December 8, 2012

Rainy Oak

Acrylic on Panel - 8 x 10 inches - SOLD

This week's assignment for the Daily Paintworks Challenge was to paint the rain. Yeah, right. I started trying to paint the rain, but it just kept coming out like some abstract vertical nightmare. I should have posted one, but I was in such a hurry to paint over it, I went with this instead.
It's still a wet, rainy night. Maybe more of a painting of lights and reflections, but that's what rain means to me. 

Racer 5 Orange

Acrylic on Panel - 6 x 6 inches - Click Here to Bid

Here's an update on the race car with the orange, as I originally imagined it. Orange and blue to conveniently vibrate nicely. I guess I just knew that intuitively and couldn't help putting that fruit in there. Then again, it's probably the universe acting through me. Or something like that. Right?

Here's an update to the image, with a few tweaks....

December 2, 2012

Racer 5

Acrylic on Panel - 6 x 6 inches Ω

Just finished my submission to the Daily Paintworks Blue Challenge. And I had all week, but no, I had to wait until Sunday afternoon. I'm really slipping. Like everything else, I'll just blame it on the holidays.

This is a toy car I found lying about the apartment. The cue ball in the background is really an orange, which I may render more faithfully later, but in rereading the instructions for this week, I noticed that we were encouraged to not use large orange shapes to offset the blue. Naturally I totally ignored this suggestion as I photographed the set up, but in painting it today, I left it grey anyway.

Despite that, the oddest thin that struck my was all those little orange highlights in the wheels/tires. Not sure where they were coming from.

November 14, 2012


Acrylic on Panel - 8 x 10 inches - Click Here to Bid

This is a close-up view of the same corner I painted a few days ago, with the tall palm trees.  Trying to get bigger and yet stay loose. The timer is helping. It's not relaxing, but it does help me focus.

here's an update with a little bit of adjustment...

November 11, 2012


Acrylic on Panel - 5 x 7 inches - Click Here to Bid

Another timed painting. This time, just twenty minutes. I pulled out yesterday's palette and just dove in. I'm not sure why I take so many askew pictures, but even more puzzling is why I don't correct them before painting them. Something in the subconscious must be hard at work. 

November 10, 2012

Amy at the Market

Acrylic on Panel - 6 x 6 inches - Click Here to Bid

Just a random candid photo from this summer I never got around to painting.

I'm trying to do timed paintings now. I find if I give myself only 30 minutes to paint, I jump right in and just try to render what is there without over-thinking it or planning what steps I might take. I didn't even do any sketches or preliminary drawing on this one. I just started with the brim of the hat, the shape of the face, the neck, the shirt and I was well on the way.

I'm also still using the Golden Open Acrylics, so things stay wet and messy. I think they keep me focused and in the moment, because in a timed painting I can't wait for an area to dry before going over it, so I just have to deal with my placement of shapes or accept that painting into an area will blend with whatever is already there. I can, however, glob on thicker applications of color toward the end, as in the white on her shirt. (that was still a bit wet the next day – a real surprise for someone used to acrylics).

November 6, 2012


Acrylic on Panel - 4 x 6 inches -  Ω

My entry for the Daily Paintworks Zombie Challenge. I hadn't really even intended to participate in this week's challenge. However, I was touching up some paintings, and had a few blobs of grey paint out. I quickly sketched a figure from a piece of junk mail on the table. Later in the day, I was doing some more touch up work, and had the blues and greens out, so I started adding a few more strokes to the face and realized while I was doing it that the universe had tricked me into creating a zombie portrait.

October 29, 2012

Grand Avenue

Acrylic on Panel - 5 x 7 inches - Click Here to Bid

I snapped a pic of these tall palms on a recent errand through the East Bay. Decided I needed to do a timed painting, so I dove right in and after a while, I realized I hadn't set the timer. It's those little details that can sink a plan. I'm guessing 30 minutes, but who knows.

... and a bit of an update...

October 23, 2012

Beach Walk

Acrylic on Panel - 5 x 7 inches - Sold

Trying to squint and keep it real simple. From a photo on my phone. By actually viewing it on my phone instead of the big screen, it was easy to make the reference small and further away. Unfortunately, it kept turning off.

October 20, 2012


Acrylic on Card - 4 x 6 inches - Click Here to Bid

This weeks entry into the Daily Paintworks Challenge.

... and the iPad version that got things started (using the Brushes app). I think I like this one better, but wasn't sure it met the criteria for the challenge.

October 18, 2012

Bus Rider

Acrylic on Panel - 9 x 12 inches - sold

I've worked on this piece on and off over the Summer and it just never seems to get where I want it.
Too much detail, not enough detail, too dark, too light etc.

I'm only posting it to see if it will now leave me alone. We'll see. A casual observer commented "it looks like animee". Ugh.

September 30, 2012

De Young

Acrylic on Panel - 9 x 12 inches Ω

I was walking by the museum the other day, and I was trying to imagine it as just being big abstract shapes, and thought I'd paint it that way. Somehow, in the doing, I made it less abstract than I had intended. Somehow, simple just doesn't come naturally to me. 

August 24, 2012

Teal Chair

Acrylic on Panel - 6 x 6 inches - Click Here to Bid

This is my entry for the Daily Paintworks Complimentary Challenge.  I think I took the instructions a little too literally, but I liked the instructions the way I interpreted them.

August 15, 2012


Acrylic on Panel - 7 x 5 inches - Click Here to Bid

Used to be an OK place to do laundry. Now it's a great place to eat. Yes, Nopa, named for the "North of Panhandle" neighborhood, which it isn't really in, though it is technically North of the Panhandle but it was launched before people started calling the neighborhood DivCo, which I really hope doesn't catch on, but...

Any way, it's a view of Nopa with the Hayes Street Hill climbing up on the left, and Divisadero Street in front, thus qualifying for this weeks Daily Paintworks Challenge: The Street View.

I've done lots of SF street scenes, but this one was next in the queue. It's the only are in which I'm out-doing Carol, just in the sheer number of SF paintings I've done, but then I live in SF, so no surprise there. And hers are still far superior.

I might do a larger version of this just to see if I can add a tad more detail, without completely abandoning the looseness.

August 13, 2012

Red Side

Acrylic on Panel - 4 x 6 inches - Sold

I'm really liking these Golden Open Acrylics. Something about them is challenging making me concentrate more and try new things. Naturally there's some things about this that is completely frustrating, like not having them dry almost instantly, but I feel like this will ultimately be a good thing. Either that, or I will become completely used to them soon and go back to my old habits.

This image is from a photo I took while up at Moore Ranch earlier this year. It's pretty bad, but I do like the looseness and since I set a timer, I managed to not overwork the thing like I usually do. 

August 11, 2012

Carol's Red Truck

Acrylic on Panel - 7 x 5 inches - Sold

Just made the wire for this week's Daily Paintwork's Painting Challenge. Carol Marine posted a photo of a truck and was nice enough to not post her version until later in the week.

I decided to buy some more Golden Open Acrylics, this time in colors I actually use and not the variety pack they put together. I really enjoyed the paint staying workable, and think I might actually stick with the open paints for a while to see if I get a hang of the process.

August 9, 2012


Acrylic on Panel - 6 x 6 inches - destroyed

I'm a whole week late posting this one. It's for the Daily Paintworks' Rose Challenge. I wanted to try to keep it to a vary limited palette so I cropped way in. I did a few roses a year or two ago, and it's amazing how awful my color mixing was. Rather that is that my color mixing abilities have come a long way. (and with a long way to go). 

August 8, 2012

Barn Back Knife

Acrylic on Panel - 8 x 10 inches - SOLD

I had this painting from earlier this Spring, from when I painted at Moore Ranch. I had plan to paint something new over it because I didn't particularly like it. Since I already had paint out from the morning, I decided to try "reinterpreting" the  piece with new color and just using the palette knife. It's definitely looser, but also warmer more accurate color. It's still a terrible composition, but it was interesting to see how I could pick better colors from memory (or maybe just seeing how wrong the colors were in the previous version were). 

August 6, 2012

Around Back

Acrylic on Panel - 5 x 7 inches - Sold

Found another shady spot to paint from. 97 degrees today, so shade is my friend. Any hotter and I'll be painting from inside the house.

August 4, 2012

Back Field Fruit Trees

Acrylic on Panel - 5 x 7 inches - Sold

As the title says, this is the pathway to the back field fruit trees at my parent's place. For once I think I managed to make it look more like a painting and less like an illustration. I hope. 

August 2, 2012

Hill Top

Acrylic on Panel - 8 x 10 inches - SOLD

Painted with only the palette knife, I based this on a view of the hill, naturally, but had to remove all the visual obstacles in the way (the apple tree, the many fences, utility poles and wires). My sister said she wanted something very loose like this for her living room. Apparently she wanted something like this and not actually "this" one. Ahem.

July 31, 2012

Bodega Barn

Acrylic on Panel - 9 x 12 inches Ω

All right, it's not really a barn, but a garage. In fact the garage to our host's house on Bodega Bay.  Things had brightened up a bit, but not exactly "sunny" yet so I was trying to keep it a little on the cool side. Not an easy task when the subject is a cream colored building surrounded by straw.

July 29, 2012

Tomales Bay

Acrylic on Panel - 8 x 10 inches  Ω

I took a short trip to Tomales Bay to paint with some very experienced and well known Plen Aire painters. You've probably heard of some of them, but I'm not dropping names here. One of them wrote two of my favorite painting instruction books.

In any case, it was a little intimidating at first, but everyone just got into their own thing. Well, almost everyone. My dad and I couldn't resist having a look over everyone's shoulder, now and again. There was a wide range in styles and technique. Really interesting to see.

This is my first for the day, a view of the foot of the Bay (if that is the term), as seen from our hosts' property. It was a bit overcast, and I think I got that, but I'm so into my oranges now that I think the warmth I put into the fields is a bit much for a grey day.

July 26, 2012


Acrylic on Panel - 5 x 7 inches - Sold

The latest submission to the Daily Paintworks' Paint It Primary Challenge. As suggested, I tried to use just three primaries and white. I did use a tad of black, which rarely use, to town some things down a bit, but even my grays are either warm or cool and not neutral. The scene is a photo I took in Golden Gate Park. 

July 25, 2012


Acrylic on Panel - 6 x 6 inches - Click Here to Bid

Up in the hot, hot countryside, and taking a break from the pool, by doing a quick sketch of the hills. I decided to include the umbrella to hint at being poolside. My manager was on hand, so she did her version (below).

July 23, 2012

Red Face

Acrylic on Panel - 9 x 12 inches - Click Here to Bid

Another painting from the workshop I did with Timothy Horn (I'd left it behind and only just retrieved it). I think I'm finally getting the knack for those medium oranges. I don't use cadmium, but I am approximating it here, with a mixture of the reds and yellow I've got on my acrylic palette.

July 14, 2012

Lunchtime "A Moment's Rest"

Acrylic on Panel - 9 x 12 inches - Sold

This weeks submission for the Daily Paintworks "Paint Your Muse" Challenge.  You can read all about the theme there, but in selecting and painting this, I realized, though I love the great outdoors, it's the juxtaposition of man made elements in nature that really get me.

The scene can therefore be seen as a muse of sorts, and more than just "man with nature", for me it has the personal as well. Lunchtime, teatime, at your parents house, is that moment when you all take a break from the days tasks and sit for a bit, together. Never long enough, but always welcome.

This is the seating spot just outside my mother's kitchen. We don't eat here often, but it's always relaxing when we do. So close to the house, and yet your mind can wander, over the field of straw, past the trees, and the creek beyond. Ah.

July 12, 2012

Online Interview

Marla Laubisch - Paintings

It's interview Thursday. The wonderful painter/designer/teacher Marla Laubisch interviewed me last week for her blog. The interview is boring, because it's about me, but you should check out her website not only for her work but she also has a great tip section and lots of great links.

Read the interview on Marla's blog >>

View Marla's gallery on Daily Paintworks >>

July 10, 2012

Water Tower

Acrylic on Panel - 9 x 12 inches Ω

Ok, it's an ugly little wood, milk-bottle-shaped thing, but it caught my eye. I'm not proud, but there, it is done. This photo is also terrible. The trees are really a lot greener than they appear here.

The best part was that there was a juvenile falcon that appeared in the window, watching us intently and debating wether today was a good day to try flying or not. He did eventually glide (more than actual flying) to the far end of the field. Not sure how he was planning on getting back up in the tower.

July 3, 2012

Phone Photo

Acrylic on Cardstock - 4 x 6 inches - Click Here to Bid

Getting a jump on the Daily Paintworks' Phone Photo Challenge, so I can git outta town. Hopefully I'll get some field work in while I'm at it.

The challenge this week was to take the provided phone photo and see what we could do with it. I wanted to try two. With the first one, I tried to keep it in the temperatures it looked like in the reference, and in the second one, I wanted to try and warm it up, to represent a sunnier day.

June 29, 2012

Jelly Jar

Acrylic on Panel - 9 x 12 inches - Sold

I selected this scene to paint for the Daily Paintworks Gift Challenge II.  Basically the theme was to paint something that was given to you as a gift that has a special meaning to you. For me it's this jelly jar I was given years ago, made even better because the flowers in it now were another gift.

It's sitting in the window right now, and there are only three flowers (the other splotches are the reflections in the window). 

June 28, 2012

Shadow Study

Pencil on Paper - 6 x 3 inches

Another value sketch of the Conservatory of Flowers, focusing only on shadows.

June 27, 2012

Glass Haus

Pen on Paper - 6 x 3 inches 

It's sketchbook Wednesday. Actually, I've been too buy to paint recently. No, really.  But I do have to get out for a walk every day so that atrophy doesn't set it.

So I've decided to take a sketchbook with me and do some field sketches, and then post them, just so you know I'm not completely abandoning my creative development.

Above is a sketch of the Conservatory of Flowers in Golden Gate Park.

June 21, 2012


Ink on Paper - 6 x 4 inches - Click Here to Bid

Starting to get caught up on the other non-creative nonsense around here and getting back to making art. And here's my submission for this weeks Daily Paintworks Challenge: The Insect Challenge. (in case you're not familiar, I chose as my subject the might stag beetle).

I'd bought a bunch of supplies to create some linoleum prints because this is something I've been itching to do. Naturally, I bought the wrong stuff. Well, wrong for the tools I had.

So, I simplified my design a bit, and just went for it. I tried printing with a thin layer of paint, but it was too hard to control, so I cleaned everything off and when with stamp-pad ink. Also, trying to transfer directly to card stock did not work, but paper did quite well.

June 2, 2012

Polka Skirt

Acrylic on Panel - 5 x 7 inches - Click Here to Bid

Well, I thought if I kept the canvas small, I'd be forced to simplify, which was generally true. It's just so hard to make a face with only three brush strokes and be satisfied with it. I mean, it would be easier if it was just one face in the crowd, but when it's the subject of the painting, it's really hard to leave well enough alone.

I must have scrubbed this face out and started from scratch a dozen times. Each time I'd just cross that line of too much detail, and wound up making everything cartoonish or mask-like.

Well, as I've found with things on this scale, that just a few millimeters in one direction or the other can really distort proportions. Not so bad with trees, but terrible when painting humans. So, head too big, legs too short, and more plagued this piece. Other than that, I really like it. Ahem.

Just another rush job, with lots of poor judgements in order to submit to the latest Daily Paintworks Challenge - Polka Dots

June 1, 2012

Value Study

Acrylic on Panel - 9 x 12 inches - Click Here to Bid

I had a short window of free time, so I set up and decided to just concentrate on values for this one, using only ultramarine blue and white. It was also easier to keep just two blobs properly damp in the hairdryer environment that is Sonoma on a hot n windy day.

Not sure if I'll turn this into a finished piece or not. I think the cropping might be a bit tight.

May 30, 2012

Slow Delivery

Acrylic on Panel - 9 x 12 inches  - SOLD

Well it turns out the truck didn't move for a few days, so decided to give it another go. Don't worry, I didn't forget everything I'd learned so far. It was actually a foggy morning when I started this one. I still got some orange in the greens, but tone things a bit cooler and bluer then when we were in full sun.

May 28, 2012

Big Barn

Acrylic on Panel - 9 x 12 inches - Sold

Really getting into the orange now. I decided to focus only on the biggest shapes and aim to get the color just so. Which actually was fine, since I thought that would communicate the light and space of the scene. The problem was that without ANY detail, it had no scale and was devoid of context. Adding those distant trees/shrubs, a few planks in the barn front, and the little shadows between the wood and the cement really helped sort that out. Good thing to know.

May 25, 2012

Red Truck Green Background

Acrylic on Panel - 9 x 12 inches - Click Here to Bid

Since the "Seeing Double" challenge had us paint two paintings of the same scene, this explains why I'm too tired to type much. We were encouraged to work on both paintings simultaneously, but I only have one easel this week, so I had to do them one after the other. It was actually really fun to labour over the wider shot with all those details, and then just zoom in and concentrate on the truck. 

Red Truck Green Building

Acrylic on Panel - 9 x 12 inches - Sold

My submission to the Daily Paintworks' "Seeing Double" Challenge. You can read all about it on their site. I'm too tired to even type. 

Chicken Truck

Acrylic on Panel - 9 x 12 inches - Click Here to Bid

Even warmer hills and grass. I think I'm getting the hang of this "adding orange" thang.

I had to check that this truck was going to be around for at least an hour or so, and when I got the assurance I just dove in. I mostly included it for composition, but also because I was getting a little sick of painting barns. Besides I like painting trucks.

May 23, 2012

Back of the Barn

Acrylic on Panel - 9 x 12 inches Ω

Yesterday I mentioned mixing orange into your greens (though yesterday's posting did not actually show this phenomenon). In this painting you can actually see me beginning to grasp this concept.

May 21, 2012

Return to the Creamery

Acrylic on Panel - 8 x 10 inches - Click Here to Bid

I had the distinct honor to attend another workshop with Tim Horn. It's been a few years, and I couldn't wait to ask all the questions I'd accumulated in that time. Well, at least some of them.

We were at Moore Ranch in Nicasio again, though it was a lot windier than last time. Cold foggy mornings replaced by warm, sunny afternoons.

Tim did a demo each day, and shared a few things that were new to him as well. I don't remember what his palette was like on my first visit, but he was using a limited 7 color palette this time. Not really limited, but more specifically what he called "chromatic":
Cool yellow (or lemon yellow)
Warm Yellow (Cadmium)
Cadmium Orange
Alizarin Crimson
Ultramarine Blue
Cobalt Blue
Sap Green

In almost every book I've read, and every other workshop I've attended, everyone's palette starts with Burnt Umber. Not Tim's. It was quite an adjustment having to mix all my browns from scratch. Oh, and  with no black, I had to make my own "darkest darks" and warm, cool, and neutral grays. I don't usually use black either, so this was fine.

The biggest thing I took away from this workshop was just how much orange you can put into the green to warm things up and still have it look very green and natural. If you compare my paintings from this trip to some on Tim's website, you'll see I have a long way to fully implement this new knowledge, but it sure did amaze me every day I was there.

May 13, 2012

Mobile Home

Acrylic on Panel - 9 x 12 inches - Sold

My dad set up near the river, but I could not paint that bridge, again, so I faced the street. There was this old mobile home travel camper thing that looked pretty immovable, so I included that in the view, mostly to break up the street, and because it was in the shadow of some trees.

As soon as I started, there was some activity around the street, with a man making several trips back and forth between a parked car and the camper, and then the gas station, on foot, with a gas container, then much priming of the engine and more gas trips, and revving the engine etc.

I quickly finished up the camper before he took off, but the man came up and had a look and said that he'd leave it for now and move it later. Actually, I was not only done with the camper, but the whole thing, by then.

Again, I feel like this wound up with a bit of a blue cast overall.