Wednesday, October 19, 2011


"Into Burro Mesa" 12" x 16" oil/linen

Late afternoon in Big Bend is a magical time. The long cast shadows and volcanic rock formations turn cadmium orange straight out of the tube. You have to be quick because as soon as it is gone. Anyone painting late afternoon in Sedona knows what I mean. This formation is Burro Mesa and I have depicted just a small portion of the entire mesa.

The R S Hanna Gallery grand opening is this weekend in Fredericksburg, Texas. I am proud to be a part of the celebration and one of the artists in this gem of a gallery in the heart of the Texas Hill Country. "Burro Mesa" will be available at

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


"Drydock" 9" x 12" oil/linen

Here are the other two paintings I entered into the Coastal Paintout in Port Aransas last weekend. "Drydock" was sitting in a shipyard and I was attracted to the unusual hull. This sailboat was deposited here by a Norwegian businessman with the promise he would be back to work on it in a couple of weeks. That was three years ago. Needless to say the shipyard owner is not pleased.

"Dunes" 9" x 12" oil/linen

"Dunes" is a painting I've put off painting for four years. Sand dune paintings are like shrimp boat paintings...too much of a cliche. This year I bit the bullet and did my very first sand dune painting. I convinced myself that like painting bluebonnets and the missions in San Antonio, painting sand dunes comes with the territory and is as much a part of Texas as anything else I choose to paint.

The problem on this particular day is Port Aransas had a bad case of "Red Tide" which is an algae that floats on the ocean and comes and goes with the tide. When the algae blooms it turns the ocean red (actually burnt sienna) and fills the air with a burning odor that causes coughing, sore throat and burning, itchy eyes. Most cases it also kills a lot of fish that wash up on the beach and that causes all kinds of foul odors.

The red tide wasn't all that bad in Port Aransas where the paintout was being held, but to get to some decent sand dunes I drove about 30 minutes down the beach and that's where the red tide was really bad. By the time I set up my easel I was coughing, my eyes were burning and watering something terrible. I gave this painting my best shot for 45 minutes, then had to quit because my eyes were on fire. I actually liked painting the dunes and plan to do some more when I go back to Port A this Spring.

Monday, October 17, 2011


"Loche Vale" 24" x 20" oil/canvas

Both of my entries into the Paint America competition made it into this year's show. "Loch Vale" and Grand View" were larger paintings done from on location plein air studies during painting trips to these locations. You can view the entire show at

"Grand View" 24" x 30" oil/linen

Now available at Collectors Covey

"Loch Vale" will be sent to the Paint America show and "Gand View is available at Collectors Covey in Dallas.

Sunday, October 16, 2011


Accepting award from Port A Gallery Owner Cameron Pratt

I have just returned from a three-day paintout, artists reception, show and sale at Port A Gallery in Port Aransas, Texas. This is my fourth year to participate in the event and I am pleased to announce I won the "Artists' Choice Award" for the best body of work exhibited. I produced several paintings a day for two days and then the Quick Draw Event and show was Saturday.

I really enjoy this event each Fall. The weather is usually great and I get to paint with friends I haven't seen in a while. Cameron, Rick and Linda do a splendid job of promoting the event. Collectors come out and watch the Quick Draw and the show is always well attended.

I the heat of battle at the Quick Draw.

"Bam Bam" 9" x 12" oil/linen

This is my Quick Draw painting. The title refers to the name of this little women's clothing boutique that is in the same shopping center as the gallery. As with many coastal villages the shops are brightly painted so mixing the purple color for the side of the building was a challenge.

I painted the shadow pattern going across the top of the roof first which turned out to be a smart move because the sun disappeared behind clouds five minutes after starting the painting and never returned.

I'll post a couple of the other paintings later in the week. An eight hour drive back has me all tuckered out.

Monday, October 10, 2011


We have a few more spots available for the Wimberley workshop in a couple of weeks. October 31-November 3rd are the dates. It is a plein air workshop and there is no better time to be outside painting in the Hill Country. The workshop is for beginners to intermediate painters so we will be covering the basic concepts of what it takes to be successful when you venture outdoors to paint from setup to finish. Contact Belinda Aber at to register.

Sunday, October 9, 2011


"Sunrise Colors" 8"x10" plein air o/linen


This plein air study was done in Ouray, Colorado a couple of years back. I distinctly remember catching this scene out of the corner of my eye one morning while on my way to paint a different location. I came back the next morning to paint this scene. I had noticed the nice play of morning light hitting the cliff while the riverbed was still in shadow. There are fewer decisions to make when Mother Nature does her part first.

The painting was easy, but I had not realized the big change of temperature from up on the road where I had parked, down to the river where I was painting. The temperature on the road was a brisk 41 degrees. I didn't realize how cold it was on the river until my paint began to freeze. Then I noticed my fingertips were blue, and not from the ultramarine blue on my palette. A quick check of the temperature and it was 14 degrees. Suddenly I noticed my hands were shaking from the cold and my teeth were chattering. Painting plein air has enough distractions without shaking hands and chattering teeth. I was glad I had committed to only doing an 8" x 10" and not something larger. When finished I climbed out of the river and back onto the road to find my fellow painters in short sleeve shirts and putting on sunscreen. What a weird day of painting it turned out to be.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


"Woodcreek Lily Pads" 11" x 14" oil/linen

This location is in Wimberley, Texas in a subdivision called Woodcreek. It is a picturesque spot with a golf course and river running through it. There's a low water crossing and to the upper side is this neat little pond full of lilly pads, ducks and I'm sure a few good snakes. When I saw this scene it was the end of April so like everything else in Texas that time of year, everything in the scene was green. The trees, the grass, the water...everything was green so the trick to painting such a scene is to vary the greens and throw in a complimentary color to give the painting some breathing room and interest.

The cool greens in the distant hill separate nicely from the warmer greens found in the trees in the foreground. The orange maple tree near the center of the painting is typical for that time of year when certain trees don't fair too well through the winter months. Of course with the summer we just experienced there are tons of trees in central Texas this color.

This painting is headed to Pitzer Fine Arts in Wimberley.