A little still life too...

Skull 36x36smTomorrow night is the opening reception for my solo show at Dowling Walsh Gallery in Rockland, ME. Along with the figure paintings and landscapes I have a few still life paintings for my show. I did a series of paintings full of flowers, but I really liked these two paintings with antlers and a deer skull in the scene also. I was visiting my framer this winter and saw a collection of antlers at his shop. He was nice enough to let me borrow some of them for these paintings. Both of these canvases are 36×36″.

Antlers 36x36smFor the last year I’ve been focusing on painting for this solo show, so it’s exciting to finally be ready for the show to open tomorrow. It’s always a bit strange to see a show hanging after spending so much time making the paintings. There’s enough work for this show that I was never able to see all the paintings at once in my studio. Even though I know these paintings quite well, it’s exciting for me to see the whole body of work hanging in a gallery with nice lighting on the paintings. This has been a big project for me, so I hope lots of you get to see the paintings.

Painting Outside...

Car Collectors Yard 16x20sm

My show at Dowling Walsh next month will have a variety of paintings, from figures, to still lifes, to plein air paintings like these. The painting above is a 16×20″ canvas, that was one of my first paintings outside this spring. I painted it in the backyard of a friend’s house. It’s a quirky subject, but I find myself more drawn to scenes where the space is more functional, instead of a well groomed property. Even though this yard has some cars parked behind the house, it’s also a really peaceful property that was a joy to paint in.

Camden Stripes 16x20sm

Painting downtown can be fun too, but it’s really hard to settle in and focus in a busy spot like this. I try to do it early in the season before town gets too busy, but regardless of when I go to paint in town, I end up struggling with the noise of traffic and all the distraction. Every once in a while it’s worth it for the challenge of painting the color of the storefronts.

Farmhouse Road 12x16sm

On the other end of the spectrum is a quiet pastoral scene like this one. I’ve always been drawn to this road cutting through cow pastures, leading back to a little farmhouse. It’s a simple scene, but it makes a composition that I really enjoy.

Tide Pools...

Paper sketch tide pool sm


Audrey loves exploring tide pools when we go to the beach. The water is usually not quite as cold, and there’s lots of things to explore. I’ve always love being at the beach, so it’s great to see my kids developing a love of the ocean and beach. I also wanted paint this scene because of the grace in her pose. When I take photos of the kids I try to catch them in the middle of an activity. Once in a while I end up with an image where they have a great gesture. The challenge in painting is figuring out what makes that gesture work.


Tide Pool 36x36sm


It’s strange seeing these paintings on the computer screen where they show up as the same size. In reality, the sketch is about 8×8″, and the finished painting is 36×36″. But I think it’s fun to be able to share the sketch that inspired, and helped plan the larger piece.

All of these paintings will be on display at Dowling Walsh Gallery in Rockland, ME for the month of July, with an opening reception on Friday, July 1 from 5-8pm.


Swimming Sketches...

Paper Sketch Swim sm


I used these sketches to plan a painting of the girls and I swimming. What I love about this scene is the way the blue of the water affects the colors throughout. Sometimes it reflects up onto a flesh tome and throws a green/teal cast. At other moments an orange or yellow glows in contrast to all the cool blues in the water.

Paper Sketch Shoulders sm


I tried out several different poses for this painting, to play with how the figures would interact in the water. With a lot of these paintings I found myself drawn to scenes where the children are engaged in parallel play. I’ll often notice my girls playing together, but each lost in her own project. They enjoy each other’s company, but aren’t actually engaging with each other as they play. They can seem very introspective, and I like painting those moments.
Paper sketch Float sm


With these swimming sketches, I was drawn to photos of them enjoying the feelings of floating an moving through the water. The sensations of swimming are exciting for the kids to explore. Below is the larger painting, 36×48″. Each of these figures is from a different photo, but I try to put them together to create an interesting composition.


Water Play 36x48sm

Figure sketches...

Paper sketch clover sm


This past winter I wanted to get wrapped up in some figure paintings of my children and their friends. I have tons of resource photos to work with, but I had to figure out how to put them together into full paintings. The finished paintings were between 36×36″ and 48×48″. In order to plan those paintings out, I painted quite a few little sketches on paper. Arches makes a paper designed for oil painting, so I ripped that into pieces about 6×8″. I used these sketches to figure out which poses worked best, and how the color schemes might layout. Before I started on any of the bigger paintings I spent a few weeks painting these little pieces on paper. It was a great way to sort through all of my photos and figure out what I could use.


Paper Sketch Frisbee sm


I’m very proud of the bigger paintings too, but these are some of my favorite paintings from the past year. There’s an honesty to these sketches that I really like. It was tough to keep that feeling as I transitioned to larger paintings. I’ll post those images here soon.

All of these paintings will be framed for my show at Dowling Walsh this July. The opening reception is on Friday, July 1 from 5-8pm

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