Friday, July 31, 2015


A second 9x12 painting from my morning in Petersburg, N.Y. with plein air painter Walt Pasko: Edges of trees, house, road, roofs, barns, weeds, and bushes.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Humid, Hay and Hazy

The fields are being mowed again, so I went up to one of my favorite spots in the shade at the corner of a now accessible large field before the Hopper.  The weather has been so humid that the hay is not drying well, so I was told.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Petersburg and Little Hoosic

I did this quick oil sketch while painting alongside plein-air painter Walter Pasko, who introduced me to Petersburg, New York yesterday morning.  We were on Dayfoot Road where it crosses the Little Hoosic River.  There are lots of interesting, colorful houses just around the corner past this bridge.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Artist Sketches

A couple of sketches of the two other artists, Ann Kremers and Michael Rousseau, at the Clark family day event.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Clark Hill and Clark Chair

These are two paintings, both 9x12, that I did at the Clark Art Institute's family day event yesterday.   I was there with artists Ann Kremers and Michael Rousseau.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Pond Electric

A 9x12 oil on panel of the pond at Field Farm, which I did a couple days ago in the afternoon.  Lush and electric.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Tunnel Vision

This view shows the entrance to the tree-lined tunnel path that serves to lead hikers to the trails at Haley Farm at the end of Hopper Road.  I set up in front of a tractor to paint it yesterday in the morning  I was so close to the tractor that I backed up into it at least once.  You can't see the tree-line tunnel path.  It's on the right.  I've been trying to figure out how to paint it.   It's always dark in there, and has piled up stone walls on both sides beside the trees.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Brilliant Morning

This a view,  on a 12x12 oil on panel, of Hemlock Brook as it meanders through a pasture on a brilliantly sunny morning, yesterday morning.  The cows are responsible for the eroding bank on the right, but that bank, in conjunction with the stream, is what attracted me to this location.  Fortunately, the cows were busy elsewhere.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Under the Bridge

Yesterday morning, I was down under the bridge over the Green River on Route 43 near Five Corners.  I wanted to add a little structure to my small 8x10 painting, so I painted the bridge from the farthest point that I could go.  On the unseen side of the underbridge, there's plenty of room to stand and paint looking out on either side.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

A Branch Instead of a Tree

This 9x12 painting is another variation on the theme of the Hopper behind a screen of trees, except this time it's a branch.  It's also a variation on the zig-zag composition.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

A Painting Bear

To paint this picture, I set up yesterday afternoon outside of the tree-lined path at Haley Farm.  I'm facing west toward the Taconics with the Hopper at my back.  Hikers and walkers went by in the path, and amazingly they never saw me even though I was clearly visible.  I could have been a bear, a painting bear.  There must be a lot of things we never see.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Figure Drawing

Two selected drawings from a life drawing session of a few weeks ago.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Time Passing

Yesterday,  I lugged my stuff around Field Farm until I saw these trees (and a conveniently placed shady area, which was probably the determining factor), and painted away for an hour or so.  When painting, one doesn't notice time passing.  In the distance I could hear the nearby farmers baling hay.  I've talked to a couple farmers who have told me how much they love to hay.   Maybe it's a similar experience to painting outdoors.    This painting is actually another variation on the Hopper screened by trees.  It's located in the background on the right.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Pond and Brushes

After completing this painting I realized how similar in composition it is to the painting I posted earlier today.  I completed the other in the morning and this one in the afternoon of the same day, yesterday.  The main exception is that that the water doesn't move much at the second location or this painting.  It's a view of the most accessible corner of the pond at Field Farm.  I was there again this morning, and everything is different in the morning; most importantly, the sky reflects differently.  Little blue, because the sun is in front instead of behind.

I mentioned the other day that David Curtis thinks a worn brush helps plein air painting.  Gruppe writes that if you really look, you can paint with a stick.  I think that new and good brushes work best.

Squinting and Looking Elsewhere

This 9x12 painting I started last week and completed yesterday morning, going again to the same spot at the same time.  I just kept squinting the whole time in order to see the landscape.  I also experienced that if you look at something for a while like the stream, it loses its color, but if you look elsewhere for a few moments, and then suddenly look at the stream, the color comes back.  Emile Gruppe, in his book on color, writes about that, and now I believe him.  

Here's what he said, "The longer you stare at an area, the grayer it gets.  Your eye becomes used to the color; it fatigues; your sense of color dies.  The only way to judge the color of an object is to compare it with the color of objects near it... That's why I constantly move my eyes over a scene, comparing values and colors.  If I'm stumped by an area, I work on another spot; then, when I turn back to the troublesome place, I'm usually able to see the color."

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Cloudy Day Revisited

In early June I posted a previous version of this painting.  I went back last week on a cloudy day, and reworked it a bit.  What I didn't like about it then, I like about it now, its simultaneous flatness and depth.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Behind the Barbed Wire

This afternoon after the sun finally came out, I went back to Haley Farm at the end of Hopper Road looking for flying tree limbs again.  This view is from behind the barbed wire in the cow pasture at the edge of the woods.  The cows were in the other pasture across the road.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Flying Tree Limbs

For a change, I went to Field Farm yesterday morning to paint.  The trees screen the background, but I was still looking in the direction of the Hopper, which is far behind on the left.  I wanted to paint some flying tree limbs.  I've been reading David Curtis's book, Painting on Location, in which he recommends using worn brushes for effect.  Most of my brushes fit his description.  I've got some new ones on the way to mix it up a bit.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Looking the Other Way

Another small painting done yesterday at the edge of Haley Farm where the mowed field meets the woods, this time looking west away from the Hopper.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

A View

A painting from this morning at the Hopper, but far up the field, actually behind the fence in the shade on a path created by the cows who apparently walk the contour of the fence.

In the Water

Looks like I am standing in the water: a 9x12 oil on panel, done yesterday morning.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

On a Rise in a Field

This is my second painting of day, painted again very quickly, a 9x12 oil on panel, again looking towards the Hopper, from a rise in the field, newly mowed, where I wouldn't normally go, a little further back from where I was yesterday.  Again I am restricting myself to the Gruppe palette so I can paint quickly.

Friday, July 10, 2015

In the Face Of

This afternoon's 11x14 oil on panel painting, done quickly in a newly mowed field in the face of the Hopper in the shade of a tree.  I was trying to paint as quickly as possible, without much concern about detail or going over what I had already done, which is the way it should all the time, but often isn't.


A 12x24 oil on panel of the Hopper, Hopper Road, and Haley Farm.

Thursday, July 9, 2015


Back in the pasture yesterday afternoon, I painted the same bush by the stream but from a different location.  Some of the cows came around behind me to look at my painting.  Here's a photo of one of them crossing the stream afterwards.  The bush is to the right of the easel.  I had my paint box set up looking away from the bush to keep the sun off the painting.  The cows had nothing to say.  I'm glad they left, however, because twice they set themselves up in the stream exactly at this bush, even eating parts of it.  There are hazards painting in a cow pasture, but this painting turned out well.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

No Imagination

Last Sunday afternoon, this view from a rise above a newly mowed field became accessible.  Actually I had never stood there before.  My back was against the woods that rose sharply up the mountain.  Before me was this view, presented on a 9x12 oil on panel.  Way to my right I could see the edge of the Hopper.  Somebody asked me recently if I made these scenes up.  No.  I just wish I could paint them better.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

A Stream Runs Through It

Yesterday afternoon I visited the cow pasture again to paint this 12x12 oil on panel.  I didn't see the cows this time.  They have a large area to roam in.  What I love about this spot is that it has a beautiful stream running through it.

Monday, July 6, 2015


One more 9x12 pen and ink drawing of the remains of an old truck, this one fading into the foliage.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Bergen and Vanderbilt

An 18x24 oil on canvas of a Brooklyn site, Bergen and Vanderbilt, based upon one of the pen and ink drawings that I posted on December 30th. Still working on using the Emile Gruppe palette, but I also like the Gruppe brushwork.

Saturday, July 4, 2015


A 9x12 pen and ink with pastel washes variation of the previous truck.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Door Ajar

A 9x12 pen and ink drawing with pastel washes of an old truck in the truck graveyard.  The trucks are enveloped by weeds.  I imagine that it looks quite different in the fall, winter, and early spring.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Hopper, Haley, Hopper

A 12x24 oil on panel depicting the end of Hopper Road, Haley Farm and the Hopper, which I completed yesterday.  I used the Emile Gruppe palette, consisting of a warm and cool blue, red and yellow.  Gruppe also added cadmium orange and used flake white.  I'll probably stick with titanium white for now.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Lights Out

Another drawing from the truck graveyard: a 9x12 pen and ink with washes of pastel.  It was explained to me that the same kind of Dodge truck was acquired over the years to provide a source of parts.