Street Scenes...

Do Not Enter 16x20sm

 

This has always been a favorite cottage of mine in Camden. It’s a great spot looking into town and across the harbor. I like the way the sun bounces off the lawn and reflects on to the trim. There’s also a nice glow of warmth in the sun porch and windows that contrasts nicely with the cool blue of the house. And even though its a lovely little home there are bits of reality in the scene that make it feel more honest; power lines, street sign, and the beat up sidewalk. I really like when there is a mix of the sentimental with the less picturesque realities of our life.

With this one, I also wanted to focus on keeping the brushwork fresh and direct, which can be tough with all of the drawing involved in the architecture. This painting is 16×20.”

Aerial Perspective...

lobster 36x48sm

 

This was the first lobster still life I did this year. I had been thinking of ways to get back to painting still life. A lobster meal was an idea I kept coming back to, so I pulled out some of my favorite old tablecloths and moved things around till I had something worth doing. Painting a still life is a very different experience from a landscape. There area a few elements that I really enjoy working on. The challenge of painting the different shades of red in the lobsters. Painting reflective metal objects, like the bowl here and silverware. And painting the rich colors and patterns of the tablecloths while keeping a fresh brushstroke. These are all difficult to pull off, but make for fun challenges that are not a normal part of my landscape paintings.

This is one of the paintings that will be on display at Dowling Walsh Gallery in Rockland, ME this August. I have a solo show there with an opening Friday, August 1st. The painting above is 36×48″.

 

Summer Wheels...

Summer Wheels 12x16sm

 

I took a photo of this scene a few years ago, and finally painted it this spring. The colors and light were a little dull in the photo, but I really liked the shapes and lines of the bikes so I decided to try it with some exaggerated color. My favorite part of painting objects like this is looking for opportunities to loosen up and let the details disappear into fun brushwork. I still like to have accurate drawing, but within the structure of that drawing I want the brushwork to play.

“Port and Starboard” at Debr...

Harvest Moon 20x24sm

 

I have a few paintings in a show at the Debra Huse Gallery in Balboa Island, California. It’s a show of boat paintings called “Port and Starboard.” This is a group show that mixes some great Russian Impressionist painters with American Impressionists. I’m honored to be included with this great group of painters. If you are in Southern California, please do check it out. The opening reception is June 14th , 6-8pm. The gallery put together a digital catalog that you can view online. It’s definitely worth checking out.

Since I paint boats quite a bit, I have finally learned to ask a captain if his boat is going anywhere before I start the painting. The captain of the boat in this painting promised me at least a half hour before he would take off, and then I got a luck break as I struggled with the drawing and colors on the boat. The local marina delivered the wrong part to him, and he had to wait around another hour. It gave me plenty of time to get the major relationships in his boat down and also start relating it to the overall scene. But as I worked on the other elements I kept thinking my drawing was off. The drawing on the canvas wasn’t matching what I saw. I had forgotten about the tide, which was quickly dropping. Once I figured that out, I stopped chasing the drawing around and just worked on capturing the light and color of the day.

This is a Camden harbor scene, 20×24″. I had a lot of fun doing this one, and hope to get a few more fun harbor scenes painted before it turns into a zoo down there. Once summer starts, it’s hard to get any painting done if I paint downtown.

Inspired by a tablecloth....

Lobster Blues 48x36sm

 

I’ve enjoyed doing these new still lifes, so I decided to start shopping for new fabrics. I got a few new ones that are pretty fun, including the tablecloth in this painting. It makes for a fun color harmony with the lobsters and other objects in the scene.

With this painting I wanted to paint the aftermath of a big lobster meal, so I spent the morning getting things organized for the still life, and picking up a few things at the grocery store to add to the scene. After that my family had a lobster feast for lunch, and once we were done I just picked up the plates and brought them into the studio to pose. The first day I got a lot of work done on this painting, but I left everything set up so I could work on it a bit more the following day.I decided I needed just one last day to look things over, which was really pushing it in terms of the smell of three day old lobster shells. But I’m really happy with the painting I got out of it, and the studio has been aired out and is back to normal.

The painting is 48×36″ oil on canvas.

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