Sunday, December 13, 2015

Big Mountain

My sister is not above the occasional curbside scrounging. So, when someone left a 3 foot by 4 foot white canvas out by the road, she scarfed it up, brought it to my house and left it at my house with a brief set of instructions... "Paint something."

The actual commission involved filling a vacant spot above the bed in the master bedroom of my mother's house. We are trying to sell this house and my sister believes it would make a nicer impression with something colorful there.

Not to be intimidated, I broke out my old acrylics and found some reference photographs from our 2007 trip to Colorado. Here are some snapshots of the process: (The brown color is what I toned it with using acrylic medium.)

Three feet by four feet. Acrylic on canvas. Title: "Big Mountain" Thanks for looking!

Monday, November 30, 2015

Pet Portrait

This is a recently finished pet portrait commissioned piece.​ 
I used a conte pencil for the darks and a white prismacolor pencil for the highlights.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Arts and Crafts Show summary

It was a lot of work to get ready, setup and takedown, but overall, it was worth it. I sold several paintings, notecards, and drawings and put several on hold for delivery later. I also got one sure commission and several maybe's. In one case a buyer bought three paintings online before the show when she saw my announcement about the show. Then she came by my house the day after and bought three more!

What kept me very busy was doing drawings of children's faces. Our idea was to draw people into my booth by offering pencil portraits for $5.00 each. At several points during the day, they were lined up to get their child's portrait...some with three or four kids each. However, I don't remember selling any paintings from this.

I had printed a three-fold color brochure and had an FAQ sheet to give out... for whatever that is worth. I didn't give out near as many of these as I had anticipated.

Here are some photos of the event. 

My Booth.

Here are just a few of the many kids faces I drew.

At one point, a mother wanted me to draw both her boys together, but one of them was just out of infancy and could not hold still. She gave him a smartphone with a movie playing and I was just able to capture his likeness in between squirms.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Creek With Color

This is my version of the Autumn Challenge on the Daily Paintworks website. I tried to simplify some of the major shapes and color areas and add some push-pull with darks and lights.​

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Lonely Road #2

I guess you could call this a series of two paintings. I continue to be influenced by 19th century British watercolors with their limited pallet and ​use of distinct areas of color and shadow.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Lonely Road

In this painting I tried to convey that poignant lonely feeling of traveling long distances on gray days.

I have been looking at a lot of old English watercolors lately and I love the limited pallet and the detail they include. This painting is influenced by that style.​

Video Demo of "Afternoon Azaleas"

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Conasauga Falls

I used reference from a family trip to east Tennessee near the town of Tellico Plains. There are a number of scenic falls in the area. This one was fairly secluded. We were the only visitors. 

This is a large full sheet 20 x 30 inch watercolor done in a detailed style.​ I was inspired by studying the watercolors of British artist Tony Foster.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Rutledge Falls 2

This painting was originally done in 2011. Recently I was staring at it and realized I needed to make some changes to make it more...better. I added some shadows and a few other details to give it more definition and excitement. Rutledge falls is in middle Tennessee near Tullahoma.


AFTER - 2015 changes

Thursday, August 13, 2015

The Shed Behind The Barn

This is a rural scene near Tullahoma, Tennessee. I was attracted to the dramatic scattered sunlight draping itself over this ramshackle structure. ​

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Stone Door Vista

There is a park in middle Tennessee called "The Stone Door". There are hiking trails, rocky cliffs and beautiful overlooks.

This is a 16 x 20 acrylic on stretched canvas.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Old Tow Truck

My workgroup went on a "Team Building" activity. The activity was "paint a painting" at one of those new places devoted to this. Most everyone else followed along with the teacher as she showed how to paint the Memphis skyline in a folk art style. I brought one of my small watercolors and did this version of it as a large acrylic on canvas.​

It was fun, so I think I will do some more paintings like this.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Substantial Citizen

Original painting $40.00 opening bid. 

Back in 1960 my father found a packet of old black and white negatives in a dump ​in Long Island, New York. I recently began developing them and found an image of this gentleman. Based on other images in the package I determined the year - 1897 - and the location - Malone, New York. Unfortunately I have not been able to identify this man's name. 

I decided to honor him by designing this painting. Those mountains behind him, I believe, are the Adirondacks.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Down Riverwood 2

$40.00 opening bid for this original watercolor. It is another one of a series of suburban spring afternoon watercolors. Riverwood Street is particularly striking in the late afternoon with its garden like lawns accented by the striking contrasts of sunlight and shadow.

Saturday, June 13, 2015


I found an old roll of black and white negatives in my mother's estate and scanned the images. This lady was identified as my great grandfather's second wife...(first wife had died). Her name was Maggie. This setting was somewhere in middle Tennessee.​  

I decided to give the whole thing a wash of sepia tone to give it that "bygone days" feel and then I took extra care to capture her friendly smile.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Arkansas Cascade

This is designed from photo reference I took while I was near Collins Creek Falls. 

This was done in a quick brush stroke style. I have to work myself up into a certain mental state to do this. It is scary. I committed myself to making nothing but broad quick brushstrokes with a wide flat brush.

Shadow Lawn

The street is Pecan Trees drive and most of the shadows you see are from nearby pecans. The shadows are actually the star of the show here, with the azaleas and house shadows as part of the supporting cast.​

Thursday, June 4, 2015

River Fog

The Little Red River in Arkansas is fed by the Greers Ferry Dam. The water comes from the bottom of Greers Ferry Lake and it is very cold. When the warmer air above meets the cold water, a mist forms. In the distance you see my son, fishing for trout. ​

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Collins Creek Falls

It has been a while since I have posted. My family and I were tending to my ailing mother as she spent her final days with us. She is in a much better place now.

This was designed from reference taken during a family trip to Arkansas. A short walk down a trail led us to this location.​ I enjoy looking at the overlapping planes of the boulders, the textures and the colors.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Green Light

This scene is from an upscale neighborhood in Memphis. ​I continue to be visually fascinated by the long shadows of afternoon filtering through large oak trees, nice homes and manicured lawns. To me, it is peaceful and beautiful.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Afternoon Azaleas

To me, a walk or drive down a residential street in the late afternoon can be just as exciting... or more so, than a fireworks show. The dramatic contrasts, the rich colors, the mysterious shadows, the glowing greens, yellows, golds and reds are just as visually satisfying​ as any Fourth of July display.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Quick Azaleas

In this one I tried to keep my brush moving very quickly without slowing down for details. I even had my "dessert" first, meaning that I painted the red azalea color as the first big brush stroke on the white paper.​

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Afternoon Azaleas

The afternoon sun creates dramatic contrasts of values and really sets those deep red springtime azaleas​ on fire.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Serene Spring Suburb Study

I love making up tongue twisters so here is an easy one in the title to this painting. Springtime foliage is at its zenith here in west Tennessee. I am amazed at the intensity of the red color in the azaleas and the stark contrasts in these colors against their green backgrounds.​

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Grain Processing

This is a typical sight along Tennessee backroads. My visual interest here was the vertical thrust of the tanks, the rusty textures and the intricate threading of the support struts.​

Saturday, March 28, 2015

The Blue Tree

I used a quick impressionistic approach here to capture the rough hewn feeling I got from this scene. The color of the bark is surprisingly bluish due to the lichen.​

Friday, March 27, 2015

Rainy Day

This was painted while looking out of the window of a cabin in northwest Tennessee. It rained all day, so I took advantage of the time and tried to capture part of the essence of the gray wetness on this Maple tree.​

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Old Maple Study

I painted this plein air while looking up through the branches of this old Maple tree. I am visually drawn to the overlapping shapes, textures and colors.​

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Barn Study

This is based on a barn I saw while traveling down a rural road. I purposely held myself back from adding a lot of line work to the sides of the barn. In this case, I preferred the simple texture.​

Monday, March 2, 2015

The Back Pasture

This is another of my roadside finds. I snapped reference photos while my wife drove. I am still looking through my collection.​

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Two Cows

I traveled down a long Virginia rural road using Google street view, before I saw this interesting barn with an overhanging part. I changed the trees around and added some cows. ​

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Summer Privet

I usually use cold pressed watercolor paper with its rougher surface, but this time I used a piece of hot pressed. I wanted the smoother surface for the fine pen and ink work. I really enjoyed designing this and inking in the shadings and texture. Adding a bit of color was like putting icing on the cake.

A wild and wooly privet bush is a familiar sight to most southerners...maybe northerners too. One of my greatest physical accomplishments is digging out a row of privet bushes that bordered our property...stumps and all. It nearly killed me.​

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Back Road

I designed this from my memory of rural backroads. That debris in the foreground is a discarded shipping pallet.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Hackberry In The Field

This is a Hackberry tree in my neighborhood. I have painted it before in watercolor. Here I wanted to try a scratchboard treatment.

The tree is actually in a suburban setting in someone's front yard, but I used artistic license on the background.​

Monday, February 2, 2015

Under the Maple

This is a painting I did earlier last year, put it aside and forgot about it. So here it is. 

Our family van is parked at our weekend getaway in Greenfield, Tennessee. The cabin has mice and other "roughing it" aspects, but we always have a good time there.​

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Barn WIth Tree

Here is another barn portrait done in scratchboard style on Ampersand Claybord. Yes...that is "bord" without the "a". It is a hard panel about an eighth inch thick.​

Friday, January 23, 2015

Barnford Barnlington

Is this not the barniest barn you've ever seen?

All kidding aside, I found a piece of Ampersand claybord that I didn't know I had, so I decided to design this little scene. ​