Top of the World...

Top of the Worls Tree 18x24sm


I recently got home from a week in California participating in the Laguna Plein Air Invitational. It was so much fun to paint with my friends and to meet new people out there. It was also great to paint a new place. I really like the character of this tree and the valley behind it leading to Saddleback Mountain. While I was there, most mornings were overcast till 11am, so I used this scene as a morning subject.

Cast Shadows...

Barn 30x40sm


I’ve wanted to paint this barn for years, and never got up the nerve to ask permission till a few weeks ago, despite the fact that it’s owned by a friend’s mom. I finally did ask and got an enthusiastic invitation to paint there. I had never explored the property before so I spent some time looking around and choosing the scene I wanted to paint. Even after choosing the barn I had to do a lot of planning of the composition, and try to plan for the moving light. I really like painting a structure as the light is transitioning between shaded and fully lit. In this case I liked the long cast shadow from the roof, but had to capture that fleeting moment as fast as possible . The painting is 30×40″ so it takes a little more thought than a smaller sketch, but it can be a fun challenge to deal with.

Summer Yardscape...

Summer yardscape 20x16sm


I painted this one back in August. We picked up this fun little tricycle for Audrey and I loved the colors and lines on it. I spent a surprisingly long time moving it around the yard to try it with different light effects and backgrounds.

I just spent the last few weeks teaching workshops in Rockland, ME. It was fun but completely exhausting! One of the things I stress in my classes is the importance of simplifying a scene to it’s most important shapes and colors when we paint. still want my drawing to be correct, but I find it most important to get the values and color shifts put in with a painterly brushstroke. The tricycle was fun to paint, but I really like the simplicity of how the baby pool in the background was painted. It’s the subtle shifts in blue that give a sense of light and shadow that I like, and how those colors play off the rest of the composition’s colors. 


Backlit Camden 16x20sm


This was painted in Camden Harbor with tons of boats and beautiful scenery. Sometimes it’s hard to figure out what t include in a painting. Instead of trying to squeeze the whole scene onto the canvas I looked for an opportunity to zoom in on a small grouping of boats. This series of white boats made for a fun study in observing the subtle color shifts that can happen as light bounces around.

Blue Eyed Girl...

Blue Eyed Girl 16x20sm


I found this boat as it was waiting for the tide to drop. The fisherman had to paint the hull and replace his propeller, so he was waiting for the boat to be sitting on dry land at dead low tide. The best part of this situation is that the boat was going to be stuck here for a while, making it easier to paint. I really appreciated the kindness of the fishermen working around the dock who let me work out there. This painting is 16×20″.

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