Sunday, April 30, 2017

At the Beach in Brooklyn

This is an urban painting, a view of the boardwalk at Coney Island, in Brooklyn, facing east towards the aquarium.  I've been reading some books on Eugene Boudin lately, and so felt the urge to paint the beach with people. The painting is an 18x24 oil on canvas.

Saturday, April 29, 2017


The weather improved again in the afternoon yesterday, so I went to the pond once more.  I notice that I'm in a rut: my last three plein air paintings have had a tree repoussoir at the side.  I'll work on that.  This is a 9x12 oil on panel.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Situational Painting

A 9x12 oil on panel of a pond in Hoosick, N.Y.  The afternoon started cloudy but the sun appeared near the end of this painting, so I went with the flow.  It's happened often enough, that when a painting is approaching completion, I am prepared to take advantage of a sudden positive change.  Situational painting.  Of course the water just kept moving the entire time.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Down to the Sea

Down to the sea.  The high road, Israel Head Road to be exact, in winter in early morning in Ogunquit, Maine, goes down to the sea. I love high views of the sea where the water rises above the roof line.  This particular view is full of complexity below but not much above, where a telephone pole crosses the horizon.  A 12x24 oil on canvas.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017


Besides landscapes, I occasionally paint the figure.  This is a 14x11 oil on panel.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Creeping Shadows Full of Light

This morning I went back to the old farm house at the end of the dirt road.  The shadow was creeping down the side of the side porch, so I marked off where it was, and painted real fast.  By the time I was done, the shadow was all the way down like a curtain to the floor.  But I managed to capture where it was when I arrived on the scene.  It helped to have done the preparatory watercolor a few days ago.  What I found interesting to deal with was that the shadows were full of light.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

How Do You Know You Are There?

Many years ago I spent a few days on Monhegan Island.  I remember walking out of the woods and encountering a painter hauling all his stuff in a cart going in where I came from.  I asked him where he was going.  He said that he didn't know, but he would know when he got there.  For some reason that episode has remained in my memory.  Maybe because I'm always encountering the difficulty of figuring out where to go to paint.

When one is looking for a place to paint in a place much larger than Monhegan Island, which is about any place, it's hard to know where to go, never mind figuring out if you have reached it.  Anyway,  last year I noticed this spot on Rockwell Road in Lanesborogh,MA.  That's the road that goes up to Mount Greylock.  I went there this morning, and painted this view at the turn just before the Welcome Center.  Unfortunately the gate leading up past the center is still closed.  But it was a great view with Pontoosuc Lake in the far distance.  The painting is a 9x12 oil on panel.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Side Porch

This 9x12 watercolor and gouache study shows a view of the whitewashed side porch of the old farm house.

Friday, April 21, 2017


Despite the weather forecast, the sun came out for a while so I went out and painted again.  This is the old barn at the end of the dirt road.  In fact, this view shows the end of the dirt road.  Every time I walk this way, I am attracted to the beautiful curved form of the road juxtaposed to the roof shape.  All the shapes seem to fit nicely together.   This painting is a 12x16 oil on panel.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

The Shadow Side

Another plein air painting, an 11x14 oil on multimedia board, showing the old farm house at the end of the dirt road in the middle of the afternoon on a bright sunny day.  The white washed side is now the shadow side.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017


Yesterday was another gorgeous day at the end of the dirt road.  I was attracted to how flat the whitewashed side of the old farm house appeared in the sunlight.  I got far enough away from the building to have the mountain in the background frame the roof.  An aspect of painting landscapes at this time of the year is dealing with grassy surfaces that are in the process of changing over from brown to green.  Because of where I was set up, there was a lot of grassy area to deal with.

The peculiar thing about this 19th century building is that it has a relatively new roof.  I learned yesterday (from the man who put on the roof, of all people, who I encountered at the old farm) that it was to preserve the building until the owners could decide what to do with it.  This painting is a 12x16 oil on panel.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

A Comparison in the Valley

A view of part of the barn that is just beyond the old white farm house at the end of the dirt road.  Of course there are mountains all around, since this place is located in a narrow valley.  I was struck by the comparison of the shadowed barn side with its point and the evergreen in the background.  The barn is just like the house: all four sides are different.  This is an 11x14 oil on multimedia board.

Monday, April 17, 2017

A Different Perspective

This morning's 12x16 oil on panel painting of the old farmhouse was done from a different perspective.  I walked around it and found a different view.  The seldom seen back part of the house shows greater disrepair.

In any case, to get a different perspective on what it means to paint, consider this:  I've been reading about one of my favorite 19th century painters, Eugene Boudin.  In 1874, he was invited to show in the first Impressionist exhibition, though the participating artists were not yet called 'impressionists'.  What got my attention is the following sentence:  "Besides the painters who would become famous--Monet, Renoir, Cezanne, Degas, Sisley, Pissarro and Berthe Morisot--the first group included the names of Lepine, Guillaumin, Bracquemond, Cals and de Nittis, not to mention another seventeen artists who are almost unknown today" (E. Boudin by Jean Selz).   Imagine for a moment that you are one of the seventeen.  You might think you now have it made.  I'm going to be famous.  Of course, none of them probably actually did think that since they all really wanted to be in the academic exhibitions, and in 1874, no one knew what would happen.  But they probably didn't think they would disappear.  In the end, one has to work/paint for a different reason, especially since one cannot control what will happen.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

At Least It's At The End Of A Dirt Road

This morning I painted an old, empty farmhouse on site.  The painting, an 11x14 oil on multimedia board, is nothing great, but at least the location is at the end of a long uphill, dirt road.  The last time I saw this building it was surrounded by snow, so the dark windows were more impressive.  I hope to do more painting at this place as the spring and summer months evolve.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Shadows Are

Shadows are things which you can walk through, but they are still quite visible.  The shadows on this 11x14 oil on multimedia board can be found on Seabring Street in the Red Hook section of Brooklyn.

Friday, April 7, 2017

A Tree on Third

If who's on first, and what's on second, I know this tree is on third, Third Street approaching Fourth Avenue in Brooklyn.  When I saw it in the shadow, but against the sky, I had to paint it somehow.  The painting is an 11x14 oil on multimedia board.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

The Smudges and Mess

It may be obvious that I prefer to paint the smudges and mess of the city, not the straight-edged girders and clean shadows.  This painting depicts the metal fence along Carroll Street near the bridge over the Gowanus Canal in Brooklyn.  It's an 12x24 oil canvas.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Sculpture at Third and Fourth

What looks like a David Smith sculpture I found at the corner of Third Street and Fourth Avenue in Brooklyn.  This is another 11x14 oil on multimedia board.