Soft Light on a Rocky Coast...

Rock Coast sm


One of the many challenges of plein air painting is dealing with inaccurate weather forecasts. This was supposed to be a completely sunny day, but by the time I set up my easel it was cloudy and stayed cloudy all day. It can be really frustrating to plan my work day around the wrong forecast, but sometimes it gets me out painting in conditions I would usually avoid. Normally I don’t like working with flat light like this, but I do like how this one came out.


Ethos 11x14sm


This 11×14″ painting was a demo during my recent workshop on North Haven Island in Maine. While the students take their lunch break I like to do a quick painting to talk about the ideas from class and show my process. This is a beauty of a lobster boat, and was a fun subject with it’s classic lines. To some people I’m sure these boats all look alike, but the more I paint them the more I notice little differences that make some boats look much more attractive.

Maine Islands...

Low tide at Two Bush 11x14sm


After doing a larger painting of this scene at high tide I did this quick sketch at low tide. The water drops low enough that you could walk between the islands. This was from my day on Hurricane Island, a few weeks ago. I would really love to get out there again . Some of the islands around here have stunning views, which I would love to take more advantage of.

I also want to mention that a blog, Lines and Colors, recently posted about my paintings. It’s a fun blog that covers a wide range of visual art, from comic books and advertisements to plein air painting.

McLoons Wharf...

McLoons Lobster Shack 24x24sm


This has been one of my favorite places to paint over the years. It’s a great little working harbor with lots of great views in all kinds of light. I love these little red shacks at the water’s edge, and there are lobster boats going in and out all day. It’s a fun place to work as long as the wind isn’t blowing off the water. Even though I painted it with hot sunlit color, the ocean breeze had me cold all day. Even when it’s 80 degrees inland, this spot can be a cold place to spend the day.

“McLoons Wharf” 24×24″ oil on canvas.

Maine Shoreline...

Maine Shoreline 18x24sm



I painted this a few weeks ago near Owls Head lighthouse. It’s 16×20″ oil on canvas. When painting rocks like these I like to look for big simple passages of color, and value. Those big relationships set up the sense of light for the scene, and from there I can get in to the more subtle relationships. In the early stages a painting is broken into the biggest areas of light and dark, and as the painting develops I get to play more with the color and paint application.

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