Monday, May 31, 2010

Pine Meadow Brook - Watercolor

Pine Meadow Brook - 300lb Arches paper / American Journey watercolors.

Here is what I came up with for the watercolor of Pine Meadow Brook. I decided to let things run a little wild and see where the painting went. I'm pretty happy with what I got.

Keep Makin' Art!

spring Morning Moodna Viaduct

The Railroad trestle in Schunnemunk Mountain State Park on a glorious spring morning.... One of my favorite views.

This was take about 5:30 am on Sunday. Worth getting up early.

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More Waterfall - Watercolor Sketch

I am heading into studio to work on a watercolor sketch of this detail of a stream. I will post the results later on.

Keep Makin' Art!

This Photo Needs a Title

I took this photo a couple of years ago. It was early morning at a train station near my house. I like the way the light was falling on the building and the door. The photo needs a title.

What would you call it? I am tempted to look at it in black and white also... What do you think.

Ponder that while I go into the studio and paint something.

Keep Makin' Art

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Waterfall - Watercolor Sketch

The next subject I want to tackle is waterfalls and running streams. This is a quick sketch of a spot in Harriman State Park I like to photograph. I am thinking I will head out there with a sketch book and paints instead of a camera and see what I can do.

Keep Makin' Art

Fresh Paint Gallery

If you find yourself on Cape Cod this holiday weekend... Stop int to Fresh Paint. The gallery is celebrating its 10th anniversary!!!! You can even see some of my Cape Cod photographs on display.


Join the Fresh Paint Gallery artists on Sunday May 30th

from 1:00 to 4:00 pm

as they celebrate the gallery's 10th Anniversary.

Location: 169 Route 6A, Yarmouthport, MA.

Friday, May 28, 2010


8x10" 300 lb Arches / American Journey Watercolors

Here is the Iris 99% done. once it is totally dry I'll put in a little cool shadow color around the stem and the bottom of the petals to push the flower forward.

So what do you think?

Next project will be a painting of one of my waterfall shots. I feel like I am capturing the flowers now I want to try flowing water over rocks. Look for some disasters as I figure out what I am doing. I promise to show you and talk about the good and the bad.

Keep Makin' Art

Work in Progress: Iris

Working on shadows. I went a little out of order and will need to be careful with the lighter flower colors. I should be done this weekend.

Keep Makin' Art

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Next Iris Background

Background and one petal painted. Will work on the light and dark reds and the purples and the oranges next.

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Another Iris

OK. Here is what I am working on. I know I said I was working on the delicate blue iris... but the deep reds of this shot called out to me. The drawing is done. I'll be working on the background and some of the flower tonight. I'll post my progress tomorrow. I'd like to get this one and two more done by the end of the holiday weekend.
Wish Me Luck!

Keep Makin' Art

Cabin - Sugar Loaf NY

140lb Arches coldpress / W&N watercolors

Nothing new today. Here is a painting I did of a little cabin in a field not very far from here. I was really happy with this one. I think the shapes, the atmosphereics (is that a word), and the color are what I like about it.
I'm off today, but have errands to do. I hope to get back into the studio for another iris tonight. I am looking forward to getting out to some new spots with my camera on the long holiday weekend coming up.

Keep Makin' Art

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Another Morning at Pine Meadow Brook

This is one of my favorite spots.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Next Iris

This is the subject of my next watercolor. It will be more of a challenge than the last one. I want to keep the delicate quality and the cool colors in this one.

Keep Makin' Art

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Iris Painting Final

Second Wash Iris Painting

Finished Painting
5x7" on Arches 300lb. coldpress paper

Original Photo

A word about color:

The most common thing I hear about my paintings is about color... How the painting comes together and has a harmony of color. I think this is true. One of the ways I look to make this happen is in the planning. The flower is purple/blue and the background is yellow/green. For me the common thread was the blue in the flower and the blue in the green of the background. for both I used ultramarine blue. Hints of the yellow are also used in the flower and a little of the purple is glazed into the background to darken it. So by limiting the colors I have gotten an image that is held together by its colors. Anyway that is how I have learned to approach color.

How do you manage the color in your paintings to get the most out of them?

Keep Makin' Art

Iris Painting First Wash

First wash on iris painting (this time I will show original photo when I post completed painting)
Colors for background wash. cadmium yellow and french ultramarine blue. Mingled on palette and loosely washed in. May get glazed darker after the iris is painting and I see where the tones should end up.

Keep Makin' Art!!!!

I Spy.....

First Mountain Laurel of the season. Time to hit the trails and enjoy this seasonal favorite!

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Friday, May 21, 2010

Skylands This Morning

I went to Skylands this morning. The irises are out in the perennial garden and the wildflower garden. They were beautiful in the morning light. They really had a great glow and the sun lighting up the grasses behind them really set them off nicely.

The key to shooting in botanical gardens is go often in the spring there is always something different in bloom.

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This Morning

These two shots are from Pine Meadow Brook at about 7am today. Great light and spring greens. It is hard to miss.

I also went to Skylands this morning and got some great shots of Irises in the wildflower and perennial gardens. Look for these a little later today.

Keep Makin' Art!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Quiet Morning - Harriman state Park

Around every corner in the trail shots like this can be found. I love this time of year.

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Sunday, May 16, 2010

More from Awosting

I got these shots on the brook above and below Awosting Falls on Saturday Morning. I really liked the way the rocks looked and wanted to capture the way the water was swirling in some of the small cascades. All in all between these shots and the ones from Pine Meadow Brook on Friday I had a great weekend with my camera.

Keep Makin' Art

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Awosting Falls

After a long night at work I pulled into the parking area near Minnewaska State Park Preserve. I now sit on the rocks by Awosting Falls. My camera and tripod are all set up. I must wait for the sun to catch up with me. The sun is now lighting the trees above the falls. Soon the natural amphitheater of rock the falls flow into will be lit with golden morning light. I need to catch it at just the right moment. For now I am happy to enjoy the scene and let Pete Seeger songs play on my Ipod. Talk about a perfect morning.

Keep Makin' Art

Post Script - I broke another of my personal rules by listening to my IPod while out in the woods... I never do this.... but I had an hour to wait for the sun and felt some of Pete Seeger's music added to the scene before me.
On a technical note. While a beautiful waterfall Awosting is very difficult to capture with a camera The light becomes too strong very quickly and the contrast range gets out of control. I was quite happy to get these shots. Tomorrow some close up shots of the stream by the falls.

Keep Makin' Art!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Pine Meadow Brook

I am working tonight so am at home during the day today. I had hoped to get up early and shoot a waterfall about ninety minutes from home. It turned out the weather men were right and it rained this morning so I could not go out. I thought it would kill my chances to get some images today so I slept in. When the rain stopped I had a chance to get out. It was a nice warm spring afternoon in the mountains and there was a nice cool breeze coming off of Pine Meadow Brook. I don't normally shoot in the middle of the day, but was able to find some great shots today.

I have photographed this brook in every season and every time of day. I have never been there and failed to get some great shots.

I had a great time and would have been happy even if I did not have my camera with me... Around every bend in the trail there was something new to see. The greens were totally saturated and the sound of the brook just made me happy.

I hope your day was as good.

Keep Makin' Art,


It was just a year ago that we were here in Bermuda. I can not believe how quickly the past year has gone by! I don't know about you, but time just seems to be speeding up as I get older.

The photo above is of Horseshoe Beach in Bermuda. It is one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen.

Keep Makin' Art

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Another Favorite Skylands Image

This is a detail of one of the buildings at Skylands. It is one of my favorite shots there.
New material will be posted this weekend. I should have two chances to shoot at new locations and a little time to paint.

Keep Makin' Art

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Spring Morning Indian Brook Falls

I have photographed Indian Brook often, but I keep getting drawn back to this beautiful spot.

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Monday, May 10, 2010


Sunday was Mother's day here and we did not expect to get much done... Mom and Dad would be over in the afternoon for some grilling. I puttered in the studio for a bit, but wanted to be able to cross something off of the list of things done. W has been doing an awesome job on redoing some of our house a room at a time. The transformation of our home office is nearly complete. To further this end we put together the bookcase we had purchased and hung up a couple of my mandolins and one of my guitars on display. If I am not going to play them often enough they should at least be out to see instead of stuck in a closet right?
Back to painting tomorrow night.

Keep Makin' Art!

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Next Layer in Fields of Gold Paininting

In trying to get some of the darker areas of color down and get them blended in I lost my way. I ended up throwing a layer of gold and yellow and orange on top and blending away to get back to this so I can rethink my next steps. I am thrilled I was able to think on my feet and get back to this point so that I did not end up losing anything but a little time. The acrylics dry so fast.
Part of me wishes I had stopped and framed what I had done last week it was warm and organic and felt right, but I am inspired by how that turned out and by a comment my friend Trina made to work on a series of these color explorations like what I painted last week.

Lessons Learned So Far
  1. Always have a plan.... just like watercolor acrylic paint dries very fast and if you wander off course there is very little time to correct or address.
  2. Acrylics are going to be a gateway medium for me bridging what I know how to do in watercolor to what I want to achieve in oil painting.
  3. Don't panic. I am glad I was able to keep things in check and be able to keep going with the painting... but in reality you can always just paint the canvas over with white gesso and start again.
  4. Every mistake you make while painting adds to the things you know (even if it is what not to do) and will make you a better painter.
  5. Even what felt like a bad experience was kind of fun being messy and pushing some paint around.
  6. Save the hi-res version of the photos I take documenting my painting. early stages of a painting may make great starting points for photoshop experiments.
So I learned six things from what had felt like a disaster at the time. Not bad. I'm sure I was grouchy for the twelve hours it has taken to gain this perspective, but at least I am here now. Hopefully my struggle with my artistic monsters will make it easier for you to jump in if you are getting ready to paint.

Keep Makin' Art

Thursday, May 06, 2010


This is the under painting for the Cape Cod goldenrod painting. I picked reds and golds and covered the whole canvas. I really love the glow it has at this point. Next I will draw the shapes for the major colors... the darks in the back and the green and red leaves and then start to put them in. I'll post more this weekend.

Keep Makin' Art

Monday, May 03, 2010

Next Painting Project

This is the subject for my next painting. It will be a departure for me. It is a 24"x48" Acrylic. The photo is based on a field of goldenrod I shot on the cape last summer. I ran a few filters to get an idea of what i wanted to go for. So the shot above is the result of making the photo look like a painting. Wendy likes it so much she wants me to print this on canvas and frame it, but I want the challenge of painting it.

I started by covering the whole canvas with a base of metallic gold acrylic paint. I then glazed on a mix of gold/red/yellow over the whole thing. Next I will block out the shapes with the greens, the darks and the reds. Finally I will glaze on more yellow golds on top for extra sparkle.

I can't wait to see what develops. I figure it will take me two weeks to finish. I will post shots of it in various stages along the way.

Keep Makin' Art

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Sunday Morning Wander

It is a beautiful Sunday morning here in New York. It was supposed to be rainy and getting hot so I decide to stay close to home. I started out at Minisceongo Creek. back to the cascade I found with my friend Mike earlier in the spring. Now the trees have filled in with green leaves, but the water is slowing down. I bet in Summer this creek is barely a trickle, but at sun up today I found some nice shots.

Next it was off to Skylands botanical garden in Ringwood, New Jersey. I found some interesting things to shoot including these lilacs and hostas.

After wandering into a group of plein air painters who were out enjoying the wonderful light and color this morning. I headed back towards my car and found these great statues and spent a little time photographing them.

All in all a relaxing and productive Sunday morning with the camera. I have a 24"x 48" canvas started that I will be working on today and will show you my progress later on.

Get out there and enjoy your day!

Keep Makin' Art!