Semi-Abstract out of Angst


On Arches 300# 11 x 14 inches

I wasn’t able to marry up the above photo to the actual painting but I tried. There is a raw sienna that isn’t showing up, especially in the bottom of the painting. The yellow is not as intense in reality and more cohesive, bear that in mind.

This painting had an awkward beginning full of turmoil, angst and finally an acceptance with a dash of love. My first plans for this painting was to re-paint a scene of a Sierra alpine lake. I had wetted both sides of my paper and put it on a piece of plexi-glass and proceeded to paint. Well, it was disaster from the beginning. It was mainly to do with my attitude and approach. I sometimes forget that a painting require time and patience to be allowed to develop.

I decided it wasn’t working and I washed it completely off and since there was a ghost image, I turned it over and started to paint on the other side. I didn’t have a clue what I was doing. I know by experience that not having a clear plan is disastrous.

As I brushed on paint trying (in desperation) for trees, I struggled through the entire process. I decided to stop fighting it and go with the flow. Before long I realized that my scene was turning into a semi-abstract of a swamp. What is very interesting is that I have been feeling like painting a swamp for the past week. I did not intend to paint a swamp at all, when I started to see a semblance of one emerging, it dawned on me that this was a desire of mine for several days. Isn’t that amazing?

My process of painting of late is that I paint intuitively and in the zone. If I am not painting in that ‘zone’, I take a break. I want to exhibit feeling and intuitive creativity. The later 50% painting of this piece was in the zone and that is truly what the painting experience is for me.

I have always loved the swamps of the southeast part of the United States and it has been years since I have seen one. The first time I have seen a swamp was in Louisiana when my family took a month long road trip back east. To this day, I have always been intrigued by them. I plan on searching through my photos to see if I can lay myself on a few. Happy Painting!

colors used (Daniel Smith): Indanthrone Blue, Hansa Yellow Light, Raw Sienna, Cobalt Blue, Prussian Blue

*A word about photos. The photos on my blog are mine, taken by me and copying them would be stealing from me. If you find a photo that you would like to copy or use, I request that you ask me for permission and I expect you to give me full credit for my own photo. Thank you so very much.


Semi-abstract Forest and Leaf


painting #1 on Fabriano #300 11 x 14 inches

As I am working on a painting using Jodi’s photo, I decided to see if I could pull something out of a chaotic mess of a forest scene that I started a few weeks ago. I like to work on several paintings while waiting on one to dry, I grab another painting or start one. It seems to work for me because I get my eyes and mind off from the current painting. I almost threw it away but after looking at it, by instinct knew what to do. I am after expression and sometimes that perfectionist in me wants to rule the artist roost, I don’t think so!

The painting above reminds me of some Canadian artists’ work that I admire. I think that what intrigues me about the art that has come out that great country is not only the beauty of nature but how the artist conveys it. Not only the majesty, but an essence that I can’t quite put my finger on. I am a great fan of the Group of Seven, a group of artists that painted the landscape of Canada.


painting #2 on Arches 300# 11 x 14 inches

The above painting was also one that I started on the weekend. I wanted to take a photo that I had shot of a leaf under the water and see what I can do with it. The intention was to semi-abstract the subject. At least it was fun and a good learning process in the meantime. That picky nature of me wants to take the helm and trash it to bits but then I am after feeling and not perfection. So there you go!

*A word about photos. The photos on my blog are mine, taken by me and copying them would be stealing from me. If you find a photo that you would like to copy or use, I request that you ask me for permission and I expect you to give me full credit for my own photo. Thank you so very much.





Dawn of a New Day

Psalm 65:8 They who dwell in the ends of the earth stand in awe of Your signs;
You make the dawn and the sunset shout for joy.



My reference photo

I decided to not go as dark as the reference photo this time around, I might try it out again later but for now I wanted to focus on the light.

As I have taken time off to contemplate where and what and why of my painting, I have learned quite a few things about myself and of my approach to my particular style of painting. I don’t plan on making my posts as long as I have in the past, but rather a thought or two or something that really stands out within me. Who knows I might talk your ear off!

This particular painting has been a work in progress for several weeks and I struggled with getting it right. I have found that “getting it right” sometimes is merely allowing myself to be pulled along in the creative process. It is not making it like any other artists’ work or the work that I admire. It is ultimately about me, my style and what I want to say.

I truly believe that painting is not to be rushed, especially studio work. Even with the plein air work, I am hoping to slow down to capture what I see. I had a few scrapes trying to get this painting to say what I wanted and the more I pushed it, the more frustrated I got. Then today it was a matter of trusting the process and being carried along creatively. The scripture in Psalm 65 speaking of dawn and sunset came to mind. All things have its’ cycles and place in time and I think that includes being creative.


Beginning of the Beginning


Shenanigan Flat plein air from August

I thought that I would post a few of my favorite watercolor paintings from the past 5 months. I started this amazing journey delving seriously into learning this wonderful medium and to discover my particular style. I wanted to include the painting above because I feel that it depicts where I want to be in watercolor. Of course this painting only shows a smidge of the style that I envision.


A semi-abstract of several madrone trees in my backyard has been an adventure of sorts. Finding my way around abstraction, loosing up and learning not to be so critical of myself in having a “perfect” painting.

plein air from 2014 on Wallis paper
      My past has been solidly planted in soft pastel for approximately 17 years. The above painting is one that I wasn’t too sure about at completion because of the looseness but now I see it as being perfect because it is loose.
     As you can see, I have come a long ways and have even further to go, I believe that the artist life is very complex and a never-ending journey. If you have been following my blogging here on WordPress, you learned from my last post that I am stepping away during the month of November to give myself a breather. In actuality I found that I was delving deep into an area that I have visited many times before which I feel goes against my creative striving.
     I am aware of this being normal for a creative, but in my case there is a portion that is solidly based upon my childhood and wounds that have occurred. My hope and plan is to focus on how to bounce back quicker with less stress. I also am wanting to put to rest the need for validation and hopefully to leave behind a large portion of my harsh self criticism.
     When I had originally thought of taking a month off, I was questioning if it was something that I should do, when I ran across a post by a fellow blogger that tied right into what I have contemplating about, I knew it was a confirmation.
      I am a very positive person who has great hope for my art and what I can learn from pursuing being creative. I could touch upon a lot in this post but it would be too lengthy and you all be yawning and ready for this post to end. I do believe that when I do come back in December, I plan on blogging more about the creative life (and struggles) in addition to my art adventures.
     While I am on my leave of absence, I will be working more on a painting that is meditative Intuitive Painting-Psalm 65 If you want to snoop into the conversation regarding this planned absence, I suggest that you read the comments in this post  Fall on the North Yuba. Goodness, it is about time I end this and post it. I will be come back and keep an eye on the feed, until then….happy creating!