Thursday, November 23, 2006

Deception Pass

I got a chance to go through Deception Pass in a boat last time I was up there just in time to see an amazing sunset. This is one of the paintings I did from that trip.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Old Art Class Work Vol. 1

I was going through old artwork today and found this old art class project from a while back. The teacher had just introduced a new medium to us: Gouache (which is basically opaque watercolor) and the assignment was to “paint something with gouache to get familiar with it.” The other students very diligently painted things like apples or their Starbucks cup that was sitting near by. I, on the other hand, apparently felt the need to paint something in the style of Film Noir, a scene from a drab apartment building where something very mysterious and sinister had just taken place. From the long shadow of the form coming through the doorway we can tell that the phantom villain will finally reveal himself as he walks through the door in this dark place we call . . . Chinatown. . . . . or so I was thinking as I happily painted away next to my classmate who was slurping her mocha and painting an apple.

Chinatown, by the way, is a classic Film Noir movie staring Jack Nicholson. I would highly recommend it.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Discussing the Meaning of Life on a Cannon Beach Roof Top

Seagulls gather on Cannon Beach roof tops to gossip about Oregon Coast politics and whether the recent storm caused the “10 year flood” or the “100 year flood”.

I painted this picture while giving painting demonstrations at Haystack Gallery during the Stormy Weather Arts Festival. It’s always enjoyable painting a “fun” picture in front of people because they then feel at liberty to offer ideas for what to put in a picture. If you’re painting a “serious” picture, people don’t tend to offer suggestions.

My thanks to the person that suggested adding Haystack Rock, the trademark giant monolith protruding out of the beach indicating that this picture is in fact of Cannon Beach. Also thanks to the youngster that pointed out where I should add a chimney that subsequently became a great item for a seagull to sit on. My apologies to the gentleman that suggested I add someone doing the “Saturday Night Fever” dance in the window of one of the houses. I couldn’t quite pull off a John Travolta impersonator through one of the little windows on this piece in such a way that one understood what kind of dance he was doing. Maybe next time. I do appreciate the gentleman’s willingness to pose the dance move for me, even though he only held the pose for 10 seconds. Next time someone suggests such a thing I’ll insist that I need them to hold the ridiculous dance pose for me for at least a half hour in the middle of the gallery in order for me to complete my piece of art. ;)

Monday, November 06, 2006

Stormy Weather in Oregon

This last weekend was the Stormy Weather Arts Festival in Cannon Beach, Oregon. Thanks to those of you that stopped by Haystack Gallery to say hi during the event.

True to the festival's name, it proved to be quite a stormy weekend complete with our signature Oregon "sideways falling" rain. The turbulent Pacific was quite entertaining to watch and no doubt would have been even more entertaining to watch through a window while one was eating clam chowder. There were lots of artists and festival-goers in town and overall it was a great weekend! =)

Pictured: Me participating in the Quick Draw event Friday night to kick off the festival.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Dogs and the Beach

Speaking of dogs chasing off seagulls. . .

"Chasing Away the Seagulls" 8" x 10" watercolor

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Tyee Lodge from Agate Beach

This is a commissioned painting I just finished of Tyee Lodge Bed and Breakfast in Newport, Oregon. The bed and breakfast is right above Agate Beach, a popular Oregon surfing destination and even more popular dog walking beach. I've botched more attempted photos of seagulls on this beach than any other from happy dogs chasing the seagulls off before I could snap my picture. And of course these dogs always have great, ridiculously happy doggy grins on their face after chasing off a flock of seagulls. Between getting to watch the surfers, the dogs and birds interact and the often amazing sunsets complete with historic Yaquina Head Lighthouse perched to the north, this is a very enjoyable beach in Newport, Oregon.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Tyee Lodge Bed and Breakfast, Newport, Oregon

Who is she and what is her story? She drives a cherry-red ’57 Chevy that matches her dress and she stays at the Tyee Lodge Bed and Breakfast on the beautiful Oregon Coast, but why is she alone? As she looks longingly across Agate Beach towards Yaquina Head one wonders if maybe her true love is overseas fighting a war in a far off land? Could she have been recently engaged and is driving the Pacific Coast highway to visit her friend Mandy in Astoria to tell her the news in person? Or is her husband merely up in their room making them each a cup of coffee to enjoy as they set out for a morning walk on the beach?

More importantly, however, who is the neighbor with the green Volkswagen van and is that truly a ’78? Does he have the Westfalia camping kit option complete with a stove and fridge? Has he invested in a high quality stereo that produces truer sound than the original speakers that beautifully covers the noisy VW engine sound?

Top: Detail of "A Yet Unnamed Painting of Tyee Lodge Bed and Breakfast" 22" x 30" Watercolor

Below: "A Yet Unnamed Painting of Tyee Lodge Bed and Breakfast"

Wednesday, October 25, 2006


"Seagulls in Repose" 7" x 10 3/4" Watercolor

Seagulls are characters. Living near a major river and not far from the ocean, seagulls are commonly seen creatures in my world. Despite the fact that they eat trash, they give every impression of being very intelligent and always appear to be “up to something.”

In this scene we find our feisty, feathered friends hanging out in what appears to be an urban setting not too far from the coast. Here they act as though every bit of human handiwork was contrived solely for their benefit. It is anyone’s guess in what employment of mischief and mayhem these seagulls plan for the remainder of this otherwise peaceful late afternoon.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Flowers and sunlight

"Roses Along Amelia's Fence " 11" x 30" Watercolor. (Which is also titled "Hey Look I Painted Flowers!")

Its been a long time since I painted flowers. I've painted a few pictures with flowers in them, but haven't just painted flowers for a long time. My guess is the last time I painted or drew such a subject was in high school when no doubt the motivation was to win the heart of a fair young female that I fancied. At any rate I was yet again experimenting for the Quick Draw™ and decided to give roses a shot.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Yesterday's Quick Draw

"Volkswagon Impressionism in Deep Red" 22" x 22" Watercolor on paper.

Produced with the influence of French Impressionism as applied to Volkswagon busses, the distinct toaster-shape of the volkswagons are hinted at by areas of pure color freely mixing together on wet paper accompanied by strong brush strokes allowing your eyes to render the impression of Volkswagons.

Ok, ok, so maybe I just made that last part up and was merely having fun painting one of my favorite subjects with a 2 inch brush while doing a one hour painting practice for the upcoming "quick draw " event I'm taking part in. Either way, I'm still going to consider that "high Art". =)

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Paintings in Progress

This is a watercolor that I'm currently working on. I started it on location in La Conner, Washington and am hoping to finish it shortly.

It's amazing how very little one can paint in an hour. I'm getting ready for the "Quick Draw" at Cannon Beach next month during the Stormy Weather Arts Festival™. At the Quick Draw we artists have one hour to produce a finished piece of art (in front of a couple hundred people).

The picture above is today's experiment with what exactly I can paint in one hour. Naturally I had planned to paint in more trees, a pathway, a small cottage in the background, a kid and his dog walking down the path and a staircase going down to the ocean below, but I ran out of time after partially painting a couple trees.

It would, of course, save time during the quick draw if I were to sketch a subject on my paper ahead of time, but there's no challenge in that! It's fun to go to the Quick Draw™ to watch artists pull out the biggest piece of blank paper or canvas they can find and produce a masterpiece in an hour, all the while making it look easy. Luckily for me I've already got the "make it look easy" part down. You just have to swing the brush around like you mean it and try not to say the words "whoops" or "shoot!" very often and people will say "Wow, he's making it look easy". So now all I have to learn is how to paint a masterpiece on the biggest piece of blank paper I can find in an hour in front of a couple hundred people by next month. Easy!

The Stormy Weather Arts Festival is in Cannon Beach, Oregon November 3, 4 &5. (The Quick Draw is the 3rd and you have to get tickets ahead of time) For more information go here.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Accordian Art

I title this piece: "The Lonely Heart of a True Rock Accordionist: An Accordion Ballad in D Minor" 9"x12" Watercolor on paper.

This is one of the characters I came up with when working on ideas for the Stormy Weather Arts Festival poster. I had originally thought to put a few musicians in my poster as well seeing that there are always lots of musicians playing at the festival, but sadly I ran out of room.

I'm heading to Gig Harbor, Washington later today so I can do a painting demonstration there tomorrow. I should be there between about 11 AM and 4 PM (Saturday October 7) so if you're in the area stop by and say hi. My Apologies in advance for the cloudy weather that we will no doubt have up there tomorrow. Without fail, when ever I go to Gig Harbor it always turns out cloudy and my guess is its because I'm dying to see a Gig Harbor sunrise where I can actually see Mount Rainier, but I always seem to bring the clouds instead. Ah, well. Regardless of one's ability to see a Mount Rainier sunrise reflecting amazingly on the harbor, its always a lot of fun to go up there to paint and chat with everyone.

The address of the Preuit Collection Gallery where I will be is:
3115 Harborview Drive,
Gig Harbor, Washington 98335
So stop by and blame me for the clouds. ;)

Monday, September 18, 2006

Painting and travelling

"The Delicate Interconnection of Seagulls and Laundry" 4"x 6" seagulls on watercolor paper

My brother and I went to Glacier National Park in Montana and Waterton National Park in Alberta, Canada two weekends ago. The picture above is St. Mary Lake in Glacier at Sunrise. That was certainly the clearest lake water I’ve ever seen. A few minutes before this photo was taken a bald eagle buzzed by us carrying a fish that was easily half his size. With water this clear it doesn’t seem like there would be any sport for an Eagle fishing here.

You can see more pictures of our trip and various other outings hiking, camping and exploring at my brother’s Flickr™ photo site.

Atop Mount Erie in Northern Washington near Deception Pass. Thanks to TheGraceGirl for telling me about Mount Erie. The view was well worth it. =)

As it turned out, I was the only kayaker that day paddling around Gig Harbor, Washington doing more picture taking than kayaking. I couldn’t figure out how to balance my watercolor painting easel on the kayak I rented, so I ended up just buying a disposable camera and taking some pictures with it. Next time I intend to at least take my sketch pad out kayaking.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Stormy Weather Arts Festival Poster

Here is my newly finished poster for the Stormy Weather Arts Festival November 3-5 in Cannon Beach, Oregon. This is my third year to participate in the festival. Friday night we'll start the event off with (an always sold out) Quick Draw where several of us artists are given an hour to produce a piece of artwork and frame it, then immediately afterwards there will be an auction to auction off our newly finished work. If you think that an hour is WAY too little time for a normal human to produce a finished piece of art, I'd tend to agree with you. However watching artists produce work in that ridiculously short amount of time is very enjoyable to watch. I'm always amazed at what some of those artists can do in so little time.

Saturday and Sunday there will be many artists around town painting, sketching and chatting with people or given half the chance, napping on the beach. Note: "napping on the beach" is sometimes referred to by us artists as "studying our subject matter". Although to the untrained eye it may appear that an artist is merely sitting in a lounge chair by the beach with sunglasses and an iced tea, the reality is that this is an important function of art, wherein an artist can take in a scene and "study their subject matter". ;)

A variety of musicians play live music throughout the weekend and all over town. Hors d’oeuvres are often served by many of the shops in the evenings and overall it’s quite a fun and festive weekend. I would, however, recommend that you get reservations for lodging ahead of time.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Dancing the Argentine Tango to the Light of a '78 Volkswagen

I painted this picture in the middle of the night several years ago. This is still one of my favorite paintings that I've done. =)

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Painting in Cannon Beach

I will be painting at Haystack Gallery in Cannon Beach, Oregon this weekend (August 19-20). I will paint between about 11-6 both Saturday and Sunday. If you’re in the area feel free to stop by the gallery and say hi. Although, if you happen to stop by between 11 and 6 and I’m not there you can bet that I had to make a quick trip to the Cannon Beach Bakery where I’m making one of life’s tough decisions: which type of chocolate cream-filled donut to get. ;) I hear it’s supposed to be in the mid 90’s in the Portland area this weekend so the weather should be about perfect at the beach. =)

2 1/2 weeks ago at soccer I managed to sprain my ankle pretty badly and haven’t been able to walk without crutches or drive since. Today is the first day since then that I’ve been able to start putting weight on my injured foot, so hopefully I’ll be able to walk without crutches by the weekend. I’ve always stood while painting so it’s been a bit tricky learning how to sit and paint the last couple weeks.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

The Columbia River Gorge

This last weekend I went hiking with a couple friends up Dog Mountain, a 2850 foot peak jetting out of the Columbia River Gorge. I was impressed with how steep the trail actually is all the way up. The panoramic view from the top is well worth the effort to get up there though.

Waterfalls can be seen in the hills across the river, trains traveling up river look like toys nearly 3000 feet below and the fact the little hill next to us is called "Wind Mountain" should have clued me into the fact that I needed to bring a coat to the top. =P (It was quite windy up there. Dog mountain is located right by Hood River, Oregon- the wind surfing capital of the Northwest)

I'm trying to figure out how to drag my easel and watercolors to top of the mountain to do some painting on location, but I'm afraid that may require a pack animal.

Above (from left): Me, Adam and Seth

Thursday, July 27, 2006

The Bridges of Deception Pass

This is a new watercolor called "The Bridges of Deception Pass" that I just finished. Deception Pass is located about 40 miles south of Bellingham, Washington or 80 miles north of Seattle. The two bridges connect Whidbey Island to the mainland of Washington. The image is 22" x 30" on Arches 300 lb. Cold Press paper.

Above: Detail of Deception Pass

Above: Me posing for the camera while out hiking near Deception Pass.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Painting at Haystack Gallery July 8-9

Here are some pictures from my trip to Cannon Beach a few weekends ago. The weather was perfect there. I managed to do some exploring in the mornings before painting in Haystack Gallery during the day Saturday and Sunday. Thanks to everyone who stopped by the gallery to say hi. =)

Below: Mount Neahkahnie from Cape Falcon in Oswald West State Park.

Above: Early morning sunrays at Hug Point, just South of Cannon Beach.

Above: Me very intensely painting seagulls in Haystack Gallery. Picture of me courtesy of Jill Slansky. Thanks for stopping by and chatting Jill. =)

Friday, July 21, 2006

My 1st Watercolor Canvas Painting

This is my first attempt at painting on the new watercolor canvas from Fredrix. Its kind of weird painting watercolor on canvas and the canvas acts a lot different than normal watercolor paper. Yet I must say I was quite pleased with how nicely it worked. It was a lot more like painting with oil than with watercolor actually.

This, so far unnamed, painting is 9" x 12". I wanted to try a small canvas to see if I liked it before getting a big one. Now I'm dying to see how a very large canvas would work. Over all I highly recommend this product. It's a lot of fun to use, but it does take a little getting used to.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Pictures from Mount Hebo, Oregon

The last three weekends I've been busy painting in galleries, hiking, camping, exploring and getting new ideas for paintings. Here are some photos from my trip to Dancing Coyote Gallery in Depoe Bay, Oregon a couple of weeks ago. While there I camped on top of Mount Hebo which is about 50 miles northeast of Depoe Bay. These photos are from Sunrise on top of the 3300 foot mountain which was conveniently above the low coastal clouds that weekend.

(Above) Tillimoook is below the clouds to the left.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Painting at the beach

I just got back from painting at Dancing Coyote Gallery in Depoe Bay, Oregon over the weekend. I forgot to take pictures while there this weekend, but I will post a few pictures taken on past trips to Dancing Coyote that I just found.

Above: Roberto and I in the gallery.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Painting in progress: Latourell Falls

Currently I’m working on a painting of Latourell Falls, a waterfall in the Columbia River Gorge. The falls is about 30 miles East of Portland on the old Columbia River Highway. Here is a photo of the falls as well as my preliminary sketch followed by two photos of the painting in progress. I’ll try to post the finished painting when I complete it.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Exploring Oregon

I’ve been doing some exploring, hiking and sketching in Oregon this month getting ideas for paintings that I’m working on. I will try to post pictures of the paintings in progress here shortly. I really enjoyed camping and hiking in the central Oregon Cascades near Bend, Oregon. It is an especially scenic area of the Northwest and I am looking forward to painting scenes inspired by the area.

Here are a few photos from my recent exploration of Oregon:

Above: Detroit Lake, central Oregon at about 5:15 AM. This was a great place to camp. I camped right next to the lake and had half of the campground to myself. Ducks desided to wake me up by walking right by my tent at 5 AM quacking at the top of their lungs.

Below: Mt Hood from Larch Mountain, Oregon.
I did some sketching of Mount Hood from the top of this dormant volcano and currently have a painting in progress from the sketches I did here.

Below: Sahalie Falls in central Oregon drops 120 feet from a ledge created by a lava flow a few thousand years ago.