Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Good Question

This 9x12 oil on panel is a view of a street in Toulouse, France.  I did this painting after developing a more involved thumbnail drawing than usual, and then following the thumbnail as the guide.  You might ask, why haven't you been doing that all along.  Well, good question.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Figure Painting

This figure painting, done recently, is a 14x11 oil on multimedia board.  A while back I switched from drawing to painting the figure since I think that's a greater challenge.

Thursday, May 25, 2017


This 18x24 oil on canvas painting is a culminating point, for the moment, in my paintings of the pond.  Though it doesn't, at first glance, look like it, the painting is three-fourths water.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Pond Again

Yesterday I was at the pond again.  This is an 8x10 oil on panel.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017


This tree at the pond, I've been told,  is a black willow, not a weeping willow.  Wikipedia says they are given to "frequently forking near the base," which happened with this tree.  I tried to reduce the complexity of what I encountered when making this painting.  I liked the way the sun struck the mass of foliage, and the small sky reflections underneath, but I realized quickly, and maybe too late, that this jumble would require a lot of work to organize. The painting is a 9x12 oil on panel.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Mostly Water

There's not much real estate in this 8x10 oil on panel, but I had to work hard on it (at least, it felt that way).  Most of this painting is water.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Before the Fall

Another 9x12 oil on panel from last Thursday at the pond.  The tree that is at the left, whose branches hang down, is the one that fell during the storm that night.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

From the Far End

A painting from the far end of the pond, a 9x12 oil on panel.  This was done on site several days ago.

From my reading: Cezanne built a studio building in 1902 in Aix.  After the studio was shut following his father's death in 1906,  Cezanne's son Paul never returned to Aix .  He indicated that it was because the people of Aix had so little respect for his father.   Of course, that has changed today.

Friday, May 19, 2017

A Sadness in the Sun

This time, a 9x12 oil on panel of a couple more willow trees at the pond, which I painted yesterday morning.   In Ross King's book on Monet's water lilies, Mad Enchantment, he writes how willows signify loss and sadness and how that sadness is part of Monet's late paintings.  On a brilliant morning when the sun illuminates the willow trunks, it's hard to think of sadness...

With this painting, I tried something that had not occurred to me before: paint without using a medium.  It worked out well, and I think that it makes it easier to layer paint.

Thursday, May 18, 2017


The pond at the far end has several big, old willow trees that stand at the edge of the water.  This painting is a 12x12 oil on panel that I did early in the afternoon at the pond.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017


After the duckling rescue, I completed this 12x12 oil on panel.  It seems that it's better if I just react to the pond instead of thinking about it too much.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

From One End to the Other and a Daring Rescue

This morning I went back to the pond.  I was standing at one end of the pond looking toward the other end and painted this view, a 12x16 oil on panel.  I may paint this view more than once, since it changes dramatically during the day.

After I finished this painting, I moved to another location to start another painting, but I became involved in a duckling rescue operation.  I learned later that a duckling was born last night, and at mid-day I saw it running after three other ducks, and it promptly went into the pond while the three ducks went back to their duck house.  The duckling tried to get out of the pond, while, in the meantime, the bullfrogs were signaling that lunch had arrived.  Anyway, the duckling was eventually successfully removed from the pond and put back in the duck house with its careless mother, who is sitting on a pile of eggs.  Hopefully the duckling will still be there tomorrow.

Monday, May 15, 2017


Last Friday I also did this 8x10 oil sketch on panel.  I looked across the pond and saw reflections of a tree like an airplane and the roof of the peacock house like a heart, and a pine tree...  like a pine tree, and I painted away frantically.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Looking into a Pond

When Monet started to paint his pond, he spent a few years agonizing about it and destroyed dozens of canvases.  Fortunately, he got over whatever problems he encountered or created for himself.  One can't look into a pond without thinking of Monet.  This is a 9x12 oil on panel done while standing on the pond's nose, from two days ago when the sun was still shining.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Controlled Chaos

This is a 12x12 oil on panel, which I worked on for a span of two days.  I stood in a shady spot looking into the pond.  Most of the view is water.  Charles Movalli called painting "controlled chaos".  I was trying to achieve a controlled chaos, from the chaos of a pond surface, on the surface of a panel.  The view looks down the pond to where there's an old barn.  The outline of the pond has been described as like a pair of sunglasses.  In the center of the painting you can make out the nose on which the sunglasses sit.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Down the Pond

Yesterday was still cloudy, but the pond was still there, so I went out and painted.  Here's a 9x12 oil on panel showing a view down the pond.  I described it as a figure eight, but was told by someone who knows it better that it's like the two lenses of a pair of sunglasses.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Mostly Cloudy

The clouds, the rain, the clouds... So I went out and painted anyway: a 9x12 oil on panel.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Holding Up the Harbor

So I worked on and completed a larger version of the boat holding up the harbor in Gloucester, MA.  It's an 18x24 oil on canvas.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Snug Fit

This is a 12x16 pastel on colourfix board: a complicated Gloucester boatyard view that I've tried to simplify. I snugly fitted the boat at the bottom to hold up the rest of the harbor.   I want to tackle a larger oil version of this view.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Unrandom Marks

At the end of Rocky Neck Avenue in Gloucester, MA is a site called the Gloucester Marine Railways, which calls itself the oldest working shipyard in the United States.  This 9x12 pastel is a view of the shipyard.  It's also a collection of mostly unrandom marks, touches, scrapes, and rubbings of hard and soft pastel.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Change and Tradition

Another Gloucester pastel, this on an 11x14 on pastelbord.  I can understand why seaports and boatyards have always attracted painters.  Where else can you find colorful and shapely man-made objects surrounded by sky and water?  And there's always the patina of age, and other aspects of change and tradition.  I went to Gloucester to see an exhibition of paintings by Charles Movalli, a great painter who died last year.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Gloucester Boat

I'm still near the water, but this time it's in Gloucester, MA, an ancient and venerable site for painters.  This is a 12x16 pastel.