Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore

Lover’s Leap at Pictured Rocks

One of the spectacular places we toured in Michigan this past week. This is part of the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore and was painted from my photo reference. The painting is an 11×14 oil on panel. We would highly recommend the tour, which leaves from Munising, Michigan. The captain and crew made it fun and informative.  We ran into more choppy weather and rain on the way back but the bulk of the tour was smooth cruising. I feel energized and inspired from visiting the Great Lakes area, in general.

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Walking to Agate Falls State Park – Michigan


Senior Citizen

Saw this old tree riddled with Pileated Woodpecker holes hiking to Agate Falls this past week. This is a 1-1/2 hour quick study – 6×9 oil on prepared paper.

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Harbor at Bayfield, WI

Little Beauty

Tom and I recently visited Bayfield, Wisconsin where we saw this pretty little boat tied-up in the harbor. I had to paint her. The painting is an 11×14 oil on panel.

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Sleeping Child

Sleeping Lucy

I drew this study from a reference photo taken by Nina Beltran. This is her youngest daughter, Lucy. The drawing is made with General’s powdered charcoal and charcoal pencils and traditional tools including; kneaded erasers, stumps, etc. The drawing is on 12×18 Strathmore 500 charcoal paper.

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River – a portrait

River – 2017

A portrait of Tom’s great-nephew, River. I painted this from a black and white photo. The goal was to practice mixing realistic flesh tones and to capture a likeness. I need to work on all of the aspects of portraiture so I’d like to thank my family and friends for being such willing participants. This is an 8×10 oil on panel.

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Summer Garden – 2017

Summer Garden

This is the view of our garden and shed from our bedroom window. It’s too hot to actually go out there! We have too much mint, purple coneflowers, rudbeckia, sunflowers, bee balm and a multitude of unidentified weeds. The bees, hummingbirds and butterflies seem to enjoy it. 9×12 oil on panel.

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Garden Sunflowers

A small oil of sunflowers in my backyard. Ah Summer-hot but blooming. This is a 9×12 on panel.

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Tower Grove Park – July

Summer Poem

Painted in Tower Grove Park today with MOPAPA. It was a warm morning and will be another extremely hot week in STL this week. I was painting near the Piper Palm House ponds (say that three times fast). Hibiscus flowers are blooming and were reflecting in the water near the lilies and, to me, it looked like a dream or poem (or I was already delirious from the heat!). I struggled a bit with this piece and ended up finishing it at home this afternoon thanks to some extremely helpful advice from Shawn Cornell and David Huth about how to separate the reflected flowers from the actual plants growing in the water. Initially, I had them all in the same plane and they were of equal contrast and importance. By softening the reflected flowers they started to fade to the back, adding perspective to the piece. That really made it start to come together (sorry I don’t have an in-progress picture). Thanks to Shawn and Dave for helping me to see what was wrong. I’ve learned so much from the talented painters in this group and I really can’t say enough about how much they’ve affected my development as a painter. This painting is a 9×12 oil on panel.

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Color and Pattern

Summer Table

Playing here with complementary colors, textures (glass, fabric) and a selection of flowers from our backyard… This is an oil painting on panel and measures 11×14.

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Lotus at Tower Grove Park

Lotus I

I read that the Lotus is a symbol of purity and beauty in many eastern religions. Painting with MOPAPA at Tower Grove Park in STL this morning, I can understand the reverance for these amazing plants.  The delicately colored flowers grow up on long curving stems from a shallow, muddy pond and their leaves form amazing patterns and shapes as they dance in the breeze. They were a challenge to paint because, as with all things plein air, the light and shadow patterns were constantly changing. This painting is a 12×16 oil on panel.

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