Sunday, June 20, 2021

Family visit...

FINALLY... after 11 months we were able to visit Abbey and Ben... Family time!  We spent several days at their cottage in the Catskills in NY.  A very good reason I was off the blog for a few days!  As you can see our days were filled exploring the area, hiking, waterfalls, lakes and lots of forest.

Ben cooked and made amazing cocktails and we sat under the stars with a fire.   

We own a few adirondack chairs that Linda's Grandfather made.  We were not ready to give them up so we asked a very gifted friend to use one of our chairs and make a pattern and then build 6 chairs for Abbey and Ben.  They are red Oak and are beautiful.

Next we will be spending a few days with friends at the beach...Then I have two 8x10 commissions to paint and THEN I will be back to A Painting A Day and I am thinking it will be the Catskill mountains or beach scenes!

Monday, June 7, 2021


 I am still concentrating on my commission.  This one is a lot of work but it is coming along nicely. 

 I want to remind everyone this weekend is my June Open Backyard. Bring a friend and stop in!  Let everyone know, spread the word, everyone is welcome.
June 11-13:  Andy Smiths Backyard is Open
                     4 N Spruce St.   Lititz, PA
                      Open 10 to 4    Closed if it is raining but I am expecting a beautiful weekend.
Original Paintings and Prints will be on display and I will be demonstrating.

Question of the Day:   Do you follow trends in decoration or use the color of the year?
NO! I do not even pay attention.  A trend becomes popular for a while and then the next best thing comes along.   I do not even know what the latest color is.  I simply paint, I am looking for longevity.   I have a solid color pallete, I do not add the latest colors, I mix whatever color I need.  I am not interested in remaking myself every year.  I do not change my style or subject matter to try to fit into an area.  I am not painting beachy pastel things just to fit into Florida.  I believe traditional subjects in realistic style are always in fashion. 
 Luckily my clients agree!  I have been blessed to simply paint what is in me. 

Thursday, June 3, 2021

Thursday catch up...

We took a mental health day on Wednesday! Linda planned some tandem riding time. We drove to Elizabethtown PA for the Conewago Recreation Trail. (crushed stone they filled in with bigger stone making is very bumpy! Linda was not happy with this section and it will be the only time we ride this one!!) 5.5 miles and it meets the Lebanon Valley Rail Trail (one of our favorites) which goes through Mount Gretna. We rode 10.5 miles to the Barrel snack stand and exited to the Blue Bird Inn for lunch. Then turned around and rode 16 miles back; 32 miles round trip.

I have been concentrating on my commission which I cannot show because it is a gift.  While not getting much painting a day paintings done I am still  painting every day all day, except for Wednesday!

Tuesday, June 1, 2021

2021 Landscape #22

 6x4” mini original watercolor     $275.

This was the view from our campground in N. Connellsville, PA

My latest commission was picked up on Saturday.  They loved it!  Now on to the next one!

Question of the Day: What is the hardest part of creating a painting?
I consider my self a realistic painter... here is the definition:

ART TERM: REALISM     In its specific sense realism refers to a mid nineteenth century artistic movement characterizes by subjects painted from everyday life in a naturalistic manner; however the term is also generally used to describe artworks painted in a realistic almost photographic way.

This means my painting look like what I saw.  For me the hardest part of creating is the drawing.  I ONLY draw free hand, using a photo as my guide and occasionally I use a strait edge.  I have a pretty steady hand!  No help from computers, projectors or tracing.  Why?  This is only my opinion, I feel there is a greater connection to the painting when I hand draw.   It is not totally perfect like a traced drawing.  It helps me understand the perspective and gives me time studying it so I also understand the light and dark areas. That drawing is the foundation of the painting.  This stage cannot be rushed, I work on it until it is correct, however long that takes.   Here are four examples of four totally different subjects of finished drawings on my watercolor paper, ready to start painting.

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

2021 Landscape #21


mini original watercolor  $225.

This on is from Adelaide Road in North Connellsville, PA
I just like the view;  the rolling hills with mow marks and the tree line.

Question of the Day: Do you use photos for reference?

Yes I do.  I travel a lot and often fill my time with heavy sight seeing.  That does not allow time to sit out and paint whatever catches my eye.  In the old days I had a good camera and printed my photos.  I still have shoe boxes full of photos that I can't seem to throw away!

With my next camera I could download onto my computer and the print out what I wanted to use.  Now I simply use my Iphone.  I do not even print photos anymore.  I am not a photographer, waiting for the perfect shot, I am a point and shoot guy.  After all its for reference.  My photos are less then great!  I am a realist painter, that means I am interpreting what I see.  So I am not making things up.  I try to tell you where I saw what I painted.   I also do not do "Plein Air Painting" which means sitting out and painting the view in front of you.  My style does not lend itself to painting outside, plus I am not keen on bugs!  The only time I painted Plein Air was when we took a cruise.  I painted a very small mini every day while on ship.  I also paint outside at my shows, just using my photos for reference.   I do not use any free photo sites off the computer.  I prefer my own photos although I do accept clients photos as long as they personally took the photo and I usually give that person credit.

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

2021 Landscape #20 - Great Allegheny Passage

mini original watercolor $225.

A view from the trail, Great Alleghany Passage,
following the river.  This was a nice shady spot.

Monday, May 24, 2021

2021 Landscape #19 - Great Allegheny Passage


SOLD!  $145 (unframed)4x6” mini original watercolor

Available to the 1st person to email
(framing $35 - shipping available at cost)
If unsold by 5/26 the price goes to $225.

This is from our bike ride on the Great Allegheny Passage. near Layton, PA.  I thought the bridge tucked among the greenery was interesting and hints of the river.

I am allowed to show my finished commission.  I was asked to say;  "
it is a cherished memory of a family farm/barn!"

Sunday, May 23, 2021

2021 Landscape #18

mini original watercolor $225.

This is a wonderful barn from our drive around Chester Springs PA. (Charlestown Township)  Love the type stone you find in that area.

We are back home and unpacked, laundry done and RV back in its parking space.  
Meanwhile, I finished my farm commission and am awaiting permission to show it.  My other commission will be finished this week.  

I am always surprised by the kindness of people.  I simply gave some email painting advice and I receive brushes as a thank you.   Thank you Dave!  Totally unexpected and that's the best gift!

Thursday, May 20, 2021

Catch up...

We are trying to take our little RV out a few days each month.  We left Tuesday for  Connellsville, Pa.  The plan was to ride sections of the Great Allegheny Passage.  Wednesday we rode the tandem 46 miles; 23 miles north to West Newton, had lunch then 23 back to camp.  This section was flat but a bit boring, part shade but some full sun.   This is the longest we have ever ridden the tandem!  I was a bit surprised when Linda agreed to go out again.  Thursday we rode 40 miles; 20 miles south to Ohiopyle, lunch and 20 miles back.  Linda is all in now...if we had a whoopie cushion she would be using it!  There will be NO riding tomorrow!!

The views of the river were beautiful and I will have some new mini paintings shortly.

Friday is a rest and read day for Linda and I am working on my commissions then it’s back to reality for us.

Thursday, May 13, 2021

2021 Landscape #17

SOLD!  $145 (unframed) 4x6” original watercolor

Available to the 1st person to email
(framing $35 - shipping available at cost)
If unsold by 5/15 the price goes to $225.

Daybreak outside of Ephrata, PA

Wednesday we decided to enjoy the day and took the tandem bike to the Northwest Lancaster County River Trail. (PA)   We started in Columbia and road to Shocks Mill RR Bridge where we had to stop because the river was up over the trail.  Way too high to get across!  We had lunch in Marietta and rode a total of 20.5 miles.  Linda has not been on the bike since March, I do not see how she hops on and does 20 miles...  granted we are on a tandem but still, I ride everyday.  Anyway, it is a nice paved trail and we plan to return.  I managed to paint all evening so it was not a total day off.

Today was an eye appointment and pick up frames - not glasses, frames for paintings!  I packed the van for tomorrows show set up in Manheim. 
First show in over a year.  Commissions are coming along nicely.
Saturday you can find me here