Morning light from the painting studio

November 28, 2014 § Leave a comment

Morning light from the painting studio


Garage Flies

September 18, 2014 § Leave a comment


Limenitis arthemis astyanax

Limenitis arthemis

Butterfly Gesture

I was delighted by a visit from a couple of these Limenitis arthemis astyanax butterflies. They enjoyed slurping up moisture from the garage floor and didn’t mind my photography and sketching as they raised and lowered their wings. Seeing these up close brought to mind the words regal, stealth and terrifying.














2 Peonies

May 21, 2014 § Leave a comment

2 Peonies

To Say Thank You

May 6, 2014 § Leave a comment

To Say Thank You

A recent watercolor as a response to a very kind gesture.
Watercolor, graphite, and ink on paper.

Outdoor Studio

March 14, 2014 § Leave a comment



Somewhere along the way I picked up the perception that to be a good artist I should be in my studio all the time. However, often I would go to my studio and be at a loss of what to do there. When I’m outside my studio is when all the ideas seem to come.

Sean Blanda posted this quote recently on 99U by Garrison Keillor, “I don’t think that one should sit and look at a blank page. The way around it is to walk around with scrap paper and to take notes, and simply to take notes on the observable world around you.”

My Valentine Bouquet

February 15, 2014 § Leave a comment




Second Look

March 10, 2013 § 28 Comments


The students have finished their second graphite study of the semester. To encourage them along and sharpen my own skills I set up a study of my own to work on in my office. It has been helpful to be working on one at the same time as the students because certain things will come to my mind while I am working that otherwise I might not have thought of to share with them. It also shows them that I believe in the benefit of the exercise.

We start with six quick compositional thumbnails to decide on the layout before diving right in to the drawing itself. Even if the arrangement of objects doesn’t change from one compositional thumbnail to the other, there are many other factors such as their size within the frame, their horizontal or vertical orientation within the frame, and also the choice of frame itself. I encourage the students to try a square, a vertical rectangle, and a horizontal rectangle. Some students also try breaking through the rectangle and creating their own custom format.