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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Found again

Worked on this again even though I said I wouldn’t. Wish I hadn’t.


There’s a threshold where the initial, spontaneous reaction/response turns into nitpicking and needless questions that lead to defining everything. The problem with that is that I’m seeing beauty in something and it catches my eye, but then, I overwork it and stop seeing what attracted me and start seeing nothing but flaws. I can find beauty in “nothing” (or a pile of garbage) but with too much information I no longer paint the beauty and end up describing the nothing. The more I paint the more I want to focus on just that beauty and omit everything else that is superfluous.

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This isn’t what I set out to do, but I think I’m going to leave this one alone for a while and let it simmer. I like the unfinished nature of it.

I’ve been cleaning out my studio and “discovered” this still life among the various piles of crap strewn about. I liked the light on it and have wanted to paint it for a while. I figured now was the time before I had to clean that corner.

The panel I’m working on I also found in a pile. I really love the surface but it’s so old I can’t remember what I did to it. It isn’t as slick as gesso, but it’s possible maybe I just sanded it. In the past I’ve added things to gesso for different effects. I’m not sure if this was one of those times. I also could’ve primed the panel with something other than gesso.

Twins, acrylic on panel, 11×14″ 


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Box En Plein Air

A little suffering in my backyard this afternoon in the heat and humidity.



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Just one from the shore last week. A beautifully gray day. I tried another one later in the week but was annoyed that I brought the wrong blue. Ultramarine wasn’t cutting it. Summer days at the beach require phthalo.

acrylic, 8×10″ 



I’m not too crazy about working with my pochade box. It’s convenient to use on the beach because I can just close it up and protect my painting inside, but I struggle to paint the right side of the panel as the box blocks my hand. Much of that side is painted with my left hand.

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