishop, Ca.

I’ve gotten back to the small, quick studies to help me keep it simple and, hopefully, avoid too many fussy details.


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6 x 8 oil on canvas panel

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Back to the Lake

Had an unexpected 2 hour window to go out and paint so I scooted over to Lake Hodges and painted while sitting on the tailgate of my truck. Ahh... luxury.


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8 x 10 oil on linen panel

Friday, April 15, 2011


Just felt like painting rocks tonight!

8 x 10 pastels on Pastelmat

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Last Light

We spent a few days out in Borrego Springs. Love that place. I was thrilled to have a chance to see the last exhibit day at the Borrego Art Institute from the Borrego Plein Air Invitational in March. Lots of inspiring work to see!

This one was done as the last light left the west end of the canyon. In fact, it got dark enough that it almost turned into a nocturne!


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6 x 8 watercolor and pastel on Pastelboard

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Rainy Morning at the Lagoon

Well, the weatherman said 80 degrees! WooHoo! So I drove down to the beach. Fog! Drizzly, rainy fog. Oh well. I'm on this watercolor underpainting kick and I was dying to try it outdoors so.... Good thing I had an umbrella in the car.

Drizzle + watercolors + pastels = Yikes!


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6 x 8 pastels on Uart paper

Sunday, March 27, 2011

More of the Same

Yep, still painting oak trees…


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9 x 12 pastels on sanded paper

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Sentinal

Every time I go hiking in the old ranch grounds of what is now called Wilderness Gardens Preserve I walk by this enormous old oak tree. It's certainly been around longer than I have. I've been dying to paint it but it's so imposing and dominating on the landscape I don't really know how to approach it.

I decided I would try sneaking up on it a little bit at a time. So here's a stab at just the big ol' trunk. If I get a little braver I'll move back next time and take a stab at the whole thing. Maybe....


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9 x 12 pastels on Pastelboard

Friday, March 18, 2011

Big Red

More cool, rainy weather coming in and I'm starting to dream about going back to Zion and the southwest red rock country. Looks like it's going to be a while, though, so I'm living in some of the photos from my last trip...


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8 x 10 pastels on pastelboard

Monday, March 14, 2011

Over The Hill

Well, not me – I hope!

This was the view from the top of a trail I hiked today in Pala Valley. Boy was I glad that I put together a smaller pastel kit. It was a pretty steep trail!

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8 x 10 pastels on sanded paper