Sunday, December 11, 2011

Better Days

Detail #1

Detail #2

This pear has seen “better days”. When I buy perishable items for a painting subject I intend to paint them as soon as I get back to the studio. However, sometimes I can’t always get to them right away. They slowly turn bad and become more interesting! With pear skin scars, punctures and bruises; I really enjoyed playing up the textural  qualities of this subject.

Medium: Artist quality oil
Painted on: Ampersand Gessobord
Dimensions: 6x6 inches

Sunday, December 4, 2011


Complete Painting

Detail #1

Detail # 2

By creating soft edges, reducing color intensity and using value contrast; I’m able to make the standing pear recede into the background. To demonstrate value contrast, compare the darker value highlight in Detail #1 to the lighter value highlight in Detail #2. To demonstrate color intensity, compare the standing dull yellow pear in Detail #1 to the more saturated yellow and yellow/reds in Detail #2.

Medium: Artist quality oil.
Painted on: Ampersand Gessobord.
Dimensions: 6x6 inches.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Lemon in Wrap

I was originally planning on painting a stand alone lemon. However, I found the way the grocery store baggie was interacting with the lemon to be interesting and I wanted to see if I could create that illusion.
Medium: Artist quality oil.
Painted on: Ampersand Gessobord.
Dimensions: 6x6 inches.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Pomegranate no.3 - SOLD

I’ve painted a couple of pomegranates before and they’re always fun to paint. Very little color mixing was done here. Basically, three reds straight from the tube and a violet were used to create the illusion of form.

Medium: Artist quality oil
Painted on: Ampersand gessobord
Dimensions: 6x6 inches

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Autumn Lake - SOLD

Here’s another plein air painting from the same location as my last blog post.

Medium: Artist quality oil
Painted on: RayMar linen panel
Dimensions: 6x6 inches

Friday, September 30, 2011

Two Pumpkins

The summer passed by in a flash and the feel of October is in the air. Here's one to set the mood for the fall season.

Medium: Artist quality oil.
Painted on: Ampersand gessobord.
Dimensions: 5x5 inches.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

2011 Cranford Plein Air Event - Concluded

Out of 150 beautiful paintings entered into the Cranford Plein Air Event, my painting “Dinosaur of Nomahegan” was the first sale of the evening! My painting of Ellis Island was also sold shortly after.

There was a very strong list of participating artists; a great show all around and a welcomed turn out of art collectors arrived Saturday night lifting everyone’s spirits after a long week of painting in record heat. Thank you to everyone who stopped in to show their support.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

2011 Cranford Plein Air Event - Continued

The Cranford Plein air event is nearing an end. The Pre-Sale Gala opens tonight and tomorrow (Sunday June 11, 2011) the show is free to the public. Click here for more info and show hours:

I shared my first painting entry in my previous post. The following are my final two entries for this event. I actually painted 4 and a half total; one was started late in the evening and requires another painting session to complete. The other turned out very nice and I will post that one soon.

Water Under the Bridge; Oil, 6x12 inches
Painted at Sperry Park, Cranford NJ. On one of the hottest days of this summer.

Dinosaur of Nomahegan: Oil, 8x10 inches.
Painted at Nomahegan Park, Cranford NJ.

This one calls for some explanation. I spotted this fun subject in last years plein air event but I ran out of time to paint it. This dinosaur is set on giant springs as part of a playground activity for children...okay, so I may have hopped on it myself when nobody was looking.

I simply appreciated the humor of the subject. Also, after watching some of the other artists in this event paint the more predictable (yet still, very well painted) around the town subjects I just couldn’t pass up painting the Dinosaur of Nomahegan. After hearing a “That’s so cool!” from a kid zipping by on his BMX bike as I was well into this painting I knew I was on the right track.

If you’re in the Cranford area this weekend, stop in to see the show before it ends Sunday.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

2011 Cranford Plein Air Event

I am participating in the 2011 Cranford Plein Air Event which is happening as I write this post. The event started on Tuesday June 7th and ends Sunday June 12th. The painting shown above is my kick-off painting for the competition: “Afternoon Reflection”, oil on linen, 8x10 inches; painted at the beautiful Nomahegan Park in Cranford, NJ 

Each participant is required to complete 3 finished paintings that will be up for judging and prizes. We’re also allowed an additional 3 paintings to offer for sale that were not painted during the competition. The following are the finished 3 that I have entered.  

 Life Saving Station @ Sandyhook, NJ Oil 12x12.

US Coast Guard @ Sandyhook Oil 8x10.

Ellis Island Acrylic 8x10.

All of the paintings posted here were created on location. There will also be a “Quick Draw” Event Saturday. Paintings created for that event will also be for sale. All paintings will be on display and for sale at the Cranford Community Center this Saturday and Sunday.

Follow this link for more event information:

I had better sign off and get back to painting.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Plein Air Painting in Arizona & Oregon

I recently took a few weeks vacation to explore and paint in Arizona and Oregon. This was my first time to Arizona and I was overwhelmed by all of the beautiful color and endless subject matter.

The desert and red rock of Arizona presented a new palette of color mixtures to discover and the vast wilderness of Oregon was all inspiring.

I plan to work up larger paintings based on some of these studies and the numerous photos taken during the trip.

I also plan to create some smaller paintings to post for auction on this blog.

I am using a Guerrilla 6x8 Thumbox pochade in these photos. My entire oil painting kit and tripod fit conveniently into a backpack for easy transport.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Scar - SOLD

Sometimes it can be a challenge finding the “perfect” produce at the store. This pear didn’t have this much character when it was first purchased. However, after a few days waiting in the fruit bowl to be painted it started to reveal the hardship of its journey. For me, this made a much more interesting subject to paint.

Medium: Artist quality oil.
Painted on: Ampersand Gessobord.
Dimensions: 5x5 inches.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Bananas #2

There are all kinds of strategies artists use when executing a painting. Some work the whole painting at once. Some will work background to foreground. Some will work outward from the main subject and any variation in-between. Some like to start with tightly rendered drawings while others sculpt form with the paint as if carving a lump of clay. I personally like to exercise many approaches so I don’t become too systematic.

Other considerations come into play depending on the medium being used. For example: watercolor artists tend to work light colors/values to dark colors/values in a painting. Oil painters recommend the opposite; painting thinner dark colors to thicker light colors. Acrylic painters have more options by working as thin and transparent as watercolor or as thick as oil paint.

I used oil for this painting however; I didn’t really stick to the “dark to light” approach of oil. After a loose drawing for placement I started with my yellow (light value) subject. Then, I established the red fabric in light before moving to the bigger red fabric in shadow. I was able to work this way in oil because I worked my color and value changes side by side just like putting puzzle pieces of color together. If I tried applying a darker color directly over a lighter one I would have run into trouble.

Medium: Artists quality oil.
Painted on: Ampersand Gessobord.
Dimensions: 5x7 inches.

Sunday, March 20, 2011


These two Comice Pears are of a complementary color scheme: red and green. I used Permanent Alizarin as my primary red. Permanent Alizarin is considered a cool red because it leans toward blue on the color wheel. To keep the green in harmony with the red I used a blue/green mixture of Ultramarine Blue and a small amount of Cadmium Yellow Light.

Medium: Artist quality oil.
Painted on: Ampersand Gessobord.
Dimensions: 5x5 inches.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Standing Guard - SOLD

I was thinking about how some animals seem to take turns at standing guard as the other one sleeps or is too distracted while eating. I see this with the ducks that visit our pond and the deer that have made the backyard home.

Medium: Artist quality oil.
Painted on: Ampersand Gessobord.
Dimensions: 5x5 inches.

Monday, February 21, 2011

"Apple Half" Oil Painting Progression Video

I shot photo stills as I was painting my last blog post “Apple Half” and made them into a brief instructional youtube video. Click the image above or  click here to watch the moive on youtube.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Apple Half - SOLD

I’ve painted a few apples before; whole to partially eaten. They’re always fun to paint. How did I get this apple to stand perfectly upright? I used a toothpick as a makeshift "apple kickstand".

Medium: Artist quality oil.
Painted on: Ampersand Gessobord.
Dimensions: 5x5 inches.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Lemon Half 2 - SOLD

To create the reflection of the lemon on the tabletop, I simply “wiped-out” paint with a soft paper towel.

Medium: Artist Quality Oil.
Painted on: Ampersand Gessobord.
Dimensions: 5x5 inches.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Companion - SOLD

It has been awhile since I last posted. However, that doesn't mean I haven't been painting. This post is my proof. Since we’re in the heart of winter here in the northeast; my plein air painting has become less frequent resulting in only a few snow paintings so far this season. I’ll post those paintings very soon. Still-life has made its way back onto my subject list along with a recent interest in portraiture. I also plan to share that with you in the up coming months.

I never get bored painting pears. They have such character and beautiful subtle colors.
With the help of a snow covered landscape outside these two pears were painted by natural window light.

Medium: Artist quality oil.
Painted on: Ampersand Gessobord.
Dimensions: 6x6 inches.