Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Strange Path - Framed!

8" x 10" Oil on Panel
$75 - Framed - Sold

This is one of several paintings that I had framed for an exhibit that I have coming up in January.  The others are matted with glass over them and I'm trying to figure out how to photograph them without a reflection of myself in the glass...

I'm very impressed with how this turned out - the frame looks a little dark in the photo, but it has some reddish accents that really pull out the colors in the painting.  'Strange Path' will be on exhibit starting in January, but you can still contact me if you want it.  I'm trying to keep my prices down, but with the cost of framing, I had to up it a little -

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

'Girl on Beach'

16" x 20" Oil on Canvas Panel

If nothing else, this is the most creative title I've come up with yet...As for the painting?  I really like the shadows on the dress.  I didn't get a lot of direction from the "commissioner" as far as the layout or colors so let me know if you want any changes. 

Friday, December 10, 2010

'Heads Above Water'

16" x 20" Oil on panel

This is Harper's Ferry, West Virginia.  I guess it was around 3pm, but the sun was already going down on the town because of the steep hills to the south and west.   I tried to exaggerate the contrast of the cool shadows on the street and storefronts against the warm sun on the rooftops still peeking out.

In other news...My show at the Marriott landed another exhibit opportunity in Poolesville, MD at the "Connection Cafe."  Poolesville is a little bit out there, but it's a great opportunity to showcase my work and it sounds as though I can hang as many pieces as I want between January and March, 2011.   Thanks for the opportunity!

Between work and traveling EVERY SINGLE weekend I haven't had time to paint as much.  I do have a few things laying around that I need to post, but my plan, if I get some time over the holidays, is to work on a series of semi-abstract paintings with actual color schemes based on some images from Washington, DC.  I'm hoping at least one of them will be quite large in size...So look out!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Successful Day at the Marriott Craft Show

Well, the craft show turned out better than expected.  What a wonderful opportunity and a great group of people who work at the Marriott corporate office.  Everyone was extremely friendly and for anyone who took a card and is checking out the blog for the first time - Thank you!

I was a little nervous at first, especially upon witnessing the quality of arts and crafts for sale, including another painter with some pretty amazing work, but in the end the day was a great success.  I sold 12 paintings and received quite a few commission offers.  I'm going to reinvest in art supplies and step up the quality for next year! 

I went through tonight and "adjusted" the prices of many of the older paintings and updated the pieces that are sold.  By adjusted I meant lowered so look through and let me know if you want anything.  I'm also going to add prices to the Picassa web album. 

Thanks again!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Marriott Craft Show

This is the "mock" setup for the annual Marriott Craft Show that takes place this Wednesday at the Marriott corporate office in Bethesda, MD where my wife works. Unfortunately, the show is for Marriott employees and spouses only so no outside guests - fortunately, over 3000 people work at the corporate office so a lot of people will see my work.

This is the first opportunity I've had to display more than three pieces in public at a single time and I'm pulling out the stops. There are 15 or so additional pieces not shown in the photo...I will post anything leftover at drastically discounted prices following the show - kind of like a studio sale.

I'm wondering what lessons I will learn from this show...My wife thinks I should price the paintings higher because of the time I've spent on them and the sentimental value attached, but I don't see it that way. Maybe it's because I'm tired of looking at them, or maybe it's because I know I can always crank out more paintings, but I'm not attached to my paintings the way I was when I only painted 1 or 2 per year. I'll honestly be happy if I get a good response to my paintings. I have goals in mind and right now they have nothing to do with selling (However, if you want to buy something, I will not turn away cash!) Wish me luck!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

"Strange Path"

8" x 10" Oil on Panel

Yeah, it's a little strange, but I like it. I just wanted to mix things up a little because I'm getting pretty tired of everything I've been painting. In the coming year I plan to make to some changes to my painting methods (not that this painting is indicative of those changes). I think you can learn a lot by painting in studio from photo references as a beginner, but I'm starting to think that for me to truly evolve as a painter, I've got to get outside and stay outside.

You reach plateaus as a painter as you do in any artistic field and lately I've felt like the colors are there, the composition is there, the subject, but the paintings are still lacking and the only thing I can pin it to is a lack of spontaneity that I think, (I hope), will come from painting primarily outdoors. This might mean less frequent blog posts, but hopefully it will also mean the next step in my growth as a painter.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

'Refridgerator Apples'

8 & 1/2" x 11"
Watercolor on paper

Sarah and I were bored last night so we painted some watercolors...Sarah painted an apple tree and I painted apples. She won't let me post her apple tree even though it's awesome.

I've only used watercolors a couple of times and usually I'm not a fan, but I like the way this turned out. I think because I wasn't taking my painting seriously and I was just kind of throwing on color and wild strokes it has a nice, spontaneous look to it - something I feel like my oil paintings are lacking of late.

It's hanging on the fridge if you want a closer look.

Friday, October 29, 2010

'Wet Snow'

16" x 20"
Oil on Canvas Panel

This is the last of three that I'm posting for October. I like this one a lot although my photo is bad as usual. When I look at my last 15 or so paintings I can see improvement, which is my goal. I've posted some links to a few of my favorite artists below - Although I know I'm improving, when I took at the work of the artists below, I realize that I have a long, long way to go. Some formal teaching might help too at some point.

'Grand Canyon Trail'

11" x 14" Oil on Canvas Panel

The painting kind of makes it look warm, but it was actually 8 degrees the day I hiked the Grand Canyon Trail. The camera did some weird things with my photo, but the painting looks great in person. I really tried to create a sense of distance between the foreground, the little outcrop in the middle and the hazy cliffs in the background. It think it turned out well.

'When Life Gives You Lemon'

8' x 10' Oil on Panel

I don't know if I'd recommend doing what I've done with the lemon in this case, but there are worse things you could do. I've had this one sitting around a while and I wanted to post it for October so here you go. It's cheap, let me know if you want it.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

'Bourbon Street - Framed'

8' x 10' Oil on Panel

This is my painting, 'Bourbon Street,' that I did a few months back after my trip to New Orleans. My friend is a carpenter and he had some some curly maple laying around so he made a frame for it. Pretty awesome huh? I love how the reds and yellows of the frame pull out colors from the painting and the grain of the wood leads your eye into the painting...Nice work and thanks for sending the photo!

Monday, October 18, 2010

'Bridge to Harpers Ferry'

11" X 14" Oil on Panel

I was going for a washed out look and I think I accomplished that.  I also like the light on  the side of the faces...The figures are pretty impressionistic, but you might recognize a couple of them if you look closely.

I ran into an unexpected problem last week that I didn't know was possible...Two people bought the same painting!  In the past, PayPal has sent me a notice when someone purchased a painting, but in this case it did not and same painting was purchased twice. So, if you want to buy something and there is a "buy now" button beneath the painting, just send me an email or make a comment to let me know.  I haven't been using the "buy now" buttons lately because they are a hassle, but  a lot of the older paintings have a "buy now," option.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

'City Harbor'

11" x 14" Oil on Panel

I wasn't going for the pristine harbor look that you might find in parts of British Columbia.  The photo that I worked from was taken by my wife in Vancouver, but this could be any city.  I just wanted it to look busy and urban - I think I got the busy part down...Hopefully it's not too busy.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

'On the Beach'

8" x 10" Oil on Panel

I've said this before, but there comes a point in every painting when it may not be perfect, but any further attempt at perfection will have the opposite effect.  I like this painting a lot, but as always I reached the point where I felt like I could do better - in this case, I knew better than to go on.  I think that's a step forward for me actually...Some of my best paintings might have been better if not for my obsessiveness.

I thought about calling this painting, 'The Ocean,' but I think the painting is less about the strength and cold indifference of the ocean as commonly depicted in art and literature and more about a warm, shimmery, day at the beach.  Maybe if I do a painting of one of the 15 foot, Hurricane Earl waves that we saw during the same beach trip, I'll call that one 'The Ocean.'

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

'Graves Mountain'

9" x 12" Oil on Panel


This is Graves Mountain Lodge in Syria, VA, just east of Shenandoah  National Park and about 40 miles NW of Charlottesville, VA.  My wife and I went apple picking here last weekend on our one year wedding anniversary.  I haven't done a lot of world traveling, but I've been all over the United States and the area just east of Shenandoah National Park at the base of the Blue Ridge Mountains is as beautiful as any land I've seen.  I recommend checking it out.

This painting took some work, but I think it turned out well.  I tried to create a contrast between the dry, late summer look of the foreground and the cool blues and greens of the mountains.  The middle of the painting and particularly the left, middle has the greatest contrast and sharpest lines so hopefully that's the main focus. Here is a closeup of the middle of the painting in case it's tough to make out the detail:

Saturday, September 25, 2010


16" x 20" Oil on HD Canvas
Commissioned - Sold!

Ok, so I've reached the point where it's probably not getting much better, but it COULD get worse. If you see anything glaring, let me know. Keep in mind that they always look better in person...Sorry it has taken so long to get back to this one...Hope you like.

Monday, September 20, 2010


8" x 6" Oil on Canvas Panel

I painted this back in August. My efforts to take a quality photograph are futile so I went ahead and posted it. I've been busy with my real job and traveling a lot on weekends so I haven't had a chance to paint much, or post...I apologize if you're waiting on something.

I like the way the fire turned out...It's tough to make it shine and those luminous colors in the candles were tough to figure out. I overworked the shadows and highlights in the background, which is an ongoing problem for me.

This one is cheap though - might look nice in your bathroom or against a dark color scheme...

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

New Framed Paintings

Email for Purchase Info:

'Boston Harbor Blues'
18" x 24" Oil on Framed Canvas
$250 Includes Frame

'River Day-Lilies'
11" x 14" Oil on Framed Canvas
$175 Includes Frame

Saturday, August 21, 2010

'Louisa Crossroads'

11" x 14" Oil on Canvas

I know better than to blindly follow Mapquest directions. Experience has shown that they will take you all sorts of crazy places that you don't want to be. But, I was in a hurry and I didn't have time to check my directions against an actual map- I saw a few familiar roads and figured I'd make it to Louisa one way or another. And I did, only after 45 miles of single lane roads through some of the most rural country I've seen in Virginia, south of Route 522 between Unionville and the Town of Louisa in Virginia. It was awesome! I recommend getting lost out there if you have the chance. Plus, I never would have snapped the photo that inspired this painting if Mapquest hadn't pulled its shenanigans.

This is where the back-roads dump you; at the intersection of Ellisville Drive and Route 33/22. Route 33 is Main Street in the Town of Louisa. I was headed to the Louisa County courthouse to file a zoning application for work. I wouldn't have taken the photo if, one; Mapquest hadn't tricked me and, two; the old guy in front of me hadn't taken 15 minutes to move from the stop sign. So, as fate would have it, I flung my arm out the window and snapped a photo. I haven't painted a landscape in a while so I enjoyed this. And I think I like the painting too.

Sunday, August 15, 2010


18" x 24" Oil on HD Canvas

This is Dexter...He's part greyhound, part pit-bull? Correct me there. Lily, Dexter's little sister is next. Dexter is a cool character so his colors match his persona. Lily is warm and affectionate so her colors will compliment Dexter's. I'm pretty happy with how Dexter turned out. Hope you are too.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

'Dirty Apple'

8' x 10' Oil on panel

White is a surprisingly difficult color to paint. It sounds easy, but when you really look at all the colors and values going on in the folds of a white cloth, you realize that there is a lot more to it. With this painting, I concentrated more on the folds of the cloth than I did the apple.

I should probably reiterate that I'm not tying to paint realistically. I'm not a fan of realistic painting...I agree that it takes a certain skill to perfectly recreate a scene, but I believe there is more art involved with impressionist painting, or the suggestion features through tonal values, lines and edges, etc. Not that I'm always successful at it...

Which style do you prefer?

Sunday, August 8, 2010

'Tomato Basil'

11" x 14" Oil on Panel

Half way through this painting I was ready to wipe it and chalk it up to just not feeling it. But, I said screw it, I'll just see what happens and I started laying in color without really thinking about it...Turned out to be one of my favorite still life paintings that I've done so far.

Had some trouble with the basil though - I snipped it from our monster basil plant on the back patio and it was beautiful for about 20 minutes. Then it wilted into a puddle of itself. So I kind of had to imagine what it would look like...Overall, one of my favorites. Hope you like it.

'Corn and Peaches'

11" x 14" Oil on Panel

"How often have we all come to that crucial point in a painting where it is practically "begging" us to stop before we ruin it? We have all had that experience and we risk failure, or at the least mediocrity, if we ignore the voice in our art." (Richard Schmid)

I reach this point in every painting and the hardest thing for me to do is to listen to that voice that tells me it's finished. I wouldn't say that I overworked this one, but it did have a more spontaneous look to it that I ruined when I tried to perfect some things that didn't really need perfecting. I want to be better than mediocre...

Richard Schid

Friday, August 6, 2010

'Okra and Tomato"

8' x 10' Oil on Panel

I painted this one on Monday, but I've been too busy to blog it. I made a makeshift shadow box (out of a box) by cutting a rectangle in the top of the box and spay-painting the inside flat black. I can shine an adjustable lamp through the top and control how much light enters the box and the direction it comes from. The front of the box is open so I just set up whatever I'm painting inside. Very professional.

I like the way the okra turned out, but I got a little muddy with the tomato. Still, it's not bad. Here's the deal: the first person to leave a comment for this post can have this painting for free.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

'Cherries and Wine'

From New Paintings

8" x 10" oil on panel

The wine glass was a tough subject, but I think it turned out well. Lot of glare in the photo even though I took this one outside...I have another show coming up in August and one in October so I'm trying to create few to choose from. They ARE for sale though so let me know if you want one.


6" x 8" oil on panel

On the advice of another artist's website, I tried taking my photos outside in the shade as opposed to inside under artificial light. This does seem to cut down on the glare, but the colors still do not come through as bright as they are in person. Even after adjusting them with Picasa. I love the turquoise against the crimson...

Friday, July 9, 2010


9" x 12" Oil on Canvas

Guess there are worse things I could do while the wife's away. I did eat a pretty large sandwich with prime rib, pepperoni, hot peppers, provolone, and marinara...And the other half of that lime - I stuffed it in a beer. By Erik Time standards, it's gettin crazy over here...

Ran out of 8" x 10" panels so I had to put this on a 9" x 10". This would look really nice with a thick black frame around it. As usual, the photo looks like it was taken with a disposable so imagine clear, bright colors and no glare.

'Lean on Me'

8" x 10" oil on panel

Or, 'lime and orange on aluminum pan under track lighting,' if you prefer. Again, my photo is horrible...too much glare and the painting looks ten times better in person.

Painting a subject first hand as opposed to staring at a computer screen is much more challenging and, as a result, much more rewarding. I'm beginning to think painting first hand is more artful (if that's a word), as well. I think I'm going to try and shift more toward outdoor painting and still life. I'm looking into travel easels at the moment. In fact, I need to up my bid on ebay...

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

'Recent Framed Paintings'

Framed paintings below are $150 plus shipping. Leave a comment or email: for purchase.

8" x 10" Oil on canvas


8" x 10" Oil on canvas
$150 with frame

'West Leigh and Hancock'

8" x 10" Oil on panel

'The Golden Road'

8" x 10" Oil on Canvas

All above framed paintings are $150 plus shipping. Leave a comment or send an email: for purchase.

'Alaska Highway'

8' x 10' Oil on Panel

I Went with a monochromatic color scheme of Phthalo Blue and white to create a dreary, wet sort of feeling. The photo that I worked from came from my wife's photos from her tour of Alaska last summer. I like how the road curves to the right and the mountains extend to the left suggesting that the road probably follows the base of the mountains.

Friday, July 2, 2010

'Porter 2.0'

11' x 14' Oil on HD Canvas
Commissioned - Sold

I couldn't sleep last night knowing that you were unhappy with Porter...I was totally discombobulated. But, I really worked to see your point and I think I understand. Pets are members of the family. I know because I have a dog of my own. Painting dogs/pets is a touchy business, maybe more so than painting people. If the glint in the eye is not perfect, it's still a dog, but it's not YOUR dog...It took me a while to come to grips with this, but I understand. With that said, I'm not sure what else I can do aside from repainting the background purple once the yellow dries.

What I did was remove the highlights along the gum - I agree that they took away from the teeth, which should be a center of focus for a German Shepard. I moved the gum up a little and toned down the highlights on the tongue because they distracted from the teeth as well. I increased the size of the teeth, brightened the highlights, and darkened the area around the teeth to make them more visible.

I tried to make the snout appear longer by pulling Porter's smile back and adding some highlights along the side of the muzzle. But the portrait is not a side profile so it is tough to make the snout appear as long as it is. Aside from that, I softened some lines around the edges and added some more yellow highlights.

Hope you like it better this time...Otherwise, I'll have what I consider a beautiful portrait of Porter hanging in my house...

Thursday, July 1, 2010


11" x 14" Oil on HD Canvas
Commissioned -Sold

What can I say? Some paintings just paint themselves...This is a little more realistic than I had intended and the background may not be the color that you want it to be, but I don't know what else would work...I really like the way it turned out.

I can paint your dog too!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

'King George's Farmhouse'

9" x 12" Oil on panel: $150

I nearly drove past this place last Friday after a day of site acquisitions on the Northern Neck of VA. It was early afternoon, I was heading west on route 218 between Stafford, VA and the Route 301 bridge over the Potomac River - in a hurry to reach I-95 before traffic ramped up. I blew past and saw the red roof shining out of the corner of my eye and the clouds peaking over the hill and I knew I'd regret it if I didn't get some pictures.

Some things I like about this painting and some of the usual pitfalls. I'm happy with the use of lines, shapes, and colors to create a sense of distance and elevation change. I'm never happy with the photos of my paintings, but that's a given - if you're on the fence about buying something just keep in mind that they all look better in person...And I'm constantly working to overcome my obsession to work and rework paint.

A radical idea (as far as Erik ideas go) occurred as I photographed the little farmhouse on the hill. What if I painted this place and mailed the painting to the owners of the house, free of charge? Could be a waste of time and money, could be the start of something...I enjoy painting regardless of whether or not I'm compensated for it so it's not a waste of time. Maybe I could spread the joy and build a following at the same time? Guess I'll have to paint something worth hanging up first...

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

'Them Apples'

8" x 10" Oil on panel

How about them? I think they are an improvement on my past still life paintings, but I'm still struggling to put down the paint and leave it alone - it's so tempting to keep messing with it if it doesn't look exactly the way you want it to, but continually working and reworking the paint only leads to muddiness. It was even tougher to leave it alone given that I was working with natural light. Natural light constantly changes and even though it only took an hour or so to paint, the light changed a lot and I found myself altering shadows to match.

Hope you like.

Monday, June 21, 2010

'Purple Thistles'

8' x 10' oil on panel
Not for sale

This is a birthday present for my mother-in-law. I know she wonders why I haven't offered to paint her anything yet, but I've been waiting for the right scene and hopefully, she's not offended by the fact that the right scene is a bunch of thistles...Thistles are basically weeds that pop up in cow pastures and highway medians...But, if you see them in the right light, they are really beautiful. Let me clarify that the nature or notion of thistles in no way reflects my opinion of my mother-in-law :) I should just stop writing now...

In all seriousness, she is a great lady and I only give paintings to special people in my life, of which she is one.

Friday, June 18, 2010

'Cookie Face'

12" x 12" Oil on HD canvas
Name yer price!

This is what Sammy looks like when she wants a cookie - only a lot more colorful. I took my time, drew this one out and I'm pretty happy with how it turned out. The background gave me some trouble as I thought it would...I repainted it three different times. If you don't like it I can always paint over it.

I can paint your dog too -

'Sammy Sketch'

8" x 10" Oil on panel

I sketched this one out in about half an hour this afternoon as a practice run on a portrait that I'm doing for a family member (not OF the family member). I didn't even draw it out beforehand, I just piled on the color. I'm trying to get my colors worked out before I start the final painting. The only thing I'm not sure of is what to do with the background. I like the turquoise, but I'm not sure if I want strait turquoise or a mixture or what...

Don't worry Jennifer, the final painting will be better than this. Let me know if you have any ideas.

Monday, June 7, 2010

'My Favorites'

8" x 10" Oil on panel

My wife, my dog, the river...What more do I need? Maybe a photography class to teach me to take photos that actually resemble my subjects (i.e. paintings)? And while I do love the subjects, I'm not so sure about the painting. It felt like a paint by numbers, like I was just matching colors and painting a photo. Is it more virtuous to paint in nature, face to face with a subject than to paint in a studio from a photo? I know that every artist uses photo references, but I'm struggling a bit with this idea. To be continued when I'm not so tired...

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

"River Day-lilies"

11" x 14" Oil on Panel

Made it down to the river-house in Mathews County, VA for Memorial Day this past weekend. We had an amazing time - there is really no way to paint or write about this place that can adequately describe it.

For this painting, I worked from a "color-capture" photo that my wife took of some of the day-lilies that are scattered throughout the field and along the lane leading up to the house. She captured the reddish-orange of the day-lilies so that the lilies are the only colorful part of the photo, everything else is black and white. I think this helped me to capture the correct values in the painting - I painted it first in different shades of burnt umber (dark brown) to match the values and then mixed colors to match the values and painted over the browns.

I like this one - hope you do too.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Goin to the Show!

The 17th Annual Reston Juried Show that is...My painting "West Leigh and Hancock," was one of 44 works selected by judge, Daniel Wise, a fine artist and charter member of the Washington, DC Society of Landscape Painters, to hang in the exhibition this year. It's an honor just to have a painting selected to appear in the show because there are a large number of submissions from all over the DC Region in every available medium, not just oil or landscape. Wish me luck!

If you're in the area and you'd like to stop by and check out the exhibit, here's where and when:

June 7th – July 6th , 2010

JoAnn Rose Gallery
Lake Anne Reston Community Center
1609-A Washington Plaza
Reston, VA 20190

Thursday, May 27, 2010

"City Backyard 2"

5" x 7" Oil on canvas.

Sometimes, I find it more difficult to take a photo of a painting that does the painting justice than to paint the painting itself - This painting in particular. I like the painting, but I don't like the photo of the painting. It seems like the camera picks up colors and weird brushstrokes that aren't visible to the naked eye.

Oh well, here's a little painting that gives a different perspective on the city backyard and shows a bit of my brother's lovely landscaping. This would probably look nice in a frame by your back door, huh?

Sunday, May 23, 2010

"City Backyard"

8" x 10" Oil on Panel
Let me preface this painting/post by saying that my brother has a beautiful backyard. If you could pan this image down and to the right, you'd see some beautiful plants and flowers, perfect grass and a lovely stone entrance-way that my he laid himself...I could have painted a prettier painting of the flowers in his yard, but my weird mind is more interested in the morning sun shining on that ugly, run-down building in the background...So, don't let your opinion of this painting sway your mind on my brother's landscaping abilities - he's a pro.

I'd like to say congratulations to my cousin and godson, Adam, for graduating from Virginia Commonwealth University this weekend with his Masters in Occupational Therapy. Adam is one of the better people I've ever encountered. He has more energy than anyone I know and he directs it all toward helping others. Way to go Adam!!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

"Lurking in the Shadows"

9" x 12" Oil on panel
$100 - Email for purchase

Searching for cell tower properties is dangerous business. Just look at this old girl - she's not resting, she's waiting...I'm just glad there was a fence (not pictured) between she and I, or I might have been her next victim.

Welcome to The Plains in Fauquier County, VA. Great place to photograph cows, terrible place to build cell towers. It's not likely that you'll find a landowner in Fauquier County who needs the revenue that a cell tower can provide. And even if you do, County zoning regulations will almost certainly guarantee that you're not able to build it. So, when I'm in Fauquier County on business, my eyes are open for good photo ops as much as they are for willing landlords. Wouldn't a cell tower be a great addition to this painting?

Sunday, May 16, 2010


11" x 14" Oil on panel
Feels good to paint again after a busy week.  I've been lucky the past few months to have had enough time throughout the week to sneak in at least one painting, but the past week kept me busy day and night and I'm afraid it might stay that way for a while.  So, I may not post as frequently in the coming weeks, but I'll try to take advantage of the time that I have.

This may or may not be Mendenhall Glacier in the Tongass National Forest near Juneau, Alaska.  My wife toured Alaska this past summer and saw a lot of glaciers, but can't recall exactly which one this is...She did tour this area and definitely saw the Mendenhall Glacier and from what I can gather from the internet, this appears to be correct...I worked from one of the photos she took while biking the area.

I tried to make the glacier and the snowy mountain in the distance the center of focus by contrasting their bright colors with the dark forest in the top right. There are no reds in the actual photo, but I feel like they help to balance out all of the greens and blues and to add a little interest. I like this one.

Friday, May 7, 2010


8" x 10" Oil on panel

Is it bad that painting has become an addiction for me? I'm chasing after the perfect image, the perfect light, the perfect color like a heroin addict chases after the perfect high...The thing is, I know they can never BE perfect, but I feel like I have to keep trying. Even as I write this blog I'm seeing ways that I could make this painting better. I guess this is why some artists fixate on a certain subject and paint it over and over again. What's comforting to me is that I haven't really painted that many paintings...So, hopefully, I will continue to progress toward my idea of perfection. I know it's not everyone's idea. I'm after a certain type of image and feeling that appeals to me for the same reason my favorite music appeals to me. The reason is tough to pinpoint and it varies from day to day, but with certain constants.

Ok, enough rambling. I found this old barn while I was out working yesterday near Round Hill, VA. Round Hill is a little town located about 50 miles west, northwest of Washington, DC, near the Virginia/West Virginia border. I call the painting "Relic" because the barn is located in the middle of what is now a subdivision. There are paved streets, curbs, fire hydrants and brand new vinyl siding houses all around this poor old barn.

I thought about doing this painting differently and adding in some of the new houses and paved streets. The juxtaposition of the old barn in the new subdivision is what drew me to take the picture in the first place. I guess you don't really get the feeling that I was after without the subdivision, but I like the painting for what it is...