Sunday, April 24, 2011


"Three Creeks Merging" 18' x 36' oil/canvas

Big Bend offers countless painting opportunities
inside and outside the park. The Chisos Mountains are
the featured mountain range and in my photo reference
was a mere strip of purple on the horizon. I chose
to play them up to give them a more important role
in the painting. The creek bed is actually a few miles
west of the park outside Terlingua probably ten or so
miles away from the park. I liked the bleached sandy
creek against the cool blues and purples of the mountains.
And with this painting I am finished preparing artwork
for my show next week. Time to slap some paintings
into frames.

Saturday, April 23, 2011


"Blue Shadows" 9" x 12" oil/line

Bluebonnet paintings are a lot like still life
paintings for me. I do them, but not very often.
I guess if I lived in the Hill Country or somewhere I could
paint them more en plein air I might get to where I feel
more comfortable doing them. For some reason I always
feel like I need to scratch the back of my neck when doing
a bluebonnet painting. I think part of it is I grew up and
live in Texas so people naturally assume as a Texas artist
that painting bluebonnets should come easy. I'm here to tell ain't easy.

This one is more successful than the ones I've done in
the past, but I struggled over this more than any
other painting in the show. In the end it was mind over
matter as I put down the final strokes of paint and felt
good about what I had accomplished.


"Ripples" 9" x 12" oil/linen

This one turned out to be a real challenge. The left hand
side of the stream is in full sun and the right hand side
in shadow. Painting a moving stream with all of its
reflections and then to look through the water and
capture everything going on underneath. It is almost
too much information for my little brain.

Anyway, this one may or may not make the cut for the
show. I still have time to do a few more small ones
before next weekend. We'll see what I can turn up
between now and then. I'll put this one away for a few
days then stick it in a frame to see if I still like it. Not feeling
the love over this one, but who knows what a few days
of separation will do.


"Palo Douro Overlook" 12" x 16" oil/linen

As is my custom I finished the first version of
"Palo Duro Overlook" a few days ago, then set
it facing the wall so I couldn't see it. I am in the final
days of getting ready for my three-man show next weekend
and now it is just a matter of going through the paintings
to decide which ones make the cut.

I liked "Palo Duro Overlook" but decided the top
of the bluff was too cool and too green, so this
morning I covered it in Liquin and repainted the bluff.
Everything else in the painting remained the same, I just
changed to color and value of the bluff so it gives the
painting a more cohesive feel. I also widened the left
side base of the bluff to give it a more grounded feel.
Looking at the first version I felt the bluff was painted
well, but it looked like it belonged in a different landscape.
I am much happier with the second version. What do you think?

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


"Palo Duro Overlook" 12" x 16" oil/linen

Palo Duro Canyon is loaded with Texas history
which we won't go into here. It is also a place
many Texas painters put on their bucket lists as
a place to go paint. The canyon offers several
breathtaking overlooks, abundant wildlife and plenty
of red rocks. Not as red as Sedona red, but red
just the same.

This particular overlook is one of the last ones available
as you drive down into the canyon and its about a mile
walk from the parking lot to this point. It is certainly worth
hauling a lawn chair and a couple of cold beers to watch the
sun go down.

On this particular day, after cranking out a small
color sketch I had one of the most unusual wildlife
encounters I can imagine. As I made my way back to my car,
along a very narrow path, headed my way was a twelve point
mule deer buck and his pack of females....about ten deer in
all.They obviously wanted to use the same path I was on so
they just kept coming. I thought for sure they would spook,
but no, they kept heading straight for me until the pack got
about ten yards away and stopped. We stared at each other
for a few seconds and they continued to wait until I stepped
to the side of the trail. And then they strolled right past
me in single file, one by one passing inches away. I even
put my hand out and ran it down the back of the last two.

The male buck stood ten feet past me and when the last
female walked past him he turned and walked away. I
thought for sure I saw him wink at me. Then it occurred
to me that the sun was going down and that it would be
dark by the time I got back to my car and I'm sure I
smelled like fresh deer. Thoughts of being dinner for a
mountain lion suddenly occupied my every thought. I'm
not sure but I think the last 100 yards to my car was in
a full sprint with turpentine sloshing and paper towels flying.
I'm too old for this kind of stuff.

A couple of my new friends at Palo Duro.

Sunday, April 17, 2011


"Coastal Sunrise" 24" x 20" oil/linen

This piece came from the Coastal Paintout held
each fall in Port Aransas. If you're willing to get up
while its still dark, drive through the local Whataburger
to pick up a couple of taquitos (a flour tortilla with egg
and cheese inside..yummy) and coffee then drive to
your predetermined painting location you might just
be lucky enough to get a sunrise like this one.

Like a good trooper I diligently got up every morning
for five mornings while it was still dark, drove through
the same Whataburger for five straight mornings and
in the process downed ten toquitos and 10 cups of coffee.
Four of those mornings I came up empty with no sunrise
to speak of. But on the fifth morning...low and behold...
there it was in all its glory and suddenly everything
just felt right with the world.

This painting will be available at Riverbend Fine Art
on April 30th when the three-man show featuring me,
Qiang Huang and Bob Rohm opens.

Saturday, April 16, 2011


"Amarillo Grain Elevator" 12" x 16" oil/linen

Just west of Amarillo on your way to the New Mexico border
is a series of grain elevators. This one is one of my favorites
because it is a reminder of a time long past gone. These
wooden structures have been replaced with large cylindrical
silos that are just flat boring to paint. When I made my last
trip to Arizona I made sure to stop and paint this one figuring
it probably won't be around much longer.

Friday, April 15, 2011


"One Hour of Glory" 18' x 36" oil/canvas

This will be the largest painting I put into the "Three Painters
Three Visions" show in a couple of weeks. This is from my
trip to the Grand Canyon last August. The Grand Canyon is
an unbelievable spectacle of color all day long and as I
found out on my trip, if you start painting in the morning...
by early afternoon you are worn out. The back hurts, the feet
ache and your cheeks are burnt red from the sun and reflected light bouncing everywhere.

I'm a little slow on the uptake sometimes (okay....most times) so it took me two days of painting before I realized I was tuckering myself out before the best time of the day to paint. On the third day I did two 9" x 12" studies by noontime. Then I took a long lunch and rehydrated myself. I spent a couple of hours visiting with the other artists who were there painting with me and then at about 4:00 I moseyed (Texan for "moved") to a spot on the rim, sat in the shade and waited for the Golden Hour to start. I'm being generous when I say "hour" because it felt like ten minutes once the paint started hitting the canvas.

At the end of the day I got what I waited for, a nice study to paint from back in the studio. Today I did the piece you see above. I think it will look nice in a black frame.

I am pleased to have been juried into the 6 Inch Squared
show that opens tomorrow, April 16th at the Randy Higbee
in Costa Mesa, California. There were 1200 entries into this show.

I don't know how many they juried in but many of the painters whose work I follow are in the show. This is a great way to start an art collection. I bought a painting by Linda Saeta from the last show and I couldn't be happier with a piece of art.


Thursday, April 14, 2011


"Snow Day" 12" x 16" oil/linen plein air

My painting "Snow Day" won the Southwest Art Magazine
at last weekend's Plein Air Southwest Show at
Southwest Gallery.
That's a lot of "Southwests" in one
sentence. John Austin Hannah
was this year's judge and
I am very pleased he picked my
painting for an award.
The painting sold on opening night and
I had the pleasure
and honor of talking with the collectors fo
r awhile.

The painting was done on location during the last big snow
storm we had last February. The front yard was littered with
a trampoline, bicycles and various pieces of lawn equipment so once I finished the house I looked across the road at an empty field to get my foreground treatment. All-in-all a good effort that resulted in an award. Wish they were all like that (heavy sigh).

One of the great things about an art event is it brings
together a group of artists who otherwise spend very
little time together. Besides being a great art event
Plein Air Southwest provides me the opportunity to
catch up with old friends like John Cook (on my right) who
I've known for 30 years and new friends like Qiang Huang
who I've only recently met.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


"Winter Trail" 9" x 12" oil/linen

This is a plein air piece I did last month on
my trip to Arizona. I had suffered a corneal
abrasion the day before and I was trying
to tough it out while being in an extreme amount
of pain. The bright white snow didn't help.

I have astygmatism in my good eye which is
corrected with glasses, but on this day it was so bad
I was seeing two of everything. I quickly learned the
brush with the paint on it was the left brush and I needed
to put paint down on the left hand tree. There were two
brushes, two trees...two of everything. This painting
will go down in my memory as the toughest plein air piece
I have ever created.

As we approach the April 30th show date for my three-man
show with Qiang Huang and Bob Rohm I'll begin to post
more of the paintings I plan to have in the show. I figure
to come up with ten paintings I'll need to produce
13 or 14 in order to have some choices in the final days.

Guess its time to call my good buddy Randy Higbee
at King of Frame and place an order. I wonder what a
show would look like if all the frames were black? The
largest painting will be a 18" x 36" sunset painting I'm
doing of the Grand Canyon. The smallest will be an 8" x 10"
painting from Canyon De Chelly. Everything else will be
somewhere in between.

Sunday, April 10, 2011


"Early Moonrise Over Lake Hubbard" 18" x 24" oil/linen

In three weeks, April 30 to be exact, I will be sharing
stage with Qiang Huang and Bob Rohm at
Riverbend Fine Art
in Marble Falls, TX. The
painting above is a first look at one of the paintings
I plan to have at the show.

This is a scene I came across last December in East Texas.
It was one of those late afternoons when the moon is
coming up before the sun goes down. This scenario creates
a generous palette of colors as you get the warm late
afternoon colors and the early evening cool colors at the
same time. Doing the painting has been in the back of
my head for several months and I finally got around to
doing the painting this weekend.

Friday, April 8, 2011


Just posted my new video to Youtube promoting a three-man show I'm sharing with Qiang Huang and Bob Rohm, two really great friends and darn good painters. I tried to upload the video directly to Blogger with no success. May be time to start a blog using Wordpress, but that's a whole other story

You can go to Youtube and type in 3painters3visions in the search box.


Its going to be a busy weekend. I have two show openings this weekend, one tonight and one tomorrow with a Quick Draw thrown in for good measure. Tonight I am an invited artist at Artists' Showplace Gallery with a reception. Then Saturday morning I'm off to the Dallas Arboretum for the Quick Draw competition for Plein Air Southwest and then Saturday afternoon is the PASW opening at Southwest Gallery. I invite everyone to the Dallas Arboretum to watch some of the finest artists in the country do their thing. Its a great way to see 12 to 15 demos at once. Below are my three pieces that will be in the Plein Air Southwest show.

"Moran Point Revisited" 9" x 12" oil/linen

"Snow Day" 9" x 12" oil/linen

"Port A Tug" 12" x 16" oil/linen