Dooryard...

Dooryard 12x16sm

 

I painted this recently from a photo. I found this spot as I walked up to paint a street scene in Maine with my friend Anne Blair Brown. We were painting around Boothbay Harbor with a group of her friends from the Plein Air Painters of the Southeast. I didn’t do my best work on location that day. The scene I painted on site was a bit more predictable; a winding street heading past some old white houses and ending at the harbor. Looking through my photos from that day I was much more excited by this truck in a gravel driveway, and a yard full of lobster traps and other junk. This is exactly what I think of when I hear someone mention a dooryard. “Dooryard” is a term I’d never heard before moving to Maine. It’s really just the yard around the front door, but most people who use it are describing a yard like the one in this painting. There should be piles of lobster traps and blue tarps scattered around, a couple of vehicles, and tall grass creeping in among the objects. This yard had a great feel to it, and was also lit beautifully, which made me want to paint it even more.

Crashing Wave...

Crashing Wave 12x16sm

 

I like painting crashing waves, and trying to simplify the shapes of the moving water. Whitewater is a tough one to capture, but I find it easiest to look for the big pieces of color. For the most part a painting like this is about the interaction of the dark/warm rock shapes with the cool colors of the moving ocean.

California Mountains...

Valley View 16x20sm

 

This painting is headed to my show at the Debra Huse Gallery in California this February. This is a scene I found on a trip to southern California this past fall. It’s fun to paint a new place and also look into the artists who’ve worked there before. California has a great history of impressionism and plein-air painting, so I enjoyed looking at images of their work before and after my trip. One of my favorite California painters is William Wendt, who helped me solve some of the problems of how to paint the colors of the west coast and the mountains. I found some of these artists through the Irvine Museum in California, which has a great collection of West Coast paintings.

Antique cars...

Antique cars 12x16sm

 

I’ve had this in the studio for a while now. I love painting the lines of old cars, and also like the color that bounces around on the colored metal. This was painted from a photo, so I pushed the color a bit. I decided to go with a warmish tint in the shadows and cooler lights. Even though the lights on the foreground car are yellow, I used a cooler lemon yellow, especially in the lightest parts.

Vase of sunflowers...

Sunflowers and cutouts 24x20sm

 

Another painting of yellow sunflowers on a blue patterned background. This background is mostly a tablecloth, but also includes part of a book on Matisse in the bottom left corner. Matisse, Bonnard, Cezanne, and Diebenkorn are just a few of the artists who influence my still life paintings. But especially Matisse in the poetry he gets from the interaction of a few flat shapes and a nice color harmony.

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