Seasons Greetings!

"Burning the Midnight Oil"
10 x 10

I tried something a little different with a night shot and it turned out kind of cool. This is framed up and ready to go to the gallery!

Happy holidays friends! Be safe and hug your family for me and remember that "Jesus is the reason for the season!"


Topless - Must be over 21 to view

5 x 7
I found this tractor on a side road in a small town and was struck with how strange it looked with it's hood off. I had to paint it! 


Old Green Truck

"Vintage Green"
8 x 10
"Lets drive far, far away and  not stop until we get home"


I wanna be a Cowboy, Baby!

"Jamie & Fred"
12 x 16
I painted it for a good friends 70th birthday. His son Jamie, who is also a good friend has Down Syndrome. I was lucky enough to work with his dad for 15 years and he would go get Jamie everyday and bring him back to our work. Jamie doesn't have any bad days. He is the most consistent friend I have ever had and greats me with hugs and smiles every time. I was very proud to give it to them.
On a side note this was my first horse painting too.



Texas Sunset

"Everythings Better with Bluebonnets On It"
9" x 12"

This was my first real attempt at painting Bluebonnets. Living in Texas, it was just a matter of time. I did this as a study for a commission that I'm about to start. I wanted to suggest the details and the size of the flowers without painting each one. I like how the orange sunset plays off the purple. I also created a grass path for the viewer to walk into the painting and leading your eye to the sunset.


My Fathers Shadow

"My Father's Shadow"
12" x 16"

My painting above won an honorable mention award in the Outdoor Painters Society Associates show. I was honored to win something in this talented group. I tried to focus on the design of this painting and be a little more abstract in my approach. I like how the trees looked with this approach. Also, I'm working on warming up my highlights because I tend to make them too cool. I'm also getting more comfortable painting outside and have been increasing my panel sizes lately.


I Will Work for Food!

"Steak on a Stake"
9 x 12
I painted this during a local street festival. If you can paint in front of thousands of onlookers, I guess you can paint anywhere. It was so crowded that I had to walk around at points just to get a good look at my subject. It was a ton of fun and the owners of the food truck treated me great. They gave me and my wife lunch and even purchased the painting proving I WILL paint for food! 

( She thinks I'm smiling for the photo, but I'm really thinking about Funnel cake! )


Muffler Man

"Muffler Man"
8 x 16
  I drive by this everyday and I design signs for a living, so it was just a matter of time before I
chose a subject like this. The painting was difficult because I had to stand very close to a major
road with cars rushing by to get this view. I think it was worth it, but I'm in no hurry to do that again.
  I have never noticed how big his feet are until now and I can't figure out is why this guy has the face of Mad Magazines Alfred E. Neumen?


Must read comments!

"New Garden"
10 x 10 oil 

I asked painter Colin Page, whose work I highly look up too, an interesting question on his Blog and he allowed me to repost his answer.

“Are you at a place where your paintings please you and become what you hoped for? I hope I don’t see my work as flawed forever.”

Colin wrote... This is a tricky question, and the answer really depends on my mood on the day in question. Sometimes I am struggling with every part of a painting and I get in such a funk that I don’t think anything I have painted has any value, and other days I feel like I can do no wrong while standing at the easel. Of course it feels better to have a good day, but they are rare. Usually I am seeing things I want to get better at. Even though it is frustrating to constantly see flaws in our work, that is the only way to improve. If we don’t see flaws in our paintings, we become repetitive and uninteresting. To push painting to better results we always have to be a little disappointed in our work. We have to know that we can do better, and even though the painting you just finished may be the result of your most sincere hard work and effort, we have to know that the lessons from that painting will help do the next painting better. The painters whose careers produced the highest quality work were all searching for something just out of reach and doing everything they could to capture something fleeting. It may drive you crazy and be disappointing. But look at your earlier work and the improvements you’ve already made and imagine how much further you can go from here. A creative life is a constant battle between the disheartening and the hopeful.

“The greater the artist, the greater the doubt. Perfect confidence is given to the less talented as a consolation prize. Indeed, the idea that doubt can be heroic, if it is locked into a structure as grand as that of the paintings of Cezanne’s old age, is one of the keys to our century.”
                                                                                               -Robert Hughes

I plan on printing this out and keeping it next to my easel to help encourage me on those tough days.
Thank you Colin for your thoughts and for allowing me to repost. I encourage you to check out Colin's work because his paintings are every bit as inspiring as his words.


It's cooler at night...kind of.

"Last stop and Last Light"
11 x 14 Oil

Texas is so hot it has slowed down my plein air painting, but I did manage to go out a few
nights ago and found this scene. It was still 100 degrees at 7:30 at night! I haven't been out much, but I have been working on several big studio paintings that I will share very soon. I'm finding that my studio work never feels finished. I always think I can do something a little bit better, where my plein air work finishes itself when the light changes or it flat out goes away like this one.


Boldbrush Painting Contest

"That'll do, pig"
16"x 20" oil

I  decided to try something different and entered my newest painting in the Boldbrush online painting contest. If you want to help me out, follow this link and click the "like" button. The contest is over at the end of this month. I'm currently in forth place and already have over 100 likes!

I will post some progress shots of this painting soon. Thanks for the vote!  

*nothing to sign, just a simple vote. :?)


The Old Mill

"The Old Mill"
16" x 20"

I've been waiting for the right opportunity to paint this old mill in Grapevine, Tx. I did make two other attempts, but both went south on me for various reasons. I was leaving the new convention center, looked up and caught the perfect orange light streaming across the mill. It was around 8:30 pm and it was the last minute of light from the setting sun. The mill was aglow with beautiful blues and oranges. I painted this in my studio in one sitting the next day.

I used a quick grid to help me draw the layout and then I washed in Indian Yellow and Phthalo Red Rose. Both are translucent colors. I wanted to maintain the glow from the board shining thru for as long as I could.
 Midway point. Every things blocked in and I'm happy with it so far.

In the home stretch. I waited as long as I could before laying in the juicy thick orange glow.


GAP Members Show

 My painting "Waiting for You" won top honors in the Grapevine Art Project ( GAP ) Juried membership Exhibit that is being held in conjunction with the National Watercolor Society's traveling exhibit. I had five paintings juried into the show. This show is being displayed at the new Grapevine Conv. & Visitors Bureau and will run thru June 15th.

"Papa's Truck" is one of my other paintings on display

Note - I have been very busy in my studio working on several large pieces that I hope to share very soon!


I'm Still Standing - Oklahoma Barn sketch

"I'm Still Standing"
10" x 10"

This was a painting for a friend of mine of a barn close to her childhood home in Oklahoma. I painted it from a photo she provided. I hope I can do a little road trip one day and paint this plein air style. It's a great subject and I know I could see even more character in person.
I used Liquin and tried to give it a different look. I think my initial effort looked very nice and I was happy with the results, but the next day I went back into it and I "flattened" some of the cool depth it had. Sometimes, more is not necessary better. I never touch my plein air paintings after I get back home and I still struggle when I try to go back into a studio painting. Most of my real successful studio works are finished in one sitting too.


Tornados, John Budicin and Phthalo Green!!

"Bluebonnet Storm"
9 x 12

This was a painting I did during a recent workshop with painter John Budicin. I attempted this with John's recommended colors added to my palette, plus I used all round brushes like he does. I had added Thalo Yellow Green, Phthalo Green, Dioxazine purple & Cad. Yellow Orange and was using many of them for the first time. The Phthalo Green was creeping into all of my colors and I couldn't wait to remove it! Normally my only green is Sap Green. John uses these colors to modify his basic mixtures. 

The hardest thing John did for me to get used to was painting the sky first and moving outward and painting light to dark, both of which are the opposite of my normal approach.

I struggled, but wanted to share anyway. By the way, my previous post was also painted during the same day and I used the same approach for that one.

ps I named this "Bluebonnet Storm" because that was the same week we had a reported fourteen tornado's hit Texas that day. We heard sirens go off from miles away. My wife called me and informed us that tornado's where all around us. It was a pretty scary day for everyone, but I'm happy to say we all made it home safe.

Here is a shot of John Budicin enjoying his Texas weather. lol


Shady Character

"Shady Character"
9 x 12

I found this great truck sitting under a tree all by itself. The owner offered to sell it to me,
but I found a better way to take it home.  


Vintage Cars Rock!

"Hot Wheels"
11" x 14" oil

  I came from a family of old car lovers, so it was just a matter of time before I painted me some.
You can't beat the classic lines and all the chrome on the classics. I painted this from a photo reference, but my approach remains exactly the same. The challenge was getting all those lines and color down correctly. I tried to  keep most of the detail on the trunks and back windshields to help draw your eye there. The light on the roof was doing some cool stuff, but I downplayed that. I like how the warm shadow colors on the wall turned out. I'm learning that all my shadows don't have to be the same mixture and always cool.


"My Tractors Sexy" & Finished!

"My Tractors Sexy"
12" x 16" Oil

I promised a better picture of my completed painting from a few posts ago, so here it is. If you missed the step by step photos here they are.

This is also one of my entries into the Grapevine Plein air show coming up soon. Let's see if I can keep my good luck & momentum moving forward!


Plein Air Southwest Salon

“Day of Rest”


My painting "A Day of Rest" received an Award of Excellence at the Plein Air Southwest Salon show yesterday from judge John Budicin. Later that night I was blown away by also winning the "Peoples Choice" award. I am truly blessed to have so much support. Just to hang on the same wall as these artists was honor enough for me, but to call them FRIENDS.....I'm humbled.

I also won an "Honorable Mention" award in the Outdoor Painters Society's Associates members show for my painting "Just Sitting"

"Just Sitting"

Six years ago, my wife told me about a painting group holding a quick draw event that Saturday. I was not an oil painter and I had no idea what a quick draw was. I went to it and was amazed at what I saw. I didn't know you could do an oil painting in under two hours, especially paintings of that quality, but what amazed me the most was how welcoming, friendly and quick to share this group of people were. That night I went to the 1st Plein Air Southwest Salon show and I WAS HOOKED! I'm proud to be a member but most proud of my friendships inside the group.

Southwest Gallery opening night

John Budicin & myself at the artist dinner

Quick Draw painting at White Rock Lake in progress

Is it just me or do paintings look better with big ribbons?

My wife loves and supports me and makes my life fun.

View all of the winning paintings here


Come into the light children...

"Green, Green Grass..."
10 x 20 Oil

I tried a more ambitious painting at least size wise. I thought the subject matter would allow me to paint larger than normal and it did. Unfortunately I chose a very windy day and a back lit subject to do this. When, it came time to lay in the grass, I did everything I could to try and duplicate to glowing color I was seeing and I think I accomplished this. You can see in the photo of me working that the color really looked like that! This is one of the reasons that plein air painting is worth the effort. If I had painted this from a photo  back home in the studio, I'm sure I wouldn't have been able to make the grass and light glow like this because I wouldn't have seen it the same way.

Photo of subject, but from a slightly different angle.

Looking into the light for a long time can make mixing colors difficult.

Detail of brushwork,
The orange glow is the tinted board showing through.
Sometimes letting the board show is the best way to keep a glow.


Truck Black & White

"Vintage Memories"
10 x 20 Oil

I found this great image from the 1930's that I fell in love with. I kept looking at it and it left me wondering what the man was thinking. What was going on? Who was waiting inside the cab for him? The car has so much personality too. I started out thinking I was going to colorize the black & white image, but I quickly changed gears and did it all in shades of grey and Chromatic Black. I even pulled out the palette knife for some finishing details, heavily applying the whitish highlights and the mans shirt. I added a touch of yellow to help warm up the white tint and emphasize the glow.

I may do a series of vintage images all in monochromatic tints. What do you guys think?


Step By Step Plein Air Tractor

Plein Air 12 x 16

 I will post a better photo after it's dry.

My block in on a pre-tinted canvas. I was using a 3/4" brush and linked all my shadows to solidify the mass. My darks are not all one shade. They shift from cool and warms and I added some Sap green into the mixture in the grass shadows.

My Subject - Interesting to compare photo with final painting and see where drawing errors happened. Much harder to see when your in the heat of the battle.  

I jumped into the details of the tractor because I liked what the light was doing at that moment and it was the fun part to paint. Tried real hard to leave as much of the beginning darks alone to keep my depth.

I used this long haired brush from Ace Hardware for laying in my grass. It puts down a lot of paint and the bristles make long sweeping texture. Not bad for a .99 cent brush. I typically put the most texture in the foreground and spots I want to highlight. You can see the brush I used at the bottom of the painting.
You can see the size of the painting in this shot if you can look past my my handsome profile.

Working some fence details and adding in the roof. I want the fence to have depth, but I don't get carried away with any one part. Also, I try and keep the darks in the fence connected to the darks in the tractor since they are on the same plane. I paint in my sky last after laying in more trees. After the sky is in, I work the tree branches back on top of the sky. I try to not bring much attention to this area. When I was close to finishing I changed the angle of the house roof on the right side to point back towards my tractor since it is my main subject. ( see final picture )


Simple Things Nocturne

"Simple Things"
9 x 12

  I painted this nocturne before Christmas and forgot to post . I was on vacation in Eureka Springs, Arkansas with my family and managed to sneak off the do some painting. This is one of my wife's favorite shops, so I knew she would like me to paint it. Boy it got dark fast and I quickly discovered I can't see in the dark. I finished the whole sky and several other areas just trusting my knowledge of my palette. Needless to say I just had to stop and didn't get a chance to tighten it up. Still it was fun and I plan on trying some more nocturnes.


Old Truck and Sign

"Harvest Classic"
9 x 12

I found this truck right outside of Fredericksburg, Tx. and fell in love. There was a motorcycle event going on in a nearby field and hundreds of bikers flooded the streets. Looked like fun and it could have made for some interesting paintings, but I felt a little safer close to the road. ;?)

Happy New Year! I'm hopeful that 2012 will be a great year for my paintings. I have my eye on a few shows and also on finding some full time gallery representation. I have put this off, but feel like I'm ready.