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...

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

"Four Gulls"

5" x 7" Oil on canvas

My wife and I, along with my older brother and his wife hiked the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge and Assateague National Seashore this past weekend. Chincoteague and Assateague are barrier islands off the coast of the Eastern Shore of Virginia and Maryland. There is no hunting, fishing, camping, pets or vehicles allowed in the Wildlife Refuge so the beach and the forests are pristine. There are two populations of wild ponies that roam the islands, one on Chingoteague and one on Assateague, that are separated by a fence that spans the width of the island.

The hike is 24 miles round trip; we started in Chincoteague, VA and hiked 12 miles to Assateage, MD, where we camped for the night on the beach and hiked back to Chincoteague in the morning.

Although the terrain is flat,the hike was much tougher than we anticipated. Hiking on the sand for a good portion of the 24 miles and using the same leg muscles the entire hike as opposed to mountain hiking with elevation changes that call for different muscles, made us so sore by the last mile that we literally could not take another step. I tried not to let the exhaustion take away from my enjoyment of the scenery.

Looks like that big gull in front is pretending that his feet don't hurt, but I know better.