Monday, March 30, 2009

hall's balls

In this painting a hallway flanked by a stainless steel sphere in an Asian inspired pottery piece. I played with the division of space, the contrast of light & color, the whimsy of spacial juxtaposition. With light at the end of the hall made the color of the plastic hanging lamps silhouetted against it glow. The circle on right is a mirror on the wall with a beaded purse hanging below. A few birthdays back, i received quite a few bejeweled evening bags, it was a joke that took me weeks to comprehend. The cars; Hallmark ornaments are there to bring the aqua forward in the composition.
12" x 24" oil on canvas

Saturday, March 28, 2009

A great show

It was a really great show. I was lucky enough to have some premium display space. The above paintings hung in the front room and would be among the first thing to see as you entered the show. The painting of an almond orchard in bloom (Outstanding Orchard, 48" x 48") above a pair of 2 foot square paintings of ground cover from the South of France. The paintings to the left of them are my work. Below is more of that room from the view point of the archway next to the paintings mentioned above, just before the show began. 

turning a corner

Tonight's art opening was great. A lot of people that came to the event. Art was sold!

While hanging the show I had paintings all over the place.  Leaning against the wall and furniture, inadvertently I placed the two sides of an image on perpendicular surfaces. I've never displayed these paintings this way before. I had an odd entry alcove to hang in, turning a corner with these paintings gave me an interesting entrance to one of the rooms I was showing in.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


These paintings of Lake Tahoe come from a an exciting weekend I had spent there a year and a half ago. Boy time flies. The above image the first of the day showing a couple of sunbathers, swimmers and boats in the water. Painting on location with sand under my feet I had a great time.
As the day went on I continued painting. I was able to observe picnickers as they celebrated this holiday weekend. While painting it is often to difficult to capture the intricate patterns of moving figures. I had to decide who would show up as a smear of paint on my canvas and who would not. It was a very social group, people came by wondering where they were in my painting and I was wondering why if they wanted inclusion they did not stay still for a minute or two. Someone in the group had a large bird trained to shit on command. 
Later that same day...  I started this painting as soon as the sun dropped behind the mountains. It was not easy to look in this direction with the sun low in the sky and the glare on the water. The colors were striking! I wanted to capture them. This the third painting of the day, with little time due to the changing light, went quickly. By this point I felt well acquainted with my subject and I had an intimate understanding of the colors I was mixing. A lot of shades of blue. 

I was very fortunate to have some good friends with me on this weekend getaway. While I was occupied with my paints they had kept busy with other things, like; tending bar and fixing food. I was not the starving artist that weekend.
This painting of people waiting for the fireworks at Lake Tahoe on Labor Day weekend was done in the studio after my return from the lake. It is painted on two canvases, because the overall size would not fit in my car as one canvas and I like to split an image. My house, being older, has few walls large enough to hold large art and those seem to always be filled. But there are a few areas where a split image can hang. This won Best of Show at CCAA's Spring show two years ago. I guess I was in Tahoe two and a half years ago. Time does fly...

11" x 14" oil on canvas 
12" x 16" oil on canvas 
8" x 10" oil on board
(2) 40" x 30" oil on canvas (40" x 60" overall)

Monday, March 23, 2009

chalk line vines

I had a chance to work on the wall I started a month ago. I had painted the scroll design and liked it enough that I was not sure I wanted to add anything more to the wall. I drew the vines with pastels. It is mainly to show the positioning of the vines. I will paint over the chalk after my show this weekend. That will be the fun part. The pastel color I used is not the color I am thinking of using when painting, it was the color that showed up on the wall. The translucent iridescent scrolls made it difficult to see the first 3 colors I tried.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

A wall of paintings

Finally, I got an image to post. I have been trying to upload images to my blogs for about a week.

This image is of a wall that that is part of the show I have been hanging this weekend. There are 44 paintings on this wall, all 8" x 8" oil on board. Hanging a show is often a tricky operation. The decision where to hang something is obvious. Not this time. I struggled what would go where. It was not my original thought to hang these little panels, but the space seemed to need them. About a third of these were painting were painted in 2009, maybe 6 were painted over a year ago. 

Sunday, March 15, 2009


It's that time of the year again. My camillas are in bloom. These paintings from a few years back are a few of my favorites. I like the vintage pottery with the flowers. Are the flowers to show off the pottery or is the pottery that just happen to be there with the flowers. 
both: 8" x 8" oil on board

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Manhattan Beach

The the stand and the pier in Manhattan Beach were painted for my nephews last year when they moved from this sea side community to the Denver. These two boys did not even own long pants when they were first introduced to the snow there. I wanted to capture the place they would recognize and remember fondly.
both: 8" x 8" oil on board

Friday, March 13, 2009

pool side

OK, so maybe it is not the time of year to be thinking of swimming. These two paintings from last summer are an examples of the what a difference in point of view or point of interest can make. Focusing in on just the ball as apposed to – for lack of a better term – the big picture, makes a major difference in the out come of the painting. I often try to show as much as i can in a painting liking the relationship of all the objects. When I limit the subject I am often surprised at how much can be shown. These two paintings show views of the same place, but viewed differently.
both: 8" x 8" oil on board

Thursday, March 12, 2009

float in a boat revisited

I did not have the bottom image to post the last time I posted the float in the boat. The bottom painting with the money plant in front of the float is the older, by about a day. The over lapping objects in one painting is a contrast with open space of the other.
both: 8" x 8" oil on board 

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Where to paint

These two paintings currently hang together in my home studio. The top image painted about two years ago in a studio gallery I had in Modesto CA. It was great to have a place to paint and a place to show my work. I regret that I had to give it up, the demands on my time and resources were to much at the time. Most of all it was located in the wrong place. People do not buy art in Modesto. The studio was on its way out at the time of this painting, I was trying to show as much of this space as I could. It seems the main focus was to record that place at that time. 

Since then, I have been painting at home. The painting of the lamp in front of the orange velvet drapes is a view from where my easel is now. The color and pattern of the light attracted me first, then there was the old hi-fi piled high with glassware and disco balls, I think there is even Batman's arch rival the Penguin in there somewhere. Again I am recording my environment. Where I am is where I paint. 
both: 16" x 12" oil on canvas

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


Every fall I paint persimmons. I am fond of the color. These paintings show two different types of the fruit. The top image in the pink dish shows Fuji persimmons, a flatter more squat fruit. The second two are from my own tree, they were said to be "Chocolate Persimmons". I must admit I didn't recognise any chocolate flavor, but the fruit I tried was not ripe yet. You never want to eat an unripe persimmon. The bottom two took 7 years to paint. I planted the tree in 2001 and this was the first time I had any fruit on it. I had 10 persimmons, 9 on the same branch. The fruit is in vintage California pottery, I was told these shallow dishes are for floating Camellia blossoms in. A persimmon tree often will have fruit hanging on it after the leaves have fallen off, giving a look as if decorated with orange Christmas ornaments.
each 8" x 8" oil on board

Sunday, March 8, 2009

early orchard

This painting was done in January before the orchards came into bloom. It is from the same propriety as the previous posting with the truck and the trees in bloom. This was done looking out the window of Tamara's studio. It is a second floor window so it allowed me a little higher view point than usual. This was done on a Paint Day. A day when a group of local artist get together to paint at one of our homes or studio. Today was a Paint Day, I painted in an almond orchard across the street from Gay and Don's house. It was wonderful out side today the petals falling like snow. I will post an image on
8"x 8" oil on board

Saturday, March 7, 2009

pickup in the orchard

This painting of an old pickup parked among the almond trees was painted behind Tamara and Sam's house. I enjoy the contrast of the pink blossoms on the plum tree with the much whiter ones on the almonds. It was the edge of the landscaped yard and the start of the orchard. The late sixties chevy with it's contrasting door and fender parked among the trees felt like it could have been there for years or just days. 
8" x 10" oil on board

Friday, March 6, 2009

blue pitcher

Painting objects more than once is something I like to do. These three paintings a blue pitcher is the common thread. I realize how differently the focus of a composition can be even in a painting of the same object. As it is said of many things, we are all a product of our environment. As I paint objects, using them again in different settings, I am often surprised to discover the numerous way there are to show something. It is the relationship of an object with what is around it that makes it unique.
each 8" x 8" oil on board

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Here is the invitation to my show. March 27 and 28, in Modesto. I will have some new paintings on display there, some of which can be viewed on my other blog.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Brandy Rose

The Brandy rose is one of my very favorite. I am fond of it's rich apricot color, the large scale of it's bloom and the sentimental memories it represents. My first Brandy rose bush was a gift from Florance and Tokio Shimanuki, who were visiting California celebrating there 50th wedding anniversary. I always associate this rose with them and their love for each other. Also the golden color fit in well with the golden anniversary tradition. This painting was done with thoughts of enduring love, to celebrate the marriage of there son Francis to Yoko last summer. I have a Brandy rose just outside my bedroom window,it is mostly sticks with thorns now but it won't be to long till it will be in bloom again. The first blooms of spring are always the best.
8" x 8" oil on board

Often I will paint something to celebrate or commemorate an event. It's a way to hold something close to my heart. I am not always able to express my feelings in words. There are a number of paintings that for me are connected to people or events in ways that there subject can never express. 

Monday, March 2, 2009

still life

I found this quote on another blog; 
"The successful painter is continually painting still life"  Charles Hawthorn

Earlier this week heard a soon to be art school graduate dismiss her recent education in painting because the instructor had the class only painting still lives. I find myself painting quite a few still lives lately. The majority of what is shown in this blog has been still lives. I like to paint still lives, they are an amusing process for me, visual challenges. I like the relationships of shapes and color, the illusion of the space between objects. I get to explore them in a still life. It seems that what I choose to paint is of interest to me, I'm not sure how well they speak to others.
8" x 8" oil on board

Sunday, March 1, 2009

blue glass and green

With this painting I found my inspiration with the colors of the objects. The pale green Poppytrail platter and yellowgreen Bauer bowl. The color of these two pieces of pottery made me want to paint them. I added the blue glass and quartz sphere to add more interest. Painting glass is freeing. To capture the illusion of glass you go for an impression of what you see. I don't literally try to capture every nuance. If I did I would end up with something overworked and distracting in my composition. In this painting it is the shadow of the glassware that place the objects within the bowl.
8" x 8" oil on board

Thinking of painting glass I am reminded of an early painting I did around age 13 after receiving my first set of acrylic paints. I painted a bunch of zinnias in a glass bowl, set with an arched recess in a wall. The painting was maybe 12" x 16", the glass vase maybe 3" round. I had trouble painting the glass and asked my father for help. he used about 3 brushstrokes and made it look like glass to me. It was like magic. I would stare at the painting afterwards realizing that the brushstrokes captured the essence if the glass sphere more than a physical representation of it. I've learned not to be afraid of painting glass after that. About 20 years later I painted a large zinnia painting. Thinking at the time of that early painting. When my father saw it he said it reminded him of a painting he did years earlier. I knew it was the same painting he was thinking of. I suppose maybe he could of helped me paint more than that vase, but I remember it as my painting.