Saturday, May 29, 2010


"Stonebridge Pond" 9" x 12" oil/linen

Only a few days left before we fall
into our usual summer weather pattern
of 80 degree nights and 100 degree
days. So I get out early and try to
get in a painting before it gets too hot.

This is a pond on a golf course near my
home. High traffic area with a lot of
morning joggers stopping to watch me paint.
I think I'm going to name this pond the
"MacPhearson Pond" after one very good
plein air painter Kevin MacPhearson who we
all know did eleventy billion paintings of
the pond outside his studio and then put
them into a book. I have that book and
look at it regularly. Great book.

Anyway, I didn't realize all the different
greens I mixed to make this little study.
I am yanking green of my palette in an
effort to limit the use of green. I'm going
to study this painting for a few days then
go back and paint it again more aware
of the dangers of green.

Friday, May 28, 2010


"Eldorado Snow Day" 18" x 36" oil/c

This larger studio painting is from a 9" x 12"
study I did back in February when we
had an unusually large dumping of snow.

The foreground, silo and barns are from
the study. The distant farm on the horizon
is made up along with the weather. It was
overcast and cloudy the day I produced
the study. I decided in the studio piece I
would add some sunlight breaking
through to light up the barn.

This is proof positive that to be a decent
landscape painter you have to get out
of the studio to paint from life. When painting
the study I got one or two shots of sunlight
just like I've shown in the painting. I made
a mental not of it at the time and wrote it
down in my sketchbook. The field sketch,
my notes and pencil sketch along with
the photography I did that day all helped
to remind me of what was going on three
months later when I finally got around to
doing the painting.

The field sketch.

"Eldorado Snow Day" 9" x 12" oil/c

Sunday, May 23, 2010


"Elevator" 22" x 28" oil/c

I have discovered over the past year
that certain subject matter really
appeals to me. If I had my druthers,
I'd be in Colorado or out West
somewhere, but I'm not so here
in Texas I tend to be drawn to grain
elevators, hay bales, the mission of
San Antonio and any thing in the
Hill Country.

I think I'm drawn to the grain elevators
like the one I've shown here because
there are very few of them around
anymore and for what they represent.
Grain elevators represent a work ethic
that you are hard pressed to find any more.
Entire communities used to depend on the
farmers and their families to tend to their
crops and at harvest time the grain elevator
became the center for all activities. Without
them the industrialized cities would have
come to a screeching halt. I like the history
they represent. When painting a grain elevator
I always think about the people who
built it and operated it and what they lives
must have been like.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


"San Antonio River Bridge" 9" x 12" oil/linen

Sometimes so much attention gets
paid to the missions in San Antonio
that the Riverwalk bridges get overlooked
as painting subjects. This one, in particular,
is in shadow most of the day because it is
sandwiched between two highrise hotels.
When it gets around noontime the stonework
in the bridge lights up for about thirty
minutes before it quietly drifts back
into shadow.

I have painted this bridge three or four times.
It is in a high traffic area so I stand in a
garden away from the sidewalk right below
the Little Rhine Steakhouse.The steakhouse
patrons have a perfect viewing of me painting.
Not a good time to produce a junker.

Sunday, May 16, 2010


All artists have influences they draw
inspiration from. I have many but a
few stand out head and shoulders above the
rest. In recent months three artists I
have admired for many years have
passed away. James Reynolds, Bernie Fuchs
and Frank Frazetta. Each of these men
were dedicated to their craft, inspirational
in the works they produced and deeply caring
individuals. They will be missed.

James Reynolds

Bernie Fuchs

Frank Frazetta


"Retired Harvestor" 8" x 10" oil/c

Here's something different for you. Behind
the John Deere showroom in Hillsboro, TX
is a graveyard of sorts for old harvestors
like this one. I've never painted one of these
puppies before but it looked interesting
so I gave it a go.

I am a big fan of the Transformer movies
and, in fact, I have an Optimus Prime
transformer that stands about two feet tall
sitting on my desk. The whole time I was
painting the harvestor I kept expecting it to
stand up, transform and walk away. Kind
of spooky.

Saturday, May 15, 2010


"Towards Wimberley" 6"x8" oil/c

This is a quick 30 minute sketch
done by the side of the road. Just
one of those days where your are
driving along looking at cloud patterns.

Then there's the "I wonder if I
should stop and paint or just
get to where I'm going", conversation
you have with yourself. 99% percent
of the time you just keep driving.
This time I didn't and I'm glad.


"Johnson Cabin" 9" x 12" oil/linen

This great little cabin sits down by
the river on the Johnson Ranch which
is the painting I posted yesterday.
The rustic cabin and the water tank
were just begging to be painted.
I can tell you there are some
rattlesnake skins nailed to the wall
inside the cabin and they were
huge. The only good rattlesnake
is a dead rattlesnake as far as I'm

Friday, May 14, 2010


"Johnson Ranch" 10" x 20"

Spent last week in Wimberley, Texas in
the heart of the Texas Hill Country
taking a workshop from Skip Whitcomb.
Painting in Texas is a bit of a challenge
right now because everything is green.
There are patches of wildflowers here and
there, but not in abundance like it was
a month ago.

The workshop was great. Jill Carver came
over from Austin and visited. Skip knocked
out some killer demos. I debated about
posting any of my work, but thought "what
the heck". Produced three wipe offs for every
completed painting. I tend to push myself
into different directions in a workshop just
to see what works...and what doesn't.

All-in-all I went to the workshop wanting to
gain specific knowledge about paint manipulation.
I think I got it so now I need to apply it to my
work to see if I can achieve the results I'm
shooting for. Time will tell.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010


I am in Wimberley, Texas studying with
Skip Whitcomb. Here is a pic of Skip
orchestrating his morning demo.

Skip begins each painting with a detailed
thumbnail sketch. I've not made sketching
part of my painting routine yet, but by
the end of this week I'm sure it will become
part of the process.

Here I am in student mode. Notice
the white paint on my neck. Typical
location for wayward paint. Also popular
spot for ultramarine blue and, my
favorite, thalo green. I wonder
if Monet lived in the same era
of Sorolla if they would have studied
together. Stupid thought, but that's
where the artistic mind goes sometimes.

For more information on upcoming
workshops being put on by Wimberley
Artist Workshops go to:

Sunday, May 2, 2010


"Morning Light" 8" x 10"

I painted this same scene about a month
ago when it was covered in snow. Now
it is a sea of green with passages of
left over dry brush. This field is one minute
from my house and four small cows
occupy it. The field is also a prime
location for development and was
scheduled to be a shopping center last
year but the project fell through.

My house is behind that big row of trees
off to the left of the painting. All
of the trees were scheduled to be removed.
Thank goodness I still have to time to
do a few more paintings before the
bulldozers show up.