Lazy Tree 9 x 12

This painting is from my secret location. It appears to be this grand forest and in reality it is a patch of land between some buildings and an apartment complex. I have never seen anyone else within my secret forest and I plan on keeping this area to myself.

This week brings some excitement for me as I get to leave town for three days with fellow Outdoor Painters Society members on a painting trip to the Texas hill country. We will be in the Fredericksburg area as part of the Plein Air Southwest 2009 event. We are expecting a great turnout. Also this weekend I will be participating in the 4th Annual Fort Worth Prairie Fest. I will be painting all day with my work and several other artists work being sold during a silent auction.
Because of my day job, this will be the first time ever that I will be able to paint for four days in a row sun up to sun down. Just imagine the possibilities. Of course, I will share everything when I get back.

If you are in Fort Worth area please come out and say “Hi”.



Grapevine Train Station 9x12

I recently had my five seconds of fame as a local TV station doing a segment on Grapevine, Tx. included me in their shot. While that news would only bring a smile to my mother's face that painting outing also marked another first for me. Right after the news crew left it started pouring down rain. I decided to put away most of my supplies and keep painting. I had a huge smile on my face and knew I looked like an idiot to everyone driving by, but I didn't want to stop.

In reflection, I'm not sure if I would do it again.

Signature Stamp

I had this idea to create a signature stamp for myself after designing this logo for my web site. I predominantly use birch panels for my painting supports and sign the backsides. Now that will also contain this official, one of a kind, get it only here logo stamp.
It's so cool! :?)


Evening Glow 9 x 12

There are so many elements that come into play when you are painting outside. Sometimes you start with a plan of attack but once you're in the flow of painting, it just becomes what it wants. I became a spectator of my own work, as any other viewer would be. This painting started out as a simple tree study and quickly turned into a painting about the setting sunlight even though you don't even see the sun. This is the reason people paint outside. Unlike studio paintings where you have controlled lighting and all the time in the world, painting outside is all about connecting with the environment and learning to roll with what life gives you.
Painting outside is exciting for the artist and I feel that comes through in the finished work.


Morning Light on Shed 9 x 12

I squeezed in some painting time during my recent spring break family vacation. I accomplish this by waking up before the chickens crow so my family won't even miss me. I was in such a hurry to get painting that the car windows where still fogged up as I drove away. We spent the night in Fredericksburg Texas and it is so picturesque I didn't have to go far to find a subject.

I am drawn to weathered buildings and it is always a bonus when they are bright red. I started painting without setting up my umbrella and as the early morning sun blasted out I found it hard to judge my values. Once you're into your work and covered in paint you never want to stop long enough to make some shade. I seem to always situate myself in the open. The photo shows how shadowed everything was at the beginning of my painting. Compare it to the photo with my palette and you get an example of how much the light changes from beginning to the end. As a painter you have to pick a moment in time and stick with it as the shadows and light change around you. I like parts of this painting a lot but feel the foreground shadow & fence line could have been executed better. I try real hard not to paint on my plein air paintings after they are dry so I'm not sure if I should rework the foreground.
What do you think?


Valentines Day Gift

I took the cheap route this year and whipped up
a rose for my wife. Sometimes being an artist is
a good thing.

Outdoor Painters Video

Here is a link to a video that my friend Rusty Jones put together showing various members of the Outdoor Painters Society painting plein air in Big Bend National Park as part of the Plein Air Southwest competition. If you haven't visited the "OPS" or Rusty Jones web site you can find both links on this blog. If this video doesn't make you want to get out and paint I don't know what will. Great job Rusty!



Celebrate the Day - 6" x 8"

I went out to the local Marina for a little painting time and ended up painting a "little painting". I set myself up in a location that I didn't think I would have much of an audience. To my surprise I attracted quite the on lookers. Everyone was very pleasant and encouraging to me. When you have an audience and you're painting something you enjoy, it is an awesome feeling. It is very nerve racking when you have that same audience and the painting is not working.
Luck was on my side. Not only did I end up liking this painting, but I was able to sell it to a very nice couple right off my easel. They said buying this painting would help them celebrate their purchase of their first home, so right then I knew the name of this work was "Celebrate the Day"

Rusty Truck 8" x 10"

I have been trying out a different painting surface lately. I use 1/4" thick Birch board that I cut to size. I apply a layer of gesso. After that is dried I add a layer of thick modeling paste with a wide brush, intentionally leaving the brush marks and texture. Then I finish the board off with a final layer of gesso.
I started out in oils taking a few classes with a French painter that utilized a palette knife instead of a brush. I fell in love with the thick, juicy paint. I have painted several paintings using his same techniques but felt more of my drawing skills would show up using a brush.
I'm hoping this new board technique will give my brushwork the thick textured appearance of using the palette knife.
Click the photo above for an enlarged view. The textured board is very evident in the bottom golden field.

A Big Texas Hello

Welcome to my Blog. This is an new endeavor for me and I plan on approaching it the same way I did with my oil painting by jumping right in. If you read my bio or know me you can see that I have been creating various forms of commercial art for twenty plus years now, but I have only been oil painting around three years. I am relatively new to this form of art and hope that this Blog will not only document my journey but also entertain you or possibly inspire you to pick up some brushes. I chose the title "In the Field" because I am primarily an outdoor painter. The majority of my work is done on location from start to finish usually within a couple of hours. Painting is normally a solitary experience for the artist. Painting outside opens me to an interactive encounter with my subject in ways no photograph in my studio could do and allows me to share my experiences with interested onlookers or possible art collectors. It also allows me the opportunity to meet, paint with and learn from other artists.
At the very least I hope you enjoy viewing my art.