The Cup II

Still life of a little cup.

The Cup II, 20" x 24", Oil on canvas panel
The Cup II, 20″ x 24″, Oil on canvas panel, $1000
A friend of mine picked this little cup up at a flea market while spending some time in Germany. He gave it to me thinking it would make a nice painting.
To create a some dramatic lighting, I set the cup up with a white light shining straight down on it and two blue lights on both sides.
I find there’s a strange balance, when painting from life or from photos, of how realistic or stylized to make the painting. On this painting, I spent the first day trying to paint exactly what I was seeing (the real cup is very symmetrical in shape). I got frustrated because it wasn’t coming out just right, so I gave up, wiped it away and put it aside. The next day I went at it again knowing there was a painting there and just drew it out focusing more on the composition than trying to get every detail just right. This little cup has a lot to offer so I’ll probably paint it again and again.


Ten Pink Roses

A painting of a thank you gift.

Ten Pink Roses, 12" x 16", Acrylic on canvas panel
Ten Pink Roses, 12″ x 16″, Acrylic on canvas panel, $400
My wife got these roses for a thank you from a student she worked with. They weren’t in the house long before I decided they really needed to be painted. I knew theses flowers would soon die and go away, but by painting them they live on!
This was the first time I’ve tried to paint roses and it was quite a challenge. I don’t have any of those one-swooping-brush-stroke-pedal techniques, so I just do what I do and tried my best to capture these beautiful shapes. The finished painting ended up having a kind of wispy translucent quality as though there is some kind of breeze blowing them around.
For the set up I put the dog’s pillow behind the flowers for a background. I originally had the table edge going at an angle and you can still see it in the background.
One other funny thing to note is a lot of times about half way through a painting, without even trying, I’ll see some kind of face. Can you find the face I see in this painting?
Here’s a photo of the set up.




Leaf faced guy with a moth. Is somebody ready to pounce?

Mothman, 12" x 16", Acrylic on canvas panel
Mothman, 12″ x 16″, Acrylic on canvas panel, $300
I found this leaf faced guy hanging on a post while wondering around Mount Vernon, WA. I couldn’t resist that face surrounded by the greenery and twisting vines. I added the moth for a little visual interest.
Here’s the original photo.



A still life with limes and a bottle of Corona.

Limegreen, 9" x 12", Oil on canvas board
Limegreen, 9″ x 12″, Oil on canvas board, $200
My brother Tom and I were doing theme paintings for a while. We’d both paint something with the same theme and see what we came up with. This being a “fruit” theme, I got some limes and we had the Corona. It was a painting and a party!
Here’s the still life set up.limegreen_photo


A nice old car in Cle Elem.

Antiques, 8" x 10", Oil on Canvas Board
Antiques, 8″ x 10″, Oil on Canvas Board, $300
I found this nice old car in front of an antique shop in Cle Elum, Washington. This is the second of two paintings and this one was done in more of a free style way compared to the first. In other words, I was trying not to match the photo exactly, but to use it as inspiration.

Retired Truck 2

An old truck found on while driving around Mount Vernon, WA.

Retired Truck 2, 9" x 12", Oil on canvas board
Retired Truck 2, 9″ x 12″, Oil on canvas board, $200
While driving around and getting lost on some country roads near Mount Vernon, WA I noticed this nice old truck someone had parked in their front yard as lawn art and I took a few pictures with my camera.
I painted this while using one of the pictures as inspiration.
This is an oil painting done with a pallet knife which allows for some pretty gnarly effects.

Old Boat

The “Old Boat” painting!

Old Boat, 24" x 33", Oil on Board
Old Boat, 24″ x 33″, Oil on Board, NFS

Here’s some lawn art! This boat happens to be displayed in our front yard. Why? Because it’s a funky old boat and I love it. The questions I ask is where’d it come from, who used it and how the heck did I end up with it? Actually, it came from my mother-in-law’s place out in Marlin, WA. Someone was trying to use it as some kind of planter and we dug all the dirt and weeds out, threw it in the truck and brought it home. Not sure whose it was before that.

This painting is somewhat of a transitional painting for me. This is when I was still painting solely from photos and I was trying to make the painting its own instead of copying the photo exactly. The photo was great but the painting needed to be something else; something beyond the photo. By using only a pallet knife and keeping the paints relatively thick it helped me to focus more on the painting and not worry so much about painting every detail in the photo. I did this back in 2005 and it just recently won Honorable Mention and People’s Choice awards at the 2012 Soap Lake Winterfest Art Show!

We brought the boat home about 10 years ago and it’s still out in the front yard. Only now it’s nicely landscaped and has ornamental grasses and grape vines growing around it. Maybe someday I’ll paint it again.