Friday, September 19, 2014

Good Moon Rising

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Desert Moon
16x12 Oil on canvas
Like most of my work, this painting is a blend of fiction and reality. In reality, it was an amazing view. The sun was setting as the moon was rising. The eastern side of the sky had a smooth transition from pale purple, to light peach, and icy blue. There was a warm glow reflecting from the fading sun along the upper portion of the mountainside and coolness in the foreground shadows.

But there was still something missing…

I wanted to revisit this same location along Kolob Terrace Road the following day, because then the moon would be completely full. I imagined an even more impressive view, with a massive white sphere rising above the landscape.  Given the same conditions, this scene could be a sliver better than what was right then.

According to, this lunar phase prior to the full moon is called waxing gibbous.

This is an example of what happens while painting. You become curious and search for another term or bit of trivia to file into your memory bank. You think of all sorts of things, and sometimes feel compelled to make sense of them.


The next evening arrived like a bandit. A dense blanket of clouds covered the area, removing the pastel colors and bouncing light. On one hand, I felt a tinge of disappointment and on the other, a sense of gratitude.

So I journeyed back to the previous day and savored it a sliver more than I did before, and painted it with a hint of fiction that made the moon complete.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Summer Art Show

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Another collection of my paintings is now on display at Picture This! Frameshop & Gallery in Gainesville until October 11, 2014. “Scenes of Summer” depicts landscapes and seascapes inspired by the coastal regions of the southeastern United States and Caribbean. There are 29 original paintings available in a range of sizes and prices. Most of them are framed and ready-to-hang. Pick up a brochure, business card, and free greeting cards, while you’re there. Submit your email address in the Comments Cube, if you are interested in receiving information about my latest works.

Karen Kearney is the shop owner and coordinator for these shows. Every six weeks, she hosts a new artist or group. Additionally, Karen specializes in custom framing. She has over 20 years of framing experience and can assist you with the frame, moldings, and matting that best suit your style and d├ęcor.
Thanks again, Karen!

Friday, August 29, 2014

Painting Zion

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5x7 Oil on panel
Available at Etsy

This is a small painting of wildflowers with glimpse of Zion National Park’s landscape in the background. It was done with oils on a panel and has some added texture in the clouds.

I finished it with a bold black frame.  This was intended to be a study for a similar larger painting, but I am still undecided about the approach to take for another version and moved onto the next image of Utah’s beautiful desert region.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Horse Tale

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11x14 Oil on Panel

Wouldn’t you know it… Lazy horse now has a little more giddy up. In fact, I think she’s about to rise from the sand.

Lesson learned:  Don’t name your paintings before they match…

I kept the loose and random brush strokes, because I liked the initial direction this one was going. The curved lines in the tail seem to introduce a softer element and add some variety.

A layer of pure white was placed to the bridge of the nose, along with a bold block of turquoise under the chin. I also painted hints of yellow in the mane nearest the ears.  Yellow was applied sparingly, since it can have a strong impact and I did not want to alter the color scheme. These things are intended draw even more attention to the horse’s head.

Monday, August 11, 2014

WIP Lazy Horse

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Work in Progress
11x14 Oil on Panel

This is my latest oil painting in progress, still inspired by the southwest. I saw this single horse cooling in the sand, near Kolob Terrace Road, Utah. Although it’s not a landscape, the colors remind me of the region, with the red, orange, and turquoise tones. From this point, I plan to sharpen the details of the horse, by adding even more contrast. 

I have a few lovely artist friends who prefer loose paintings, with bold and random brush strokes. Funny how I can almost hear their voices saying, "Hold your horses and stop while you're ahead!". Who knows, I might agree with them later :) We’ll see where it goes!

I have never owned a horse, but keep going back to them as subjects to paint. I am fascinated by the deep connection that many owners and trainers have with them. They are beautiful and majestic animals. Like the human figure, I enjoy painting them whether they are active or lying still.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Desert Beauty

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12x16 Oil on Linen

So, we're back in the desert once again and this painting wasn’t really my idea...
People were gathering near a section of Bryce Canyon’s rim. There was not a crowd per se, but a steady stream of folks, lining up in that general area. At a distance, all I could see was a silhouette of a tree trunk, so I walked closer to see what all the fuss was about. Maybe the overlook had an even more spectacular view, or maybe there was a monument, an animal, or other interesting object, blocked by the angle of my current position.

Much to my surprise, the barren tree was the main attraction. Tourists were steadily snapping pictures and taking turns posing in front of it. Hmmm.

Up close, I soon realized the unique qualities of this natural sculpture. The trunk was a shiny and smooth. The bark was almost a charcoal tone, baked by the sun, with knots and gnarly branches. The roots were massive, stretching across the upper and lower borders. They were right. This tree indeed had a personality and character all its own. Snap!