Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Atlantic Ocean Update

Moving along on this one. It almost looks finished, but I know how much more detail it needs, and a little color correction as well.
Atlantic Ocean Series #10, Dawn Phase, © 2016, work in progress (click on image for larger view)

Tuesday, June 28, 2016


It drives me crazy when a painting that I'm excited about working on is too sticky to paint. I have to wait another day or two or three until it's dry to the touch; such is the case with Rita's. I evened out the circular edge on the sign (which has been annoying me every time I've looked at it) and was able to get a few small areas taken care of, but had to be careful not to smear anything or paint over an area that hasn't completely dried. Doing so would lead to problems with cracking in the future.

But I really want to get to that big wall.
Rita's, © 2016, work in progress (click on image for larger view)

Saturday, June 25, 2016


A lot of my work seems to be about people waiting.

In Whole Foods, people are waiting at the checkout lines. The bicycles are waiting for their owners to come and free them from the bike racks.
Whole Foods, © 2016, work in progress (click on image for larger view)

While in Stockton Street, everyone's waiting for the bus to arrive.
Stockton Street, © 2016, work in progress (click on image for larger view)

Friday, June 24, 2016


Today I had a goodbye lunch with an old friend who's moving out of state, so I only worked for about an hour. I filled in some of the figures on Pershing Square, which kinda looks like a sketchy illustration right now. The crosswalk markings will go in next, and that's going to make a big difference.
Pershing Square, ©2016, work in progress (click on image for larger view)

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Slippery When Wet

The frustrating thing about that initial coat of oil paint is that it's so hard to control. It just sort of slides around when you brush it, and I'll bet that's one of the chief reasons beginners give up on using the stuff. Anyway, suffice it to say that I'm not very happy with the first layer of paint on the wall of Rita's. The color's not bad, but the subtlety of the shading is clunky. The next few layers should even it out. In two weeks, of course. Or maybe three.
Rita's, © 2016, work in progress (click on image for larger view)

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Peeps and Bikes

I've been working on the middle of the cafe window, and also sketching in the last of the figures on this one. Soon it'll begin to come together. I'm excited about it. Some paintings are just more interesting to work on, and I like the way the composition seems like a piece of music.
Pershing Square, © 2016, work in progress (click on image for larger view)

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Unbleached Titanium

A friend of mine was getting great results with her landscapes, and I asked about her color palette. She mentioned a few colors I use on a regular basis, but also talked about Unbleached Titanium White, which I'd never heard of.

I bought some a few years ago on her recommendation, and it's really useful when you want to lighten a hue but don't want it to go chalky. Over the weekend I picked up a tube of it at my local art supply store, as my previous tube had run out.  And it's vital to finishing the painting below, which has a limited palette that relies heavily on Unbleached T.
Protective Coloration, © 2016, work in progress

Monday, June 20, 2016

Working It Out

I'm still grappling with the drawing of the left side shelves on this painting, but it does seem like extending the dark background all the way to the edge forces the attention to the bartender. (See one of the entries below for an earlier version of this one.)
Tending Bar, Mt. Washington, © 2016, work in progress (click on image for larger view)

Friday, June 17, 2016

The Lure of the Ocean

I haven't posted updates of this one for a while. Living my whole life on the Atlantic Seaboard, I've spent many a day visiting the Atlantic Ocean. This is the tenth one in a series, all of them done in a square format and tightly cropped to play off the realism against a sense of the abstract.
Atlantic Ocean Series, Dawn Phase, #10, © 2016, work in progress

I look forward to summer beach days here in the Northern Hemisphere. That sounds a little weird, doesn't it? But the Internet has allowed us to communicate across vast distances, and for all I know someone in Australia or Chile might be looking at this page, and they're heading from fall into winter...

The AO paintings are divided into different color phases. The first four (they're always in groups of four) were a brilliant, deep blue, off the coast of New England. The second four featured that beautiful Caribbean blue color, and were from photos I took in Miami Beach. This next phase is from the Outer Banks of North Carolina, all photos taken at dawn, when the pink and coral sky colors reflect on the water's surface. Enjoy!

If you want to see the series, it's on my website at

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Pershing Square Update

One of the pieces I worked on today. I like seeing the figures appear. Still one more to sketch in on the right, and two more on the left.
Pershing Square, © 2016, work in progress (click on image for larger view)

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Whole Foods Update

Whole Foods, © 2016, work in progress (click on image for larger view)

Moving along on this one. After I get to the right side, it'll be time to start over again on the left, only this time paying great attention to detail and subtlety of value and color. There's some hope that it might be finished this calendar year! :-)

Monday, June 13, 2016

Mid-course Correction

Somehow I managed to draw the shelves incorrectly on the left side of Tending Bar, Mt. Washington. Now I don't know what to do. If I redraw them the way they're supposed to be (and you can see the start of the re-draw in the image below) I end up with a very strong vertical on the left side of the painting, and it seems to throw off the composition, in my opinion. Hmm. What to do?
Tending Bar, Mt. Washington, © 2016, work in progress

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Velvety Blackness

At first, I thought using Mars Black for the background would convey a sense of a steamy, muggy summer night, but when it dried it looked completely flat and dull. I just put a coat of Payne's Gray on top of it, and am much happier with the sense of depth. I need to check
it again in a little while to make sure the lap marks are leveling out, but here is the latest version of
Rita's, © 2016, work in progress (click on image for larger version)

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Two Street Scenes

Pershing Square is moving along in the right direction, though getting all those window reflections in the right place is a bit of a chore.
Pershing Square, © 2106, work in progress (click on image for a larger view)

And now I have a name for this one:
Stockton Street, © 2016, work in progress

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

End of the Day

A last minute piece:
Protective Coloration, © 2016, work in progress (click on image to see larger view)

All Those Tiny Little Frames...

Details, details... Sometimes I get overwhelmed with them and stop working on a painting for a while. But eventually it's time to pick it up again and plow on.

Reception From 5 -9, © 2016, work in progress (click on image for a larger view)

I need to heighten the sense of light and shadow in the areas around the two lamps.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Whole Foods and Panel Prep

So far this week (and it's only Tuesday), I've worked on 7 paintings. There are four more I want to get to before the end of the work week, and I'd really like to finish something. Because there are several new works in the pipeline, and I'm pretty excited about them.

But meanwhile, here's some of today's work. If you scroll down in the blog you'll see previous versions of this piece, and be able to see how I've been moving from left to right.
Whole Foods, © 2016, work in progress (click on image for larger view)

Meanwhile, the Gamblin oil painting ground arrived courtesy of Dick Blick, and I've been prepping a panel using a regular paint roller. It's going on very smoothly.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Stocking The Shelves

Today I worked on four paintings, but this is the only one I'm posting here. It's the bartender from Mt. Washington. I'm starting to paint the bottles on the shelves, and that is no mean feat, let me tell you. It's going to take a while.
Tending Bar, Mt. Washington, © 2016, work in progress

Meanwhile, I'm achy from going to the gym. Ouch.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Working Weekend

I got into the studio pretty early today and worked until 2:30, despite the fact that it's Saturday. I'm trying to organize my thinking as far as the various series are concerned, and where I'd like to show them. So I moved a few things around on the walls to get the process going. And there were four canvases to stretch: my gallery owner made a present to me of two rather nice floating frames that she couldn't use; I'd picked up some stretchers and cut the last remaining linen from the roll and started stapling them. Also, the Gamblin Oil Painting Ground arrived last week and I finally had a chance to open the can and try it out.

Then it was time to paint.
Pershing Square, © 2016, work in progress

Friday, June 3, 2016

New On The Easel

I worked on three paintings today, but am not satisfied with the way two of them look. This is a new one. I don't have a name for it yet.
Untitled, © 2016, work in progress

Thursday, June 2, 2016

A Figure In The Crowd

Here's a detail from a painting I've been working on for a while. I'm really pushing the transitions between light and shadow on the skin, and trying to accurately assess warmth/coolness in the skin tone. Don't know what she had in mind with the gesture; I think she was explaining something to the woman in the sari (her mother?).
W. 44th Street, © 2016, work in progress
Everything else is wet right now. I'd like to finish something. Maybe this weekend I'll be able to make some serious progress on one of the other paintings I've been featuring lately.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Brushy Bartender

I tried to use a more expressive brush stroke again on the face, and it looks like it's working. All of my adult painting life I've admired artists who can easily create a believable plane with a single stroke in the right color, temperature, and value. It's really hard for me, and I think some of the shadow sides of the face could go darker, but it's not bad...
Tending Bar, Mt Washington, © 2016, work in progress