Wednesday, August 31, 2011

"Ft. George Companions"

Pastel on gatorfoam, 9x12


These two palms stand by themselves on a small hammock in the salt marsh at Ft. George Island.  In the late afternoon, the hazy light suppresses the distance but brings the foreground into sharp color and values.

I have painted these two trees a number of times, but I never tire of their simple beauty and substance.

Monday, August 29, 2011

"Marsh in October Colors"

Oil on stretched canvas, 9x12


The muhly grass brings in the pink color in waves before the rest of the autumn colors fade.  This is a color study of those colors in oil from some earlier works and reference photos.  The feel in October is one of expectation and dazzle.

This painting was done with larger brushes to limit the detail in order to emphasize the color and drama.

Pines of Dutton Island Preserve

Oil on Masonite - 14x11

To purchase, contact me

This painting is a view of the salt marsh across the Intercoastal Waterway.  I have shown this picture a couple of times under the title “Pines at Dutton Island Preserve.”  This was one of my first paintings Done plein air with the First Coast Plein Air Painters.  I have painted this scene a number of times since then, but sadly two of the picturesque trees on the left of the island have died and disappeared.

I am posting this painting here because some have expressed interest in this scene and in my work, and I wanted to bring it out again.

I have returned to this scene a number of times because of the combination of the lonely pines, the reflections in the water, and the sense of stillness and openness that characterize the salt marsh.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Using EconoSpace with Pastels

These photos illustrate the use of EconoSpace frame spacers with pastel paintings.

Spacers attacked to the glass.  This one is to frame a work 14x11.

The glass is placed on top of the painting - spacers between painting and glass.

Finished frame with EconoSpace spacers.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Using Econospace Frame Spacers

This is the Tips Sheet provided with EconoSpace frame spacers.  I have found them very easy and effective for framing pastels that are done or mounted to gatorfoam board.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

"Saltbush Path"

Oil on Masonite panel - 14x11


I needed the frame that this painting was in for something else, so decided to take it down and put it up on E-Bay. It was done in '06, but I added some retouch this afternoon.

This is a plein air painting I did of a path beside the marsh and through the live oaks.  In October, the saltbush puts on spectacular show of fluffy white heads.  This path gets a little wet at high tide, so I had to hurry to get down the basics and finish it at home.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

"Standing Guard"

Pastel on sanded Gatorfoam, 11x14

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This solitary palm tree seems to stand guard over an old path through the dunes at Ponte Vedra.  Boardwalks have been built for dune access, and the old paths are "off limits."  It's as if this palm tree stands watch to keep beach-goers off his path.

This painting was done on gessoed and sanded gatorfoam.  I neglected to sand the gesso before I added the pumice sand gel coat.  This made the surface rougher that I expected, and I almost threw the piece out.  I kept going anyway, and I really like the effect of the undercoat showing through - especially in the sky.

We have an older pastel that I did a year or two ago that has this same motif and design.  Patty wanted me to do another one with brighter colors - so here it is.

Monday, August 22, 2011

"Over the Dune"

Pastel on sanded gatorboard - 14x11


The sugar white sand of the Gulf beaches and the spectacular green of the sea oats have always captured my attention.  This view of the Gulf is from the top of the dunes at Cape San Blas state park.  I have drawn and photographed this particular view a number of times, and I have done other painting from this position looking in the other direction.  I don't know why I've never painted this view before.

The gatorboard was given two coats of acrylic gesso, then two coats of pumice gel with acrylic burnt sienna.  The surface has enough texture that the undercoat show through in places.  That "peeking through" lends warmth and contrast to the greens.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

"Sunshine Choices"

Pastel on sanded Gatorfoam - 14x11


In October, the muhly grass is spectacular along the marsh.  It is especially colorful at the Little Jetties Park.  This painting is the result of earlier drawings and photographs of a path that follows the edge of the marsh. 

This painting was done at a place where the path divides.  One branch continues next to the marsh.  The other goes through the groves of cedar and palm trees.  Either choice is good.

At the close of yesterday, I took what I had done out in the yard and hosed it off.  Yesterday was filled with frustration.  This is the same panel, new undercoat, new color, and sand, and voila!

Monday, August 15, 2011

"Leaving Together"

Oil on canvas panel, 12x9


These sea gulls are a selection from a series of photos of a massive flight of gulls that have been my inspiration in several other works.  A large flock of gulls came and settled on the sand just where I was drawing and taking pictures.  I took a few pictures for reference.  Then the whole flock of dozens took flight together.  The light was right, the surf was great, I was in the right place... it doesn't get better that this.

I have pulled five gulls from the flock for this piece. 

Saturday, August 13, 2011

"Still Water in the Channel"

Oil on canvas panel - 14x11


I have drawn, painted, and photographed this old boat channel in the salt marsh from many angles and at different times.  This is a view looking across the still water.  It is in the morning, the sun is well up, but the sea breeze has not yet come.  The brightness and soft winter colors add to the air of tranquility.

I first did this painting last winter, but it needed something more.  I've touched it up a bit, and like the result very much.  I changed the name for "Boat Channel III" to "Still Water in the Channel."

Thursday, August 11, 2011

"Afternoon Shadows" Repost

Oil on RayMar canvas panel - 8x6

On several occasions, I've painted this view of the old draw bridge across the salt marsh. I am always intrigued by the subtlety of the colors and the softness of the horizon. Unfortunately, this draw bridge has been replaced by a larger, permanent span, but my old drawings and reference photos keep me coming back

Monday, August 8, 2011

"Two Brothers"

Ink and watercolor on hosho - 9.5x12


These two palm trees grow on a small hammock in the saltmarsh not far from where I live, and they are a frequent subject in my paintings. This painting is black ink and watercolor on hosho paper.

This painting was completed on May 07, 2011.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Tide Lines

Oil on panel - 12x9


After a severe northeaster storm last winter, the beach at Ponte Vedra was eroded with some spectacular tide lines. The erosion cut a clear line in the beach. The extreme high tide had left its mark. The "fresh" sand and coquina shell showed spectacular color against the blue and white of the waves.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Morning Watch

Oil on canvas panel - 12x9

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When the morning is bright and the sea breeze is silent, it's as if the palm trees are standing guard - keeping watch - over the salt marsh.  These are fall colors for the marsh when the grasses turn golden before the other vegitation picks up their winter fashions.

This view of two palm trees alone in a hammock in the salt marsh is one of my favorite views, and I have painted various versions of it before.  Each time I do, I am drawn to new appreciation for the beauty of this place.

Step back in Time

Pastel on Canson - 12.5x10; Matted 18x15


This painting is a rendition completed in 2008 from a plein air sketch done at the Alpine Grove Plantation State Park - looking north toward the original plantation house. The house was being restored when the painting was done, so naturally the construction scaffolds and equipment were deleted from the painting. 

This house is on a high bank above the St. Johns River commanding a glorious view of the river.