Thursday, May 23, 2013

View from Red Bud Isle

View from Red Bud Isle, 8 x 10

This was painted all on-site last Saturday morning at our Plein Air Austin paint-out at a beautiful municipal dog park on Red Bud Isle in the middle of upper Ladybird Lake. I've been across the bridge that passes the isle hundreds of times, but had never stopped. Downtown Austin is a little over a mile downstream around this bend. This was painted relatively quickly (for me), as we got a late start due to the line of cars waiting to get in. Including set-up and packing up afterward, it took a little over two hours.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Lamar Street Bridge

Lamar Street Bridge, 9 x 12

I painted this from a photo I took downtown on Ladybird Lake in January. I had hoped to paint outside today, but we got some much needed rain. So instead, I holed up with the paints inside.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Spring on Lake Austin

Spring on Lake Austin, 8 x 10

Here is a plein air picture done during Plein Air Austin's annual paint out and barbecue back in late March. Laurel Daniel has organized this event several years running at West Lake Beach about a half mile upstream from Tom Miller dam. Thanks again, Laurel. You couldn't have picked a better day. 

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Bull Creek Redux

Bull Creek Redux, 12 x 9

This is another painting of Austin's Bull Creek Park, painted back around early February. It was a plein air start, but I had to finish it at home. I'll be posting another painting tomorrow done at the Plein Air Austin yearly barbecue near the end of March. 

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Paint with Plein Air Painting's Best

As is too often the norm, I'm not painting as much as I'd like. But for those who are and who dream of spending five days painting with, and learning from, sixty of the best plein air painters in the world, don't miss this opportunity. My new employer, Plein Air Magazine's parent company, is putting on the 2nd Annual Plein Air Convention & Expo. It's being held April 10-14 at the Monterey, CA Conference Center and at plein air sites along the coast. 

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Misty Morning

Misty Morning, 10 x 8

Today's Plein Air Austin paint out was held about an hour west of town near Johnson City at a place called the Preserve at Walnut Creek. The paint on this study is a bit thin in places and some areas need a little more definition, but I enjoyed painting outdoors again in this quiet setting. 

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Sketch Crawl Austin

Chipotle Grill, 8th & Congress

Silhouette Restaurant & Bar, Congress Avenue

Yesterday I participated in a worldwide sketch crawl, along with fellow artists in downtown Austin. The weather was cool and bright, which made for a really nice morning. These are my two attempts.

Friday, November 2, 2012

On the Clock

Back Yard, 8 x 10

This back yard view was painted from a reference photo I took a few weeks ago in Georgetown. To keep the style loose and to avoid overworking the subject, I set a timer for 1 hour.  I did go over by half an hour before gaining enough courage to post it here, but I am glad to have rediscovered this helpful exercise.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Water Feature

Water Feature, 20 x 16

This giant urn rests in a back yard outside Georgetown. Thankfully we've had more rain this year and flowers are popping up everywhere after a typically hot summer.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Late Light

Late Light, 20 x 24

This painting was done for a homeowner in Georgetown, north of Austin. The challenge here was to channel my inner arborist to make the home's signature turret adequately visible behind what is, in reality, the much thicker foliage of the front yard trees. We chose this angle in order take advantage of the wonderful, late afternoon sunlight and shadows.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Monument Cafe

Monument Cafe, 11 x 14

Here is another building I found interesting in Georgetown. To say the least, the Monument Cafe is one of Georgetown's most popular dining spots for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Its classically art deco design, which originated as a car dealership built several decades ago, certainly hasn't hurt its popularity. It just looks like a perfect place to come in and relax.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Capital Title

Capital Title Building, 10 x 8

This is one of the more impressive older buildings in Georgetown. I'm not sure when it was built, but I'm guessing sometime around the 1920 or 30s. Today it is home to Capital Title.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Escape in Georgetown

Escape, 8 x 10

Belated Happy Fathers Day to all the dads out there. I hope you had a great weekend! This post and the previous one depict architectural landmarks in downtown Georgetown, Texas. I'll be posting a third one tomorrow. If interested in any of these paintings, please contact Through the Looking Glass Gallery in Georgetown. Just click the link for contact information.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Palace Theatre

Palace Theatre, 8 x 10

This is the Palace Theatre, just off the square in Georgetown, Texas. It's one of many nicely restored old buildings in the area.

More Gas Pumps

Corner Station, 36 x 48

Hello friends. Outside work and painting larger of late have kept me away from blogging much over the last few months, but today I do have a new piece to share. It will look familiar to many who have visited this blog before, as I was commissioned to do a larger version of a piece I painted in early 2011 called Corner Station. The new piece, above, measures 36" x 48" and is hanging in the lobby of the new north Austin branch of Horizon Bank near Oak Knoll and U.S. 183. Not much different than the first, though considerably larger and, therefore, a bit more detailed. The first studio version and an earlier plein air study are shown below.

Corner Station, 24 x 30

Corner Station, 8 x 10 plein air study

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Georgetown Townhouse

Georgetown Townhouse, 16 x 20

(Updated) This is a commission I just completed for a resident of Georgetown, Texas. I worked from a photograph I took, but created the spring feel at the request of the client. The photo was taken in winter, so the foliage was without its, uh, foliage. Happy Easter, everyone.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Driftwood Station

Driftwood Station, 8 x 10

You may have seen this old gas station depicted in paint before, as it is a favorite subject of Plein Air Austin painters. This was my second attempt at this venue, which we revisited as a group several weeks ago. I haven't been able to paint as much so far this year as last, so I really enjoyed taking the time yesterday to touch this up before posting. 

Friday, December 16, 2011

Summers Past No. 2

Summers Past No. 2, 8 x 8

Here is the second painting, this one of Matthew's younger brother, Jeffrey. The style of this painting came out a bit different from the one posted yesterday, for a few reasons. Among Jeffrey's favorite childhood memories were piñata parties given along Cypress Creek in honor of his and other relatives' birthdays. While I didn't have much in the way of compelling reference photography, I did have enough to give me an accurate sense of the setting, where various trees, paths, the creek, etc. were in relation to each other. Considering how well family members know this place and how much time they've spent here over the years, this was important. 

I also had a sharp photo of one of said colorful piñatas in motion, as well as photos of Jeffrey at prime piñata-busting age, though none showed him whacking, or primed to whack, a piñata. Taking these elements into account, yet painting quite a bit from imagination, I ended up emphasizing the bright colors and movement of the piñata and carrying this through to the rest of the composition. The result was a more whimsical piece than the first. I think this is okay, since the paintings will reside in the respective homes of each brother, both of whom are now young adults living on their own.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Summers Past

Summers Past, 8 x 8

This is one of two small commissions I just finished. A family friend, who is mother to two boys who are now young adults, wanted to give each a painting as Christmas presents. Both commissions depict memories of the boys' favorite summer activities at their grandparents' property along Cypress Creek in Wimberley. This painting is of the older brother, Matthew. I will post Jeffrey's picture tomorrow. Click here to view a plein air study I did along the creek last June.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

New Gallery Opening in Georgetown

I'm happy to be among the original group of central Texas painters and sculptors to have work displayed at Through the Looking Glass, a new gallery opening this weekend just off the square in Georgetown. The owner, Barbara Falcone of Austin, will be welcoming visitors with snacks and refreshments Friday, Saturday and Sunday on this, the first weekend of Georgetown Square's extended-hours holiday shopping season.

It will be a great chance to do some holiday shopping away from the mega-malls. Instead, stroll the many shops on historic Georgetown Square, and stop in to see what Barbara has to offer. I will be there later in the day both Friday and Saturday. I hope you can stop by. 

Address: 122 East 8th Street (near the end of the first block east of Main Street)

Opening Hours: Friday 4 pm - 8 pm, Saturday 10 am - 8 pm, Sunday 1 pm - 5 pm.

I-35 Exit 261 (29/University) 
East (right if coming from Austin) on 29/University
North (left) on Austin Avenue
East (right) on 8th Street
Cross Main Street, gallery is 3/4 of a block down on the right side, just past State Farm Insurance.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Thanks to

I was flattered to learn from Sarah Judson of Judson's Art Outfitters that they have featured my work on their online journal. You can view it at the link above. Happy painting and Happy Thanksgiving, everybody.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Bell Tower

Bell Tower, 12 x 10

This is a study from a visit to New Sweden Church, about twenty miles east of Austin. The church was built in the 1890s. Lots and lots of angles.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Fruit Bowl On Deck

Fruit Bowl On Deck, 16 x 20

These papayas, apples and lemons were home grown in Tahiti. The painting is from a photo sent to me by a very good friend I met at a workshop last spring. 

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Back Yard Wedding

Back Yard Wedding, 8 x 10

Earlier this summer, my niece, Melissa, was married here in Austin. The words summer and Austin would explain the presence of hand fans among the guests. The three ladies shown here are my mother and two of my five sisters. Angela, at right, is mother of the bride.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Park Bridge

Park Bridge, 8 x 10

This painting was started back in March during a Randall Sexton workshop in southern California. With all the beautiful coastline normally available to paint, we were forced to this city park in Irvine because of the tsunami warning from the Japan earthquake. We had tried a for a spot above the cliffs at Corona del Mar, but there were so many people there waiting to witness their very own tsunami, we packed up and headed inland. 

Friday, August 26, 2011

Drying Up

Drying Up, 8 x 6

This belated posting is from a PAA paintout in May along the Blanco River in San Marcos. I initially wasn't sure it was a worthy attempt, but every time I've come across it since, it told me, very quietly at first, that it just needed a few strokes to bump the contrast and add a bit more clean color. There's probably not a drop of water at this spot today, but I'm glad this plein air moment refused to let me ignore it. You can view the start below.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Georgetown Square II

Georgetown Square II, 20 x 16

Here is the final result of the pallet knife start. I do like the freedom pallet knife painting practically imposes on you. Like plein air painting, you end up focusing on the main shapes, values and color. The better you do that, the less relevant fine detail seems to become.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

In Progress


I wanted show the block-in stage of this painting. I sometimes like to use a pallet knife for blocking in larger paintings (this panel is 20 x 16) for a couple reasons. It allows me to cover the canvas quickly, focus on the main shapes and to keep from getting overly tight. I'll post the final result in the next day or two.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Waiting for a Ride

Waiting for a Ride, 12 x 12

This was painted from a friend's photo reference taken on Balboa Island this spring. A typically beautiful morning at the marina, I'm guessing.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Cypress Creek

Cypress Creek, 8 x 10

Thursday morning, Plein Air Austin members painted along Cypress Creek in Wimberley, about forty-five minutes southwest of Austin. With beautiful scenery, plenty of shade and a cool, clear, spring-fed creek to cool off in, it was the perfect venue for a summer paintout in Texas.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Big. Fat. Donuts.

Big. Fat. Donuts. 6 x 8
Hello world! I'm glad to finally have something to post after way too long a layoff. Work has put a crimp in my free hours to paint, but I'm hoping that is going to change. This picture was a commission by a gentleman named Robert Flowers who helped his daughter move to Austin from Atlanta a few months ago. Robert and his wife like to collect paintings from cities they visit and they were intrigued by all the snack trailers to be found around Austin. This is Gourdough's, whose tagline is, you guessed it, "Big. Fat. Donuts." Thank you for the referral, Laurel.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Thank You

The month-long "On Site" exhibition at Davis Gallery closed on Sunday. While speaking to owner Bill Davis this morning, he mentioned the traffic had been tremendous throughout the entire month, saying that it was one of the most successful shows he's had. This was reflected in numerous sales by each of us displaying — Laurel Daniel, Julie Davis, and myself. Thanks to everyone who made it to the show, and to you who have taken an interest in our work. It is very much appreciated.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011


Magnolia, 16 x 12 oil on panel

I started today's still life thinking I would paint it with a pallet knife to help me stay loose. But because I've been wanting to try using round brushes more often (after having seen both Randall Sexton and Jill Carver use them extensively in workshops), I decided to experiment with that instead. I must say, I experienced a few "aha" moments today using the rounds and will continue playing with them.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Left Spot

Left Spot, 5 x 7

Third of three small panels for Arthouse Austin's upcoming, annual 5 x 7 show.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Right Spot

Right Spot, 5 x 7

Second in a series of three for Arthouse's 5x7 Show.

Hot House

Hot House, 5 x 7

This representation depicts the main office of the apartments I live in. I've exaggerated the colors for artistic effect, as you may have guessed. I'm happy about that, since, though they appeal to me here, being surrounded by such colors day in and day out might get to be a little unsettling.  Over the next couple of days I'll be posting the two companion studies I've painted which, together with this one, will be entered in the upcoming 5 x 7 show at Arthouse Austin.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Balboa Island

Balboa Island, 10 x 8
purchase here

This is a panel I started my first day painting at Randall Sexton's workshop last month in Newport Beach. The ferry to Newport Peninsula (background) boards a few hundred feet back along the seawall to the left.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Opening Reception

Gallery Reception, Davis Gallery

Saturday night was the opening reception for a spring art exhibition featuring the work of Laurel Daniel, Julie Davis and myself. As many of you know, it was actually Laurel's spring exhibition at the gallery of her Austin representative, Bill Davis. Laurel being Laurel, she invited Julie and me, two of her former students and permanently appreciative friends, to show our work alongside hers from now through May 7th. If you have the chance, we hope you'll drop by the Davis Gallery, located on 12th Street, a block east of Lamar Boulevard, to see the work on display. 

The photos above were taken a few minutes before the doors opened. I hope to have more to post soon of the large and enthusiastic crowd that attended. We each had our core group of supporters, but there is no doubt we all benefited greatly from Laurel's long coattails, and each of us made several sales. Thanks again to Laurel, and to Bill Davis, for a terrific evening.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

New Web Gallery

My posts have been sparse of late, as I've been preparing for an exhibition, as well as creating a web portfolio of my work. The site launched today, though there is much to be added. Please stop by for a look when you have the chance, at

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Workshop, the Day After

Newport Pier, 8 x 10

Since we missed painting on the Balboa Peninsula on Friday, a workshop classmate and new friend, Valari, and I used a bit of our inspiration from the workshop to make our own trek to the spot. Neither of us painted the Crab Cooker, but the pier instead, which was across the street.

More Workshop. . .

Debra Huse (timed plein air study), 10 x 8

The morning the tsunami news broke here in the U.S., all sorts of odd things started happening. Most importantly, we had to change our meeting location twice. We were scheduled to meet Friday morning at the Crab Cooker on Balboa Peninsula to paint some architecture. Because there was a tsunami warning all along the West Coast (only a foot and a half for southern California, but that was enough to prod us to higher ground), we decided to go to the southern end of Corona del Mar State Park. When we got there, there were so many people out to watch the Japan tsunami hit our very own beaches, that we had to move yet again. Thus, we ended up at Mason Park in Irvine. The above picture is of painter and gallery owner Debra Huse, who hosted Randall's workshop.

Workshop (continued)

Corona Del Mar, Study 2, 8 x 10

Another study from our day at Corona del Mar. Nothing fancy, but as Jill Carver says, the stuff I learned probably won't end up on the canvas for another six months. I guess I'll have to wait. . . .

Workshop Work

Corona Del Mar State Beach, 8 x 10

Last week I had the pleasure of attending a workshop in Newport Beach, California with Randall Sexton and a dozen or so other acolytes. Randall gave a demo each day and, among many other things, emphasized the importance of squinting down to help, not only identify value relationships, but to help with the overall composition through the abstract patterns made by the large dark masses. He also stressed the benefit of painting in "large puzzle pieces" to cover the canvas, without necessarily mapping in a line under-painting first. This can help keep the painting loose. The study above and the three following are all fairly quick plein air attempts at using these methods, without later going back to "fix" imperfections.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Tank Town

Tank Town, 6 x 8

These colorfully painted water tanks sit just outside Dripping Springs, Texas, west of Austin. I noticed it a couple years ago along U.S. 290 while returning from San Antonio. When I pulled over to take a picture, I was amused by the sign over the elevated tank, which proudly proclaims, "Tank Town."

Friday, March 4, 2011

Stately Arrival

Stately Arrival, 6 x 8

I painted this study today, simultaneously with another that I will post tomorrow. In an effort to loosen up and focus more clearly on the shapes and values, I painted each upside down, until the last stage of adding a few defining touches. I've done this exercise a couple of times now, and I find it a lot of fun. I took the reference photo for this one on a trip last summer to Ohio. This is the new main bridge into downtown Malvern, about twenty miles east of Canton.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Last Light

Last Light, 20 x 24 oil on canvas

This is a larger version of a plein air study I posted back in December, depicting Lake Travis at dusk.  I will be showing it and other recent work in April, along with that of Julie Davis and our friend and mentor Laurel Daniel at the Davis Gallery here in Austin. I'm excited to be exhibiting with these two and very appreciative to Laurel for inviting us to hang our work with hers at her spring show.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Continental Club

Continental Club, 20 x 16

The Continental Club has been around since the late fifties and is one of the most beloved of Austin's music venues. I like to think it will never disappear.