July 31, 2015

Rusty Tree

Acrylic on Panel - 8 x 10 inches

Still having trouble with trees. Hmm. There's a few of these red ones in the back and they are striking. I sat watching one for a while and every time I thought I knew what color it was, I would then change my mind. It's almost black, but deep burgundy, and where the light hits it almost white. Impossible.

Still I decided I had to paint it. And the same thing happened while painting it. I tried to simplify, but in trying to get all those colors, I made a bit of a busy mess. I might have to try this again.

July 29, 2015

Sonoma Coast Study

Acrylic on Panel - 8 x 7 inches

In the version of this I did on the coast, en plein air, I felt like I spent too much time on unnecessary brushwork, and not enough time on creating the impression I wanted to create. I was mixing colors that were just wrong and become too easily satisfied with them.

So I decided to redo it using the original painting and some photos I had taken. My goal was to try to stay true to my initial impression and leave everything else out. To simplify. And while I was at it, I was also going to try to use a lot more paint.

This redo was inspired by the Daily Paintworks Challenge for the week - tasking us with tackling one of your current hurdles, and this is certainly one of mine. A painter I met in the park and I were chatting about my difficulty of simplifying trees in the landscape. He said "remember your initial impression, what inspired you about the scene, and stay true to that." Great and simple advice. Really hard to do.

July 28, 2015

Sonoma Coast

Acrylic on Panel - 8 x 10 inches (not available) §

We took a break from the hot inland climate to visit the coast where it was not only cooler but very windy. My tripod easel was knocked to the ground before I even started. I weighed it down with my backpack attached to the rock-bag hook, but it was so gusty I had to hold onto the pochade box with my left hand the whole time. This turned out a lot darker than I thought, and something about the brushstrokes seems to distract from the relative flatness of the water and beach. Hmmmm.

July 26, 2015


Acrylic on Panel - 6 x 6 inches

This is a redo of a painting I did ages ago, but never got around to finishing. Now it is done. I think.

July 24, 2015

Pool Chairs

Acrylic on Panel - 6 x 6 inches

When I think of Summer, I think of sitting by the pool, every pool I've ever sat by. The light dancing off the surface, the faint smell of chlorine, the hot paving around it, the smell of fresh towels. Heaven. I just finished this one, and have submitted it to the Daily Paintworks "Summer" Challenge. Have a look and see all the great Summer images.

July 22, 2015

Barn Diva

Acrylic on Panel - 8 x 10 inches

I just happened by an alleyway and saw the Barn Diva truck parked out back. I've painted it when it was parked out front before, but this was like finding a jewel. As I painted cars and trucks got in my way but only briefly. It's to be expected. What was totally unexpected is that when I was close to finishing, someone came out and close a giant gate blocking the entire alley. So I quickly put in the remaining details I wanted to add, with a little help from phone pic I had shot of the scene.

July 6, 2015

Alley Study 2

Acrylic on Panel - 6 x 6 inches

I turned my panel almost 180 degrees from the previous view and quickly sketched in the Eastward scene. The most brightly lit facades were easy enough, but the shadowy ones in front were very difficult, and are only OK, not great.

July 4, 2015

Alley Study

Acrylic on Panel - 6 x 6 inches

It was a rare sunny Summer afternoon in SF and I just had to get outside. By the time I found a spot, clouds had obscured the sun. And then they left. And back and forth for the rest of the day.

This little section between a quaint victorian and a very modern slab building caught my eye, so I did a quick sketch to see if I could capture the play of shadows across the different surfaces.

July 2, 2015

Sonoma House

Acrylic on Panel - 5 x 7 inches

I've painted this place a dozen times, but I always put in way too much detail. This time I tried to simplify. I tried.