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

Sea and Sky...


Sea and Sky Flats 12x16sm


I’ve been absent from the blog for a while. Sorry about that. I’ve taken a break from regular posting so I could work on the paintings for a solo show that opens next month at Dowling Walsh Gallery in Rockland, ME. The show has a little bit of everything, some plein air paintings, figure paintings, a few still lifes. Island views have been a favorite subject while painting on site this spring. It’s been interesting painting these wide open landscapes through changes in weather and light.


Sea and Sky dock 12x16sm


Each of these paintings is 12×16″ oils on canvas. I wanted to keep them pretty small so they could be gestural color studies. I was looking for the big, simple color shapes that describe the day. In some ways these are simple paintings in terms of subject, but the color harmonies keep me engaged with them.


Sea and Sky Rackliff 12x16sm


My show at Dowling Walsh opens July 1st, and will be hanging for most of the month. Please stop by and visit if you’re in midcoast Maine this summer.


Fourth of July 16x20sm


I’m teaching two workshops this year. Both will be focused on plein air painting, weather permitting. The first class is in Maryland at Chesapeake Fine Art Studio from April 1-4. This is a great location with an incredible studio space, and some good plein air locations near by. If you’re interested in this class you can follow up with the organizer’s website, or call  410 200 8019.

The second class I’m teaching this year is in Rockland, ME at Coastal Maine Art workshops September 19-23. This class already has a lot of interest, so if you want to sign up, contact the organizer soon. Her email is info@coastalmaineartworkshops.com

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