i’ve been thinking about this botanical series for quite a long time and had developed a technique about a decade ago with flexible modeling paste and carving to create interesting detail. After I carve and let the plaster dry for a couple days then I can start painting on it. It’s quite fun.
The B paintings are 36 x 36 and the dragonfly paintings are 24 x 24″ gallery wraps. The top two have sold.￼￼
i’ve been working on a large mermaid commissions from Hayhouse in England most of the summer so I needed to take a break every once in a while and go from the sea to the land. I am so concerned about the state of the honeybees and the health of our planet. The bees and insects assist in plant pollination, crops and food which give us life.
Dragonflies also are a favorite subject because they are deemed lucky. They dont live very long but are important in spreading pollen.￼
“Ocean Sail” is a large 48×36″ standard gallery wrap completed. I would recommend a frame on this work because of the size and the thinner stretched canvas.
As it is summer, I have been drawn to the ocean and try to swim at least a couple times a week. While emersing myself in the salty water, I notice the colors and reflections of the water. The light blues are really only on the surface of the water reflecting off the clouds and sky. The gaff rigged sailboat sail toward the mainland in the distance.
The last couple years, I have painted many ocean scenes as I work out how to make water look like the liquid it is. Repetitive subject matter is not a bad thing. The more I work out my ideas, the closer I get to the feeling I am trying to express.
Christina is finally completed. She is 48×36″ thick gallery wrap.
My sister, Sherie remarked that she reminded her of Andrew Wyeth’s painting of Christina in the fields. SO this is my version of her under the sea.
Detail shots. Prints are now available on demand.
“Ocean Sail” is a new painting that was recently completed after setting it aside for a year. It is 48×30″ and would remind you of the beauty of the sea hung on a wall. Most of my paintings are ocean related: mermaids, beach landscapes, tropical and islands, underwater, fish, and reefs. Growing up near the Pacific ocean and then living near the Atlantic for nearly 40 years, I feel that I have salt water in my veins. As a child, my family spent a lot of time sailing around the coast of Southern California and the islands from Santa Barbara to Ensenada Mexico. We dove, fished, sailed, and explored the islands.
AS an artist, I paint what I love. Last summer, I started body surfing again and noticed all the colors and reflections in and on the water. After working out problems with how to paint water so it appears liquid and also incorporating the reflection of the sky on the top of the water, I feel that I am finally figuring out how to create that feeling. Since I make the scenes up from memories, each painting is a challenge. I ponder for many hours in the struggle to mix the correct colors for the underpainting and all of the layers. You have to make a plan for how to do each layer in order to create the vision from your head.
Recently I started to work on a textured semi abstract 36″ x 36″ gallery wrap. First I knifed in the modeling plaster with the shapes of the waves and bubbles sculpted into the plaster. Then after two days of drying I painted the entire canvas with a mixture of Micus oxide and burnt sienna. The following day, I was able to start painting and after many evolutions and tints and painting decisions, I finally completed this after a week.
This painting is available and would make a great piece over a fireplace or dining room.
Recently, I worked on a series of water reflections on the ocean. Trying to achieve the fluidity of water and the color of the reflections from the sky on the top of the water.
“Message in a Bottle” a 40×30″ gallery wrap painting. There is a bottle floating on the surface with a note that says “I Love You”. Originally, I had way too much detail and decided to smooth out more highlights, especially the golden reflections. Available.
Pink Clouds” is 36×36″ gallery wrap with a more abstract approach. I wanted to keep it with bold strokes and not overwork it. There is a little sailboat on the horizon and subtle pastels throughout. I think this would look great above a fireplace or a room where a vision of the ocean brings you calm thoughts. Available.
This is one of my favorites. “Surface Reflections” is 30×40″. The coloring is more greenish as I discovered while bodysurfing. Its abstractness yet visually still a bit realistic was the vision I had. Always, when I have an inspiration or working in a series, the challenges of how to accomplish the final painting. Its rather like drawing up a story board in layers. When starting, I use very large brushes and energetically add to the canvas broad shapes of colors. Each color is custom mixed for each painting and guessing how warm or cool I want the color to be. I like putting warm tinted gessoes and acrylic over areas that will eventually be cool. Each phase needs to be pondered and then the steps to mix colors that give me the details that will eventually emerge. The use of transparent colors mixed with a glazing medium are what make the more realistic effect.Each layer has to dry before the next. It is part of the challenges that make being an artist so rewarding.
“Water Reflections” is a 36×36′ thick gallery wrap. None of these paintings need framing since I paint the edges as well.
“Above or Below the Sea” is an original mermaid painting that I painted after returning from St. Kitts. Oils are so slow to dry and I am learning that wet on wet blending is more difficult than imagined. I worked on this for over a month and a half because of the drying time to add more paint. Oil paints are more vibrant and thick than acrylic ( which is my preferred medium. )
Originally I was going to add seaweed and coral surrounding her but liked how this painting can be viewed two ways: She could be sitting on a rock above the surface…or could be sitting on a rock on the sea floor. Which way did you visualize her?
More oil paints on the horizon!
Since I am just about to depart on a painting retreat for a week in St. Kitts, organized by my dear friend and fellow artist, Beth Haizlip…I have been in a tropical island mood. The scene was entirely made up but have glints of other island paintings that I have done recently. It takes many paintings to work out an idea and then coming up with plans for execution of the idea. Painting is not just “willy nilly” dabbing paint on a canvas. Each layer must be strategized and analyzed. I am trying to have each stroke of the brush be deliberate. There are layers of glazes in various colors between the wet brush strokes.
“Perfect Evening” is 40x16x1.5″ gallery wrap
“Sunset Moonrise” is 40x30x1.5″ and expands on the idea of the previous work. I find the scene quite romantic as lovers stand on the porch of a little island cottage, watching the moon rise as the sun sets.
Even though my paintings are getting larger these days, I still enjoy working on smaller accent paintings. Still I paint what I am drawn to…ocean related. These are all 12×12″ except for the Octopus which is 14″. The shell paintings are a series of three, sold together for 295.00. I also think that the shells would make nice images printed on fabric for pillows.
For a year after painting a manta and sting ray collection of underwater paintings, I had in my mind to do a very large painting with all kinds of rays gliding through the water. Working on a 60×48″ canvas is never easy since my studio is rather small. I had to put most of the canvas on my larger easel and rest the other end of the canvas on a small table. I do find that painting large is much more energetic and after several hours, my muscles are sore so I try to work on other smaller pieces for awhile.
“Gathering Rays” is completed and looking for a nice large wall to enhance a room. I figure it would be like being in an aquarium, right?
details of impressionistic paint strokes and decor idea