Saturday, October 31, 2015


Since the last post I have made the mane on the right bull fuller. Also, the wedge of furthest background underneath the right bull was looking a bit too warm. Using a little liquin and a purple mix, I glazed over that section to cool it.
The foreground looks like a crazy gobbley mess and what's with all the white blobs? The reds of the tundra in autumn are so brilliant that an alla prima rendering would not capture them. So my idea is to paint those sections white and, when they are dry, I will glaze over them with my reds.
With titanium white underneath the glazing, the reds will glow with maximum brightness.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Finishing the second bull

At this size, the mane of the 2nd bull (one on the right) is looking a bit dull and flat. I often find it helpful on large pieces to look at my quick photos. Seeing it at a smaller scale can illuminate problem areas difficult to see when you are looking at something big.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Beginning the 2nd bull

This second bull's head is more challenging than I thought it would be. I knew it would be darker than the first bull, but if it is too dark the head looks like a dark brown blob. It is almost there.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

The first bull

It may be hard to see in this photo, but I have quite a bit of light purple on this first bull, especially on his legs. This gives the impression of a sheen.

Monday, October 19, 2015


One of the things I spent a lot of time on before I even picked up a pencil to draw my base lines was the position of the antlers. I really wanted the antlers of the bull on the right on (even in) the neck of the bull on the left. Having the center of the two bull's antlers form an oval on its side really worked for the composition I envisioned.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Another big painting

This is something I have wanted to paint for a long time. In 2008 I was with a small group of artists in remote northern Labrador. One day one of the artists and I went for a long hike (which ended up being 11 hours.) Before it was over we had witnessed many large bull caribou, two fighting, and had a herd of caribou pass by within 20 feet. Quite the day.

I've mixed my Venetian Red gesso with Naples Yellow gesso so the gesso would be more orangey. This will give it a warmer undertone than the Venetian Red gesso alone.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015


12" X 21"
Original Oil

After "living" with this painting, exploring it with my paint brushes, I am not sure whether the cowboy and horse are fading or whether they are coming alive.
 Not knowing made coming up with a title impossible until I was lying in bed and realized time was the theme.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Adding color

After opting to have the cowboy's shoulders in sepia tones, it is time to add some color. The first is red on the blanket.
The horse is black which in almost every other case would not be considered a color. But in turning my colors into shades of brown, everything which is not sepia will read as a color. At least that is the plan.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Thinking in sepia tones

Now that the background is established, I thought working on the sepia tones first would be best. The tricky part is figuring out what is "in the past" and what becomes full color. The cowboy's hat and head along with the horse's tail were easy calls.

One thing which makes this a very different piece for me is that there is basically no hue. I am trying to think of a warm-looking black and white TV.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Artist of the Day

In the next day or so, I will be the Featured Artist of the day on the Artists for Conservation web site.
This organization not only supports artists but numerous conservation groups around the world.

Their mission statement reads:
The Artists for Conservation Foundation (AFC) is a non-profit, international organization dedicated to the celebration and preservation of the natural world. Based in Vancouver, Canada, the Foundation represents the world's leading collective of artists focused on nature and wildlife, with a membership spanning five continents and twenty-seven countries. The organization's mission is to support wildlife and habitat conservation, biodiversity, sustainability and environmental education through art that celebrates our natural heritage.

You can visit their web site at

Monday, October 5, 2015


While I am thinking of western themes (see previous post), I thought I would try something really out there.
There are thousands upon thousands of paintings with a cowboy on a horse. A great subject matter but I want to say something new. How do you go about creating a new story for a subject which has been painted so much? Night scene? - been done. Into the sunset? - overdone. Bright light, low light, silhouette, intimate, broad landscape - all been done.
There is nothing wrong with telling a story with a traditional bent. It just doesn't interest me right now.
Then it came to me, what if the story was about time, as in the passage of. That could be really different.
My idea is to have part of the painting in a sepia tone (like an old newspaper clipping) and blend into full color. I'm not sure whether the image will be fading into the background or the background color is coming to life. Maybe that is for the viewer to decide.

Here is the start.

I blended the edges to give a sense of warped time, a distorted camera lens looking back into the past.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Contemporary Western Art Show & Sale

My painting, Gold Collection - Bighorn, has been accepted into the Contemporary Western Art Show & Sale at the Mountain Oyster Club in Tucson, Arizona.
I understand the juried competition was particularly intense this year so I am honored to have my painting accepted.

For more details about this art show opening in November and for an invitation,