Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Another catch up post (multiple paintings)

I have been concentrating my spare time in designing a website and other activities. I have, however, done a few paintings here and there. It is time to post them.

This is painted from reference taken on the Tellico River in the Cherokee National Forest near Tellico Plains, TN. I laid down a watercolor foundation and added gouache (opaque watercolor) to bring out the fall colors.

This is a scene I have noticed countless times and wanted to paint. I love the distance, the shadows and the lonely feeling of a long highway.

I sat in a camp chair and painted this during a cold boy scout trip to Mousetail Landing state park in Tennessee.

Afternoon shadows and fall colors caught my attention on this typical street in my neighborhood.

I took a wrong turn trying to meet up with the rest of the boy scout troop and wound up here. I decided to go ahead and do a quick painting while I was lost.

My family took a little trip to a trail near our house. I stopped near a pond and rendered this.

Christmas season 2013…I left a family reunion behind for a little while and drove to this empty parking lot and found some interesting colors and shadows.

I drove around Tullahoma during our annual visit to the inlaws and found this nice composition near an old school.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Auburn Afternoon

My son is a sophomore at Auburn University. I designed this painting based on a photo I took there some time ago. The two students walking are based on a drawing I did looking at another photo. I used a base painting of watercolor and added some gouache.

War Eagle!

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Posting Catch Up

I have neglected to post all my paintings here. This post will be a catch up.

Here is a 5 x 7 painting I did while sitting in my car in Tullahoma, Tennessee. It is an abandoned house along the side of the road. While I painted it a jogger came by and asked if I needed any help. I told him what I was doing and he jogged on down the road, leaving me with, "God bless you."


This one is based on an old photo I had of my boys and their cousins. I decided to try my hand at oils once again and did this 6 x 6 inch rendition. Those are my boys on either side and their cousins in the middle.

"The Cousins Are Coming"

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Small Cascade, Algonquin Park, Canada

Here is another painting inspired by my recent canoeing/backpacking trip to Canada. We found our island campsite and put up our tents etc... Then we canoed to a nearby island where there were waterfalls and rapids. This is one of the smaller side cascades away from the main surge of water.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Another painting from Tellico Plains Trip...Steer Creek Road

Another painting from our recent trip. This is the road off of the main highway where we turned off to find our cabin. I tried to get permission to paint on site, but was unable to find any landowners at home. So I contented myself with some photo reference.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Trip To Tellico Plains, Tennessee

August 2013 - We just got back from a trip to east Tennessee near the Cherokee National Forest. We stayed in a cabin near Tellico Plains and I enjoyed the time I had to paint. 

 Bald River Falls
The falls drop over 100 feet. My 16 year old son climbed up and jumped off at a point around 24 feet from the bottom. My goal was to capture the feel of the swift water and the subtle shadows and other dark places.

 View from Huckleberry Bald
We walked a trail through woods and meadows to reach the top of this 5600 foot mountain. A "bald" is an appalachian phenomenon still unexplained in which some of the mountain tops are devoid of trees. We walked through the grassy trail listening to the hum of thousands of bumblebees enjoying the red and white clover blossoms. The woods were full of huckleberries and blueberries. The view, of course, was spectacular.

 Sycamores By The Creek
This is the creek that wound around our cabin.

 Towhee Falls
This is one of the many beautiful waterfalls in the nearby hills. We had it all to ourselves. I painted while my wife and sons explored and read. Those overhanging leaves are rhododendron.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013


This one is already sold...or at least has a claim on it. I walked away from the campsite into a more dark woodsy area and found this little scene. I was attracted to the textures and contrasts and the idea of the cycle of life.

Algonquin Park Paintings

I sat on islands deep in the heart of Algonquin Provincial Park in Canada and painted each of these directly. I used lake water to spread and mix the paint. This is what is called plein aire painting. We canoed in to these spots, set up camp, and I pulled my painting supplies out of my backpack. This is the real thing. If you buy one of these paintings and hold it up to your nose, you may be able to smell Canada itself.

Root Fingers, Algonquin Park
5 x 7 in. Pen and ink plus watercolor on 140 lb arches watercolor paper.

Algonquin Hillside
7 x 5 in. Pen and ink plus watercolor on 140 lb arches watercolor paper.

Roots and Rocks, Algonquin
5 x 7 in. Pen and ink plus watercolor on 140 lb arches watercolor paper.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Candle Holder

Last year we went on a camping trip to Land Between the Lakes State Park in Kentucky. We visited "The Homeplace" which is a working farm set in the 1850s with workers dressed in period clothing, houses, animals and outbuildings. I took some reference photos. 

I thought this was an interesting candle holder. It looks like a mug or pitcher that has been cut. I believe they call this "splatter ware" pattern, but I could be wrong. It was sitting on a mantle above a fireplace. I enjoyed capturing the mottled white paint of the wall and the splatter pattern as well as the wax candle drips.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Gray Barn

I was taking a walk through Lynchburg, Tennessee earlier this year and took a few photos. This painting was based on one of these images.

Red Shed

Designed from a photo I took in passing on a trip through Lynchburg, Tennessee.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Cherubs, National Gallery of Art

This is from our family trip last summer to Washington DC. I sat in the National Gallery of Art and drew this with a waterproof pen. This drawing represented a breakthrough in confidence for me as I had no pencil with me and just went straight to pen with no preliminary drawing. I was afraid to get my watercolors out for fear of the security guards, so I added the color back in the hotel room.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Buena Vista

My son recently made a roadtrip to Colorado with some friends. On the way, he and his buddies camped near the town of Buena Vista, in Colorado. He took some photos and gave me permission to use one as reference for this acrylic painting.

Here is a brief word about "designing" a painting from reference. As an artist, I do not copy photographs, just as I do not "copy" exactly what I see when I am painting on site. I make full use of my artistic license to rearrange, emphasize, remove etc… as I strive to produce a work of art.

6 x 6 in. Acrylic on gesso board.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

National Mall

I sat on the Washington DC National Mall last summer and sketched this scene in waterproof ink and then added some watercolor. You can see the Smithsonian castle in the distance.

6 x 9 in. Watercolor on 140 lb watercolor paper.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Slice of Suburbia

This is the view from my front porch swing. It is a cloudy afternoon and the mosquitoes are abundant. I kept them at bay with Deep Woods Off. I forgot to bring paper towels, so I squeegeed the brush with my fingers.

6 x 9 in. Watercolor on watercolor paper.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

The Old Stone Fort is an archeological park in Coffee County, Tennessee. These falls are adjacent to the park on the Duck River. We visit the park when we visit family in Tullahoma. As a painting subject, I was interested in partial sunlight, blue shadow water and rock forms.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Uncle Wade

My wife's uncle is a good example of a small town, hard working, self sufficient individual. He has an enormous garden including sweet corn, tomatoes, peppers, pole beans...and of course this large watermelon patch. Here you can see him picking one out for us to take home. He is giving it an expert "thump" with his knuckles to test for ripeness. It was delicious.

6 x 6 in. Acrylic on gesso board.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Here There Be Frogs

Yet another image gleaned form our weekend camping trip to Alabama. This is the view from directly below our campsite looking out over a finger of Brushy Lake. Every evening, all of the lake's five million frogs attempt an a cappella rendition of Wagner's "The Ride of the Valkyries". Unfortunately, most of them seem to be tone deaf.

6 x 6 in. Acrylic on gesso board.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Creek Interlude

This is the third in a series of color sketches/paintings that I did during our weekend camping trip to Bankhead National Forest in Alabama. We drove a little ways from our camping spot to a trailhead near a creek and walked into the woods paralleling the water. It wasn't long before I picked out a nice spot to do this drawing.

5x7 in. Pen and ink plus watercolor on watercolor paper.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Cliffside, Brushy Lake

This is another painting from our weekend camping trip. There was a path around the Lake and a side trail going straight up into the woods. I took the side trail, of course, and after a steep climb was rewarded with some pretty spectacular overhanging cliff faces looming up through the undergrowth. The next day I brought my sketching kit and recorded this view.

5x7 in. Watercolor on watercolor paper with black ink and some gouache.

Bankhead Afternoon

We took a family camping trip this weekend to Bankhead National Forest in Alabama. I started a painting outside near our campsite, but I quickly gave it up and retreated into the tent and finished another view looking through the mesh windows. The problem was the biting, bloodsucking deer flies. Regular insect repellent was ineffectual.

Anyway, this is the view from our campsite looking toward Brushy Lake. The afternoon sun provided some nice contrasts in the leafy green undergrowth.

My wife had a bottle of herbal repellent that really helped keep the deer flies at bay, so the camping trip was a pleasant one after all.

5x7 in. Watercolor on watercolor paper.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Red Bridge, Japanese Garden

I dont usually use subject matter that is "cute" or sentimental or "popular". But I can't deny this is a good looking bridge. So...why not?

This is another of a series of paintings from an outing I took last fall to the Memphis Botanical Gardens. The Red Bridge is one of the most photographed locations in Memphis. Lots of folks choose this spot for their wedding.

6x6 in. Oil on Ampersand Gesso board.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Afternoon in the Clearing

Near my church is a wooded area in which there is a clearing. In the clearing we have bonfires and cookouts. While my son was in a meeting in the church building, I walked over and created this sketch.

5x7 in. Pen and ink plus watercolor on watercolor paper.

Japanese Garden

This is the entrance to the Japanese Garden of Tranquility at Memphis Botanic Gardens. I walked out here taking pictures last fall. It is a beautiful place.

6x6 in. Oil on Ampersand Gesso bord.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Walk in the Park

Here is a scene I came across from a trip to Memphis Botanical Gardens last fall. 6 x 6 inch oil on Gesso board.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Spent some time at my mom's house last Sunday as she recovers from hip replacement surgery. We sat outside her front door and I drew this little scene. It is not really a porch. It is just a little sitting area with a couple of benches and some big concrete flower pots. This view is looking straight out toward the street through the front hedges and the zigzag front walkway.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Here is a 6 x 6 inch oil on gesso board of some old gas pumps in Lynchburg, Tennessee.

Frustrated with oils

I am a watercolor person, but I am trying to expand my horizons with oil. I am trying to teach myself how to use oils in a quick "alla prima" fashion, but I am continually frustrated by the medium. Here is my latest effort: 6 by 6 inches on gesso board.

It just doesn't behave the way I want it to behave. Because nothing is dry, it all gets pushed around including the background tone. Its a mess. Then there is all the confusing advice about mediums. Ask five oil painters about mediums and you will get five different answers....including "mediums are for sissies."

Questions for the experts:

How many brushes do you usually use for one small painting?

How do you put one color on top of another color without the first color sliding away?

Any other advice?

As Gomer Pyle would say.... "Haaay-ulp!"

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

I just uploaded a video to youtube in which I go through the steps in creating my mockingbird nest painting. Here it is:

My first post in my new blog

I will give this a shot and see how it goes. This will be a place to post new paintings...and old paintings.  Daily Paintworks has built a convenient way to connect directly from blogs to their auctions, so I plan to use that functionality.

Just as a test, here are a couple of images of some older unsold paintings I have done.