Thursday, March 23, 2017

Saguaro Sunrise

During a recent trip to Arizona I found my first sighting of a Saguaro Cactus. They were much larger than I ever imagined. I had seen them before on many Western movies. It took me way too many years to get to Arizona but when I finally did I had to take some time and do an early morning watercolor painting of these species. These cactus can grow to over 70 feet tall and live for over 150 years. Maybe I'll be that tall someday, if I live to be over 150.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Sunrise at New Smyrna Beach

A recent Plein Air event took me to New Smyrna Beach, FL to paint with twenty other artists to support Cape Canaveral Beach National Park. I don't get to the beach often enough in the early morning to watch the sun come up, so I took advantage of this event and did a series of sunrise paintings. The morning sunrises provided me with various atmospheric opportunities to paint the sky. I enjoyed painting the sun shining through the clouds as well as the way light lights up the sides of the clouds. One morning I was able to catch the end of a thunderstorm that passed by earlier that night. I was on the way to the beach and thought I might not be able to paint because of the storm but was delighted to see it had moved offshore. You can check out some of the artists and their paintings at

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Folly Beach Shrimp Boat

A few years ago I visited the Charleston S.C. area and spent some time drawing and sketching the shrimp boats of Folly Beach. The boats seem like majestic castles sitting on the water in the tidal flats along the Folly River. There, they are protected by the storms that authors could write about in their maritime novels. Seeing a shrimp boat at dock means the captains and the crew may be taking a little time off until their next adventure. After they have rested and they head off to sea again the dock will be empty, waiting for the next boat to return with their harvest. I looked at my sketches for years before I recently completed this painting. I enjoyed capturing this scene because the crew had deserted the vessel and was replaced by a flock of pelicans. A perfect place to dry-out from their morning dip in the ocean.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Wekiva Paint Out

The beginning of March was the 10th Annual Wekiva Paint Out. Over 30 artists got together to paint the Wekiwa State Park and the Wekiva River area. The proceeds of the sales of this event are donated to the Wekiva Wilderness Trust and Keep Seminole Beautiful. This painting was created at Lake Prevatt in the Wekiwa State Park. One of my favorite places to paint because it is directly behind the cabins where the artist stay. I can get up early in the morning and take my paints down by the lake and start painting as the sun comes up over the horizon. I've created over two dozen paintings from around this lake. I also take a lot of photos and use this subject in my studio when I teach my painting classes in Sanford, FL. Wekiwa Springs is a first magnitude spring that forms the Wekiva River. There are more than 42,000 acres of protected land around the federally-designated Wild and Scenic River basin. This is truly a great place to paint.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Historic Painting - Dade City, FL

This painting was a commission from a 100 year old photograph. The original photo was a sepia tinted image and I was asked to recreate the image and to use color. I liked the ornate trim around top of the wrap around porches.  I understand this house still exists in Dade City, FL. The little boy on the horse is the Great Uncle of the man who asked me to recreate the photo into a painting. I enjoy creating paintings of historic subjects. As I created the painting I wondered what it would be like to live in a time that was less congested and simpler.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Sea Oats at Sunset

In this watercolor painting sea oats are silhouetted against a colorful evening sunset. I traveled to the Gulf of Mexico north of St. Petersburg and found these dunes in the small town of Indian Rocks Beach. It took two trips to create this painting on location. This is the way I do a lot of my sunset paintings. I'll paint the sunset and some of the larger elements first. Then travel back another day after the watercolor has completely dried. Then I paint the details, darken some of the shapes and paint in the silhouettes. As I painted this scene some young people were near me at the beach listening to music and dancing on the beach. This made it more enjoyable for me to paint and listen to their music. They would occasionally come by to check out the progress of the painting. I finished this painting after the sun went down. Traveling back to my car in the dark, I hoped I didn't leave a brush or two behind. Doesn't this make you want to stay at the beach until the sun sets?

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Production Plant

I enjoy a change of subject matter especially when it comes to industrial scenes. This particular subject is a production plant that produces kitty litter. The colors were adjusted to create a more pleasing composition and to reflect the colors of this particular kitty litter brand. Industrial scenes are more difficult to draw and paint usually requiring a lot more time to execute. This scene has more to it than a normal landscape; lots of shapes and lines taking your eye to different parts of the composition. I like the way this painting turned out and I look forward to finding my next industrial scene to compose.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Stems & Things

This flower bouquet was originally designed by my daughter for a wedding in a nearby town. She operates a flower design company Stems & Things. I painted this arrangement with students in my painting class. We simplified the flower shapes and leaves to create the final painting. Watercolor is a great medium to paint flowers with. It is fun to paint the flowers with lost & found edges. I like to overlap flowers to show dimension. The flowers are white and orange ranunculus, pink garden roses, white rice balls and lavender. The greenery is bay leaves and eucalyptus leaves. I changed the vase from the original image because I wanted to show how stems appear to change direction when submerged into the water.