Thursday, May 29, 2008

Thursday check in

Checking in is all I have time to squeeze in tonight.
There is no blog painting today...

I was up early for a bike ride, wonderful morning!
Then back to reality...
I had a little time to do a few chores that needed
caught up; like getting the air conditioners into the
windows, moving some boxes for Linda, and other
mundane manly things that require muscle!
At 11 I took my Mom to the eye doctor for her
follow up appointment. This takes a bit of time and
patience. When I returned home I started right in on my
commission. This is almost a full sheet watercolor
and it is an athletic portrait. I wanted to get permission
to show the progress on my blog and I forgot to do
that today when my client stopped in. Did I mention
it is due early next week... I plan to work on it all weekend.
Tomorrow is another lost day. I am an official at our
elementary track meet from 9 to noon. I do it every year,
and I have to admit to ulterior motives, I get to chat
with the fast 6th graders and talk them into track next
year. The down side is it takes up my morning.
Then we are leaving by 1:00 to run down to DC to pick
up Abbey and Ben and bring them home for the weekend.
I am thinking Friday traffic on I95... who knows when we
will get back home.
That takes us to the weekend, remember the studio is
open for a miniature painting show, or should I
say miniature painting sale! Linda put it all up today and
there are an impressive 63 paintings. You don't want
to miss this.

Annual Miniature Original Show
Held at my studio/home in Lititz, PA
All Prints and larger Original Paintings are also available.
I will be painting all day so stop in and watch!
Sat. 9am-5pm ~ free! rain or shine

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Home #3

6" x 4" original watercolor $275.00

I am back to this house and the trees that
surround it. I simply like it. There is so much
character. For your own reference I painted
parts of it before on 3/5 and 3/15.
Today I tried my hand at changing it to a night scene
with a little glow from the upstairs bedroom lights.
I painted the bricks in a more impressionistic
style this time, overall a bit looser for me.

I have been glued to my desk all day. I did my blog
painting first and then started the sketches for the
commission which is due very soon! My client is scheduled
to come OK the sketch tomorrow! I am seeing a few all
nighters coming up! I like to think I perform well under
pressure... and the pressure is on...

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Petite # 8 - Candlesticks

3"x 4" original "petite"watercolor

This watercolor came about after a teaching
and demo class I did for a special group of
Middle School kids. It was held in a teachers
home and I was surveying the house for subject
matter...when my eye rested on the top of her
mantle. There were two old empty yarn spools
with candles in them. One was straight while the
other was bent. Technically I have used three
objects balanced against three shadows. The color
is simple, yellow ochre underpainting in the
background against a rich earth red mantle. The
candles were left white... then a soft single wash
of cad yellow over them. The shadows are paynes
grey with a touch of pthalo blue, giving you evidence
of light and distance. I used a clear satin non-
yellowing polymer over this painting. It is small but
mighty and to make up for being gone I am starting it
at only $1.00, so place a bid. Signing up for ebay is easy
and you may pay me with paypal, credit card or a check.

I have been away from my blog for a week. The longest
since I started. Last Wednesday I taught a class of
Middle School kids and then had my track banquet.
Pretty much shot that day. Thursday, I spent the morning
volunteering in our local food pantry and at 2:00 I took my
Mom to her eye doctor appointment and then came home
and packed the van and the camper. Another day gone.
Friday we left at 8am for VT. We stopped at Storm King
Art Center in Mountainville, NY. It is a fabulous modern
sculpture garden. I highly recommend it. We plan to return.
Then continued driving to our campsite. It started raining
as soon as we got out of the van to put the camper up! Again,
no time to paint. Saturday, I showed all day in Bennington, VT.

We enjoy the area but I just do not think they can support a
show. I did great the first year, then last year was poor but I won
a prize and had to return this year. Plenty of people eating show
food! The busiest shop in town had to be the piercing and tattoo
parlor. Wow, this was the most body marking I have ever seen.
I was fortunate to meet a couple who drove just to see me. They
somehow stumbled onto my blog without ever trying and wanted
to meet me. It was the best story and I was privilege to meet
them. I spent the day working on my large painting which I will
share sometime this week. Again, no blog. Sunday we decided
to just camp another day. Linda rested and I finished my big piece.
I guess I could have blogged this day...
Monday was devoted to packing up and driving 6 hours home.
To tired to paint! But its Tuesday and I blogged today!!

A reminder if you did not notice...I have the studio open this Saturday.

It would be a good time to schedule a little trip to Lititz!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Antiques on Shelf

4" x 6" original watercolor $300.00

A classic still life in my style.
A shelf filled with objects, a shaker box,
funnels, a jug... some good shadows.

I managed to get in a bike ride between rain
drops this morning. Never did clear up enough
to get my wet tent out of the van. Hopefully
tomorrow is clear. Other than a few quick errands
I painted all day. I have a large commission I
need to get moving on, it will be due in a few weeks.
I wanted to get through track so I could give it my
undivided attention. I am now out of excuses and
need to start!

Monday, May 19, 2008


6" x 4" original watercolor $250.00

Replicating and interpreting a sunset
especially one filled with color as this one,
has been a passion of mine. The subtle
changes in yellow to orange against the
purple, overwashed with thalo blue, make
this watercolor team with life. Notice how
I've taken all the hues in the sky and echoed
them in the lake below. I have created a "sky"
tapestry to guide you into the setting sun.
Marvelous...sunsets are a gift from God.
I placed a clear satin non-yellowing polymer
over this painting.You may not be able to see
in the photo but it gives a finish similar to
an oil painting.

We returned home about 8:30 last night, damp
and tired. It was another rainy day and we both
had had enough. So it was early to bed. You would
think that after working 4 straight days outside at a show
we could take a day off. But, no... there was laundry
to wash, the van to unpack, lawn to mow, groceries to
pick up and a blog to paint...
Tomorrow I need to put up the tent and dry it all out.

Friday, May 16, 2008


6" x 4" original watercolor

I am pretty sure this scene was from a little
sightseeing in Lewes, DE. It was a grey day
with fairly calm water. A large ship or barge
is in the background. I placed a clear satin
non-yellowing polymer over this painting.
You may not be able to see in the photo but it
gives a finish similar to an oil painting.

Here in Wilkes-Barre it poured all day. Not the best
conditions to sell paintings! I spent my day under my
tent trying to keep my paintings and myself dry. Very
few people ventured out. I did paint. My own grey
day influenced my blog painting today.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Home #2

4" x 6" original watercolor

If you go back to March 5 blog you can
view the left side of this house. Today
I focused on the wonderful shadows the
huge tree throws against the brick.
This tree is a kind of homage to the big
old tree we lost at our place.

The tec world is an amazing thing. Here I am sitting
in a Ramada in Wilkes-Barre, PA writing my Thursday
blog. I am exhibiting in the Fine Arts Fiesta. We left
home at 4:30am and drove 2 hours and promptly set up
and the show ran from 11am to 8pm tonight. This painting
was my demo piece for today. This is the first time we are
using Linda's new laptop away from home. Did I say amazing!

So, I must brag. Yesterday my track kids had Leagues.
My girls took 1st. We are talking League Champions!!!
This is big!! My boys took 6th. Still respectable. I am
so proud of my kids. So if you happen to be a track buff
and want to see the results: look for Warwick or WAR
Track season is now over except for our banquet.
Linda is glad its over, life gets a tiny bit easier.

The Show:
May 15-18 Fine Arts Fiesta held in Public Square in
downtown Wilkes-Barre, PA ~ rain or shine ~ Free!
Thurs. to Sat. 11-8 and Sun 11-5
Visit the Promoters website:

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Contrast Study #2

5" x 5" original watercolor $300.00

This was a good painting to watch being
painted. I started with a good sketch.
I then painted in the wood barrel on the
right and then the container on the left.
Then I worked on the floor and out the
window. When it looked good, like it might
be finished; I mixed cerelean blue,
permanent rose and paynes grey and painted
a wash over the whole painting. I dried it
very well and repeated this four times to
make the background richer. I now have
a almost fully dark room with a hint of light
from outside.

I rode my bike, I painted, I had my last track
practice of the season, I took my kids for ice cream,
back home and took my wife to the store. I even
took my painting along and worked in the coffee
shop while Linda shopped. Back home and another
half hour on my painting and now I am finally
finished. I will not get a painting done tomorrow,
there is just to much to do.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Portrait #5

6" x 4" original watercolor
contact the studio for a price:

I've tried to paint more figurative work
lately; for my own personal satisfaction.
Specifically my Liberian subjects.
This subject is rich in sepias, sienna's and
deep crimson; creating a splendid complexion.
The tilt of her head and an open mouth
suggests motion, maybe finishing a sentence.
I used color in her dress to get away from
the monochromatic tone of the composition.

Things have a way of working out. We, (Linda) found
a substitute weekend caretaker for my Mom;
Linda can go along to my show this weekend. So we
took care of what was in our control now it is just the
weather that is out of our control! It is nice that after
30 years Linda is still willing to sit in the rain at a show
with me!

If you get a chance, scroll down and read the comments
written for the Cabinet Door with Apple. I loved them!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Sunset over Landscape...

6" x 4" original watercolor

Sunset has always been a favorite time
of day for me. I love it. The sky seems
to create; with the help of the light from
the setting sun; a beautiful mural.
I have tried to recreate one of these special
moments in watercolor.

We were home this weekend for the last on for several
weeks So we packed it full. All day Saturday was spent
helping with the big Post Office food drive at out local
food bank. Then we met friends for dinner and a movie.
We went to see the documentary "Young at Heart"
It was absolutely fabulous. I highly recommend it. Sunday,
Mothers day was quiet. Linda received a beautiful bouquet
of flowers from Abbey and Ben and Rashetta called from
Sacramento, so she was happy. Linda spent most of her day
in her garden quietly and happily by herself I have no idea
what she does out there! I took off for a 40 mile bike ride.
It will be hectic next week. My Moms caretaker broke her
foot and cannot caretake for 6 weeks. So Linda may need to
stay home. My track league championships are Wednesday
and I am supposed to leave early Thursday morning for my show.
Not sure how it will all play out but I will keep you posted!

Friday, May 9, 2008

Grape Hyacinth

4" x 6" original watercolor

Grape Hyacinth from my wife's garden. Much
harder to paint than it appears. Their leaves
are kind of stringy and long and look messy.
But the bluish-purple flowers just pop-up.
This was not what I planned for today. Early
this morning Linda quietly laid a photo she took
from her garden on my desk. I recognize a
challenge. Just the drawing took half the day
and the painting the other half. Notice how late
I am getting this posted! I keep telling her I am
not a flower painter... she's not listening!

Comments on Cabinet Door with Apple

I have totally enjoyed the comments for this painting
and wish to share them all. Here is one I received
by email. Any others will be added...

Apple Story #2 by Eileen Nephin-Bish

Perched on his favorite chair after one of Linda's terrific meals,
Andy idly tossed a Granny Smith apple into the quiet air of the
lovely old dining room. His artistically trained eye followed its
arc as the bright green shape soared above the antique linen
press he and Linda had so faithfully restored in the early years
of their marriage. As his pitcher's hand automatically caught,
then gauged the apple's heft for another toss, he contemplated
the life he'd been so fortunate to enjoy:

The wonderful companionship of his family, the joy he felt
dancing with his wife and soul mate; the pride his talented and
lovely daughter engendered;
His tremendous luck (amidst constant challenges) at being able
to make his living doing his art;
The simple pleasure he felt letting his spirit fly while riding
through the morning air on his bike, or listening to music that
stirred his soul. His unabashed happiness at being able to
'give back': whether caring for one who needed a loving and
guiding hand; or coaching dozens of "his kids" on local track
teams -- encouraging them to do their level best and have fun
doing it -- or while entreating his art students to unleash their
natural talents and "see" with their inner artist's eye.
Yes, he was lucky. Another toss, a final successful catch --
and Andy took a bite of the delicious apple; indeed, he sighed,
I am a man fulfilled.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Cabinet Door #3

4" x 6" original watercolor 
I've painted a large number of still life
watercolors in my time and have done them
justice. But every now and then I start one, all
proper and correct and just want to go a little
crazy! Throw in an element of surprise, add
some movement. Here I have suspended an
apple in mid air. I invite you, my viewer to
create your own story as to why...

For fun, you may submit a short story in the
comments section! Linda's story is that our
cat bumped it and she took off...

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Portrait #4

4" x 6" original watercolor

Another portrait study from my friend from
his work in Liberia. I was drawn to the dark
hues against the stark wall behind him.
Poverty represented by a bare light bulb against
the bright hopeful colors in his garb.

I started my day with my men's prayer group at 6:30
this morning. No bike ride today. Then home to run
a few errands with Linda. Got some fresh produce at
market and then home to paint. I still manage to paint
about 5 hours. I love working on these
They satisfy me. At 3pm I had track practice,

I now only work with the runners going to the championships
next week, about 25 kids. The rest of the team is finished.
After I finish my blog I have some glass to cut down. Linda
put some prints together for framing for tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Canterbury Shaker Village, NH

6" x 4" original watercolor $300.00

I never tire of painting the Shaker Villages.
The buildings have such clean lines and the
landscape is groomed. Add a beautiful
sunny day and its a perfect painting. I enjoyed
using the tree as a foreground focal point and gave
you impressions of the building and background.
I am still studying clouds! If you are interested
in the Shaker Village look here:

I got up extra early and was out the door by 5:30AM
to get a bike ride in. I managed 27 miles. Then met
Linda at the local food bank by 8 to help with a donation.
Back home to paint. I actually had my painting finished
before I left for my track meet. Girls won and boys lost.
Only one more week then track is over.

Monday, May 5, 2008


I realize I have not had a post since last Wednesday.
But tonight I will just recap and then tomorrow I will
be back on track. Since this weekend was my first
outdoor show of the the season I thought I would
share a bit of what goes into that.

We left home Friday morning at 8:30am. Put $100.
worth of gas in the van! Drove 4 1/2 hours to
Richmond, VA. Arrived around 1 and found my space.
You could not drive up to your space so I had to use
a dolly or carry my stuff. It was not too far, like the
length of a driveway. The canopy goes up first, side
covers, shade overhang and the weights. The weights
are 4 tubes filled with cement to keep the tent from
blowing over. Then the exhibit panels, feet to steady
them and covers. Then the paintings are brought in
and covered till morning. This took until 5:30pm.
We then drove 20 minutes to our campground. Set up
the popup. I am looking much more like a camping
pro now, but we were surrounded by tents this time so
I am feeling a tiny bit superior, at least we were not
on the ground! I made dogs on the grill.
By 8pm; tired, we went to bed! It was a long day.

Up on Saturday by 5:30 for breakfast and get to
the show by 7. We still had to hang painting and get
ready, it takes some work to make it look like its all
easy and your just hanging out having a good time!
The show opened at 10 and there were large crowds.
I demonstrated all day, handed out cards and sold a few
prints. Beautiful sunny day. The crowd seemed more
contemporary to me. I had my share of "great work"
but my sales were spotty. Demo'd all day till 6pm closing.
Then it takes an hour to take the painting down and
box and wrap them up. They were calling for storms
so I wrapped them with extra care, after all my whole
life is in those boxes. We left the show at 7pm, drove
back to the campsite dusty and tired. I made steaks
on the grill, cleaned up, showered and was in bed by 9!
This is very very early for us!!

Sunday is more of the same. Except up at 6:30, out at
the show by 8 to set up again. It never rained which
was good. Another beautiful day. My sales were better
today but still not great. Again, I painted all day and
talked to people. Sales were still much lower than they
should have been for me. But you never know where
things lead. An artist must always be optimistic! The
show was over at 5pm and now everything gets taken
down and carried back to the van which is parked farther
away because every one of the 450 artists/craftsman
wanted a close spot and unlike Friday when we all arrived
at different times, now we are all packing up and trying
to get out. We finished by 7 and its another gas stop of
$100. and then back to the campsite for a repeat of
the night before. We normally would have driven home
after the show but since we saved so much money by
camping we spent an extra night. Normally the rule is
under 5 hours away I drive home.

Today we were up by 7, and had the camper packed
up and on the road by 9 ~ 5 hours driving and home
by 2pm and I had to be at track practice at 3!! Linda
unpacked and did laundry. By the time I got back from
track it was 5:30, we had dinner, I mowed the lawn
and then its 8:30pm. I have no blog painting even
started so you will have to wait till tomorrow! But this
gives you a small idea of my weekend.