Friday, August 15, 2008


"Boquillas Early Morning" 20" x 24" oil

Last Spring the Outdoor Painters Society held a
five-day paintout at Big Bend National Park. I
had never been to Big Bend, much less painted there.
The first morning Bob Rohm, Chase Almond, Fred Hulser
and I took the hike into Boquillas Canyon where I
produced a good 11" x 14" sketch. This is the
studio version produced from my sketch.

We were in the canyon for about two hours.
There is an older gentleman who lives in a hut
across the river. He serenades visitors to the
canyon and his wonderful tenor melodies echoed through
the canyon as we painted. On the way out of the canyon
our morning singer met us on the trail to accept
donations. It all added up to a good morning paintout
and my first trip into the canyon.

Sunday, August 10, 2008


(Left to right) Rusty Jones, Bob Rohm,
Bruce Peil and David Mooreland Bates

One of the great joys of plein air painting is painting
with a group of friends. Several years ago I joined
an organization dedicated to painting outdoors,
the Outdoor Painters Society. Almost every month

we paint at different locations and each Fall we take
an extended painting trip to Colorado, New Mexico
or Arizona.

Most trips I paint with the three characters pictured
above. We typically share the expense of a cabin and
food. Each day we gather and show our work and at
the end of the week we invite all the other artists
who have painted with us during the week to meet
for a show-and-tell.

I also paint with John Cook, Kaye Franklin,

Fran Ellisor, Beverly Boren, Chase Almond and others.
I cherish my time and friendship with this great
group of friends. We are all talented, professional
painters who share the love of the outdoors and
painting on location. I wouldn't
trade our time together for anything.

Trout Pool

"Trout Pool" 8" x 15" oil on canvas
(Available at Collectors Covey)

I've always felt artists must paint what they know and are
passionate about. Other than my family, painting, fishing and
golf are my passions. They are more than simple interests
that occupy my time. If I'm not painting I want to be fishing
or playing golf. All three vocations require a level of skill
to be successful and all three require practice...lots of
become proficient.

Today's painting depicts a trout pool I came across while on
a painting trip in Colorado. As is the case quite often, nice rainbows
were rising all morning while I stood under the pine trees
painting. Unfortunately for me, I had not packed any fishing
gear that day. On the one hand I was joyful to be painting. On the
other, the fisherman in me was at the peak of frustration all
day as I watched rise after rise. Note to self...always pack fishing
gear when painting near good fish water.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Yosemite Falls

"Bridalveil Falls" 11" x 14" oil

This painting was done from our family
vacation to Yosemite National Park. Bridalveil
is the first set of waterfalls you see upon
entering the park. A short walk through the
bigleaf maple trees brings you to the base of this
600 foot waterfall where you can sit in the mist
and cool off from the summer heat.

Friday, August 1, 2008

McKinney Ranch

"McKinney Ranch" 9" x 12" SOLD

This plein air painting was produced during the
Plein Air Texas paintout last April and sold at the show
held at Southwest Gallery. This abandoned barn sits about
100 yards off a small country road near Frisco. Old barns
like this one make for an interesting subject
because it makes you think about the history and the
lives that have passed throught it.

Why build it here? Who built it and how long ago
was it erected? What was life like back then?
These kind of thoughts occupy my mind as I spend
an hour or two capturing the structure in paint on a
9" x 12" piece of canvas.