Monday, October 20, 2014

Frosting Matters

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12x12 Oil on Canvas
Original & Prints Available

My aunt claims she’s not much of a cook, but I beg to differ. Every time I visit, she prepares delicious meals and desserts. This painting was inspired by of one of her freshly baked vanilla cupcakes. I did a taste test before she took the batch to meet with a group of ladies, and it’s a good thing I don’t have constant access to them!

Soon, glass jars will be filled with her homemade apple butter and offered at her town’s fall festival. She and a friend spend hours tending to the special sauce. As a long-term volunteer and board member for their local soup kitchen, she will also be cooking and serving food for community members, who would otherwise be without a decent Thanksgiving meal.
Sometimes there’s more to a cupcake than meets the icing ~

Monday, October 6, 2014

Mission Commission - The Focal Point

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Exploring Cobbetts Pond
click image to enlarge
11x14 Oil on Panel
Sold/ Commission

This is my latest commissioned painting done with oils on a panel.  It is a scene of my client’s brother, mother, and niece. Prior to starting the painting, I asked several questions about the reference image to determine the composition. Without hesitation, she explained that she wanted her mother to be the focal point.

As an artist or photographer, the term focal point can be applied in different ways. In regards to The Rule of Thirds, it lies at or along the intersection of the grid lines. Additionally, this could have been perceived as instructions to minimize the surrounding landscape elements and enlarging the boat with people.

Neither of these examples were what my client had in mind.  After further discussion about amount of water, land, and sky that she wanted to see, I had a better understanding of her vision. In this case, the client simply meant for the main subject to be centered, while keeping most of the background and foreground intact.

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.