Monday, December 14, 2015

SoCal Winter Sunset

Sometimes during the golden hour while I'm walking my dog, a wall of color appears, this is my impression of that visual feast.  

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Morning Light Balboa Park

I did this one very quickly to capture the morning light at Balboa Park, San Diego. I was attracted to the cast shadow on the Old Globe Theatre. 

And below is a little sketch of a Pomegranite.  Happy Holidays!

Monday, December 7, 2015

Indian Summerball

We've had an erratic fall with cool days followed by hot days, and some welcome rainfall. At times the only place to get relief was by the water.  

Here's a small sketch I did of Volleyball players at Moonlight Beach, Encinitas.  

And below is seasons greetings from Buddy! 

Wednesday, December 2, 2015


Last weekend I had a chance to get out early in the morning for coffee and some sketching.  I went to a favorite coffee house (Birdrock Coffee Roasters) where I  grabbed some coffee, a little knosh and a nice little corner table with a view to the action.  And I started to sketch and then realized I wanted to add a little color so I broke out the watercolors.  I did 2  sketches on one paper, a line down the middle to separate them.  When doing a sketch, one tries to find a subject that isn't going to leave or disappear- a subject that is present long enough for a sketch.  In that vain I did a quick painting of the 'Barista' making the custom orders.  So when I was done I game him said sketch as I was leaving.   Simply because I knew it would mean more to him than me. I had practiced my craft and I was done, and I thought he might appreciate it. And he did, he was so grateful, thought it was 'so cool', 'really so cool', he was as cute as a 25 year old would be.  But it was just a sketch. Anyway- as I was crossing the street to get into my car I hear a loud voice shouting out 'MRS. ROBINSON!!!!'
-That's a first. 

Monday, November 30, 2015

St Charles - Streetcar

From a recent trip to New Orleans.  I fell in love with the architecture and the food and the music, oh and of course the street cars!  Easy to see how this city could become one's muse.  

Sunday, October 11, 2015

A Slip Up

It's been so warm this month, nowhere else to be but by the water.  My new favorite 'hang out' is Oceanside Harbor, so many places and scenes to sketch and paint.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Washington Park, Anacortes

From my trip to Washington earlier in the month.  Washington Park is absolutely beautiful, on a westerly peninsula of Fidalgo Island.   Below is a painting I did just south of Juanita, on Lake Washington in King County.  The morning fog was just starting to burn off.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

On a Lark!

This weekend I was painting at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery (Post coming later) with the San Diego Plein Air Painters, and on the way back from Cabrillo Pt I saw this car show - and when I saw this I had to stop and paint it.  It's a 62 or 63 Daytona Lark - Studebaker.  What a gorgeous model it was. 

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Last Days of Summer

Had to go to the beach today, the only way to get relief from this heat wave.  

Saturday, August 22, 2015

San Diego Trolley Station

A break from my work in Ireland to post something I painted on location today,  the San Diego Trolley Station.  I wrestled with this all afternoon to keep my focus on the light and not get caught up in the architectural detail of which there was a-plenty. I had to dip into my emergency stash of dark chocolate to make it through.  

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Late Afternoon Grazing

This field is just down the road from a friend's studio, near Carne Beach, County Wexford. It was a rainy day all morning, we all painted at a small harbor called the Safe, where I was forced to paint out of the back of my car, under an umbrella before giving up and going to the pub for some chowder!  In the afternoon we went to Karen's studio (Swallowsnext Studio) and just across from her studio and down the road a wee bit is this lovely field with sheep grazing!  And then the sun broke through.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Wells House - County Wexford

Wells House and Gardens - County Wexford.  This was just a gorgeous Victorian manor with gardens, a farm and lots of land.  The tea room was fabulous and well utilized by all of us because it was a classic weather day in Ireland, all 4 seasons in one day.  It was on and off again with the layers of jackets and sweaters when the sun did shine, then packing up and running for cover when the clouds came over head!  Plein air painting in Ireland is a tad different than in California!  You have to be prepared for everything.  (If you go to Wells House, get the fish chowder).
Above is one of the farm houses with the main house just behind.  Below is one of the outer houses on the grounds. 

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Slade Castle, County Wexford

Slade is a small fishing village on the Hook Peninsula in County Wexford.  There is a tiny but active harbor just in front of the 15th century Slade castle which isn't visible from this angle.  Still today, many small fishing boats harbor there at the end of the day. The beautiful grass in this field is waist high, and just to the left is where the Irish Sea meets the Atlantic ocean. 

Sunday, August 16, 2015

New Ross

Painted in New Ross, County Wexford.  This was painted on the first day of the Art in the Open Plein Air Festival in Wexford.  It was a windy day with intermittent showers, a challenging day to paint.  But it all turned out well, as you can see below with a picture of me -  so happy to see my first Irish red dot! The Town Council of New Ross purchased my painting at $350 Euro.  What a nice ending to a great week.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Sail Away

It was a stunning weekend with lots to paint outside.  This weekend was the SDWS monthly paintout at Quivera Basin, which is the channel to get out to the ocean from Mission Bay.  There was a demo by Shuang Li, world-reknown Watercolorist.  She has a show in Fallbrook with works painted from local spots in and around San Diego, her work is just beautiful.  This one above was painted from 3 studies I did onsite.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

The Pacific Sunset

I haven't had time to post lately but not because I haven't been painting.  The long summer days allow for wonderful late hours in which to paint.  This is a watercolor of sunset I did at the beach at Torrey pines.  

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Litte Italy

Painted in Little Italy this weekend, on India Street.  I got positioned around 9:30, before the streets were too crowded, had a great cup of coffee from a newly opened indie coffee shop called Mad Fix, very good coffee!  Below is the sketch I had intended to include in my last post from Memorial Day.  Very different approach when sketching!

Saturday, May 30, 2015


Miniature carnations.  Not a lot of time to paint recently but I've been doing smaller, simpler paintings and practicing randoms shapes and figures on any surface that stands still long enough.  I've also been sure to keep my sketchbook handy.  I did the one below when I stopped for a croissant and coffee early  Memorial Day

Sunday, May 3, 2015

California Tower

Painting in Balboa Park this weekend, I was able to get a couple of paintings done while the sun was out.  The California Tower is such an icon, add to that the park is celebrating it's centennial.  It was built 100 years ago for the exposition so it has been getting a lot of attention this year.  

Thursday, April 23, 2015

South Beach Heat!

I recently went to Miami and my brother and sister-in-law took me to a great Italian restaurant in South Beach on Espanola Way.  

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Mission at San Juan Capistrano

I found out yesterday that membership to the San Juan Capistrano Mission is tax deductible. Right after that I set up my easel and found out I forgot my palette.  But I had two water buckets with me, so I used one as a palette and limited my colors to yellow ochre and burn sienna (burnt orange).  Next time...who knows what will happen - I can take all year to find out!

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Morning Has Broken

I'm not a religious person but the title of this post is not lost on me.  I am grateful beyond words. I painted this from this morning's sunrise at Torrey Pines looking east. I painted it with beautiful, sable, Winsor-Newton watercolor brushes that were given to me by my oldest friend whose father recently passed away. He was a watercolorist too and I am honored to be able to use his tools and continue the work.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Swing Away!

This 8 x 10 is my first in what I hope to be several paintings from my trip to Miami.  This is from a round of golf I played at La Gorce with my brother and his golf buddy, Gene, and Gene's grandson, Zach.  Zach could swing almost all the way round his body - here he was just getting started, and already coming out of his shoes.  It was a beautiful day all around, President's day weekend, and I've finally gotten over my jet lag.  

Sunday, March 15, 2015


Good news first.  I will have two paintings in the upcoming Laguna Plein Air Painters Assoc. 9th annual show "Less is More" opening on March 28th.  It is a juried show with only 60 artists.  I'm happy that both paintings were accepted. The two I submitted are here at the following links: 

Spring! Went out to the Anza Borrego Desert this weekend because this year was reporting a good showing of wildflowers.  It was hot though, more like a summer day of 90 degrees with a warm desert wind blowing across the valley.  Below is a photo of Henderson Canyon, and if I had brought my painting umbrella I would have set up right there to paint.

I finally settled in Palm Canyon which had a nice, but warm breeze running through it where I sketched the Ocotillo above, which are in bloom all over the place (the orange flowers at the tips of the branches).  And I was kept company by these guys.


Thursday, March 12, 2015

Say Uncle

Kickin' it Anacortes style.  A charcoal sketch of my Uncle Bill wearing his cool hat and shades.  This is from a reference photo I took a couple of years ago while visiting that fair town.

Just a quick sketch to loosen up and get working on some golf sketches.  This young man, I think he is all of 12 years old, could really hit the ball.   (14 x 17)

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Lemon and Silver

I love the challenge of painting surfaces which are very reflective.  Here is a silver bowl with more of my lemons.  Because I'm using lemons from my own tree, I'm able to get cuttings with branches and leaves attached.  My goal in this painting, in addition to painting the reflective qualities of the silver bowl, was to keep the background loose, painting wet into wet.  In addition to having the composition right in front of me, I also had a photo up on my Ipad - in black and white so I could check the values/tones.  I wanted to ensure I got the lightest light and the darkest dark.  As a result, I came back in  at the last and charged the left side of the bowl with a dark glaze of cobalt blue and magenta.

I did a small (5x10), quick, study of the La Gorce golf course which I had the good fortune to play as a guest of my brother's while visiting in Miami recently.  I can't recall which hole this is??? This study gives me a feel for the palette I want to use.  And it gives one an idea of the numerous sand traps on the course.  The sand; very bright, very fine.  Like a combination of snow flakes and quick sand.  It looks so very beautiful but just try getting your golf ball out, and there's the quick sand!

Monday, February 23, 2015

Lemons II

More Lemons.  As much as I love plein air painting, I have to say my painting roots are in still life.  Again, focusing on light and shadow patterns.

Saturday, February 21, 2015


My lemon tree has a few dozen lemons coming in so I thought I'd grab a few to paint.  My palette is cad lemon yellow, cad orange, peacock blue, lavender, blue violet and burnt sienna.  My objective for this painting was to show the light and shadow, but to keep it loose.  

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Balboa Park

A small watercolor (7x10) of Balboa Park.  I did this on rough paper, using a study in oil I did on location last year.  

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Riff on a Classic

I've been watching a series on youtube called "Modern Masters",  there were four episodes covering Picasso, Matisse, Dali and Degas.  (I'm sorry they didn't include any women painters such as Mary Cassatt or Georgia O'Keefe but alas...)

In watching the episode on Matisse, I was introduced to L'Escargot or the Snail.  So here are two of my interpretations of the Snail.