Friday, January 31, 2014

Thursday, January 30, 2014


Day two on the road painting turns into new colors on one of the glaciers. I am having a hard time painting this road structure in a loose and sketchy way and find that I keep trying to make it into a "good" painting rather than letting it be a place to play and learn (must pull out some bigger brushes and break a few other habits). But even if it never works out, it did lead me to discover some colors needed in the glacier. I used to worry that my painting process was not more linear. I mean, come on, I work from photos... But I am not so interested that the painting be an exact copy of the photo, so the process becomes more an exploration of light, color, and landscape. Often I will start the day on one painting, mix a color, and realize it's just the one I've been missing in another (and for the record, it seems usually to be some kind of pink). Haphazard but not really. And even though some paintings never make it out of the studio, they are never a waste of time.

More studies

More of the quick and sloppy... All in progress. I almost hesitate to post them because they are so rough. Not that I have a problem with rough... I have a problem with bad or borderline bad. But you have to make a lot of mistakes and crappy paintings to learn how to make good ones. You earn the good paintings by slogging away at weird piles of rocks and ugly houses. And it's not that I think these are bad paintings. I just don't know what they are yet. But I LOVE to see other artists' progress shots, so here are more of mine.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014


A few more quick and sloppy little paintings. I've been trying to use more paint and to do as much as possible on the first pass, even when the paint gets pretty muddy. Generally, the idea is to make myself uncomfortable to see if I can paint my way out of the mess or at least learn something in the process. These paintings are all done one top of older pieces - once a painting is ruined, it's hard to ruin it more. So no worries about making a bad painting. I'll just paint over it again.

Friday, January 24, 2014

A few other things floating around the studio

I'm back full time in the studio now that the holidays and flu are over, and I'm splitting my time between larger Iceland paintings and small, quick, sloppy studies. The studies are so much fun that I'm getting kind of addicted to doing one every day or two. We'll see what impact that has on the bigger pieces, because I do think they are changing the way I want to handle the paint. All images are from various trips this past summer and fall.

Cave Painting

Daily progress on a painting of Valentine Cave at Lava Beds National Monument which we visited last June.