Thursday, May 27, 2010


"Meinert Dunes", oil on linen panel, 11x14

I had a chance to go with friends to paint at Meinert Park, north of Muskegon. It was a very nice beach with interesting features of dune formations and a creek running through and going into Lake Michigan. There were very few other people there even though the day was very warm, but I am sure the lake was quite cold. After walking around a bit to get a feel for the landscape, I decided to paint these dunes that slope down toward the water. We plan on returning to this beautiful beach area.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Cows in Morning Light

"Cows in Morning Light", pastel, 8x12 - $500.

These cows belong on a local farm where the pasture is actually a high hill behind the barn. I have painted here many times and love these early morning scenes where the light is coming over the hill and the steam is rising from the earth.

This painting will be in my art fair display until it is sold. The first show is the Kalamazoo Institute of Art Fair on June 5 from 9am - 5pm.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Woodland Phlox

"Woodland Phlox", oil on linen panel, 12x9, 2010
I painted this today as it was a beautiful warm morning and I had wanted to explore this woodland path along the river for some time.The wild phlox was an added bonus as was the absence of pesky bugs. I think the cold weather we were having helped stem the mosquito population for now. This place felt like a fairy land with the singing birds and the heady scent of the phlox. The river was behind me and I could hear the trout jump occasionally to catch their morning meal.

My plein air setup.

Spring Vista

"A Vista in Spring", oil on panel, 12x12, 5/2010

This past Tuesday, I went to Judie's house with some friends to paint the view from her land on a high hill overlooking the Grand River valley. I had decided on a backlit view and even though the trees were just about finished with the spring blossoms, they still had the variety of hues to make the painting interesting with all the bright greens. This was a beautiful day with warm sunshine and good friends.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Nordhouse Dunes

"Nordhouse Dunes", oil on linen panel, 16x20

This is a recent studio painting of the fabulous Nordhouse Dunes area.
I try to get to this area at least once a year and our family often camps here. This painting was done from a series of reference photos taken in the early morning when the shadows are long over the sand. A lot of hiking involved, not feasible to take along a plein air easel over these high dunes. I have painted on site though closer to the campground and even that is hard to manage!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Little Landscape #1

Little Landscape #1, oil on linen panel, 6x8

This is the second plein air painting that I did today. I decided to challenge myself and paint a small one. Sometimes they are harder. Anyway, I just bought a lot of 6x6 and 6x8 panels at the OPA convention in Scottsdale, and will be doing some minitures, working on simplifing values of color.

White Barn

White Barn and Lilacs, oil onn linen panel, 11x14

It was a rather chilly spring morning today, but I decided to go back to the white barn that I saw the other night on the way home. I have painted it before a few years ago in the autumn, but now the lilac bush set it off just right. An 11x14 plein air painting takes about 2 1/2  hours, so by the time I finished I was hungry but set off to find another scene. I will post it next.

I will probably paint another version of this scene from the photos that I took in the evening light. The light was quite dramatic. I also liked the other out buildings and all of those shapes!

Orchard Hill 2

Orchard Hill II, oil on linen panel, 9x12

I finally photographed this one to show you the second painting that I did on Orchard Hill. I like way the apple trees grow up the hill, and it makes you wonder what is on the other side!

Painting the Orchards

Pear Trees in Blossom, oil on linen panel, 11x14

This was the first orchard painting that I did this year, a few weeks ago. The old pear trees always blossom first and have a pink hue. I had found my spot to paint along the road, set up, only to discover that my turp had leaked out of my container. I guess the seal is getting bad. So I quickly put the gear back in the car and drove back home to get more. I only lost about half and hour but it was frustrating.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Orchard Hill

Today was a beautiful day for plein air painting. This is my start for the first painting of the day. I am painting on a linen, oil primed canvas mounted on gatorboard, made by Signature Canvas. I like their products! It is 11x14. I used a light wash to mass in the big shapes of the composition.

This second photo was taken after I painted in the sky with mixtures of cobalt blue, white, cad. yellow light and yellow ochre. I also started on the tops of the background trees.

I finished the painting, and it was a good thing because it was about noon and the sun had changed the shadows. I will post a better photo of the finished painting tomorrow. I also worked on a 9x12 painting of the same orchard which I will post in a few days. Tomorrow may be another day for painting outside so I will head back to the orchards before the blossoms are gone!

Covered Bridge in Ada

A week or so ago, I drove to Grand Gallery in Ada to pick up some work to exchange for my show this month, opening May 14. I  had along my painting gear, hoping to squeeze in some painting time. My plan was to paint somewhere on the way home, but my eye kept going to the covered bridge down the road. The morning light on the budding trees was a good backdrop for the bridge, so I made a quick decision to just go for it and see what I could do. This first photo shows part of my easel and the bridge in the background.

"Covered Bridge in Ada", oil on panel, 12x12
Come to the my painting demonstration on Thursday, May 6 from 5-8 pm
at the Grand Gallery in Ada, MI - see the web site at bottom of blog page.
This painting will be there and at the opening of my show on May 14, reception 5-8pm.