Saturday, January 15, 2022

New Work: Sunset: Cascading Color, oil on canvas, 48 x 48 inches

Sunset: Cascading Color
In the studio
$9000 framed To purchase

About this oil:
Sunsets present numerous opportunities for artists. Having spent most of my life in the art business, I have seen hundreds of sunset paintings and for whatever reason, I have mostly avoided the ‘standard’ scene with the sunset / landscape and I admire the artists that do the same.


How can one do a sunset and take it further artistically? After completing Yellow to Orange Sunset with a minimal bit of landscape, I decided on another version for this one with almost half of the landscape as a reflective lake. Now two-thirds of the painting can be given over to color and the high bar is set.


The lower landscape is purposely minimal but powerful against the atmospheric sky. The cloud forms went through a lot of changes, compositionally and chromatically and I really enjoyed the process. It was amazing to see how subtle changes would take those cloud forms to new places. All the while, I was aware of the potential power of this piece and kept adding to it.


I have no idea how many shifts were made to create this final look – the painting seemed to be finished a number of times, but each time it went forward, the oil gained more strength and interest. Everything is set up to accentuate the glowing colors. The trees are purposely dark to add a strong contrast and the water reflections are muted.


Monday, January 10, 2022

Winter Light I, oil on canvas, 30 X 40 inches


Oil on canvas 30 X 40 inches
In the studio, $5600 framed  To purchase


About this oil:

I was immediately drawn to those trees nestled together in the snow. While driving on a high altitude, Colorado backroad toward the end of the day, I got this photograph of the view. The colors were very washed out in the photo and that was just fine with me. Now I was free to make something new and with colors far more vivid and different from the actual scene.


Painting in the high-contrast trees against the snow in purple blues, the oil gained power quickly. Now I had the option of keeping the monochromatic colors at the bottom to include the entire oil or to take the upper portion of the scene in a different, but equally interesting direction.


Skies create wonderful opportunities and I took the opening to bring in more color. I kept the last-light quality and soft focus, keeping the oil on the subdued side.


Once the work was completed, I was surprised to see that those powerful, dark trees in the front had been equaled by the colorful background ridge line and clouds – a nice balance and unexpected outcome!

Winter Light II, oil on canvas, 48 x 48 inches

Winter Light II

Oil on canvas, 48 x 48 inches 
In the studio, $9900 framed To purchase


About this oil:

This is the second version of Winter Light representing the scene off a high altitude, backroad in Colorado. Working from pale-color photographs, I painted both versions at the same time and thoroughly enjoyed working with similar compositions that yielded very different outcomes. 


For this second version, the blues are more predominant, varied and combined with a variety of teals purples and yellow. The sky is equally balanced against the dark trees and bright areas. To create that effect, the clouds demanded more complexity and depth and I was glad to follow along. 


My goal was to create a more complex, large format piece, more powerful than the smaller, more poetic version and happily, both oils succeeded, each in their own way.

Sunday, January 2, 2022

Grateful Notices: Finding the Light, oil on canvas, 48 x 36 inches


Oil on canvas, 48 x 36 inches, framed in a pure gold float frame

Exhibited: Breckenridge Gallery, Breckenridge, CO

My grateful thanks to the private collector that purchased this oil.

About this oil:

As I was painting this oil, my mind would often go to a couple of artists that lived in the same town, Monet and Bonnard. They were both ‘dabbers’ with Monet saying he never finished a painting and Bonnard with this story, “When he had mixed a new colour that was just right, he would revisit and retouch old work. Once, he persuaded his friend and fellow Symbolist Édouard Vuillard to distract a museum guard whilst he added his latest colour to a hung painting.”

Quoted from the Port Magazine

To begin this piece, I pulled out an older canvas that was at a dead end. I had struggled mightily with it, resulting in a very thick veneer of paint. Perfect! For this new composition, I welcomed the ready-made texture and began to lay in the general outlines of this work.

The plan was to create a fully impressionist work with hundreds of marks to create the effect of tightly packed vegetation, but with the illusion of light and space. The arrangement was a simple one and open to colors of all kinds.

With these open brushstrokes, it quickly became apparent that each mark had a meaning. Some colors became backgrounds and others moved forward in the space differently. It was a bit like 3-D chess and a real delight to participate in a work that was essentially painting itself and bringing me along for the ride.

Sunday, December 12, 2021

New Work: Softwestern View, oil on canvas, 36 x 36 inches

Saks Galleries, Denver, Colorado
To purchase

About this oil:

After recently doing a few bright skyscapes, I opted to try out something more subdued. Playing off my last evening sky oil, “Yellow to Orange Sunset,” I used the same composition with much softer tones. 

The challenge was to create a work that would be attractive in its own way without the dramatic color. This new set of color harmonies would demand a new approach.

As the painting evolved, I began to focus on movement as a substitute for high color. In this version, the hills are filled with patterns and behind the soft, multi-colored clouds are lighter cloud forms moving upward in the composition.

All of these things happened along the way, strategies to create a better work of art. The result is an interesting, colorful scene but more of a whisper this time.

New Work: Winter Overlook, oil on canvas, 36 x 36 inches

Saks Galleries, Denver, Colorado

To purchase

About this oil:

Sometimes, making a canvas is a pleasure and this is one of those pieces. I do my share of driving in the Colorado winters and my attention is continually drawn to the bright and dark patterns of the landscape.

The temptation is to replicate that idea but for this oil my intention was to create a compelling, snowy landscape with variations of blue. Instead of the high-contrast approach, everything is softened and atmospheric. The light on the snow is made purposely brighter in a couple of places and it carries the eye outward.

There is much to see compositionally and to create more interest, hundreds of trees are represented here in groups and individually, each represented to create a variety of looks and colors.

The trees, hills and snow make a calming combination of complexity and simplicity.

New Work: Lake Haze - Yellow, oil on canvas, 36 x 36 inches

Exhibiting: Sorelle Gallery

To Purchase

About this oil:

As a colorist, sometimes I just want to use color in a simple and unbounded way. Since it’s currently fall, the yellow trees in abundance compelled me to begin a canvas with those trees as a focus.

The painting began with a much more complicated background of three, bright colored hills and they remained there as I worked out the lake patterns, increasing the complexity. 
After a few days of considering what to do next, a solution never presented itself. I was stuck.

The painting had real potential but it as if a key was stuck in the lock. That’s when I realized the original idea of simply expressing color had been overtaken by all of that detail in the background.

So the paints came out, brushes were loaded and the hills were merged into one mass. Detail was kept to a minimum and the background became a wall of light and subtly blended color.

Everything supports and enhances the yellow trees and the large band of color in the back adds drama and power to the work. It was an elegant and colorful solution.