December 9, 2014

Tokyo Skyline

Acrylic on Panel - 9 x 12 inches SOLD

Stuck in the Air BnB waiting for my traveling companions, I painting something close to this on my iPad, using Brushes. Little did I know that the most recent update to iOS 8.1 rendered Brushes useless. No big whoop. I just had to redo it from memory (and the original photo I took). I don't think this turned out as well as that now lost iPad painting, but at least this one isn't subject to software updates.

November 8, 2014

Barn Row

Acrylic on Panel - 5 x 7 inches

Another set of barns in Sonoma. They way the were piled up reminded me of old trains. Maybe I was out in the sun too long.

November 2, 2014

Summer Fence

Acrylic on Panel - 5 x 7 inches

One of the last ones of the Summer, painted originally in October but I only got around to finishing it today. Another one of those ones I thought would be easy, but there were so many greens and golds fighting for attention.

October 20, 2014

Acrylic on Panel - 9 x 12 inches

A colorful update to a dull one I found in the back hallway. I should really just leave these alone, but sometimes when I don't feel like starting a new one, this gets me back into the swing of things.

October 10, 2014

Concourse Trees

Acrylic on Panel - 30 x 30 inches

I need to reshoot this one when I get it back from the show. I don't think the colors are nearly this vibrant. Maybe my eyes are just tired.

This is a view of the trees that fill the concourse between the two museums in Golden Gate Park. It's a prefect spot to play bocce, and I think the city should pay old french dudes to hang out here. 

October 8, 2014


Acrylic on Canvas - 24 x 36 inches

I like the mix of the classic and mythical with the modern and fantastical. I thought this one would be easy, but it turned out very flat and uninteresting. There was nothing to bring the eye into the space. I softened the building a bit, which helps, but it's still not at all how I imagined.  

September 20, 2014


Acrylic on Panel - 9 x 12 inches

I was doing some image correction in Photoshop and I mistyped and wound up looking at something like this. And I liked it. So I painted it. So there.

September 3, 2014

Foggy Trees

Acrylic on Panel - 5 x 7 inches

Rubbing the sleep from my eyes, this is what I saw when I emerged from my tent, on our last camping trip.

I wanted to capture the smoky depth of the hills in the background before the  fog burned off, combined with the emerging light in the foreground. I had to work very quickly and paint the last bits from memory.

August 31, 2014

Vintner's House

Acrylic on Panel - 5 x 7 inches

Back at the vineyard, I decided to paint the owner's house. He was not impressed. Me neither, now that I think about it.

August 29, 2014

Orange Forklift

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

A painter I took a workshop with told the story of painting a cow looking at him over the fence at a farm. He was painting this for a plein air shootout contest. After a little while the cow wandered off and he wondered how he was ever gonna finish the piece. Just short of the closing bell, he was considering whipping the main figure out, when he looked up and saw that the same cow had returned to look at him. He quickly sketched in the rest of the figure and turned in his piece. Did he win? I can't remember.

In any case, this is pretty much what happened to me with this forklift. The sky was still purple in the early morning, and the building were starting to glow white/yellow and the bright little orange forklift was just sitting there. A voice in my head said "you'll never be so lucky", and sure enough after about half an hour someone came and drove it away.

And then just before I was going to pack up, it reappeared. 

August 27, 2014

Town Square

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

The fountain and gazebo smack in the middle of town. 

August 25, 2014

Styled Vineyard Flat

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

... so I really simplified it for my second version.

August 24, 2014

Styled Vineyard

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

I chose to focus on a small piece of the landscape with a mind towards making it more abstract...

August 22, 2014

Vine Ridge

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

Another scene with grape-heavy vines, trees, straw fields and blue skies. The week was full of 'em.

August 20, 2014

Fruit Trees

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

These are my dad's fruit trees. Well, some of them. 

August 19, 2014

Sonoma Hills

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

I found a nice spot in the shade and saw this great view up and around the vineyard.  

August 17, 2014

Tasting Room Red

Acrylic on Panel - 6 x 6 inches - Sold

This is the planted garden at the entrance to a tasting room in Sonoma. I made this a lot more complicated before I simplified it. Should have started with that.

August 15, 2014

Cheese at the Market

Acrylic on Panel - 6 x 6 inches - SOLD

It was a grey cloudy morning at the farmer's market, but I liked the way this little bit of white peaked out from beneath the red tent of the cheese merchant. I meant to add in lots of people once I'd sorted out the scene, but I got so good at ignoring them as I worked on the truck that I forgot to add them back in, except for the few on the edges.

August 13, 2014


Acrylic on Panel - 8 x 10 inches - Sold

I've never painted these peeling trees before, though I have often wanted to. Finally found myself standing in a field, face-to-face with a whole bunch of 'em. So, this happened.

July 15, 2014


Acrylic on Cardstock - 6 x 4 inches - Sold
The is one of the windmills in Golden Gate Park, near the ocean. I painted it for the Daily Paintworks Windmill Challenge. Be sure to have a look at the other entries. 

July 11, 2014

Pool View 2

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

Summer time and sitting by the pool to paint go hand in hand. This is the view over the pool, to the field beyond and the trees beyond that. Not the heat of the middle of the day, but during the first cooling breezes of the late afternoon.

I painted this view a few years ago (but long ago painted over it) and thought I'd try again, with a new look at color. The original had almost the same green throughout. I wanted to see if I could use color temperature to create a better sense of depth. So painted the distant trees with a greyed down tone and painted the patio surface with more light. It's still not great, but I think it works better.

July 8, 2014

White Slip Dress

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

This is an second attempt to a quick sketch I did last year. This time I worked on the measurements and shape relationships better, but still tried to rush and keep it loose. The dress has not only in light and shadow, but had a sort of glowing luminosity that was hard to capture.  I think this one turned out better, technically, but the original had more movement and excitement.

July 5, 2014

Buena Vista

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

My dad was in town and I was lucky enough to go paint with him. We went driving up around Buena Vista Park, and this house and majestic palm came into view and we both knew we'd found our subject.

The light can change so much when painting outdoors, and in SF that's even more so, because our weather changes every 20 minutes it seems. I did a quick sketch and then decided to paint the brightly lit faces of the building first, because that's what I was going to loose when the light changed or the fog came in. Which it did.

The geometry was a bit difficult, because we were perched below it, so I used the Digital Viewfinder to confirm I was getting the rake of the roof right.

When I brought it in, I touched up a few spots and added the middle window frames with a knife. Perhaps too many.

July 3, 2014


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

A non-commissioned portrait of the daughter of a friend of a friend... It's extremely difficult to paint the likeness of someone you've never met, especially from photos. It's also difficult for non-painters to deliver photos that have the kind of lighting etc. that we'd like to paint.

In this case I stumbled upon a video posted on FaceBook of this adorable girl, and was able to pick the exact frame that I wanted. But, by seeing the video I could gain a greater sense of her as a person.

Another great thing about the video is that is was noisy and low resolution so nothing was overly sharp or detailed, and the lighting was fairly flat. It really just jumped out at me, so I had to paint.

We'll see if mom likes it.

June 30, 2014

Wine Barn Big

Acrylic on Panel - 9 x 12 inches

This is the bigger studio version of the Wine Barn. I think the barn turned out better, but perhaps not the rest of it. Hmmm.

June 28, 2014

Wine Barn

Acrylic on Panel - 5 x 7 inches 

This is a field sketch of an interesting barn in Sonoma. I liked the strong verticals of the trees, and their long shadows. While I was painting, the owner came by and said she might be interested in buying it when I was done. I told her I'd be happy to send her a photo when I was done, and that I'd do a larger studio version as well. 

June 23, 2014

West Side

Acrylic on Panel - 36 x 24 inches - Click Here to Bid

Another view of Alamo Square Park, again, with only black, white, yellow and red.

This one is also on display at the Bean There show, for the month of June

I guess that makes this the last week of the show. Hurry on down if you haven't seen it yet. Apparently no one who goes into the cafe has seen it yet either. Ahem.

June 22, 2014


iPad drawing using Brushes app

I had such a disappointing day of painting yesterday I just couldn't face my easel today. So, for the Daily Paintworks' "Lion Challenge" I went to the iPad instead. This is completely from scratch (not painted over a photo etc.) Brushes works a lot like the way I use acrylics, but I'm still getting used to it, and it's terrible for small detailed strokes, which is actually ideal for me.

June 18, 2014

Two Boats

Acrylic on Panel - 9 x 12 inches - Sold

One that got away. A bit of a non-sequiter since this is a much older painting, but someone spotted it in my pile of old paintings and wanted to have it, and I noticed that I had never posted it. Back to new stuff soon. 

June 15, 2014

Dog Side

Acrylic on Panel - 36 x 24 inches - Click Here to Bid

Just checked in with the Daily Paintworks weekly challenge as I was putting the finishing touches on this and couldn't have gotten luckier with the matching theme. Sending it off to be part of the show at Bean There.

Again, the limited palette of black, white, yellow and red. No blue.

June 13, 2014

Pool Square

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

A familiar scene to anyone following this blog. However, now I can paint it more loosely and quickly. I laugh when I revisit some of my earlier pool scenes, with the precise "drawing" of every visible object, and all the hard edges and a sea of greens that are all the same. This one isn't some great crowning achievement, but it did boost my confidence quite a bit.  

I also got a new lightweight travel easel for my birthday that weighs next to nothing and is easy to set up. It feels a little flimsy, but is actually a pretty solid platform when it settles in. It's the Oil Painter's Package 200 from SunEden. Perfect for longer hikes ventures into the park.

June 11, 2014

Castle White

Acrylic on Panel - 24 x 20 inches - Click Here to Bid

Another in the Alamo Square series, thought this one does have a touch of blue in it. This is a large apartment building at the top of the park that often shines out above everything else in the neighborhood, even when the skies are gray. You can see the tall trees of the park just behind.

This one is also on display at the Bean There show, for the month of June

June 2, 2014

Tower View

Acrylic on Panel - 22 x 28 inches - Click Here to Bid

Another one for the show. This time it's the view from the middle of the park heading South West. You can just make out the Sutro Tower on the peak at left.

May 31, 2014

West on Grove

Acrylic on Panel - 18 x 18 inches - Sold

Another one for the show. This time it's the view from the park, looking West. 

May 27, 2014

Rising South

Acrylic on Panel - 28 x 22 inches - Click Here to Bid

Another view of the park, from within the park this time. For sale at the show, or afterwards. 

May 25, 2014

Field House Revisited

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

I found this sitting in the back hallway, and something made me want to give it another go. I like the strong contrast in the cast shadows, but I knew they really didn't look like that.

So I warmed up the parts of the building and roof that were in direct sunlight, and lightened the blue shadows a bit, also noting that the shadows on the front of the building were lighter than the shadows on the left. Those palms are still terrible, and it ain't a great composition, but it was fun playing with levels.

May 22, 2014

Early Vineyard

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

This is from a shot I took earlier this Spring. The vines themselves are mere stems, but all the mustard is shooting up and filling the vineyard with yellow.

This is also my submission to this weeks Vineyard Challenge, at Daily Paintworks. Go have a look at all the other great paintings there.

May 20, 2014

Park Crest

Acrylic on Panel - 28 x 22 inches - Sold

Another view of the park, and again no blue. Just the Zorn palette of black, yellow, red and white. Temporarily not for sale, because this is going to be in the June show. 

May 9, 2014

South Van Ness

Acrylic on Panel - 11 x 14 inches - Sold

This is a commission piece that has been sitting around here half finished for far too long. It all started out just fine, but once I started picking at the things that bugged me, it seemed like there was no end to it. So, I let it rest for a while, and then just pushed on through.

April 24, 2014

Red Chair

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

This week, it's the Daily Paintworks Chair Challenge and this is my entry. It's not my most comfortable chair, but I do like the color and form a lot.

April 17, 2014

New Mexico Highway

Pixels on iPad - 197 x 148 mm - NFS

I've been in bed with a nasty cold, so to cheer myself up I thought I'd do a Hockney style drawing on my iPad and make it an entry for the Daily Paintworks Bliss Challenge while I was at it. I always enjoy painting mountains and clouds (and we rarely get clouds in CA).

This is also a painting form memory, which is not something I think I've ever done before. I didn't even look at my reference photos. Just pure memories from my trip to NM last week.

Not for sale, because there's nothing there but pixels, and Mr. Hockney has yet to establish the market rate for such prints. Ahem.

April 8, 2014


A time lapse of the last 25 minutes of the evening looking to the Sandia Mountains.
So many colors.

April 1, 2014

Cat Kiss

Acrylic on Cardstock - 4 x 6 inches - Sold

This is my entry for this week's Daily Paintworks Challenge, the Mid-ism Challenge! We were to try and find the midpoint between impressionism and expressionism. I'm not sure I've ever been here before. Hmmm.

I took this original photograph ages ago and have wanted to paint it ever since, but never felt like I was up to it. This was the perfect opportunity and I couldn't be happier. Well....

March 29, 2014

Alamo Gold

Acrylic on Panel - 24 x 36 inches - Click Here to Bid

Coincident of my new series on Alamo Square Park, the Daily Paintworks Challenge for this week is the Four Tube Challenge, where one is supposed to only use 4 colors –  white, cadmium yellow medium, cadmium red medium, and phthalo blue. I substituted black for the blue.

Again, there is no blue in this painting, it just looks that way because of the other colors, and the mind wants to decipher the sky as blue. This illusion is further enhance because of what Photoshop, my camera and this web browser are doing to the image.

Having just posted this picture, I already want to change a few things, which is why it's not for sale, yet. I could say that about most of my posts, but this time I know I really am going to change this a bit, in the next few days.

March 21, 2014

A Kimbo

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

Finally got a challenge painting done before the deadline. This week is the Splace of Color Challenge, where one is supposed to take a b/w photo and reimagine the colors, mixing different hues but aiming to keep the values the same. I chose a photo someone posted on Facebook from their childhood. I hope they don't mind. Ahem. 

March 19, 2014

Park Strut

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

A week late with my submission to the Daily Paintworks "Quick Photo Challenge", but as they say better late than never.

The challenge is really a skill developing exercise. You are to look at a scene or photo for 60 seconds, and then try to paint just the figure from memory.

I mentally mapped out the background as a reference. Three strong horizontals, which coincidently crossed the figure at the neck, just below the waist and between the knee and ankle.  I had to laugh. I guess this is how I think of a scene now, using the landscape to situate the figure.

With that in mind I focuses on the shapes of the figure. Head, waist, elbow, shoes. The colors would be easy to remember, but the angles and masses were harder.

My first go was OK, but I had the relationships wrong off the bat. I could see the handbag was too big, and arm too long, so I quickly dabbed over them.

I cheated a little when I was done with the exercise, and peeked at the photo. I had forgotten the shadow on the legs, so I put those in and filled in the background with quick strokes, again, not looking at the photo any more.

This lesson was interesting and had me looking at things differently all day.

March 17, 2014

Alamo Hill

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

Going through some uncharacteristic views of Alamo Square Park,  because it's right nearby and it was one of the first places in SF that made me really glad I moved here, all those many years ago. Again, sticking with the Zorn palette of black, white, red and yellow. Any blue you might see is an illusion.

I love how in SF you can do a vertical street scene and the sidewalk can go the height of the piece in just one block!

Sorry, not for sale at this time. I've got a show coming up and I think it's going to be focused around Alamo Square. Updates to follow.