Quiet Island...

Harpswell Island 16x20sm


I don’t usually love painting in flat, grey light, but sometimes after enough days of clouds and rain I just have to go out and  try it. The day I painted this I was planning to meet up with friends for a day of painting. Even though there wasn’t a whole lot of sun I was excited to paint this island. The island has an interesting enough shape that I thought it would compose well. And most of the time I was working on site, the reflection in the foreground was a nice anchor for the image. These grey paintings can be more difficult as the colors are so subtle, but I like the mood of a painting like this when it works out.

This painting is 16×20″ oil on canvas.

Sailing School...

Sailing School 36x36sm

Last summer I taught a painting workshop on North Haven, and got some great resource photos to paint from. We spent one day painting next to a sailing class for local kids. I love the busy energy as the kids get everything ready and race to get out on the water. I’m not much of a sailor, but I was excited by the visuals; back-lit sails, how those sails contrast against the dark shapes of the far shore. This also makes me think of all of the sailing camps for kids. I’ve seen some version of this scene every summer since I moved here 13 years ago. It’s a great reminder of the fun summer brings for kids. Seeing this scene also helps me look forward to when my own girls are old enough to go to sailing camp themselves. With any luck they’ll learn enough to teach me!

This painting is 36×36″ and is on display at Greenhut Gallery in Portland, ME. It’s part of a solo show hanging the month of June.

I also want to mention that I’ll be at Greenhut Gallery this Saturday at 1:30 to give a short gallery talk. I  would love to see some of  you there if you get a chance to swing by.

Paint your cake and eat it too!...

Have your cake and paint it too 36x36sm


This is one of my favorite recent paintings, and it’s one of several new paintings I’ll have on display at Dowling Walsh Gallery tonight for the art walk. The art walk is from 5-8pm. There will be a small selection of my paintings hanging. The two main rooms at Dowling Walsh have two great shows this month. Sarah McRae Morton’s stunning paintings will be in one room and Stephen Pace will have a show on the other side of the gallery. Even though their work is quite different, I’m really looking forward to both shows. If you haven’t seen Sarah McRae Morton’s paintings in person you should definitely stop by the gallery this month.

As for my cake painting, I first saw this cake through a friend, Cig Harvey, who also shows at Dowling Walsh and makes the most interesting and rich photographs, with beautiful color. Something about her work has a painterly quality that I love. So I saw an image of this cake that she was playing around with, and then we had it at a friend’s birthday party. As soon as I saw it I wanted to make paintings of this cake. The Camden Cake lady is a local baker who made me this lovely rainbow cake, letting me chose the exact color order I wanted. The cake is great because of the surprise inside when you cut into this perfect white cylinder. I chose to paint this tabletop scene as it looks when the party has moved on to the next game. I could add color through different types of wrapping paper, an napkins and a few toys. The main draw for starting this painting was a visual interest in the color of the cake, but as I put the still life together I found a narrative coming through also. This painting lets the viewer indulge in nostalgia for a child’s birthday party, and also enjoy the visual play between all of the different elements of the scene.


Also a special thanks to Sarah Faragher for the title on this one. She has a show of paintings opening at Landings Gallery tonight in Rockland.

Solo Exhibit at Greenhut Gallery...

Friendship Docks 12x16sm


This Thursday from 5-7pm is the opening reception for my solo show at Greenhut Gallery in Portland, ME. The painting above is one of many paintings in the show. The painting above is 12×16.” It ended up being a study for a much larger piece. This was done from a photo, which I was drawn to for the complexity of the composition. The pilings create an irregular grid of verticals, and through those pilings we see patches of color that come together into a harbor scene as we take in the whole painting. When I finished this up I started seeing how it could make a fun large-scale painting.

I blew this scene up to 52×76,” and widened the composition just a bit. The larger painting is below.


Friendship Harbor 56x72sm


In the larger painting I still wanted to play with the simple color shapes created where the pilings get the busiest. They can create a kind of rhythm as the viewers eye moves across the stripes of color. I also like the way a big painting can open a scene up and have a few moments of interest for the viewer to engage with; the dinghies in the lower left, the docked lobster boats in the middle ground, the outer harbor and distant horizon, the architecture of the structure. Each of these elements has it’s own interest, but also helps build up the whole composition.

Both of these paintings will be in my show at Greenhut Gallery. The opening reception is open to the public, and I’d love to see a good crowd, so come on by if you’re in the area Thursday evening.



Dockside View...

Dockside 18x24sm


This is a scene I found in Boothbay last summer. It was fun walking around on the docks and getting some views of the working lobster boats up close an personal. I’m a sucker for scenes that are busy with piles of junk, so this dock was practically asking me to paint it. It’s fun to look for ways to simplify a busy subject. Looking for how to paint a complicated subject as just pieces of color information. If I can get the color relationships right, I feel like I can get most of the way to a good painting.

This painting is one of many that I’ve been framing for the last week. Soon I’ll be delivering a body of new paintings to Greenhut Gallery in Portland, ME. I have a solo show at Greenhut for the month of June, with an opening the evening of June 4. The opening is open to the public and I’d love to see a big crowd there. If you’re in the area please swing by and say hi. I have a mix of still life an landscape in the show.

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