Monday, February 27, 2012



This is a little girl at the beach on Hilton Head Island. She was out with her family for a fun day of kite flying and running on the beach. What a nice break from painting  still lifes. Still lifes can be very time consuming with the set up, removing and replacing items. With a photo I feel like I have more freedom. I start the painting from a photo but once the drawing is correct, I usually don't look at the photo very often. It's a nice change from all that scrutiny that I give to a still life.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Emerging Artist and New Website

Lily by Ian Blackburn

My ten year old great nephew came to my studio Sat. to do a painting for an art contest and this is the finished product. He was not very pleased with it but I think it is great for a first oil painting. I think his taste is more photo-realism as opposed to impressionism. Last year he entered a landscape done with pastels and won 1st place in his age group and Best of Show. As you can imagine he felt very pressured to do something spectacular.

In teaching another person I always learn something myself. To keep things simpler for him I had him mix the most prominent colors in piles before he started the painting. It worked so well for Ian that I don't understand why I haven't used this method for myself.

My new website is up and running with the help of my friend Ryan Asher. Ryan has been so busy building websites for other people that he hasn't finished one for himself. But you can contact him at if you need some help with a website.

Monday, February 13, 2012


This is the start of a painting from a few days ago. You can see that I decided to move the vase down a little so it would not line up exactly with the plate. I am using gessobord that I have covered with black acrylic paint. Sometimes I use burnt sienna or just start on the white primer of the gessobord.

Here I have covered the canvas with oils in preparation of getting a bit more detailed and adding highlights.

8" X 10"
PRICE $150

Here is the finished painting after another coat of loose paint and some palette knife work on the tulip.

Friday, February 10, 2012


I think I have mentioned in the past that I love the work of Robert Henri so I decided to do a study of this portrait titled AN IRISH LAD, hoping to channel Robert. I don't think the channeling worked but I think I learned a few things.

I believe this painting was done over a rust colored ground. I used white canvas paper which is fine if you are painting a practice piece or planning to frame an oil under glass.

He was in love with the face in this one and gave very little attention anything else. The clothing seems to be an afterthought.

His brushwork is lush. This practice made me realize that I don't mix enough paint at a time. That isn't a problem with very small paintings but it is when you start painting larger. It is something I have struggled with for years. Too much remixing slows the process and is frustrating.

The other thing I learned is that it isn't easy to get in the head of another artist as much as we all try.

An Irish Lad by Robert Henri

This is a photo of the original that I got from the Internet but unfortunately the color is not very accurate. I worked from a book of Henri's paintings. His last name is pronounced Hen-rye. It was an assumed name adopted by him at seventeen. He was born in Cincinnati, OH. in1865 to a wealthy family that developed real estate. His real name was Robert Henry Cozad. The family later moved to Nebraska where his father developed the town of Cozad but there were many conflicts between the developers and the local ranchers. Robert's father shot and killed an unarmed man in a scuffle and as a result was indicted for murder. The family fled and all took assumed names out of fear. He was a cousin of the famous painter Mary Cassatt but couldn't tell anyone out of fear that his family would be found.