Tuesday, September 27, 2011


Want to paint beautiful portraits in color? DO NOT DO IT! Not until you have lots (and I mean LOTS) of experience painting portraits in mono-color. I like to do my mono-color portraits in glorious payne's grey (Winsor Newton). You first need to develop your painting style, knowledge of head and facial structures, value control, and soft, found, and lost edges. Only then can you graduate to color. Well...at least that's my advice.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

California Country

I painted this about two years ago in water color and en plein air (painted on location) in farm country outside of Sacramento, California. Painting en plein air is not my forte, but this one, I think, came out OK. These are animal feed bins.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Little Pine

Painted yesterday with Leslie, a long time water color student of mine. She takes fabulous photos of the California Sierra mountains, and this watercolor was painted from one of those photos. It shows a little pine growing out from between a crack in the rocks still covered by late spring snow. We started off with the lighter, largest value areas, and finish off with the darker value areas and finer details. Values and colors are the important thing here with just enough detail to get the job done. I think that I can do a looser painting than this one, but that will have to wait for another water color day. Love those water color days!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Kayaking the American River past Negro Bar

No, I'm not politically incorrect here. "Negro Bar" is the name given to this stretch of the American River going through the Mother Lode, gold rush area of the Sierra Mountain foot hills. During the great California gold rush in the mid 19th century, gold miners panning for gold on the banks of the river segregated their camps. There were camps for whites ( mostly caucasians from east of the Mississippi and Europe), browns (hispanics, mostly from south of the border), yellows (asians and usually newly arrived Chinese), and blacks (free ex-slaves, aka: negroes). Hence, Negro Bar". This watercolor is hot off my brush painted on 140lb. cold press Arches watercolor paper. 5 1/2 inches by 15 1/2 inches. The female in the kayak is caucasian. Kayaking is an equal opportunity activity in California. Gay marriage is not, however.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Little Lillie Pads

What makes lillie pads look like lillie pads? Certainly not a lot of excruciatingly painted detail...at least in my books. Just enough of the RIGHT detail gleaned from VERY CAREFUL OBSERVATION to get the visual idea across. I think the act of carefully looking at something is as important as painting it. "One looks, looks long, and the world comes in" - Joseph Campbell.

Thursday, September 8, 2011


These are fresh sea creatures just caught by me on watercolor paper. If you would like to purchase one for $75 plus shipping (they are 11 inches by 13 inches on 140lb. professional grade watercolor paper, unframed), please let me know via a comment.
I'm just testing the waters (pun intended) right now. If I get a comment on this blog that you are interested, I shall figure out how to conduct the transaction through my Paypal account. Or...you can just comment on these paintings and leave it at that. GOT COMMENTS?

Sunday, September 4, 2011

BOLD AND LOOSE...time to get into more watercolor art

I am having an almost-65-years-of-age crises. What to do with the rest of my life? My first medium and love is watercolor... bold, free, brash, loose, flowing, indicating without over defining. A decision has been made!...more watercoloring. I certainly will still be doing acrylic, because I really enjoy the medium, but watercolor will dominate. These past portraits and abstract of mine are examples of what I am trying to explain here, and the black and white London drawing by Australian artist Wayne Roberts serves as an inspiration for me. We all inspire each other. So there you go. I'm off and running. Wish me bon voyage and wave me good-bye!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

My water color students at The School of Light and Color in Fair Oaks, Calif.

I have a regular and on-going Tuesday water color class at the well known School of Light and Color here in Northern California. Students sign up for six week sessions, and this is my first "graduation" class. They are all very passionate watercolorists and what a pleasure it was teaching them some of the ins and outs of water color painting, aka: controlling the flood. Some will return for another six week stint, and those on the waiting list will take on any vacated spots. I always look forward to these Tuesday classes. You can check out their blog where the school's stable of art teachers such as yours truly oft times post their activities.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Back to them

I started a group of grape acrylic paintings way back in March, and they have been languishing in my studio ever since. Well, I'm back at them, and this is one of the first that is on the way to completion. It's about 90% done but needs some more refining. I wanted to post it, however, to get some feedback from my readers. Look at it with cold, hard eyes and proffer your opinion or suggestions. A million and one thanks in advance! SECOND DAY - Some good advice everybody - THANKS - here's more work that I did today (the top photo).