Saturday, December 10, 2011

Marriott Craft Show/New Paintings

Been a little while, huh?  I won't dwell on the fact that it has been almost four months since I've posted, but I guess I have to mention it...Tonight was the first night in over five months that I've been unoccupied and energized enough to paint.  Man it felt great!  Unfortunately, I can't post the painting because I'm probably going to give it away for Christmas.  But it's a good one...take my word for it!

Once again, the Marriott craft show was good to me.  I sold six paintings and Christmas is saved!  Thanks to my repeat buyers - I really appreciate your support!

I'll probably post the paintings after the holidays, but I'm not sure when I'll get to paint again.  On top of the twelve hours a day that I already work, I'm starting classes toward my master's in Special Education in January and the SOL's are approaching...How I will live through this, I'm not sure...Please send positive vibes my way.

Thursday, August 25, 2011


12" x 24" Oil on HD Canvas
$150 plus shipping - Sold

This is a painting of the valley just west of the Bryce Canyon "Amphitheater" in Tropic, Utah.  I painted it back in the beginning of July after my wife and I returned from a 17 day National Park tour of Utah and Colorado - I've been a little lazy about posting.  I thought I would do a lot more painting from the trip than I've done, but I feel like none of my photos do the scenery justice.  Plus, I've been a little preoccupied with finding a job and now preparing for that job, which is teaching 8th grade Special Education English...I have a lot to learn and a ton of work to do so the posts and paintings may be limited for a while.  But, one of the many reasons I wanted to teach was so that I could have my summers off to focus on painting...ahh, already looking forward to summer!  Hopefully I'll be able to squeeze some paintings in this year, but we'll see.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

'Tomatos, Tomahtos'

8" x 10" Oil on Canvas Panel

Had a really tough time getting a good photo of this painting...It really does look better in person.


8" x 10" Oil on canvas panel

The scene is Difficult Run about a mile up from where the stream empties into the Potomac River in Great Falls State Park.  I painted it on site and the conditions were challenging...This was the first time I had ever tried hiking to a location with my travel easel so there was a bit of a learning curve.   To make matters more difficult, a small piece of the easel that keeps the paint and brush tray from sliding out broke off and all of my supplies emptied onto the ground...then I had to figure out a way to keep the tray from continually sliding out while I was hiking...Once I worked through the glitches though, I really enjoyed painting outside and hiking to my location.  The day was really overcast, which may have made the painting easier because there were fewer lighting changes.  All in all, I like the way the painting turned out and I can't wait to get outside again!

River Daylily II

6" x 8" Oil on canvas panel
$15 plus shipping

Almost didn't post this one because I didn't like the way it turned out...It's kind of interesting though.

Friday, June 10, 2011

'Avocado with Spoon'

6" x 8" Oil on Canvas Panel

I was going to do a set; one with the pit in and spoon inverse and one with the pit removed and spoon concave...Didn't quite work out as planned.  I squirted lemon juice over the avocado which is supposed to stop it from browning, but by the time I was done with the first painting, the second half of the avocado was brown and I didn't feel like painting another one.  I like the way this turned out though - it's cheap, and would look nice hanging in your kitchen, or dining room.

By the way, in my opinion, to remove the inside of an avocado is to cut it in half as shown above, remove the pit and make lengthwise slices.  Then, take your spoon and scoop it out...Try putting the slices on some toast...

Send me your commissions.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

'Belle Isle Footbridge II'

16" x 20" Oil on Canvas
Commissioned:  Sold

I received a request for a second, much larger, version of my original Belle Isle Footbridge painting and I was happy to oblige.  The larger version allowed me to expand on the detail of the original, pictured below:

I think it turned out well.  I only used three colors to mix the entire original painting as sort of an experiment, but I went with a full palette on the new version.  I think the expanded palette helped me to create more of a contrast between the shadow areas in the foreground and the brighter areas in the riverbed.

I'm searching for more commissions so let me know if you have any requests.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

'Pemaquid Lighthouse'

8" x 10" Oil on Canvas Panel

This is Pemaquid Lighthouse in Maine...I started on this as practice because I didn't have anything else to paint, but it really came together nicely.  It may be one of my best impressionist pieces to date.  As usual, the painting looks much better in person.  It's tough to tell from the photo, but I added a tiny strip of blue to the right hand side of the painting where the fence-line ends.  The blue strip in the painting does not exist in  my reference photo, but I think it adds a nice new dimension to the scene.

'River Chairs'

5" x 7" Oil on Canvas Panel

I was anxious to use my new travel easel over the Memorial Day weekend at the river-house, but also anxious to fish, kayak, windsurf, catch crabs, ride bikes, and...relax. So, I designated two hours of my Sunday afternoon at the river for painting...Painting counts as relaxing so I killed two birds and downed a few Coronas in the process. Quite enjoyable I must say.

As for the painting...Conditions were tough, but such is outdoor painting. I mixed my paints beforehand because I wanted to get the scene down quickly before the light changed, but as soon as I had mixed my colors, the sun went behind the clouds. I tried to compensate, but may have overcompensated. Either way, I enjoyed it and I left the painting at the river-house for others to enjoy as well.

Monday, May 23, 2011


5" x 7" Oil on Canvas Panel
Commissioned - Sold

Floyd is an Italian Greyhound, NOT a miniature Greyhound, which I'm told is the same thing as a whippet. I'm surprised Floyd turned out as well as he did given that all the while I was painting him, I thought he was a whippet.

I have a lot more time on my hands these days and I'm looking to do some commissions. Please contact me if there is anything I can paint for you.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

'Into the Light'

8" x 10" Oil on Canvas Panel
$40 Plus Shipping - Sold

Must have been in an interesting mood when I painted this one. It's a little dreary, but I like it. I've had this image in my head for a while now and it fell right into place. The scene reminds me of the rock quarry where my dad worked when I was a kid. There were hundreds of acres of land in addition to the rock quarry, most of which were undeveloped, or overgrown farmland with old barns and machinery like you see in the painting. None of the barns had electricity though - the light was added for interest.

Unfortunately, the camera was up to its old tricks so some of the colors in the image are not as subtle as they appear in person.

'Small Boat Dock - Alexandria'

16" x 20" Oil on Canvas Panel

I picked this image from a stack of reference photos at the Herndon Art Space where I recently finished a painting class. I painted this over the span of a few weeks and one day, while the painting was still in process, I was looking through the art instructor's website, and I discovered that she had painted the exact image. Here is a link to my instructor's version of the same painting, which was painted outdoors, on site:

You might have to copy and paste the link because I don't know how to embed a working link...

In other news, I sold three paintings at my latest exhibit in Poolesville, MD. Pretty good considering the cafe where the paintings were hanging just recently opened and is still not well known.

I'm hoping to do some outdoor painting any day now, although my motivation is lacking of late. Inspirational comments appreciated!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

'W&OD Herndon'

From New Paintings

8" x 10" Oil on Canvas Panel
$35 plus shipping - Sold

I know this doesn't look like much, but I painted it outside on a windy afternoon in Herndon, VA.  Painting outside is challenging compared to painting in studio.  I plan to do a lot more outdoor painting now that it's getting warmer and my wife gave me an outdoor easel for Christmas.  Like I said, it was windy, the light was fading fast and I am an inexperienced outdoor painter.

'Warehouse District Train Yard'

16" x 20" Oil on Canvas

Well hello...It has been a while.  It's true, I haven't been painting AS MUCH and I've been posting even less.  Unfortunately, I've been too busy with the job that pays the bills. I actually painted this back in January after visiting Asheville, NC with my wife.  We were sitting outside under some heat lamps at a brewery called, The Wedge, Brewery - so named because the brewery sits on a wedge of property between the street above and the train yard in front.  The train went by once and I kicked myself for not taking a photo because it was such a lonesome scene - the train rolling through at dusk with its light shining on the tracks and snow in front.  As fate would have it, the train stopped and then backed up into the same position as before.  Not wanting to tempt fate a second time, I ran out through the snow and snapped some photos. 

Tasty beers at the Wedge - I recommend touring the art galleries in Asheville's Warehouse District and then having a few.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

'Two Apples Reflecting'

16" x 20" Oil on Canvas
$75 Plus Shipping

I set this still life up in my makeshift shadow box with glass in the bottom.   As usual, the photo doesn't do it justice - for some reason, the shadow at the bottom of the painting shows up a lot darker in the photo than it is in person.  I took several photos and this is the best I could manage. 

I'm happy with this painting - it's clean, meaning that there are no, or few, overworked, or muddy sections.  My main focus right now is cleanliness...I want to make one brush stroke and leave it because it's the right brush stroke. 

Monday, January 24, 2011

'Orange Tree Lake'

16" x 20" Oil on Canvas

I'm taking an oil painting class at the Herndon Art Space with a local artist instructor.  This is the first painting I've completed in the class.  I can't say that I received a lot of instruction on the painting, but I think it came together well.  Just spending three, uninterrupted, hours painting with no distractions is helpful enough.  The teacher did provide one helpful suggestion and that was to bring the reflection of the sky out and to the bottom left of the painting.  This way, the reflection leads you into the painting, whereas I had originally painted it as a straight line from the horizon to the bottom of the painting.

What I don't like about the class and I guess there is no way around this in the middle of winter, is that we were painting from photos, and small, dark, photos at that.  The painting is quite different from the photo - I really had to move things around and create to make it work so that's good.  My biggest gripe against the photo and maybe this is the teacher's fault, is that she didn't know where it came from.  Hence the name, 'Orange Tree Lake.'  To my knowledge, Orange Tree Lake does not exist. I like to have some sort of attachment to my subjects so next time I'm bringing my own photos.

Saturday, January 15, 2011


11" x 14" Oil on Canvas
Commissioned - Sold

This is Miles.  He's a Corgi/Lab mix and although I've been staring at his face for the last month, I wasn't able to meet him until today when I delivered his portrait to his owner.  He's a good dog and luckily, he looks a lot like his painting. 

Happy anniversary!

Friday, January 14, 2011

'The Beltway II'

8" x 10" Oil on Gallery Wrapped HD Canvas

Back by popular demand...Believe it or not, there was a little buzz surrounding this painting at the Marriott Craft Show.  More than one person wanted it and I felt bad that I couldn't give it to both, so I offered to re-paint it.  It took a little while to build up the motivation to try it again, but I had some meetings yesterday that required me to drive the beltway in its entirety and I came home inspired.  This one may be uglier than the original...

The photo makes it look a little more yellow than it is in person - not sure why.  Sorry this took so long - hope it brightens your workspace.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

'Nighttime In the Valley'

11" x 14" Oil on Gallery Wrapped HD Canvas

I had a hard time photographing this painting - it's looks much cooler in person. Either way, I really like this one. And, it's 100% original. I did a painting a few months back called, 'In the Valley,' which was a landscape that I created. 'Nighttime in the Valley' is the same landscape, night. It's a simple landscape, but to me it is reminiscent of the landscapes that I grew up with in the Shenandoah Valley. Hope you like.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

'Mandarin Teapot'

8" x 10" Oil on Canvas Panel

For those of you who thought I'd gone crazy're probably right, but I'm returning to sanity today with a good ole-fashioned still life of mandarin oranges and my green teapot.  I like the contrast of the orange against the green and I think leaving some visible brush strokes makes a painting look more alive.  What do you think?

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

'Empty Mind'

16" x 20"
Oil on Canvas

Even as an "artist," I struggle to understand some abstract art.  The 20' x 20' blank canvas hanging in the museum of modern art is a mystery to me.  But, if you've read my previous posts, you know that I struggle with the idea of originality.  I do most of my work from photo references and while I do not simply copy photos, when you work from photo references as opposed to observing nature, or working from the mind, it's tough feel like you've created an original work.

I do a lot of reading on the subject (art) and I know that no matter how accomplished the artist, just about every artist, even abstract artists, use photo references.  This knowledge helps me to invalidate, or confront the negative feelings I have about using photos -

The point of this rambling is that pondering the idea of originality has had an unforeseen yet positive effect on my outlook in that it has lead me to a better understanding, or appreciation of abstract art.  While  there are limitless ideas and reasons for creating art, maybe some of those abstract artists have had the same thoughts I've had about what it means to create original artwork.  (Does that mean it's not original?)

So, with that weirdness in mind, I decided to try something new (new for me anyway).  And that was to see what would happen if I just painted without thinking (or while thinking as little as possible).   I did think about the colors that I wanted to use beforehand - earth tones, however the turquoise was a spontaneous decision as was everything else including the strange patterns.

I think it is well balanced, the color scheme works and could fit in just about anywhere.  It's tough to tell from the photo, but there are some really interesting patterns going on and while you may not want to hang it on your wall, I like it.  My first original painting!