The Shore Again

We went to the shore for a few days last week and I managed to do a little work. I did two 6×8″ acrylics from my lap on different days:




I did some drawings. Here is a drawing of my daughter drawing:


And a bunch of wave drawings that finished off my sketchbook:

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I also did some watercolors from my lap while sitting on the beach. These are disasters but I think I got enough information to try some more larger studio versions soon. It was difficult to transition back and forth between acrylics and watercolors.

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After those first two I split the sheet of paper to make smaller sketches that I hoped would be more simplified.

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Pumpkin Flowers

Tried to paint some flowers in the pumpkin patch this morning. They were closing and wilting before my eyes. Many of the leaves also wilted as the sun got hotter midday.


I would’ve liked some time to do some compositional drawings. Maybe tomorrow morning.

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Another Shot

This morning I took a trip into Philly to visit the art museum. When I got home I decided I wanted another shot at this rose of sharon behind my garage. I think I also want to make this a larger studio work.


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Two More

Today’s paintings. The rose garden before lunch.


Back to the park before dinner, but this round of roses is pretty much past its bloom so I sat up on a hill in the park to enjoy this gorgeous day and over-worked this one. There really wasn’t much to paint from where I was sitting, but it was too nice outside to go home.


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Back to the Roses & Back Behind My Garage

Went back to the park today to take another shot at those roses.

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And before dinner I did one behind my garage. This is one I want to try again. Fun.


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This is a painting I started last year. It can’t seem to find a conclusion. This morning I took it back to the location where I did the study. I managed to fix a few errant values and colors, but this has become the type of painting I don’t like. It doesn’t seem to have a purpose, and I don’t seem to have a direction for it so it’s retreating to rendering specific details to make up for that. My kids have never been to this spot, but every time I look at this painting I feel an urge to put them into it playing on the rocks. I keep wanting to try that in Photoshop to see if I’d like it.

So anyway, this has been kicking around since last summer. I don’t like spending so long on a painting because my tastes and interests change. Last year my palette was more colorful. Right now it’s more neutral and gray. I really wanted to dull it down more like it appears in the photo below. Lately I’m also feeling more of an urge to deliberately make mistakes so I really wanted to throw paint at this (literally). And now the clouds are bothering me.

It wasn’t a fun outing. But then, whose job is? I was there for about an hour and a half and collected a good bit of information for it. Unfortunately, I have no idea if that means this is any closer to being resolved. I don’t feel like it is.

I brought watercolors with me too but sadly didn’t have time to play with them.



This afternoon I got to ride my bike into the city to paint in the rose garden. First I started with some drawings to get me into it. There’s something about the roses that I just can’t get into yet. I’m still distracted by what’s in front of my eyes. Hopefully if I continue trying this I’ll be able to get beyond that.

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LOVE riding my bike to paint!

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Pumpkin Patch

I’ve been getting brutalized by some portrait attempts over the past week so today I had to get outside to enjoy the nice weather we’re having and I took some paints. I went all the way out to my backyard and painted our pumpkin patch. Not quite what I was going for but I’m happy enough. The fence could’ve used more color.


It doesn’t get any more low-tech than just sitting on the ground.


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SCSI Cables

I had a very old box of SCSI cables that I was going to throw away. A friend suggested I include them in some still life paintings first. So, this is the first. I have a couple more planned already. Just quick and fun.

SCSnakes, acrylic on paper, 14×11″


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4th of July

We spent the holiday weekend at my parents’ house and I painted these in their front yard. watercolor, 12×9″


I also played in the surf a little more.

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Surf Sketches

When I was at the shore I did a few plein air disasters from my lap on the beach. They’re pretty bad but I enjoyed the experience of looking anyway. Here are some of them. (All these are 9×12″)

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Then, once I returned home I painted more over a few days. I painted these using only my memory of doing the plein air sketches because I’m trying to push more and more away from painting what I’m seeing. This has also been why I’ve been using watercolors more. I start off with one similar to the plein airs and then start changing shapes more to suit the image I want to make. The colors throughout these remained relatively the same.

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Eventually, I’d like to do this enough so that rather than the plein air paintings informing my studio versions I’d like my studio work to affect my plein air work. These waves were a nice subject that I could do over and over again without belaboring them and they could change as much as I wanted and still be waves. I’m not sure I could have the same success with faces.

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