Commission painting...

lm birches 32x30sm


I’ve painted these birch trees quite a few times, but I still love it. This one was done for someone who wanted to commission a specific size. We talked about what she wanted out of the painting, and I shared several images of different views of these birches over the last few years so I could know what was appealing to her. There was also a specific size to work in, so that the painting would fit perfectly in it’s spot.

Commission paintings can be a challenge. It’s hard to paint freely while also painting for one specific customer. Usually I paint whatever I want to and just wait for the right person to find the painting. With a commission I have to figure out what the client expects from me, while also making a painting that is something that I consider my own, that I can be proud of. This painting is one of the times that painting for someone else met up perfectly with painting for myself. This canvas is 32×30″.

Happy Thanksgiving!...

Walker Park Pier sm


Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I hope you are all having a great weekend surrounded by people you love.

This is a painting from the end of summer in Maine. It’s one of my favorite views for the variety of compositions. I painted this one on site, at a playground where I bring my kids. I’m standing on a hill, looking back into Rockport Harbor. One reason I like this spot so much is how the warm greens and red buildings contrast against the cool blues of the water. There’s also a nice movement of the building shapes set into the hillside. I think the canvas size is 18×40″.

Laguna Rooftops...

Laguna rooftops 16x20sm


Sometimes the challenge of a painting is how to simplify a busy scene into simple brushstrokes. When I saw this view, I was very interested in painting it, but wasn’t quite sure I could pull it off. I liked the staggered buildings going back into the hillside, but tried to just simplify them into pieces of color. I wanted to suggest the buildings without painting in every window and piece of trim. This painting is 16×20″.

Crashing Wave...

Crashing Wave 11x14sm


It’s really fun to paint crashing waves and the rocky shore. The contrasts between hard and soft, dark and light, warm and cool… they all add up to a fun subject. The crashing surf can be hard to freeze in place, but I try to find the big shapes in the breaking wave to give the feeling of movement.

Last sketches in Laguna...

Cristal Cove slope 11x14sm


My last day in California I spent doing some quick paintings just for fun. The plein air event was over, so I just painted some of my favorite scenes on my way to the airport for a late flight. This spot, Crystal Cove, was one of my favorite new spots. It’s a really interesting group of buildings perched on the side of a cliff looking out over the ocean. I painted this in the early morning while there was still a bit of fog and overcast so I had to work with the flat light. If I get back to Laguna to paint, this is definitely one of the places I would go back to.


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