3 Hours

With my wife and kids away this week I’ve been making an effort to slow down. I could take all the time I wanted and had no reason to rush through a painting. I spent about three hours on this painting this morning. I don’t think I’ve ever spent so long on a plein air painting in one session. By the time I reached the bottom of the painting I had run out of steam and just wrapped it up.

oils, 12×24″ 

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One of the few things I like about summertime is that the river gets low and I can paint out at this location.

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My session tonight started with using my palette knife to free a bird tangled in fishing line. Also saw a fox. Then I painted this one with only that knife.

oils, 11×14″ 


I started a second one but got rained out.

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It was supposed to thunderstorm but it looked like it might hold off so I went back to the river this afternoon and raced through a couple of paintings. As soon as I got back to my car it started pouring buckets.

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Had a visitor. I always see an indigo bunting there too but can’t manage to get a photo.


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I started this morning with some warm up sketches down on the river. I was playing with different blues and different amounts of physical contact with the paper. By the last one I was deliberately over-working the surface and pushing the paint to failure to get more physicality in the paper surface.


Then I painted a bigger painting. 10×15″

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And this evening the clouds cooperated so I could finish the sky for this one.


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No Rain

It was supposed to rain today (but never did) so I went to the Brandywine River Museum this morning and had a fabulous time as usual. They were still calling for thunderstorms when I got home but I ran out anyway hoping for some amazing clouds. Didn’t see any. So I painted in the rose garden.

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This morning I wanted to paint trains again but when I got there they were about to have a big event for Thomas the Train. I left and ended up at the Pinnacle. I don’t enjoy painting here much because it’s a difficult scene for me to compose despite the lovely view.

oil on canvas, 9×12″ 

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My evening painting didn’t go so well. You can’t win ’em all. Scraped.


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Father’s Day

Painted in the city this morning. Another favorite spot that I paint a lot. There’s so much going on behind these houses. It’s a lot of information, and every time I paint there it’s a lesson to reduce what I’m seeing to shapes of color. Like a puzzle, when all the pieces fall into place it makes a picture.

City Clover, oils on panel, 11×20″ 


In the evening I went back to my favorite spot on the river for some more exercise in atmospheric perspective. Slowed way down. This painting has a lot of black in it. The clouds didn’t cooperate so I didn’t finish the sky. I’ll finish it off another day.

oils on panel, 12×24″ 


Not a bad place to sit for two hours.


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Staycation 2016

My annual temporary reprieve of parental responsibility has begun. I kicked off the festival with two paintings this evening. I was hoping these would be warm-ups for the week. It’s very rare for me to paint in the evening. Both oil on canvas, 9×12″

5 pm


7 pm


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Been A While

I hadn’t painted trains in a while. I was a little rusty mixing my “blacks”, but it was fun.

watercolor, 11×15″ 

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Different Direction

Same spot that I love to paint, just looking down river instead of up river.

oils, 11×14″ 

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