Thursday, January 31, 2008

Winters Water Tower

I love old water towers. They have been used for a long, long time to highlight the name of the town they are in. Either it's just the town's name as in this painting ("Winters"-a small farm town nestled against the coastal mountains on the Sacramento Valley side in Northern Calif.) or a salutation such as "Welcome To Modesto". This is an 8"x16" acrylic on stretched canvas. I've just started to brush on a self leveling clear gloss gel made by Golden over my finished acrylics for luster, depth, and greater color richness. More water tower paintings may be in my future.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Ship@Shore Re-do

Didn't like the painting in the previous post. The tall structure on the right was distracting from the ship, and the grass and ground were blah. was time to edit and add another few layers of new colors and paint strokes. When you do that, sometimes you can allow a percentage of the previous colors to show through to add to the richness of the painting. Was my re-do a worthwhile-do?

Thursday, January 24, 2008


The turning basin at the Port of Sacramento is hidden until you walk or drive up the levee. So if you are not at the top of the levee, you get a great view of ships that look like they are land locked. I'd like to do some more simiiar, en plein air views this spring. This particular painting, like the preceding ones, are acrylic on 8"x16" stretched canvas.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Lake Washington

Before the Port of Sacramento was established, the scene you see here was a small, narrow lake called Lake Washington. Now its the ports turning basin, hence the tugs. 8"x16" acrylic on stretched canvas.

Got Fish?

The west shore of the Port of Sacramento has a docking area for sport fishing boats. I like this one, because you can sit in a kinda lazy boy chair and fish. What luxury! This is an acrylic on 8"x16" stretched canvas.

Thar She Blows!

Believe it or not, last summer where this ship is docked in the turning basin of the Port of Sacramento, more than 80 miles inland from the Pacific Ocean, a mother and her baby whale swam about for a few days before being herded back through the delta and into San Francisco Bay and the Pacific Ocean. Amazing! Mom and baby daughter were named Delta and Dawn. This is an acrylic on a 11"x17" stretched canvas.

Ahoy There Mates!

Believe it or not, even though Sacramento is more than 80 miles inland from the Pacific Ocean, we have a deep water port. Big cargo ships come through the California Delta to load up on exports such as rice, fertilizer, wood chops ,almonds, etc. This painting is from a photo I took around 10AM looking out over a small fishing boat dock towards the port facilities. This spring I'll go out there and paint en plein air, but right now, it's winter, it's raining' and it's cold. So it's studio painting time. How about that photo I took?...boooring! But what's fun is to take a dull photo reference and turn it into a silk purse. So blue water and sky got changed to oranges, yellows, and lavenders. And that whatchamacallit on the far shore got turned into a docked cargo ship. Painters don't copy do they?

Monday, January 14, 2008

My Studio

I enjoy visiting other artist's blogs and seeing posts of their studios. Ta Daa! studio! SO WHY THE COLOR IS WEIRD, I HAVE NO IDEA! JUST CLICK ON IT, AND YOU WILL HAVE NORMAL COLOR. The old geezer is me, of course. It's rented and is in a mixed-use building of small businesses and apartment dwellers. It's a 4 minute bicycle ride from my house. By the way, my bike sports a brass and rubber honker horn made in India. I don't think honker horns are made in the USA anymore, and if so, they are certainly not made out of brass.

Friday, January 4, 2008

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

The so-called "blogisphere" (spelling?) is a sometimes a wonderful venue for inspiration. I have been exploring the painting-a-day blogs where I have seen great paintings of the most mundane things. Some are pretty like a single flower in a simple glass vase (The Good) others very plain Jane like a pencil stub (The Bad), and some beautifully disgusting like a greasy frying pan (The Ugly). I have just completed three acrylics on stretched canvas ( two at 8"x10" and one at 11"x14"). Here are three orange slices on a plate (The Good), an electric tea kettle (The Bad), and a food take out box (The Ugly, but not even close to that greasy frying pan!).
This type of concentrated effort makes for great practice (sharpening painting ability) and playtime (experimenting with such things as brushwork, layering, unusual colors etc., etc.).