Painting in the backyard today

It was a lovely day but I didn’t have time to drive off somewhere to paint plein air, plus the roses in the back yard were calling. We planted the roses last year — they are called Amanda Lambert rose, and they are really fantastic. So many blooms. The painting is only 8×10″ so ships easily — click here for information.



New art!  Here’s a cloudscape over the Willamette Valley. 11 x 14″, framed with gold wood frame with linen liner. Very traditional looking, yet Impressionist color and paintstrokes. $160 plus shipping.IMG_0469

A New Challenge: Plein Air Yaquina

Today was my first day painting outdoors (plein air) this year, because it was our FIRST really nice day here. Sunny all day. No rain. I had entered the “Plein Air Yaquina” competition, which involves painting outdoors in the Yaquina River watershed. I have until August 1 to paint an entry for the show, which will be juried and held on Labor Day Weekend.  It’s a community effort in the little town of Toledo, here on the coast. And it’s an excellent motivator to get out and paint.

Terry and I drove along the river and found several possible sites. Finally I just stopped and set up. An hour later, I had a good study done. It was just heaven, with NO WIND. You read that correctly. So different from the actual beach areas where the ocean breeze is continual and wildly punitive to anyone with an easel  and a palette loaded with wet piles of paint.

It was so nice listening to birds chirping like crazy, ducks beating the water with their wings, and watching herons looking for their brunch along the water’s edge.  I’ll be painting at my studio in the Lincoln City Cultural Center over the weekend, but Monday morning, it’s back to the river.

Painting a Wave Exercise

Here’s a wave-painting process example.I used a split complement triadic color scheme: blue-green, red-violet, and yellow-orange. I worked in the darks first on a canvas toned with cadmium red acrylic. After the darks, I put in basic color and value choices. As you see, I wiped out the scud line (water’s edge) and repainted it a bit farther away from the viewer. Lastly, I worked up the highlights, shadows, and reflections in the water and wet sand. A few spatters, a bit of palette knife, and it’s done.

16 x 20″

Ultramarine blue

Alizarin crimson

Yellow ochre

Titanium white

Painting Water Scenes Class

I’m busy working up some demonstration and project paintings for my Monday class at Artists’ Studio Association. The class is full, so I am eager to see what we can do. I’ve got an 11-page handout. Plus charts. Plus two paintings to do. Four hours. I think it will be fun, move quickly, and convert some more painters to oil paints.

I want to work on reflections in still and rippled water, so have some photos of the Siletz Bay Wildlife Refuge, which has a waterway between the Siletz River and the Pacific Ocean. I took photos last autumn, and like them because they aren’t so green — which is how Oregon usually appears. Too much green sometimes. Anyway, here’s a work up I did today, which will likely be a quick study for the class, before we move to some ocean wave paintings.IMG_0150Siletz Bay National Wildlife Refuge, Autumn.  8 x 10″ oil on canvas panel

Crows, crows, and more crows

I became smitten with crows and am finding them everywhere. One rainy afternoon I sat in my car at the Road’s End beach and snapped a few photos of a stalwart crow on a sign. Then I used that image for an exercise for the oil painting class I taught this week. And, the same bird appeared in several of my paintings. I have a feeling I’m not getting past this love affair for a bit now. Anyway, here are the photos, and some various ways I put the feisty little bird into paintings.


Now, the same bird, in various situations:

And more,



And at the seashore:

Partners 24x48