Friday, October 31, 2014

Little League Reliever

There is no relief for parents or grandparents with your grandson on the mound. This was a picture I took several years ago of him pitching and he was pretty good. Now, he has gone on to more serious baseball endeavors and hoping to play in college. He is good but no longer a pitcher. I painted this with acrylic paint and finished it with a high gloss. Seeing it brings up some wonderful memories.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Remember, It's Only a Game

I snapped this photo of my grandson and his mom walking to the parking lot after a hard loss at soccer. It was the final day of summer camp when the championships are decided. Needless to say, he didn't win after making it to the finals. Just one of those growth experiences of childhood. I painted this in acrylic using rather thick paint and then spraying with a gloss finish.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Arboretum Morning

It is still warm enough in the morning to paint on location. This is a plein air painting of the local arboretum on the University campus. I keep waiting for fall colors to show, but they have been slow developing. The challenge in doing this scene is to mix a lot of greens. New gamboge and thalo blue, French ultramarine and new gamboge, raw sienna and ultramarine, burnt sienna and ultramarine mixtures give a nice range of greens. The shadows were quickly changing but it was a wonderful feeling, painting. It is an idyllic place with busy runners and gardeners all around. Everything is well kept. Seems like the ideal place to give a workshop.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Pleasant Valley Road

Painted this scene in watercolor and now I am doing it in acrylic. It is a rural country road in Winters, CA. It is fun to watch the bike riders cruise down this valley. I did this plein air in watercolor and then tried it in acrylic. This painting has a completely different feel to it in comparison to the original watercolor version.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Our Neighborhood

Acrylic painting is difficult for a watercolorist who likes to blend colors on the paper. There is much more glazing with acrylics. I need more practice with the media. The jury is still out. I have tried en plein air painting with acrylics and have been completely frustrated because they dry too fast, even with retardant. It is warm where I paint and maybe with the fall coolness I will have more success. The painting is a copy from a photo that I switched around. It was a very quick study.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Home Run #1

My grandson, Theo, has become quite the baseball player. This acrylic painting is from a photo on his first Little League baseball team. I think it was called the farm team. He came up and hit the ball over everyone's head and had his first home run. What a thrill for all of us.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Horses, Horses, Horses

A little morning chill but sunny and clear for painting. We visited a horse farm in Winters. There were lots of horses, individually housed in a luxurious stable in a French Chateau like building or in small stables or sheds. They all had plenty of room to wander around and that created a problem. I'm not used to drawing or painting horses especially moving ones. After plenty of quick sketches, I set up at the beginning of a road that ran between some stables. I was fascinated with the mottled light from the cast shadows of the young trees. After several sketches I settled on one. Behind me was a huge arena which was continuously used by owners exercising their horse or riding them. Plenty of chatter with the attendants about the health of their animal. It must be wonderful to own a horse that you can ride and talk to anytime of the week.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Best Corn on Cape

I have painted this corn stand before and it seems that each time is an experience. The young cashiers run across the street, the passing people hang out asking questions or the owner wants to see what I am doing. I did a lot of editing on this painting. To get a good focal paint I placed the sign behind the wagon and people. I left out all of the detail of the shop behind since it was in shadow. I love looking at this scene since it is such a strong reminder of summer on Cape Cod.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Autumn on the American River

This morning it was cool but the sun was shining. All 10 of us turned out to paint on the river and the day was perfect. The fishermen were out and the fish were jumping. I was told that they are salmon. There is little change in color to the tree canopies but nothing very pronounced. I think that we need some cold nights and the yellows and reds will be brilliant. As the morning progressed, the clouds moved in and the shadows grew darker. I was done in 2hr.

Thursday, October 16, 2014


The pumpkin patch was busy with young school kids. The buses were in the parking lot by 10AM and there was excitement. We were there to paint, although there were far more people photographing the scene, especially the kids climbing on hay bales and in the petting zoo. Every size pumpkin was there and I chose the largest group. I'm not sure how you would cart these off. It would need two or three to get one off the ground into a wheelbarrow. This painting took a great amount of editing before painting. There are so many things to either put in or leave out in a pumpkin patch that is staged for school children.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

First Rains

Painted this morning from under a bridge. The light was not the greatest but watercolor and rain are not a good combination, so we stayed dry under the bridge. The plein air painting was done at a remote site on the University campus. There were 7 of us braving this first rainfall of the season. The steady drizzle and brought some leaves down. I decided to use only 3 primaries to paint the scene. I figured on using greys, so mixed raw sienna, permanent rose and manganese blue. These combinations provided all the colors that were needed. One issue though is that my paper (Arches 140 cold press) stayed wet and the paint always diluted out and made it difficult to get edges. There was no way to dry it while painting.

Friday, October 10, 2014

The Train is Running Late

Was at the Davis Train Depot this morning. Beautiful day with a very active scene. After setting up to sketch, a few trains came and then there was only this man on his phone. I sketched him. He eventually got up and wandered over to see what I was doing. He gave me his story about waiting for the train to Missouri and it was late. And a long story ensued about coming to Davis. Eventually, another wave of people arrived for trains. As I look at this quick study, I am thinking of Edward Hopper. He always had some melancholy theme to his work. I am not sure why, because I was bright eyed and well rested and doing what I like to do. My friend Naomi was also there painting along side. I don't know what the dynamics are for a feeling in this painting.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

North Davis Pond

I go by this location every day. This morning at 6:AM a full moon was up casting its light across the pond. It would have been a great scene to paint but I jogged by. Later, this morning, I was back out there painting with my plein air group. We painted many different views of the pond. It was a nice warm sunny day and I had my new umbrella to keep my easel in the shade. I did this in a loose, quick fashion. I experimented with a number of made up greens. The important thing is to keep the palate clean and keep making them. I also do much of my mixing on the paper.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Wychmere Habor, HarwichPort, MA

This is the most photographed area in our Cape Cod town. It has a large number of boats moored and I only put in some of them. Most Cape Cod buildings are white or weathered grey with shingles. Here, I left everything white so the unusual shapes and roof lines stand out. It is a favorite wedding venue. I undertake a painting like this every time my sales drop off at our little weekly art show. This painting always sells.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Foggy Boat House

My friend, Larry, sent me a picture of a boat house and it was entirely monochromatic. What fascinated me were the lost edges and greys that are so common in the early morning harbors. I wondered what would happen it I put just dropped the smallest amount of color into it, so I painted a similar scene with some spots of color. I was careful not to make the color too bold. I like the result. I have painted many marine scenes with boat houses and will try this approach on my next one.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

The Kite Shop

An iconic marker for HarwichPort is the Kite Shop. Every kid visiting the area has made at least one stop. The shop has expanded lately with candy that can be chosen in the old fashion way; one selection at a time, and you leave with a bag. Also, the main sidewalk in front of the shop is usually filled with summer items. I am attracted to paint it because of the myriad of colors. The flags, wind socks, whirly-gigs, etc. are sure traffic stoppers. I paint from across the street and have plenty of company from the strolling vacationers.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Back from a summer on Cape Cod and out to paint on the Delta this morning. A group of us turned up at the Old Sugar Mill Winery were trying to find the right scene to paint. I wanted to include a lot of the tanks and machinery which were puffing and straining with the current harvest. It was a fun morning and I shook off some of the cobwebs from not painting for a couple of weeks.