“Tournasol Spotlight”

watercolor on paper, 15″ x 22″

Returning from a day’s outing to a place called Bergerac . . . .yes, Bergerac of Cyrano fame . . . . . . . . . you know! Cyrano Bergerac, the muskateer who wrote the love letters for his pal . . . .we drove through beautiful rolling hills of fields of grapes, corn, sunflowers and, occasionally, potatoes. On this overcast day, as we wove among the vineyards, a distant hill planted with fields of sunflowers, lit up under a sudden sunbeam. It was an amazing sight! I couldn’t help myself. The urge to paint that contrast just could not be resisted. So, out came the soft brushes. Several glazes later, this is what showed up. A texture of granulated cool color underlies the warmth. There is an undulating rhythm to the countryside there that is hopefully mentioned in the painting. Enjoy!

Putting Something Up For Now

“Bird of Paradise”

watercolor, 15″ x 22″
Okay! So I didn’t paint this recently. This is a piece I painted in watercolor a while back with my tongue in cheek. In California, there is a tropical flower called the Bird Of Paradise. The colors in this piece are the colors in that flower . . . .so the subject and the layout and the way it was painted was all a pun about that silly flower that so many painters want to paint.
I am teaching today and tomorrow, but felt I should post something today. I’ll do better when the class is over. Tuesday will be my first opportunity. Meanwhile, enjoy this piece . . .I chuckled to myself when I painted it.

Staying True To The Reason We Paint

“Still Life #63″
Watercolor on Arches Cold Press 15″ x 22”

Last weekend I had a chance to do a demo for a good sized art group about watercolor painting. My philosophy is simply this: Have fun doing this! That was the reason we all started doing this to begin with, right? So, I have fun in the demo . . .and get everyone laughing and teach techniques and design ideas at the same time. This piece took 90 minutes with a 15 minute break half way through.

The painting is (I think!) number 63 of a series I have been working on of the same still life set up. There will be more about that in future posts. In short, series work is designed to open creative doors that the artist would not otherwise access if just painting one painting. Working in series allows us to take chances to find out what will happen if . . . .

The mood of the piece came out fun . . .eh?

The Time Has Come . . .

“Taking a Stab At It”
Watercolor on paper, 15″ x 22″

The time has arrived after much deliberation, consideration and excitement . . . .to make the commitment. Yup! I have decided to commit to making a painting a day . . . .every day except Sunday.

This may not seem like much if you aren’t an artist, but I can assure you that the commitment requires putting just about everything else aside in order to meet the promise.

Why, you ask? Simple! To compress a lot of experience into a short time. To force the learning process. To create new art. To GROW . . .and grow quickly.

You may know me as a watercolorist. In fact, that I am. But let me be very clear about something; I am an ARTIST before all else. Yes, I paint watercolors . . .and darned good ones. Some might say that they push the edges of the medium to an extreme. I agree.

Something has been eating at me over the last several years: The oil paints I have in my taboret drawer. I recently came across Kevin MacPherson and a few of his delightful plein air pieces. As well, I had ordered a new set up for plein air painting with watercolor. The one I purchased happened to be almost the same set up that he uses. I took it out and tried oil painting with it one time. I was bitten!! And I was bitten hard!!

Then, while exploring the internet for plein air painters, I came across a website featuring painters who had made a commitment to a painting a day . . . .and then my bite got much, much worse. I could quickly see how much growth these people had mustered in a short period of time. So, here I was. . . .madly going out to paint almost daily in the late afternoon and getting up early to paint in the studio.

Meanwhile, I was still going to class, teaching “Watercolor Beyond the Obvious” and doing my level best to continue in my still life series (another post for later) and creating some interesting abstracts for the more serious genre of studio born watercolors. I will use the one above as the piece to kick off this blog.

I fully expect to remain loyal as a watercolorist, you can see the work on the website by clicking here. But you can also expect to see me pushing into the next world of oil.

I’ll be posting oil paintings daily here. Watch for them!