Monday, December 17, 2007

Posting is not as easy as I thought.

I paint almost everyday. However, I find that between work, life and art-making, it is very difficult to maintain the blog on a daily basis. My work is to paint and that will always come first. Maintaining the blog and Web site—unfortunately—fall somewhere at the bottom of the list. I can only imagine the day when I no longer have a 9 to 5 and can dedicate the bulk of my energies to my art and its promotion.

The SI Carousel on the National Mall

Painting on the National Mall was an interesting experience with the many people who would stop, look, ask questions or simply use me as a backdrop for their photos. I did speak to a man who is a sculptor—I regret not getting his name—who had a very interesting story. He told me that he started out as a pastel painter but now sculpts. He even offered some welcome criticism on my painting.

As for the subject matter, this is a bit of a departure for me. I don't usually include figures in my work and approached them as spots of color on the landscape. Choosing the Carousel as my subject, it was necessary to paint the figure as part of the composition.

Monday, December 10, 2007

An Another Oil

This oil was done the same day as the previously posted oil. The weather cleared up slightly—it was still foggy and misty but the rained stopped—and cooled off. Compared to the first piece, you can see there is a bit more color in the landscape. I really like these pieces for the atmospheric quality they have. I would have never been able to paint en plein air with pastels on such a wet day.

A departure from pastel

This is the first plein air oil painting that I've done in many years. I recently took an oil sketch workshop to reintroduce myself to oils. The workshop focused on the portrait and figure but the principles apply to landscape as well. It was drizzling the morning I painted this, which made for an interesting experience. First, I was able to be outdoors painting in the rain—something I could never do with pastel—and second, I learned just how oil and water DO NOT mix on the canvas. Next time I'm taking my umbrella. All in all, I am still pleased with the result.

Saturday, December 01, 2007


This is a portrait of JJ. I titled the piece "Regal" because the model has such a regal presence about him. JJ is such a wonderful model whom I have painted on several occasions and I don't think that I have ever done a "bad" painting of him. This piece is showing at The Art League Gallery through December.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Potomac from Fletcher's

This is the first painting I did on Sunday morning. I went to Fletcher's Boathouse near Georgetown around 8 a.m. and hiked up-stream a little way. The tide was low so I was able to trek out onto the rocks and paint off shore. The sky was cloudy and gray with times when the sun would break through setting the leaves aglow through the damp air.

As the sun moved higher in the sky the clouds began to break up. I decided to hike up-stream a bit further to see what I might discover when I came upon an area where there were many rocks that lead out into the river. The tide was still low so I was able to work my way out onto the rocks to get a different perspective of the Potomac. The sky was changing rapidly causing the trees in the distance to go in and out of shadow--very cool to watch but difficult to paint. As I was painting the rocks in the foreground, I realized that some of the rocks were gone--the tide was coming in. I painted a bit longer hoping to get a bit more done but decided to pack it in and get back to shore before my path was completely underwater. My under painting is visible in the lower corners of the piece--I rather like it with the corners unpainted.

Thursday, November 01, 2007


This portrait of JJ was done in about 2 1/2 hours. JJ is a superb model. His features are striking and he easily reassumes the pose following a break. I really enjoyed paint this portrait and look forward to painting him again.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

St. Pete's at Harper's Ferry

This is and 18x24 piece that is currently on the easel. It is based on a plein air piece that was painted in Harper's Ferry in October. I still have plenty of work to do on this piece but thought I'd post it anyway because I've been working on it for a while.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Central Park Bridge, part 4

This painting continues. I don't feel that it is resolved and I'll probably take it off the easel now and hang it on the studio wall. After working on it for so long, I'm too close to it and have started canvas licking (not a good thing). I'm not able to see if there are problems with it and need to give myself some space/time from it. Eventually, I'll come back to it and make some adjustments.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Plein Air in Harper's Ferry, WV

Potomac River from Harper's Ferry, WV

St. Peter's Church overlooking the Potomac River
9x12 pastel

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Bridge in Central Park 3

This is the painting after the third two-hour painting session. As with many artists, I must plan my painting schedule around the my job (I'm the business manager for an design agency). For me this means arising at 5:00 a.m. and painting for two hours before getting ready for work. I spend most weekends and many evenings at that easel. Additionally, I study portraiture—I spent a year studying portrait drawing and have recently advanced myself to portrait painting—at the Art League. Finally, I attend figure drawing sessions when my schedule allows.

I haven't posted here in a few days because I was in California for my cousin Chris's 50th birthday party. It was a great time. I just love northern California. The trip was a whirlwind so I didn't have time to paint; although, I did take lots of photos… no surprise there.

Thursday, October 04, 2007


12 x 18 (approx) pastel on Wallis
This is the result of my first attempt at a pastel portrait. I see some problems with modeling and anatomical structure but all-in-all, I'm happy with the result. This piece was done in my first portrait painting class with Kurt Schwartz at the Art Students League in Alexandria, Virginia.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Bridge in Central Park

12 x 15 (approx) pastel on Wallis
This is an underpainting for the piece that is currently on the easel. I'll continue to post progress photos as I go since this will be a multi-session work.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Washington Monument

9 x 12 pastel on Wallis
I did this plein air piece from LBJ Memorial Grove in Virginia—not far from my house—it was a beautiful morning where the sky was clear with little humidity. There is a bit of a bend in the monument but I will correct that in the studio before framing this piece.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Wednesday, September 26, 2007


Annie, 12 x 16, pastel on paper
my first attempt—in a long time— to do a pet portrait