Departure from normal

I have always wanted to paint a city scene ever since I visited New York City. However when I went through my photos observing the crowded streets with taxi cabs and people going through their daily lives an image started to form in my mind. 

Challenge yourself during trying times

During this shelter in place time I found it harder to pick up a brush or pencil and start the process of creating.  Maybe it’s because my routine had changed and my mind was not on being creative.   Then out of the blue an idea 

Doing a Series

Having passion for a subject is just the right set up for doing a series of paintings. What better way to practice a new style or colors you like than to do this over and over with a subject you love. My love of the ocean with it’s movement and rhythms made this an easy subject for me to paint. Even though I paint in both oils and pastels I chose the later this time.

Here are just some of my own photo references that peak my interests. Follow my journey as I continue to push my own boundaries.

Painting Shapes and Light

This is a photo I took while scouting out some rock formations in the California Sierra Nevada’s. I loved the way the light was hitting the rocks and that one small tree. I then cropped the image to the composition I liked and opened it 

Workshop Fun

I want to thank the wonderful artists that showed up for my June 1st workshop. There were lots of discussions about how to apply pastels, what paper to use and all the extra fun things you can do with the media. Each of them found 

Pastel demonstration results

Thanks for showing up for my pastel demonstration. I had so much fun interacting with all of you. The black areas of the photo needed color so I decided on cooler colors in the background trees and several warmer colors in the foreground grasses.  If you want to learn more about how I approach my painting subjects, take a look at my  25 minute Pastel Exercise  I will be posting the final painting in just a few days so stay in touch.  If you want to get inspired by other artists here is one of my favorite sites:



Subject for my demo May 4th 2019

When looking for a photo reference for my Demo on May 4th, I came across this photo I took several years ago near Consumnes River. I love all the bright colors, the way the ducks and clouds lead you to the focal point.  I cropped 

25 minute Pastel Exercise

OK I had fun today I did 2 pastel paintings each taking 25 minutes with underpaintings.  These are my quick studies for future paintings or just warm ups to get me started. I got my studio ready picked the pastels I wanted to use, set 

Can technology help you as an artist?

I say YES!  I use my iPhone on location all the time to capture photos of what I want to paint, not for pictures but for values. OK, I can admit tools do help my tired eyes to see things more clearly and take out all the noise of nature…. did I just say that? Nature noise..what I mean is all the color and the details that I don’t want in my painting that can get in the way of my vision. So my solution was to use one of my favorite app but it is no longer being supported so I’ve been on the lookout for another one. I am not in the habit of endorsing any apps but this one is an exception, the name is  Notanizer,  go for the bundle pack, ya it will cost you another $2.00 more but what the heck that’s less than a cup of coffee. It is unfortunate only available on IOS not yet there for Android. No I do not make any money from this endorsement, I just like good tools to use.

This tool it allows you to take a picture resize it, crop it, try different composition schemes, like the golden rule or the third rule, find your focal point and the check your values in a matter of minutes. The gem of course is you can see your image in color and black and white- hence the notan feature and more. So when I’m out in the elements, with time not on my side I need to capture what I first saw that intrigued me to the scene in the first place so any tool that helps is great.

Not a crutch but a tool and I still do my thumbnails however this little gem just makes it so much faster and easier!

If you attend one of my workshops I will be glad to demonstrate how and why you want to understand values and if there is a tool out there that can help I say YES!


Just off the Easel

For the Love of Peonies- Oil on Lenin 8×10- sold