Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Skies - first or last?

These gray, cold winter days are perfect for rereading some of my art books. No matter how many times I have read them, I still learn something new - but often find that it doesn't work for me. Take skies, for instance, and the preferred progression of a landscape oil painting.

We are taught to work from the top down, back to front. This means painting in the sky first and working forward in layers. They say that the sky's coloration and mood sets the key for the whole painting. But that doesn't work for me.

I prefer to start at the focal point or the area of major importance and key my painting to that. My brush often has a mind of its own and I need to firmly establish my most important areas first and make all the surrounding areas relate to it. What started out as a sunny day in my reference photo might progress into a rainy, foggy day or even a night scene. To me and my way of painting, it make more sense to have the focal point or area of major interest set the key.

As a former teacher of mine once said, "We learn the rules to see how far we can push them". So read your art books, but do what comes naturally to you. It makes painting more fun - and maybe more successful.

My thought for the day.


Tuesday, February 2, 2021

Fire in the Sky

Every so often, when the solar conditions are just right, the clear northern night skies will reward us with a spectacular light show. This light show can happen anywhere or anytime of the year but when it reflects off the water or a snowy landscape it is doubly amazing. Painting the Northern Lights seems to be a natural extension of my nocturnal paintings series. 

Here is the scientific explanation -

The Northern Lights (aurora borealis) are shafts or curtains of colored light visible on occasion in the night sky caused by collisions between electrically charged particles from the sun that enter into the earth's atmosphere. These particles are attracted to the poles by the magnetic fields found there and react with gases in the atmosphere, causing the gases to glow. The lights appear in many forms from patches or scattered clouds of light, to streamers, arcs, rippling curtains or shooting rays that light up the sky with an eerie glow. 

Fire in the Sky 2, 5x7 oil nocturne

Fire in the Sky 1, 5x7 oil nocturne

These paintings are available in my Ebay Store. And, of course, you can always deal directly with me if you prefer.

Thanks for visiting with me. Stay well and warm.


Sunday, January 31, 2021

Camp Fire Party

Here is another fun painting. I almost titled it, "Here, have a beer." 

Camp Fire Party, 8x10, oil nocturne

This is the last night of January 2021. Time sure flies. Hope this is a great year for us all.

This painting is available in my Ebay Store. And, of course, you can always deal directly with me if you prefer.

Thanks for visiting with me. Stay well and warm.



Friday, January 15, 2021

1st Street Pub, nocturne

Back to nocturnes again. I'm really fascinated with the strong contrasts of light and dark. This one was great fun!

1st Street Pub, 8x10, oil 

I've decided to keep this one for myself. It reminds me of lower Main Street in Belfast, Maine.

Hope you're having a great day.

Thanks for visiting,


My Ebay Store

Saturday, January 2, 2021

Welcome 2021. Goodbye 2020

I said I was going to post more often - I just looked and another 2 ½ months have gone by since my last post. Time isn't just flying - it's taking a jet plane and what a ride it's been. We have all survived 2020 unscathed and hope for a smoother 2021.

Even with all the craziness of the past year, art sales have been good. My Ebay store keeps me busy and that is a good thing. My studio work has run the gamut of sizes - from a large selection of mini 3x3s for a local shop to an eleven foot sign for a local camp owner. Subject matter has been varied, to say the least.

Now that winter is here, the holiday rush is over and my local shop is closed for the season, I am back to a slower pace. I'm looking forward to continuing my nocturn studies. I just love to paint - simple as that.

Here is a sample of last month's work. Most are sold. Sizes range from 3x3 to 9x12.

Any of my paintings can be purchased directly through me. Please contact me for more information.

I want to sincerely wish you all a very happy and prosperous New Year! 

Thanks for visiting with me.


My Ebay Store

Friday, October 16, 2020

Studio Sanity

I posted this a few years ago and it's still the truth!

Studio Sanity

A few thoughts when all you want to do is paint.

Whatever time you plan to stop painting to prepare dinner, stop sooner because food prep and cooking will always take longer when you’d rather be painting.

Rinse your brushes in turp and cover your palette before leaving your studio. Something will always keep you from returning in a timely manner.

Keep a clean paper towel near your phone to use when you answer another robo call.

The dog will always be on the wrong side of the door so another piece of paper towel is needed for the door handle.

A few hurried brushstrokes will undo an hour’s work.

Unexpected company will arrive when you’re wearing your painting clothes and forgot to comb your hair.

This same company thinks you’d rather sit and “chit chat” instead of paint. 

You can understand why Paul Gauguin ran away to a remote tropical island - it’s better than cutting off your ear.

Thankfully there’s always tomorrow.


My Ebay Store

Thursday, October 1, 2020

Dance, 8x10, oil nocturne

Another nocturne painting. I'm thoroughly enjoying my study of nocturnes and prismatic color shifting. I just wish there were more hours in the day. There is still so much more to learn.

Dance, 8x10, oil nocturne SOLD

Thanks for visiting with me. I'm going back to my studio now. Housework will just have to wait.....


These nocturne paintings are now dry, varnished and available in my Ebay Store.