Mountaitn #3

Mountaitn #3
8 x 10 acrylic on stretched linen canvas

Monday, December 31, 2018

Mountain #2
14x11 acrylic on canvas panel
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The fourth painting I did was of a lone mountain and I liked it. It is hanging on my wall with a select few of my paintings. And it is on the right panel of this blog page. I have painted mountains many times since, usually in the background. But I decided I wanted to paint a lone mountain once again. This painting is on order of magnitude better. I didn't know much about color theory or painting techniques when I started out and wouldn't have known a complimentary color from a football. Lots of study and nearly a hundred paintings later, I have a much better painting. This painting is painted with only 4 analogous colors: aquamarine blue, thalo blue, cerulean blue, and thalo green. Plus white and black to change the value, of course. Also used some cadmium orange to gray out the aquamarine blue in a few places, but not many. This painting is fabulous, but I still like the other one and it will stay on my wall.

Saturday, December 29, 2018

Palm and Pine
8x10 acrylic on canvas panel
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Some more trees and another simple scene. Felt like trying to get another picture done before the end of the year and this one came together right away. Worked on it all day. And now you get to admire it. I hope so, anyway.

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Tree on a Bluff
8x10 acrylic on canvas panel
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At last, Christmas is over and things are slowly returning to normal. I managed to get some painting done and created this scene of a tree sitting on a bluff in a field. The tree isn't a normal symmetrical one like you often see. Trees don't always grow out nice and pretty, so I decided to make this one a bit asymmetrical to add interest to an otherwise simple scene. And rocks. I am pretty good with rocks.

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Orange Apple on Blue
8x10 acrylic on canvas panel
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This was fun. I got a kick out of doing the monochrome "Blue Pear" so I thought I would try another using a complementary color scheme and an apple instead of a pear. So, only cadmium orange and pthalo blue (green shade). And white and black, of course. Excellent result.

Friday, December 21, 2018

The Path
11x14 acrylic on canvas panel
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This was a frustrating painting. Through most of the early and middle stages I just didn't like it. It wasn't until the final stage and the finishing touches that I thought "OK, so its not so bad." And it did turn out ok. Not my absolute best, but far from my worst. The reflections of the trees in the stream came out good. And I added a couple strolling the path holding hands.

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

A Study of Pears
9x12 acrylic on canvas pad

Here are four separate color scheme studies put together to form a painting . Each pear is a separate color scheme. We have monochrome top left, analogous top right, split complimentary bottom left, and complementary bottom right. The point being that you can mess around with the colors all you want as long as the values are right. I did "Blue Pear" (see the previous post) based on these studies. These are fun. I might do another with apples or something.

Monday, December 17, 2018

Blue Pear
10x8 acrylic on canvas panel
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I decided to go for something different after the waterfalls and other landscapes. Here is a still life of a pear, but I did it as a monochrome color scheme. Aquamarine blue is the only color I used to paint this. An interesting painting.

Friday, December 14, 2018

Shrimp Boat
11x14 acrylic on canvas panel

Each painting I do seems to be better than the last one. Here I have painted a boat and it turned out pretty decent. The last time I painted a boat the results were far worse. The pier and the foreground posts turned out well, also, but the most striking feature of this painting are the swells coming in along the pier. You can almost see the boat rocking up and down as they pass beneath it. I definitely like this one.

Thursday, December 13, 2018

My paintings on display
at Elvira Cisneros Senior Center

This has been a very busy and event filled week which has left little time for my daily painting. I started a painting on Monday but it is still in the early stages and I hope to get more done on it as soon as possible. So, for the interim I wanted to show how several of my paintings have been put on display at the Elvira Cisneros Senior Center. All of us who have been painting the 60 foot mural over the past year were given the opportunity to submit paintings for permanent display at the center. Of the eight I submitted, six were hung on the walls. And you will notice:
In the center of the picture of four. Out of all the paintings that were chosen, four were selected as best of show and are going to be on display at the Bihl Haus Art Gallery. My painting "Lilies, Lemon, and Orange" (see October 31 post for the picture) was selected as one of the four to be displayed at the art gallery. There will be a celebration in honor of the four artists in January. My fist display in an actual art gallery. Maybe someone will buy it.  

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Autumn Sunrise
11x14 acrylic on canvas panel

Ok, with all the Christmas paintings done it is time to just paint. Here is a stream running through grass covered bluffs and stands of colorful trees. The stream reflects the light of the morning sun ready for a new day.

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Waterfall #6
11x14 acrylic on canvas panel

And here is the third waterfall for Christmas gifts. This is a few small falls into a garden feature or something like that. Got broad leaf shrubs and evergreens. I think the person whom I painted this for will like it.

Monday, December 3, 2018

Waterfall #5
11x14 acrylic on canvas panel

Here is the second waterfall painting for my Christmas gift list. I have already begun the third and last one. Here we have some water falling from under some dense foliage at the top of the bluff. The water has uncovered some rocks over time and, since the fir tree is leaning to the left, the water is possibly undermining it. Both banks of the stream are covered with a profusion of grasses providing are rather idyllic scene. Nice spot for a summer picnic over by the rocks under the tree.

Friday, November 30, 2018

9x12 acrylic on canvas pad

OK, this one was a real tough one and it is by far my best painting to date. And, I painted it on paper as a practice painting. Go figure. Well, I like it a lot, so will probably frame it and bestow it on some poor soul as a Christmas gift. Or even put it on my own wall. Not the first of my paintings to adorn my own walls.

As for Christmas, I have decided on the scene for the next waterfall painting. Will probably start on it tomorrow. Only 25 days left till Christmas!

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Waterfall #4
11x14 acrylic on canvas board

Ok, here is the first of the three waterfall paintings that I am painting for Christmas gifts. Here we have a small stream spilling over a large flat rock and down onto others. A fallen branch of a tree makes up the left side of the flow while yet another rock borders the right. A fairly ok painting. I hope the recipient likes it.

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Wave Study #2
9x12 acrylic on canvas pad

Thanksgiving kind of disrupted my painting efforts as holidays and family gatherings do. I have dropped back to painting some simple, and not so simple, studies on canvas pad. First I did some color value studies, but they are not interesting so I won't post them here. Then I decided I wanted to do some wave studies. Well, Wave Study #1 was a complete failure and ended up in the trash, which is why I use canvas pads. It's just paper, after all.

Anyway, I didn't like the lesson I was trying to do from one of my books. So I found one on the internet and followed it. The result is Wave Study #2 above. It turned out nice, but I was following step by step instructions so it should. Just trying some new things and seeing what works for me. I have done a few waves in the past. I want to be able to paint seascapes, landscapes, skyscapes, and still lives whenever the fancy takes me. Might also toy with abstract but that's down the road. You need to know how to do it right before you deliberately do it wrong.

But I have 3 paintings, at least, I need to do for Christmas gifts and haven't really decided what subjects. Most likely a landscape with a waterfall. After all, if I do all 3 on similar subjects the recipients can't say so and so got a better one. I have some 11x14 canvas boards that I will probably use. You'll see them here when I finish them. 24 November already, no pressure.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Miles of Snow
16x20 acrylic on stretched canvas

Well, Thanksgiving in the US is Thursday, so I decided to paint a snow scene with a nice little cozy cabin. Inside the little cabin's warmth people prepare for the another day of snow and cold. Yesterdays snow melt has made a muddy mess of the road and refroze so the ice reflects the sky. Nice image for a nice painting.

An interesting bit of coincidence. I finished this painting just before going to work on the mural today and while there, a call went out for paintings featuring a snow scene to enter a contest. I said, why not? I will attempt to enter Miles of Snow next Tuesday after the long holiday weekend. But that leads to a dilemma. I had painted this for a Christmas present and I have no more 16x20 canvas. It is Black Friday week and any store is an absolute nut house all this week. I may just buy some canvas online and paint small for a few days to avoid the stores and the traffic.

I'll give you an idea of how crazy it is. I went to get burgers for dinner yesterday to a place less than 10 minutes away. It is in a little shopping center across from a Target. Down the boulevard (6 lane major street) is a very large mall plus a couple of other shopping centers. It took me 90 minutes to get home due to the traffic! I could have walked and been home faster. I was rather irritated you might say.

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Waterfall #3
8x10 acrylic on canvas board
But it at

 Decided on another waterfall down a rocky channel. No trees this time, just rocks and water. I have always liked waterfalls. I nearly fell from the top of Wallace Falls in Washington when I was a teenager. Standing on a log and didn't realize nothing but waterfall was below me. Freaked me out but I carefully crawled my way off that log back onto the actually bank of the falls. Couple months later Air/Sea Rescue had to pluck some girl off of that same log because she froze and was too scared to move. Got to admit, the view from that log was spectacular. 250 feet straight down. This was before it became a national park.

Friday, November 16, 2018

Dead Tree Swamp
16x20 acrylic on stretched canvas

Another big picture with lots of detail. Problem is I've run out of this size canvas. Probably gesso over a few old paintings I don't like to reuse them. Anyway, I did this one with the idea of giving it as a Christmas present. The good thing about painting every day is that you have lots of potential gifts.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

8x10 acrylic on canvas board
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Well, painted a couple of birds so now why not an egg? My latest painting "Beginnings" is simply a cracked egg lying in the grass. Is it a still life, landscape, nature painting? Don't know what to classify it as, but it is an interesting painting and you can check it out on my gallery page.

Monday, November 12, 2018

Raven on a Rock
8x10 acrylic on canvas board
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Well, the crow study from yesterday was a success so I decided to try it again, this time with a background. I always see paintings of birds on bushes, tree limbs, fence posts, and the like, which is fine and I will probably do the same. But I decided to paint this bird on a rock in a field of rocks. I do rocks pretty good. The birdy came out nice, too. I am going to list this one my gallery page, so check it out. You can always look at the others while your at it.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Study of a Crow 1
9x12 Acrylic on Canvas Pad

Today I started by doing this study of a crow. I did a drawing of one yesterday and wanted to see if I could paint one. Only used Ultramarine Blue, Mars Black, and a little Titanium White. The end result, as you see, was quite satisfactory. I then did the background for a painting that I plan to make the focus a raven or a crow. I will work on that more tomorrow.

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Derelict Church and the Hangman's Tree
16x20 acrylic on stretched canvas

Well, here is another new painting. This painting started out as an exercise from a library book on painting acrylic landscapes but my colors were coming out darker than I wanted. I know that I could have easily fixed it and that the later stages of the painting would have lightened it up anyway, but the subject matter (an old church on a lake with a dead tree in the foreground) and the time of year it is (plus the fact I watched a bunch of scary movies lately) I decided to have some fun with it. I made the church run down with missing slats and door, then I added a few grave stones to its left. Furthering the Halloween feel of it, I added a hangman's noose, fungus, and a flock of ravens. I also put in a mushroom faerie ring just for grins. I thought of adding a jack-o-lantern or a headless horseman, but didn't think I could pull it off. Anyway, who said every painting has o be serious? I hope you like my late for Halloween painting "Derelict Church and the Hangman's Tree". It was just a for the fun of it painting, after all.

Friday, November 9, 2018

Chili Duo
11x14 Acrylic on stretched canvas
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Well, here is the other still life I did. I painted Chili Duo back in early August. A study on how to paint round objects and make them look 3 dimensional. Though this was a class lesson and not a serious painting, it still came out pretty good. So, now you have seen all the still lives that I have done, except for one that was so horrible I reprimed  the canvas and painted something else on it. Believe it or not, I have several other paintings waiting for the same repriming treatment. Not every effort is good.

An interesting aside about yesterday's mural session. The professional artist in charge of the project asked me to teach her how I paint rocks. It is a sure sign you're getting better when a professional that has been doing it for decades wants to learn your technique. Yeah, ok, big ego boost. But you take it anyway you can get it.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Milk Bottle
10x8 Acrylic on Canvas Board
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My latest attempt at a still life. Milk Bottle came out really good. Used only a few colors. Background is cadmium orange and white while the milk bottle is white mixed with a little primary blue. The table is burnt umber and white. The straw is pthalo blue and the shadow is a mix of primary blue dioxazine purple, and burnt umber with a little white on the bottle. Overall, very nice.

Monday, November 5, 2018

10x8 acrylic on canvas board

My newest painting, Waterfall, finished this morning. The painting is of a waterfall between the moss covered rock walls of a deep gorge with a large overgrowth of fir or cedar trees on the left side. A few trees have fallen into the gorge and have become wedged across and above the rushing water. Waterfalls, moss covered rocks, and trees seem to be what I like to paint most. Of course, they are beautiful to look at.

Sorry for no post yesterday. I started reading a book and my reading session turned into a long nap that ended at about 7AM this morning. It is a good book, but I was just completely ragged out. It happens.

Saturday, November 3, 2018

8x10 Acrylic on stretched canvas

Ok, here is Footbridge, my newest painting. I worked on this off and on most of today after doing all the background work yesterday. A large amount of the time was working on the bridge and its reflection. I did work on the walkways yesterday, but reworked a lot of it because I had the bridge coming into grass on the right side. Minor fix and, after adding some highlights for the pea gravel and some fallen leaves, the walkway looked good. The muck floating around in the water in the foreground was an interesting challenge, but it also came out really good. I will definitely be listing this on my gallery, so click on the link and check it out. Maybe even bid on it if you like it.

Friday, November 2, 2018

12x16 Acrylic on stretched canvas

Here is another painting from August. My first chicken. I don't know if I want to specialize or not. Now, I just paint whatever tickles my fancy, though I do more landscapes than anything else. Including the one I am working on now that, once again, is not finished for tonight's post. Maybe I am choosing to specialize, but I don't think so. I just haven't tried too many other things yet and I am more familiar with landscape painting. They say beginning artist's usually do still lives first, but I've only done three. All three were really good, though. I've posted two of them in this blog already. I need to show you the third one. Next time a new painting isn't finished I will post it. Anyway, I hope you like my chicken. I have called this painting 'Curious Hen", "Curious Chicken", and "Curious Rooster". I have decided to just name it "Curious".

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Morning by a Waterfall
20x16 Acrylic on stretched canvas 

Well, here it is. This is the painting I have been working on for the last three days. Morning by a Waterfall was loosely based on the final exercise in one of the books I have been studying but I have modified it quite a bit. Started with the sky and mountains, of course, and when I had them the way I wanted I did waterfall, rocks and grass. Had to redo the grass on the right and then put the tree over it anyway.  Did the water in the foreground and then the trees. Added the final touches (the bling, as one artist calls it) and finished.. Oh, and had to sign it.

Also worked on the mural today. My garden is coming along nicely. There is a mural repair project coming up that I might get a chance to work on. Kind of hoping that works out. Plus, I might get some paintings exhibited soon. More on that as it develops.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Lillies, Lemon, and Orange
12x16 Acrylic on stretched canvas

My new painting is coming along nicely, but still needs some work. So, once again I will show a painting I have already done. Lillies, Lemon, and Orange was painted in August. It started as a study of a vase, but became this beautiful still life. Hope you like it.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Rock Pile
12x9 acrylic on stretched canvas

Today was another day working on the mural, though I did get some personal painting in on a new canvas. Just got some of the background done, so it will be a day or two before I finish it. The painting, Rock Pile, was painted about 3 days before I started this blog. It is a picture of an interesting pile of rocks near may house someone uses as a driveway marker. I didn't like the driveway, so I left if out. Turned into a really interesting painting. Hope you like it.

Monday, October 29, 2018

8x10 acrylic on canvas board

Well here it is, an absolutely fabulous painting. I worked on this all yesterday morning and again today. I had to redo a few things here and there but this one is just awesome. I hope you like it as much as I do. By the way, this is my 51st painting, not counting work on the mural. Long way from my first painting, which I will not show on this blog.

Sunday, October 28, 2018

14x11 Acrylic on stretched canvas

Todays painting (not shown) is not finished yet. It needs some background work and the finishing touches, of course. So, I decided to show you this one. I painted Saguaro in August. I want you to compare the change in quality to Tree, Field and Hedgerows (in the footer of the page) which I painted in March, and to Brackenridge Park (above) which I painted in April. Now compare it to  yesterdays post. I hope that you can see a marked improvement in quality over the past 8 months. .

I think that Saguaro is a good painting. I was quite satisfied with it then. And I still am, which is saying something since I am beginning to have a more critical eye for my art. Many paintings I thought were o.k. before are now in the "Gesso" pile so the canvas can be reused. I have also been giving some away to family and friends.

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Island in the Stream
11x14 acrylic on stretched canvas

One day my youngest son wanted me to take him to a park and we ended up walking along the San Antonio River. I took a lot of pictures while we were strolling along, including this one. It was actually a rather drab, overcast day, and most of the pictures are kind of dreary. I decided to brighten this up a bit. I really got the island to snap out at the viewer. I really do like this one.

Friday, October 26, 2018

Dead Tree Study
9x12 acrylic on canvas board

Todays painting is another study. This time it is a couple of dead trees in winter time. Colors used were ultramarine blue, burnt sienna, dioxazine purple, cadmium orange, and white. Turned out good.

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Buck 54
11x14 acrylic on stretched canvas
Well, if there is going to be a day I won't do a painting it will be a Thursday. Not that I wasn't painting today, but Thursday is one of the days I work on the San Antonio Tri-centennial mural. I was painting pretty red flowers today. My section is the beautiful garden, so I will be doing lots of flowers.

Anyway, about the painting above. I did this painting about 10 October. It is my creation from start to finish. I did the setup and the composition, lighting, drawing and painting. I don't see many paintings of penny rolls. I did really good on the coins. Even got Lincoln's silhouette really good on one. I am thinking about doing another still life, but haven't decided the subject yet. But I have a few more trees in my noggin, too.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Study of a Rainbow
9x12 acrylic on canvas pad
Here is today's painting. The exercise is to paint the rainbow over the mountains. Everything came out good, except the rainbow. It is a little too opaque, especially the blue. Well, I have one sheet left on that canvas pad . . .

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Tree Down the Street 1
8x10 acrylic on canvas board
I painted two pictures today. Tree Down the Street 1 was the second of the two. It is the first of an intended series of paintings of interesting trees and plants in the neighborhood. This tree is about a block and a half north of my house. The painting came out really well.

Tree Study
9x12 acrylic on canvas pad
The other painting was a study of a tree from the book I have been working out of (see the post from 21 October). I felt it was a success so I went and painted the Tree Down the Street using the techniques learned in the exercise..

I have a new camera, a Nikon Coolpix B500, so it will take me a little to get used to it. I try real hard not to mess up the photos of the paintings.

Monday, October 22, 2018

Shallow Lake
9x12 acrylic on canvas pad
Today's painting was an exercise for creating reflections on water. I modified the lesson slightly adding a few objects. Unfortunately, I was not pleased with this from the start. First, I had to completely trash the first attempt and by the time I had worked in the under painting for the trees and brush I was about ready to trash it again. But I pressed on, the lesson being about reflections not the trees. I worked in the highlights and detail improving the painting quite a bit more than I expected. I still didn't like the way the cypress tree looked. One of the things they say is don't get fussy over details so, I got fussy with that tree and finally got it to a "good enough" level.

But I learned a lot from this, which is the point. I used to tell my students that you don't learn anything if you do it right the first time. You learn when you make and correct your mistakes. I had a few on this one. Next time I might try my own composition, maybe on a canvas.

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Mossy Rocks (painted 20-21 October 2018)
11x14 acrylic on canvas

Here is the painting I was working on yesterday and again today. I have painted a small stream as it passes around some moss covered rocks. There is a bunch of brush and dead branches in the background. The focal point is the waterfall between the left and center rock. The green of the moss is also that of a background bush which pulls the eye up and to the right. This painting came out pretty good and I have some recent work/studies to thank for it:

A Study of Rocks
9x12 acrylic on canvas pad

Rock Study
9x12 acrylic on canvas pad

The Bank
9x12 acrylic on canvas pad

These three studies were exercises from the book Secrets of Acrylic Landscape Start to Finish by Jerry Yarnell. I took a bit of the lesson from each and applied them to Mossy Rocks to see if I could adapt what I learned beyond the step-by-step lessons of the book. My intention, as I started in an earlier blog, is to paint everyday whether it is a lesson from a book or video or a composition/picture of my own creation.

I am trying to train my eye to look for scenes and objects around me that would be good subjects for paintings. I take walks around my neighborhood or in local parks taking pictures of what I think are interesting looking plants, trees, streams, fields and so on. I also try to compose the occasional still life as you saw in yesterdays post. Hopefully, I will get better at that as well as at the painting.

Saturday, October 20, 2018

.Wednesday's (October 17, 2018) Painting: Blue Pot and Wicker Vase, 9x12 acrylic on canvas pad

For the most part, I paint landscapes or seascapes, but I also give a still life a try on occasion. This blue pot was on a table of prizes at a local bingo game and I really liked the blue. From a picture I took with my phone, I adapted it to this painting. The point was to work on composition and value. Both objects are in the "sweet spots" according to the rule of thirds (Yes, I have been studying) and I think I have the values, shadows, and highlights fairly correct. I was quite happy with the results of this.

Now, I know I said that I was attempting the Daily Painting Project and you might expect today's painting. Well, it isn't finished. I should have it for you tomorrow.

Friday, October 19, 2018

Today's painting: A Study of a Brook 9x12 Acrylic on Canvas Pad
2016 was absolutely the most miserable year of my life. My wife of more than 20 years suffered a series of strokes that left her completely paralyzed which led to her death from pneumonia. If that wasn't enough of a blow, less than an hour after returning home from her funeral, my upstairs ceiling collapsed with a loud "whoosh" as gallons of water from an unknown roof leak crashed through onto the rug. So, not only was I in the middle of dealing with overwhelming grief, I now had to deal with probate and insurance. Fun.

Managed to get roof fixed. Spent lots of time with lawyers and in court to probate her estate. So, now what could make things worse? Well, suddenly the college that I had taught electronic engineering at for almost as long as I had been married, closed its doors with about 2 weeks notice to staff and students alike. Now, on top of everything else, I am unemployed. And I said "To hell with it!" and retired.

But now I had time on my hands with nothing to do. Or nothing that I wanted to do. So for about a year, I more or less played mindless computer games and did little else except grieve. I knew I was depressed and I knew I had to do something to change it, but really did not care. Toward the end of 2017, however, I noticed that there was an art class (specifically painting) at one of the local senior centers. I decided to give it a try and jumped right in, as they say.

Now I have been painting about a year. I have decided to join the Daily Painting Project where you paint a small painting every day. I have been doing that for about 2 weeks and already have noticed an improvement in my art. I have decided to share this daily journey with you and use this blog to record it.

The other four paintings on the page are all among my first 10 paintings. Three of them, Red Sky at Morning, Mountain, and Braies Lake were displayed in the local libraries for the early part of 2018. Compare them with todays painting to see if you think I am getting better. I will post more paintings and more ramblings about them in the days to come. I hope that you decide to read along and enjoy the art.