Tuesday, December 29, 2015


8X10, Mixed Media on Panel

This is from the Sam's Throne area looking out over the Big Creek valley in Newton County.  I did the initial work in plein air using Golden Opens and then in the studio I came back with oils and brought the values into harmony.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Happy Holidays!

I would like to wish everyone out there Happy Holidays, regardless of what holiday you hold dear.  I will be in Florida and will try to get out and do some painting!  Hopefully some thing will turn out good enough to post.

Friday, December 18, 2015

In the Deep Cathedrals

In the Deep Cathedrals
9X12, Oil on Panel

This is Swamp Falls.  It is in a deep, deep holler in the heights of the Ozarks Mountains in Johnson County.  This was one of the most fascinating places I've been in the Ozarks.  The amount of water that was flowing was incredible and all the while I was there I imagined some other civilization besides our materialist culture which had made this place into hallowed ground...

I started this in plein air using the Golden Opens but they refused to dry and I had to completely redo it in the studio with oils.

Friday, December 4, 2015


6X8, Acrylic on Panel

One of my first plein air paintings using Golden Open Acrylics.  It was done during a backpacking trip on the Ozark Highlands Trail.  It took me a long time to come to grips with the fact that I really actually liked it exactly as it was and didn't need any studio touch ups.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Thursday, November 19, 2015

The Mighty Ones Who Dwell Beyond the Stars

The Mighty Ones Who Dwell Beyond the Stars
14X18, Oil on Panel
I am actively trying to become more abstract with my landscapes and possibly a way to accomplish this is paint abstracts!  You think maybe that could work?  We'll see.  This one has been done for quite a long time but it took me forever to come up with a name.

Friday, September 18, 2015


12X24, Oil on Panel

I typically go weeks wondering if I have any clue as to what I'm doing.  Then suddenly, something like this falls out of the sky and renews my faith in myself.  Don't worry though, I'm already back to wondering if I have a clue.

"I think you think you know
what you're getting into.
I think you you think you're ready,
that you understand,
that letting go comes easy,
that it's second nature.
I think that at some level, we all wish this were true.
But we never really know how attached we are,
or how accustomed we've become
to having and holding,
to seeing and saying 'I love you.'
I think we spend so much time promising to never leave,
not because we think we would,
but because if we never leave them,
then they'd never leave us.
And I think it's safe to be honest,
the latter hurts more.
When they leave, they leave holes,
an emptiness that we believe simply cannot be filled.
I think it's true, what they say about time,
that time heals,
but it's funny,
no one ever tells us that time forgets.
I think it's because it isn't true.
You never forget their absence,
those significant days,
the ones you wish the calendar would simply skip.
We close our eyes to them,
but even in darkness we're reminded.
Things are complicatedly simply,
and all together different.
I think we think we know,
how to handle death,
how to stay present in the land of the living when the one we love isn't.
But I think if we were honest,
we'd admit we haven't a clue,
we'd just wake up,
and do it."

Words by This Patch of Sky, from the song "Selah."

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

To Be Relentless Like the Sea

To Be Relentless Like the Sea
9X12, Oil on Panel

The black sand beach of Dyrholaey near Vik was one of my favorite places in Iceland.  The weather was pretty foul when we were there, about 40-45°F and spitting rain, but the place was still astounding.  This painting was accepted into the Arkansas League of Artist's annual juried show.  I have one final Iceland painting I have done.  I am sure I will return to it as a subject in the future but I am already started trying to get a jump on next year's solo show.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Onward, Till Valhalla

Onward, Till Valhalla
9X12, Oil on Panel
This is Þingvellir in Iceland's Golden Circle.  It was such an incredible place, it made my imagination go wild.  One day I want to camp here and explore it in greater detail.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

The Water Whispers

The Water Whispers
6X8, Oil and Golden Opens on Panel

This was my first nocturne produced with Golden Opens.  Obviously, I was able to overcome the issue with making nice deep darks using Ultramarine blue and Dioxazine purple.  I did make some touch ups to this in the studio with oils but they were not major.

Monday, August 3, 2015

As Fleeting As Morning Light

As Fleeting As Morning Light
6X8, Oil and Golden Opens on Panel

This is one of my paintings from the backpacking trip I took a few months ago.  It got a lot of rework in the studio with oils using the same palette as the Golden Open plein air painting did on location.  We camped alongside Gee Creek in a beautiful wooded flat beside the Ozark Highlands Trail.  It was my first true backpacking experience.  Carrying paints and plein air setup really limited the amount of supplies I could carry and that will need to be resolved for future trips longer than one night.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

The Depth of My Dark - More Golden Opens Talk

I first began experimenting with Golden Open acrylics sometime in January of this year.  My primary objective was to use them for plein air work.  My main motivation in trying this specific variety of acrylic was that it walked in the boundary between regular acrylic and oil in terms of workability.  I tend to have a habit of not being super happy with my plein air work and doing a range of tweaks to it in the studio ranging from just some very simple touch ups to full repaintings.  I wanted to be able to make those tweaks while still on location by giving the painting some time to dry which is not remotely possible when using oils.

As you may remember, I started with just a small handful of colors to begin with.  I chose colors that were frequent players on my palette and with which I was comfortable.  However, I quickly noted some glaring differences in the way in which these colors played together.  Firstly, I realized that these acrylics apply much more translucently than oils typically apply, very glazy.  I think this is primarily due to the fact that these paints are pretty soft in body and go on pretty thinly.  But my main issue dealt with the relative lack of depth I could achieve in the darks.  I think a big part of this was that the red oxide I bought was inherently fairly opaque and so, when mixed with cobalt blue, it made an interesting earthy purple and not the deep dark typical of cobalt and transparent oxide red.  I also noted that the Golden Open cobalt blue was lighter in value and more opaque than most standard cobalt blues in oil.  It was a fascinating color, just not what I needed.  Still, I made do the best I could and produced some passable paintings with that palette (some getting touched up in the studio with oil.)

However, before a backpacking trip that I was looking very forward to, I went to the LASS (Local Art Supply Shop) to see what all I could get to help out with this conundrum.  I already had some colors in mind and hoped I would find them there.  But during my perusal of the Golden Opens I noticed the Transparent Red Oxide (as opposed to merely "Red Oxide" which I had purchased) and I knew I had found one of the main reasons I was having trouble making nice deep darks.   I was much happier with my results the next day as far as making nice darks.

So here is the list of colors I added:

Dioxazine Purple
Hansa Yellow
Ultramarine Blue
Transparent Red Oxide
Yellow Ochre

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Seljaland, Iceland

Seljaland, Iceland
6X8, Oil on Panel

For a couple of days during the trip to Iceland, we stayed in the country in southern Iceland, under the shadow of the mighty Eyjafjallajokull volcano.  At the end of this shield of rock is the large waterfall Seljalandsfoss.  This view was looking in that direction.  From a few miles back down the road, you could make out the waterfall even from this far away.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Mosfellskirkja, Iceland

Mosfellskirkja, Iceland
8X10, Oil on Panel

A month ago, I was about to land in Iceland.  It was my first trip out of the US since I was about 6 months old, which means it was basically my first trip out of the US ever.  This was the first of four plein air paintings I did while there of a small church outside of the Reykjavik area.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Still Pumpin', Version 2

Still Pumpin'
8X10, Oil on Panel

This is one I decided I would rework.  I had really liked the initial concept and had liked my first version of it but as time went on I became less satisfied with it.  I had tried to work it as a larger piece but was not happy with that either.  This version is a direct repaint right on the original version.

Friday, April 24, 2015

The Quiet Hours, 2015

Please join if you will on Friday, May 15 from 6-8PM at Cantrell Gallery, 8206 Cantrell Road, Little Rock, Arkansas.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Golden Open Acrylic Plein Air Spin

So I am in the early planning stages for a major trip this summer and I want to be able to do some plein air work while there.  I have previously traveled with oils and they were just barely dry enough to put in my luggage before going home.  Not that the work was really good enough to bother with but...
This trip, I do plan on getting some work done that IS worth bringing home and I don't want to risk it not being quite dry enough so I decided to experiment some.  I know from past experience that regulat acrylic is exasperating for me.  I have to religiously clean my palette and I can barely squeeze out enough paint to do anything.  I had been thinking about Golden Opens for a while so I finally decided to get a few and give them a spin.
I started out with:
Cobalt blue
Diarylide yellow
Transparent yellow oxide
Red oxide
Pyrrole red
Ti white

I will have to buy a few more tubes as these do not behave quite like a similar palette in the oils I typically use.  In particular, I had trouble getting dark enough darks.  But over all, it worked quite well.  I had plenty of time to work the paint and blend edges and the typical acrylic value shift does not seem tobe as problematic.  I still have to keep work area clean but it isn't quite as time critical.  Bottom line:  winner!

Friday, January 23, 2015

Monday, January 12, 2015

A Bit Cold?

A couple of ol' boys were fishing here and as I was setting up my tripod, one of them asks, "It ain't none of business but what the hell is that?"

"A painting easel," says I.

"A bit cold to be painting, isn't it?" he asks.

"A bit cold to be standing in the middle of the river fishing isn't it?"  Pretty much ended that conversation...

Monday, January 5, 2015

20 Favorite Paintings #6, Snow Laden by Walter Launt Palmer

Snow Laden
Walter Launt Palmer

I had never heard of this painter or seen any of his work until a Facebook friend posted this and some others from him a few months ago.  As I looked at more of his work, I marveled that he was so relatively unknown.

About this painting in particular, I love the rather subtle nature of the purples here.  I think purple can be an abused color because it so bold and attracts so much attention.  Once an artist starts using it, it can be addictive and become far too overpowering or even a crutch in work.  But here, the purple is kept in check well I think.  There is a nice stillness to this design as well while retaining a dynamic due to the placement of the foreground tree.  I also really like how the sky scintillating qualities due to those flecks of higher value streaming down.  Very nice edges on the barely detectable background hill too, all made possible by hitting the value so very near to the sky at the horizon.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happy New Year and Goals

First off, Happy New Year to everyone!  Like many people, I establish some goals for the coming year.  2014 was a total bust for me but the month of July left a smoking crater in my life so I have a good excuse for basically missing every goal I made.  Here are mine for the coming year, not just art related:

1) Get into a third gallery - I already have a possibility lined up but until my work is hanging, it doesn't count.
2) Get into 3 national shows - I don't think I got into a single national show in 2014 but again, I pretty much quit doing anything to advance my career after July.  There are several shows I plan to submit to in the coming days.
3) Have more surface area of art in my annual solo show at Cantrell Gallery than ever before - In 2014, I had fewer square inches of art than in 2013 and consequently made less despite selling very well.  I have until April and so far I am WAY behind but I am planning on larger paintings than I have ever painted so maybe I can make it.

1) Get back to 6:00 mile pace - Since I really cannot run long for a few years, making marathons out of the question, I will focus on getting faster and trying to get back miles in the 6 minute range.  Maybe that can lead to a sub 20 3k.
2) Top ten finish in my favorite road bike race - I probably should have gotten a top ten finish last year but had a mechanical at a critical time.  I really think a podium or a top 5 finish is possible but I don't want to set myself up for disappointment
3) Get podium finishes in at least 2 mountain bike races.
4) Run the Full Moon 25k again - No finish expectations as this distance will be difficult for me to train for but I can still finish.
5) Develop my son's cycling so that he can race this year.