Thursday, January 29, 2015

Front Yard

Watercolor on archival paper, 6" x 6"
$125 plus $6 shipping in U.S.
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The watercolor I did the other day has me thinking of the medium again, and looking through others I've done. Here's a small one from 2009. This one tries to express what I call the "thin sunlight" of winter.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Cougar Creek Fog

Watercolor on archival paper, 19.5" x 29.5"
$950 plus $15 shipping in U.S.
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Years ago I used to paint a lot of watercolors, but lately haven't used it much, especially for larger scale works. Today, the misty watercolor feeling in the air gave me the urge to work with the medium again. I taped down a near full-size sheet of hot press paper and broke out the camel hair and sable brushes.

When the sound-muffling fog drifts across these beautiful fir covered hills the landscape is transformed. Everything feels charged with mystery and magic. It becomes easier to imagine what it must have been like here hundreds, even thousands of years ago.

I loved this long whiplash of a limb, snaking through the air like a silent bolt of lightning.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Webs, Morning Dew

Acrylic on board, 6" x 6"
$125 plus $6 shipping in U.S.
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On this morning's walk along Salmon Creek the dew had settled in tiny droplets on spiderwebs in the brush, creating a lacy network that looked like ghostly wraiths dancing among the trees, or gauzy kites caught up in limbs. When I walked back by twenty minutes later the moisture had evaporated and the webs were nearly invisible; a condition the spiders no doubt preferred. It was a reminder of the myriad aspects of nature that go unseen or unnoticed, even when one thinks they are paying attention. Our world is gloriously complex.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Morning Glow

Oil on board, 8" x 10"
$250 plus $12 shipping in U.S.
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It's been ages since I posted anything here. the focus has been on larger scale contemporary work, and the small dailies have fallen by the wayside. But on my morning walk with Winslow today I was inspired by the beautiful sunlight and shadow filtering through the trees along Salmon Creek, I took a photo and back in the studio did this study. I tried to keep it painterly and saturated with color to express the richness and exuberance of the day.

I've been nominated by several artist friends on Facebook to participate in the "3/5 Challenge", posting three works from my archives for five days. Today was day one. You can follow along here.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014


Acrylic on Indian Village paper, 22" x 30"
$1200 less 25% off= $900. Free shipping in U.S.
Click image to enlarge

CHRISTMAS SALE--now through December 25th
All paintings discounted as follows:
$0--500: 15% off
$501--1000: 20% off
$1001 and up: 25% off

Free shipping in U.S.  Email for discount.
Gallery of available paintings:

PayPal, cards and checks accepted. Email for discount.

Here's yours truly again, about age 8, holding yet another fish. I worked to maintain a clear-cut and simple design while still leaving room for subtlety and a dreamlike quality.

Don't you find it a strange experience to look at yourself in a very old photo? For me it often triggers vivid memories, but at the same time it's like looking at someone I no longer know...who is/was that person? I wanted this painting to reflect something of the disembodied experience of time and memory.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Stream of Life and Christmas Sale

Watercolor, acrylic and charcoal on paper, 22" x 26"
$1000 less 20% off= $800. Free shipping in U.S.
Click image to enlarge

CHRISTMAS SALE--now through December 25th
Email for discount.
Free shipping in U.S. All paintings discounted as follows:
$0--500: 15% off
$501--1000: 20% off
$1001 and up: 25% off

PayPal, cards and checks accepted. Email for discount.

Recent paintings have been harking back somewhat to work I was doing in the mid-80's through early 90's. Those pieces often dealt with interpretations from old family photos, among other sources. There's something comforting in the idea that despite many changes in ways of working/thinking, there are still continuities.

It's odd that I'm not an avid fisherman, given how much my family loved it. There are numerous photos of me, my dad, uncles and aunts, proudly holding up their catch to the camera lens. Here I am at maybe four or five, with my dad. I try for something ephemeral in these works, maybe born out of the awareness of what a tiny flicker of time is caught in these moments.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Ground Plan

Acrylic on archival paper, 23" x 30"
$1200, free shipping in U.S.
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(Forgive the length of this, but I thought some might enjoy reading about the genesis and development of this painting.)

“Ground Plan” was painted over an old, unsuccessful painting on a sheet of Indian Village paper. It’s fun to paint over a failure. It’s like finally getting to beat up on the mean bully that was always kicking sand in your face. Never again will he taunt you.

There’s an added bonus: a pristine white surface can intimidate, sitting there waiting to be turned into a masterpiece. But a failed painting says “What’s left to lose?” The beautiful surface has already been defaced—might as well see if I can make something else out of it. It’s also somehow easier and more interesting to apply paint over previous paint, dragging one color over another.

That’s how most of my paintings begin these days, dragging one color over another, looking for an opening, trying to let my intuitive hand do the work while remaining an interested but slightly distant observer, my analytical brain throttled down to autopilot.

Color choices are spontaneous and arbitrary—the brush dips into green. I do have a vague idea in mind: A recently completed painting called “Distant Stone” seems promising; maybe it could be a starting point for a series of works. I leave a small area of the old painting untouched, surrounding it with the green. Suddenly, it’s a stone in a green landscape, and the painting begins to have a focus.

I do have in mind a landscape, but not necessarily a naturalistic one. I’m after landscape more as metaphor than as fact. A broad-brushed and fluid pass of blue across the top of the page is all that is required for the imagination to commit to “sky”. Now the foreground stares at me, blank and incomplete. I think “birds”.

Don’t ask me why I thought of birds, except that they have appeared from time to time in my work for years, and lately they’ve been popping up a lot. I try not to question these things—it’s not a good idea to over-investigate your motives. Paintings don’t take kindly to it. If you start analyzing the “why” of every move you make while painting, you can watch the life just suck right out of it. I do feel the need for some reference, though. I have an old encyclopedia of birds I picked up at a Goodwill store. I decide in advance that whatever page I randomly open to, those birds will be the reference for the painting.

I throw the book open and what do you know—green birds for my green landscape! These are the kind of little synchronicities—call them gifts-- that I count on and regularly receive in painting and in life.

Later, I go back and read their names; “Merops orientalis”, “Melittophagus bulocki”, “Coracias abyssinica”. Most happen to be native to Ethiopia. Interesting, but not the point. the bird photos are just starting points, to be loosely interpreted in the painting. I’m not trying to be ornithologically correct (is that a word?) No doubt I’d be laughed right out of any self-respecting birder’s club. I just need some little birdish looking inhabitants for my imaginary landscape. They are also metaphors, though of what I’m not exactly sure. I’ve learned that it’s okay—even desirable-- to embrace the mystery of things.

Later still, when my analytical eye once again blinks open, I may look at this painting and realize there were all kinds of solid, rational reasons for doing what I intuitively did. It often happens. But right now, I don’t want to know.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Portland Sidewalks

I've been wandering around Portland the past few months, taking photos of the sidewalks. OK, I know that sounds a little weird, but I've been kind of amazed by the variety and beauty that is literally underfoot. Here's a couple of examples. You can see more on my Facebook Studio Page. "Like" the page while you're there, to follow my FB posts, and please send me a friend request on my timeline.  Thanks!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Distant Stone

Acrylic on archival paper, 22" x 30"
$1200 plus $15 shipping in U.S.
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Three years ago this painting seemed complete...almost. It hung around taunting me until recently, when I suddenly saw a way to move forward with it. I'm much happier with it now. Some things happen quickly, others take their own sweet time.

A big thank you to all who came to my studio over the weekend. I saw old friends, made new ones, and made some sales to boot. But I STILL forgot to take photos!

Friday, November 7, 2014

Open Studio!!

Open Studio!!

Almost ready for prime time! I'm running around today doing last minutes in preparation for this weekend's Clark County Open Studio Tour. The studio will be open this Saturday and Sunday, November 8th and 9th, from 10 to 5. There are paintings large and small, as well as lots of prints and drawings. You'll see examples of my more traditional realist paintings, including the small works posted on Daily Art West. And of course also on display will be the semi-abstract work I love to do. I may even do a bit of demonstration painting, if I can work up the nerve.

Check out for more info on all 50 artists and maps of the self-guided tour. I'll have tour brochures available here. If you're going to be in the Portland/Vancouver area this weekend, I hope you'll stop and say hi.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Shore Fishing

Oil on board, 5" x 7"
$125 plus $6 shipping in U.S.
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Here's a favorite little painting of mine--a fisherman tries his luck from a rocky coastal shore. This was painted in 2007, the year I began the Daily Art West blog. I think it caught something of the freshness of the day and the smell of the salt air.

Apologies to those who clicked the Clark County Open Studios Tour link in my last post and found it didn't work. My bad, I mistakenly placed a "www" in front of the link. Here's the correct one:  Please check out the site and make plans to visit some artist's studios, November 8th and 9th. I'll be doing some demonstration painting--come watch me mess up a perfectly good white surface!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Open Studios Coming Up

Mark your calendars for the Clark County Open Studios Tour, coming up the weekend of November 8th and 9th. 50 artists here in Vancouver, WA and surrounding area (including yours truly) will throw open their studio doors. Come see us in our lairs!

If you can, try to make the preview party November 1st, a week before the tour. You'll meet all the artists (we don't bite), see examples of our work, and decide which studios to visit the following weekend.

Visit for lots more information and maps to the studios. Hope you can make it!

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Summer Cottage

Oil on board, 11" x 9"
$425 plus $10 shipping in U.S.
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Here's a painting from 2011. I stayed in this cool little retro cottage while I was in Tieton, Washington making prints at Goathead Press. Seattle jewelry artist Lori Talcott owns the cabins and kindly let me use one. Though carefully upgraded, the cottage still made me feel like I had traveled back in time to about 1955.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

What Time Is It?

Acrylic and pencil on rag paper, 30" x 22"
$1200 plus $16 shipping in U.S.
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My bird doodles seem to be morphing into something else--a series, maybe? Funny how that happens. This one seems somehow musical to me. The energy and rhythm of the placement of colors and marks feel kind of jazz-like.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Breathing In

Acrylic and pencil on paper, 29.75" x 21.5"
$1300 plus $25 shipping in U.S. (framed)
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This is painted on a hand-made paper called Indian Village, which I found hiding in my flat file. This beautiful paper, with its irregular shape and lovely texture, was manufactured in a small village in India in the 1980's. They're apparently not in business any more, since it's next to impossible to find any these days. This sheet had an unfinished painting on it, which gave me some great colors and tones to underlie this completely new painting.

I used to have a small stock of the stuff, but afraid this might be the last one. I'm going to dig through my stacks in hopes of finding another sheet or two. Any of you artists have stories of art supplies you fell in love with that are no longer made?

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Warding Off Darkness

Acrylic and charcoal on paper, 22.5" x 26.5"
$1000 plus $15 shipping in U.S.
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With these works I'm interested in creating a kind of ambiguous space. It's a field of possibility, where forms can advance or recede, or not fix themselves clearly in a defined, dimensional space. It's the space of the imagination.