Friday, March 30, 2012

Red Bowl and Blue Vase 'Berklee' Style

Listening to 'BIRN 3' - AirAlumni music from Berkelee College of "music's illustrious alumni from all over the world".  Great music station, eclectic mix - amazing artists - the music is creatively rich - but doesn't sound over worked.  I imagine that if Cezanne's paintings were audio, they might be on this station.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Farmer's Market - Miami

The Farmer's Market in Pinecrest, a village in Miami is just incredible.  The vegetables were vibrant, many were huge (the avocados were the size of footballs), and full of saturated color.  It was a cornucopia for the senses.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Monday, March 26, 2012

Late Winter Storm

Another late winter storm in Southern California.  The mountains to the east of Poway (and San Diego) got snow a couple of weeks ago, it is rare to get the snow at lower elevations and always a treat so I made the trek east 20 miles to get some reference material.  I am enjoying learning to paint the snow - it's a new challenge and lots of fun.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

It's Raining Again

Raining again in San Diego, starting to wonder if the North East is getting the weather that belongs in the South West.  This is a small painting from reference - I went out to Ramona last weekend to look for snow and took photos along the way, this was of a farm in Ramona where I stopped and bought a dozen eggs. 

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Walking the Dog

Somewhat overcast today - this is the horse trail behind my neighborhood in Poway.  The weather this month has been wet and stormy, it's supposed to rain again tomorrow.  It's crazy, yesterday it was colder all up and down the state of CA than it was on Long Island, NY where my younger daughter is going to school!  By the way, I returned my Olympus compact camera - it wasn't very good at all without a flash and that's how I take my photos.  I got a very good Canon (Powershot 100) for only a couple of dollars more.   I love it.  I also got one of those mini gorilla tripods which is a great invention!  It will travel well.

Friday, March 23, 2012


My daughter's friend, a great photographer took some photos of her in a field, this is one I really liked and so I tried to capture the movement here.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Spring Tulips

Beautiful, warm day in San Diego today!  In honor of the beautiful weather, a poem by Gary Young (as featured in the Writer's Almanac.),  this poem is moving, spiritually and visually which are sometimes the same thing for me.  Like flowers, that bloom every year, every day.

In the heat of late afternoon, lightning streaks from a nearly
cloudless sky to the top of the far mesa. At dusk, the whole south
end of the valley blazes as the clouds turn incandescent with
some distant strike. There is a constant congress here between
the earth and the sky. This afternoon a thunderstorm crossed the
valley. One moment the ground was dry, and the next there were
torrents running down the hillsides and arroyos. A quarter-mile off
I could see a downpour bouncing off the sage and the fine clay
soil. I could see the rain approach, and then it hit, drenching me,
and moved on. Ten minutes later I was dry. The rain comes from
heaven, and we are cleansed by it. Suddenly the meaning of baptism
is clear to me: you can begin again, and we are saved every day.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Spring Flowers

Spring flowers -  a handful from the front yard.   I have added a couple of colors back to my palette, lemon yellow and cad orange - just to add some variation.  This sketch is another exercise in keeping an eye on the intervals and shapes and the weight of the objects in relation to each other.  I switched up the vases a couple of times, of course after I had blocked it in once so I had to wipe if off and start over.  Using the rear view mirror helps to see mistakes.  There are only three objects here, really, how hard could this be?  But they can be arranged many ways, and consider the fabric fold, how that helps the eyes come into the painting - it all makes quite a difference.  Like golf, painting is not a game of perfect!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Miami Golf

This is an exercise in composition, working on keeping every interval different, and shapes interesting.  I thoroughly enjoyed playing this course, the weather and laughed so much with my two brothers that one might think we were not related!  I can't recall for certain but I think this hole is on the back nine.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Ramona Storm II

This is from reference, this past weekend's storm.  The clouds won the day.  Again, back to a limited palette.  And, my book order arrived today, "The Simple Secret to Better Painting", by Greg Albert.  It is a recommendation by Carol Marine.  It is all about composition, simplifies the subject and at the same time enlightens one, and make you think about your painting in a new way. 

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Snow Storm in East County - San Diego

It was a cold and stormy day...I drove out to Ramona and Santa Ysabel today to see some snow.  It has been storming here since Friday and snowing east of my house about 20 miles, which would be about 30 miles from the beach.  It was too cold (34 degrees), wet (snow, hail and rain) and windy to paint on location for me, so I took many photos, which required me to be outside quite enough!  I shouldn't complain, I was filling my gas tank in Santa Ysabel just behind two bikers who sounded European, they were in full all weather gear but still looked cold on their motorcycles.  I remarked at what a nice a day it was for a ride, they advised me to put the convertible top down on my car!  

I came home with my new (cheap and good) camera,  very excited to paint to see what I had to choose from.  This is a view north east from Mussey Grade.  I tried my best not to cause any traffic accidents as I pulled over to shoot time and again - if you carry your camera with you in your car, you know of which I speak, it can't be helped and measuring relative risk - I think it's safer than texting (can you believe some people still do that)?!!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

La Gorce - Third Hole (day 2)

I wanted to use this reference again for an exercise in color notes.  My palette is extended beyond my usual cad yellow, alizarin crimson and ultramarine blue, I added permanent red, orange and lemon yellow, and a dash of phthalo blue.  The colors became more blended than I intended, but it was a good exercise.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Key Biscayne - Dunes

Back at the easel after a trip to the east coast where I enjoyed some wonderful weather, company and golf.   This is a painting of the beach in front of one of the hotels on Key Biscayne.  

Monday, March 12, 2012

Miami and Golf

Third Hole at La Gorce Golf Course from the perspective of looking back, as was pointed out to me.  I was so taken by this tree I had to take a second look.  I think it was the only tree of this mass on the course - of course being in Florida there were plenty of palm trees, however indigenous trees, of such age and stature are imposing and captivating.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Matheson's Hammock - Miami

This is a small inlet called Matheson's Hammock in the Village of Pinecrest, Miami.  Absolutely beautiful day although it was a bit windy, so much so that I couldn't use my umbrella - fortunately the cloud cover and the palm tree were working in my favor and shielding my palette and canvas from the direct sun.  When that happens I end up with a painting that reads about 6 times darker than is should.  

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Bougainvillea Miami

Quick study of bougainvillea in cut glass, having fun painting while in Miami.  

Friday, March 9, 2012

Daffodil #9

One last daffodil, like 'Custer's Last Stand'!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Daffodils #6

The Daffodils live on!  Still using the limited palette and large brushes.  Which, by the way, are not bristle.  I'm using Kevrin brushes by Raphael.  I had been using bristle brushes for a few years and really liked the effect, however I switched back to softer brushes - I feel there is a more even application of paint, perhaps more control, as I try to lose control and get looser!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Daffodils #5

I am still working with the red, yellow and blue, limited palette.  Just two brushes now, a size 18 and a size 12.  I'm trying to limit the number of strokes I put on the canvas, it makes me think a few moves ahead and forces me to think about what the painting is going to convey.  

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Sunday Morning Trumpet

The Winton Marsalis of flowers.  
As you can see, I am continuing with this series of flower studies.  I find there is so much to learn about technique, and composition, always composition. Sometimes you think you have a good one, and yet the nuances of it are so challenging, it's a puzzle that you build in every painting, the pieces needing to fit together to support the purpose of the painting.   To quote Yogi Berra, "You got to be careful if you don't know where you're going, because you might not get there."

It's 82 in town today, very much a summer like day in Southern California.  Did we have winter this year?  It was so mild all over the country.  I've been listening the Minnesota Public Radio and thus far have very little snow to report to you, just grey skies and a dusting here and there.  

Saturday, March 3, 2012


A little square vase and some daffodils.  Warm and Sunny day today.  It's starting to feel like spring. 

Friday, March 2, 2012

Fast and Loose

A quick sketch of daffodils using the yellow, blue and red limited palette.  I used a very large brush for this to create some movement from some very still daffodils.   

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Unraveling at the End of the Day

This is another palette, more aligned with the 'zorn' palette, permanent red, yellow ochre and blue/black.  These roses are ready to surrender!  I wanted to capture a feeling here, not to be entirely representational, however it must be because you can depict that they are roses.