Monday, March 31, 2008

Petite #6 ~ Tree

1 1/2"x 3" original "petite"watercolor

This little painting is packed full of detail.
The tree takes center stage however look
around, there is good shadows and the
background features a field and a small
barn on the right. These petites need
creative framing. I paint right up to the edge
so they need to be "floated" in a frame.
A shadow box works well.

We spent all of Sunday in DC. The blossoms
were everything they advertise and well worth
the drive. Lots and lots and lots of walking and
it was packed. Abbey was our tour guide otherwise
with the crowds it could have been a nightmare
trying to get around. After the blossoms we took
Abbey and Ben out to dinner. Finding a place to
eat gets difficult. The kids are strict vegetarian,

I eat most things and Linda is a little picky, not very
adventurous with her food. But we managed! Got
back home safely and I already have tomorrows
blossom painting sketched. Linda has several in mind
but I am not sure how well I can pull off pink...lots of pink!

I had track practice in the drizzle tonight. We needed
practice because we have our first meet tomorrow
against a good team. I am confident...
We also had our last dance class for this session.
We know enough FoxTrot and ChaCha to be
dangerous on the dance floor! We met a very nice
couple to go out dancing with. Now we just need to
find a place that plays big band music.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Cloud Study #2

6" x 4" original watercolor

I continued my cloud study today.
This time I painted more blue sky and just
a few clouds floating by. Bare winter trees
give a foreground perspective and I added
a few flying birds...just because I felt like it!

Friday I worked on part of this painting but
had to stop so I could go set up for a show.
It was the kind I take about 12 paintings
and prints, hang on their displays, dress nice
and hang around. I left around 8:30pm because
it was to full to find a place to stand. I just did
not feel like painting when I got home. This
morning I had a track practice and then needed
to return to the show, pack up my unsold painting,

take Linda out to dinner, come home and finish the
painting. Sunday we are driving to DC to see Abbey
and Ben. We plan to take a cherry blossom tour.
Linda is pretty excited, the blossoms have been on
her list for several years. They are peaking and I
expect the city to be packed! Who knows, there may
be a blossom painting!!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Cloud Study #1

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

I want to improve my paintings of clouds so
I am starting with this one. For perspective
there is a roof top and a tree line. It gives
you the impression of being on top of a
mountain. I wanted a big sky.

My day started early, I rode my bike at 6am.
At 7:30 Linda and I went to our local food pantry
to pick up a donation. We cleaned a little bit and
were back home by 9. Linda helped my Mom while
I studied clouds. To be honest, the actual studying
happened last night while I was working on the drawing.
By the time you start painting with watercolors you
need a good idea what your are doing.Anyway, I took
a break and we went for a quick lunch with
my in-laws and somehow I managed to finish my
painting in time to get to track practice. I hung
around to watch my kids who now run for the high
school run a meet which got me home late... I had
10 minutes to change for my evening class. My
students are used to me rushing around! This was

my last evening class for a while. It is just to hard
to juggle everything and my mind is on track!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Bowl of Tomatoes

5" x 5" original watercolor

I was looking for inspiration everywhere and
found it in the kitchen. Three beautiful bright
red tomatoes. They became part of a Shrimp
Linguine dinner tonight so I had no time to
ponder. Now, there is nothing left but the stems!

I stayed focused on my tomatoes while Linda
was at Meals on Wheels. Then at 3pm I was
in charge of 120 kids because my head coach
had a meeting. I now remember why I am not
moving up to any head coaching position. I got
home in time to meet a client and then chow down
on the Linguine. Usually it is Linda who is wishing for
more hours in her day but I must say I could use a few.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Petite #5 ~ mountains

3"x 2" original "petite"watercolor

I have had fun painting these petites. It
offers a extra amount of variety. Since I
was digging through my photos from the
West, I wanted to try one in petite size.
This scene is between Cody and Yellowstone, WY.
Dark rock on the left and red rock on the right.
Notice the road in the bottom right. If you
have traveled West, you will totally get it.

I had my last morning class today. That was
a super fast four weeks. I worked on my blog
painting and then finished it before I left for track.
Good thing I did, I was at track from 3 to 7:30PM.
We had a scrimmage and my kids did well. Still
pretty cold to be out there.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Steps #3

6" x 4" original watercolor

I enjoy the look of old clap board buildings.
Especially the ones from the Shaker Villages.
They always look like they could use a fresh
coat of paint. The steps do not look "up to
code" and yet have lasted a hundred years.

I am very late getting my blog painted today.
I am not sure what happened. The day just
got away from me. I spent extra time on my
drawing this morning. Then needed to stop
to work on my track roster. Got home late from
track and needed to get ready for dance class.
And it was 8:30 till I was back home. I got
right to my painting but it just took time. Keep
in mind all the white is the paper and even that
has light washes on it. Off to bed...

Sunday, March 23, 2008


6" x 4" original watercolor

I used the same concept as the orange from
Thursday, 3/20. I went with a banana on
a green cabinet. This is simply an exercise
in painting a still life as realistically as I
possibly can using watercolors.

We had a fairly quiet weekend here at the Smith
compound. I had a sprinters workshop scheduled
for Saturday morning and I had to cancel due to snow
showers. I really needed it because I am unable to
give all my kids the attention I want to give them. We
have a home meet on Tuesday and not enough practice.
Snow also meant no bike ride. We had a date night with
friends, saw a movie and had a light dinner. Today
was quiet; Linda's parents went to visit her brother
and my Mom did not want to go anywhere. So Linda
puttered in her garden while I painted then took a much
needed bike ride. We are having some drywall work done
in our second floor living room so I need to go unhook
the TV and move some furniture. I know whats next,
I see paint swatches laying on Linda's desk! I am much
better with the little brushes!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Moran, WY

6" x 4" original watercolor $250.00

Since I live on the East Coast I am in total
amazement of the landscape in the West.
I was flipping through my photos from a past
trip and it felt like I was there again. I had to
paint something. This scene is from Moran, WY.
You just do not see an empty road in PA! And
the rocks, what a wonder, I can only attempt
to paint them, not do them total justice.

Even when I have a little trouble getting motivated
there is never a lack of material at my fingertips.
It's the variety that excites me. Look over my week;
a petite basket of yarn, a really excellent pond of lilies,
a gondola, a still life of an orange and now the hills of
WY. I hope you enjoyed my week!

I did a little volunteer work for our local food
pantry this morning. Called a bike riding buddy
to give me a hand and we got it moved in no time.
Came back home and painted all afternoon. I did
need to take a bike riding break and got in 31 miles.

Thursday, March 20, 2008


5" x 5" original watercolor

This wonderful orange was hanging around
and I knew I had to paint it before I ate it.
Great color and texture. Nice balance with
the green shelf.

My brother is up for a visit so I am making
this quick tonight!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008


6" x 4" original watercolor

I was intrigued with the overhead view, looking
down onto the water. I managed to get a good
reflection and waves in the water. There is a nice
rhythm to the painting, a feeling that the boat
is going to row right out of your view.

Linda had Meals on Wheels today so I had the
house to myself and just started early on my
painting. No goofing around since I thought I
would have track practice. I was almost finished
with the painting when practice was cancelled due
to rain. So my evening is free. Actually I am going
to use the time to sketch out tomorrows blog.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Pond of Lilies

4" x 6" original watercolor

Water lilies are probably my favorite flower.
I was not sure I could get the light, slightly
impressionistic touch I wanted in this painting
but I am pretty happy with it. You need to
study it, this is a huge pond filled with flowers
and greenery. In the background is a pathway
and more plants. Nice reflection in the water.
I am actually pretty pleased with this one.

Another morning bike ride, then a 9:30 class
to teach. A quick trip to UPS and I then needed
to prep for a track scrimmage. I had to figure
out what events 64 kids were going to run today.
It was cold, damp and rainy. Overall it was not
to bad for only 7 days of practice.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Petite #4 ~ Basket of yarn

3"x 1 1/2" original "petite"watercolor
These "petites" offer me a change of pace.
They are tiny, but have the detail of a large painting.
This one features a basket filled with balls of
yarn; setting on a hardwood floor. I decided to
put a polymer glaze over it and it looks a little
like an oil painting.

I wanted to show you how you could shadow-box
frame there wonderful petites. Linda framed these
two for the winning client. It is a 7"x5"black
shadow-box lined with a taupe suede and the
paintings are floating. Not a great photo but you
get the idea. I hope my clients love them!
I got an early 23 mile bike ride in this morning.
It was a lot colder than I expected. I had a
hard time concentrating on painting today. I
simply did not feel like it. But...I tell my students
to just do it, so I settled into it and painted all day,
Then at 3pm I had track practice. I am swamped
with the number of sprinters I have. We are
scheduled for a scrimmage tomorrow, that means
trying to separate out the cream of the crop after
only one week. Then to switch gears we had dance
class at 7pm. We started the Cha cha. My hips hurt!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Evening #9

5" x 5" original watercolor $275.00

This is the same set of buildings as Thursday's
painting only from a different angle and at
night. If you know me, you know I have a
"thing" for moons and moon light. Another
great study of angles and perspective.

I had a question; what is a wash? A wash is a thin
layer of paint and water. I then use a hairdryer to
thoroughly dry it before adding another wash of
color over top. This is how I build color.

Busy day; we did get up at 4am and were on the road by
5am. Set up for the show and worked until 4:30.
Packed up and drove back to Lancaster. We then attended
a Cancer fundraiser dance. There was a live orchestra and we
danced for three hours. Finally feel OK about our Fox Trot!
It is almost 11 and I need to get to bed. If the weather co-operates

I want to ride with the bike club tomorrow.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Friday update...

Its been a while since I did a Friday update.
First... My painting is almost finished however I
need to stop and get to bed. I must get up at 4am
tomorrow and be on the road by 5am to drive
to my show, quickly set up a double booth and
then look chipper and ready to sell by 9:30am!

Saturday, Mar. 15 ~ North Penn Craft Show
held at the North Penn High School,
Lansdale, PA. 9:30am-4:30pm
Great Quality work! ~ a very nice show!

I hope to see you at the show. I have all my prints and
a full selection of originals. So come out and look!

Next... on the far right is the newspaper article I was telling
you about. Click it and enlarge it so you can easily read
it. They did a pretty good job.

Thursday, March 13, 2008


4 1/2" x 4 1/2" original watercolor

I liked the perspective on this painting.
The dirt road leads you back. Warmth
from the sun with a beautiful blue sky.

I did not get a blog finished yesterday. I
started this painting and simply ran out of time.
I finished it today. Track is taking up a bit of
my time. I had an assistant to help coach which
made my life easier. There was a track parents
meeting and then I had a class to teach.
Busy day.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Sunrise and still life

4" x 6" original watercolor

There is a lot happening in this painting so
take the time to study it. I think your eye
starts with the sun, hangs around the skyline,
then the waves gently bring you back inside
to a still life.

Another great Tuesday morning class, everyone
is painting well. We took my father in law out
to lunch for his 74th birthday. I returned with
just enough time to go to track practice. Day two
and all my kids are hanging in there. Practice is
pretty rough for the first week until they get some
conditioning. I spent the evening finishing my painting
while watching American Idol!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Brick House

4" x 6" original watercolor

This is another view of the same house
I painted on 2/26. It was around the corner.

I finally finished my larger original. If you look back
to 1/27 you can see the first stages, again to 2/17
to see progress and now the finished painting.

It turned out great, I am very pleased.
This painting can be found on my website
under originals.

My first day of track; I have 67 sprinters so I am
expecting a great season. I had just enough time
to get home for dinner, clean up and get to dance
class. It was the last night for the Fox Trot. Next
week is the ChaCha! I have had all acceptances to
the shows Linda is booking so the schedule is coming
together. You can find my schedule on my website
under "schedule"! If there is a "good quality, good
buying crowds" show you think I should consider,
please send me the info.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Petite #3 ~ Pink Waterlily

3"x 3" original "petite"watercolor

I am pleased to present another of my
"Petites"; a pink waterlily. This is painted
on a little lighter weight paper than I often use,
Arches 140 lb cold press.

I painted this morning then we went to a
Woodcarvers show to visit with a client and
friend. Wonderful talent. We also took time
to go to Middlecreek Wildlife to check out the
80,000 Snow Geese. If you are interested:
I took several photos with a painting in mind
and somehow just deleted them all.
Track starts tomorrow. We are now at 125
Jr Hi kids. I will keep you informed!

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Ladderback #4

4" x 6" original watercolor

Because I do so much historical sight seeing
I have lots of photos of ladder back chairs and
windows! I have them from every angle and
I love painting them. I try to make each painting

I am getting this on late tonight. We just returned
from a big band dance. Lets just say there is a big
difference from practice in the living room and a
dance floor full of people! Our foxtrot needs more
practice! But we had a nice time.

Thursday, March 6, 2008


5" x 5" original watercolor

Today's painting is a pasture scene. I
bicycle past it and thought it looked like a
challenge to paint. It offers the landscape
both in shade and sun. Then add an
over-fed nosey pony. I liked the way he
looked up to see what I was doing.

Another pretty quiet day of painting. I took my
Mom on an errand in the morning and was at
my desk by 11. Took an hour off for dinner and
back to it. I had an evening class and painted some
more. I painted 10 hours today. Your 8 to 5 job
is looking pretty good isn't it! Just kidding, I would
not trade my ability to paint for anything. Well..
maybe for the chance to ride bike professionally!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008


4" x 6" original watercolor

I have always been drawn to the simple
often overlooked subjects. A corner of
a home setting among large trees and
warm sunlight casting shadows.

I had a quiet day of painting. While not
a sunny day here, I decided to paint it!
Part of being an artist is the ability to escape
and create your own reality. Tonight we
had dinner with old friends. The friends are
not old but the friendship is! It was nice to
catch up and hopefully he will be joining me
on a few morning bike rides. If I apply enough

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Breakfast Meeting

6" x 4" original watercolor

I wanted to try my hand at a more
contemporary painting.
White dishes and a single spoon.
An unfinished look across the bottom.
A little different for me, but I like it.

Today was my morning class which I enjoy.
They are all so supportive, laugh at my jokes
and are just a good group of people. I had a
track season planning dinner tonight.
We have
94 Jr Hi runners coming out! I always get so
excited and look forward to a another season.

Monday, March 3, 2008

"Petites" #1 and #2

Petite #1 ~ Trees
4" x 2" original "petite"watercolor
Click Here for Purchase Information
EBay auction starting at $1.00!!


Petite #2 ~ Window
4" x 2" original "petite" watercolor
Click Here for Purchase Information
EBay auction starting at $1.00!!

I am going to call these paintings "petites". I painted on
left over watercolor paper from when I cut down my
regular sizes. You can frame them without a mat in tiny
frames or have them matted to fit in a larger frame.
You can get creative. I painted right to the edge of the
paper. Usually my other painting have a border.
To add a little excitement (I hope) I am offering them at
an opening bid of $1.00 YES, I said $1.00 so go ahead and
place a bid, what a great deal!! They are small however they
are a full watercolor painting with all my usual detail.
I just needed a little change and it gives you a chance to
do some bidding.

The whole weekend was spent at my show. Today I had
an early morning bike ride and rode again at noon to New
Holland for my dentist appointment. I am getting a crown.
Then rode back home so I managed to get 52 total miles in!
I am a very happy man. We started dance classes again.
Tonight was the Fox Trot and we had a good time