Bed of Cactus

"Bed of Cactus"
9 x 12 oil
A friend of mine spotted this truck and sent it to me knowing I would love it! It's funny that I have so many people that think of me when they see something like this. I've been sent photos from all over, but this one just screams Texas.

A painters note...I alternated with very dry strokes and then would switch brushes to a very turp filled brush that would even drip and run to try and get varied textures going. It was interesting. I used to paint stuff and leave it alone, afraid I would mess it up and now that I have more confidence and experience I try different things. If I don't like it, I just take it off or paint over it.

Feel free to scrape and wipe, but don't try and get everything off. What you leave can look interesting and add unexpected textures when you go back into it.


Honeymoon Present

11 x 14 oil

A good friend of mine recently got married and he told me he was honeymooning in Italy. After fighting through the extreme jealousy, I decided to paint the new couple something that would help them remember the occasion forever. This also gave me an oportunity to paint something a little different. Bonus...I found a fantastic silver frame at an antique store that I knew would work perfect for them too and I even painted the young lovers seated in the gondola.

Someday I hope to be sitting with my wife in the same spot.


Outdoor Painter.com article

 Bob Bahr did a writeup about me over at OutdoorPainters.com the home of Plein Air magazine about my favorite place to paint! I appreciate the press and I'm honored to be mentioned on their site.

Click the link to read.

OutdoorPainter.com | My Favorite Place to Paint: Randy Saffle | Home of Plein Air Magazine


Locally Grown

"Locally Grown"
16 x 20

 More palette knife fun. This time from a picture I took of a local farmer that was
giving his time to teach kids how to plant at Nash Farm in Grapevine, TX.


Palette Knife practice

"Big Sky"
11 x 14 oil

This was painted from one of my get lost exploring the Texas farm
roads outings that I'm becoming more and more a fan of. The sky looked
exactly like it appears in the picture, with these giant clouds.
I started out painting taking lessons from a instructor that only uses a
palette knife and no brushes. I always use a palette knife for finishing
touches, but it's been a while since I used it as my primary utensil. 
I shared it on Facebook and was surprised at the positive reactions,
considering how quickly this came together.
I'm going to make an effort to use the knife more often.
Wonderful day!


Winter Blues

"Bluebonnet Path"
18" x 24"

This is a studio painting from earlier this summer that I forgot to share. I wanted to
work on my greens and brushwork. You can't live in Texas and not paint some bluebonnets...
 I think it's a law


Cool Blues

"Tractor Pull"
10 x 10 oil
Every summer, the time arrived to gather in the hay.
My grandfather mowed and raked the waist high field with his blue Ford tractor,
leaving long golden rows.
Then with a rhythmic clack, clack, clack the baler moved along the rows,
turning them into bales of hay.
Leaving a field dotted with neatly bound parcels.
We walked the field beside an old pickup truck, hoisting bales into the back.
Sweat poured down my face and soaked my shirt.
Hay stuck to my clothes and in my hair and on my skin.
Finally the truck was full.
We climbed atop the hay and rode to the barn relishing every moment in the breeze.
Wishing the barn was miles away.
                                                                                             -Larry Farlow


They won't stay still!

Painting Willhoites the local biker hangout in Grapevine, but it's not easy when
your subjects keep riding away. I tool a cell phone picture because I anticipated this,
but the final result is probably a mishmash of the real bikes. I will post the final painting asap.
I'm not sure what I'm doing with that little brush. I paint most of my work with a
size 6 to 8 flat brush. You can get into trouble picking up the little ones. Your always
better off abstracting the form down to it's essence and minimizing the little stokes.
Paint as much of it as possible with the largest brush you can.
cliff notes...
Big brush = good
Small brush = bad


Fall Weather and Time to get Working!

9 x 12 oil

  The weather is cooling off in Texas and it's time to get some plein air work done. This is my favorite time of the year. I have to admit that I have done less plein air painting this year than when I started painting about seven years ago, but that doesn't mean I haven't been painting.I have ramped up my studio work and have been painting larger too.

  I am finally in a place in my mind where I want to find more representation. I have been putting this off to get my work up to a consistent level and I think I'm ready. I definitely have been my biggest collector so far and that's not a good thing. Wish me luck! 

This painting is available at a special price from my Etsy Shop... https://www.etsy.com/listing/166268897/weathered-oil-painting-9-x-12?



"Been There, Done That"

 "Been There, Done That"
9x12 oil 
So much is involved in making a painting, good drawing skills, color mixing etc., but most of the time a good painting comes down to your subject matter and finding great subject matter has suddenly moved to the top of my wish list.  I often find myself having to settle because of time restraints and a limited painting window and the need to get something done. I recently bought myself a professional camera and have started to get much better photo reference from it. Now I need to go explore and find these great subjects and that is easier said than done.  
Another way I have found subjects to paint is to ask photographers if they would allow you to paint from their images. So far, I have been extremely lucky and the photographer has been excited to allow me to do that. I still try to crop the image or emphasize what interests me most when I paint from these photos. This painting is one of those shared images and has become my wife's favorite that I've done because it reminds her of her step father that passed away years ago. I have found adding figures adds so much life and welcomes the viewer. I shared this painting on my Facebook account and had comments like
"I enjoy paintings that put me there and tell a story"
"Reminds me of my youth. That truck looks a lot better than the ones I drove,
but the hood being up was typical!!"
and "I really like the people...the rumpled shirts & jeans! It's real. Great work!"
I'm not sharing those comments to toot my own horn, but it does make me realize figures can raise a simple painting of a truck into something much more.


Fill'er Up

"Fill 'er Up"
9 x 12 oil

Images like this remind me of my childhood. Anybody want to go in and buy me
some Tom's Peanuts and a Grapette?


Time Yourself Painting

"Fish & Chips"
This was a very fast sketch. I wanted to get some painting in so I gave myself an hour from start to finish. It was a fun subject. I'm not even sure of the size, since I just taped some cut canvas to a large panel and started painting. It's good to test yourself like this because you never know how long your subject will remain the same painting outside.