Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Cloud Study Dec 9

This is a painting of a cloud I saw while in Sedona, recently. It is from a photo I took while gathering reference material for paintings. Over the past few weeks, I've been working on larger paintings for upcoming shows and gallery representation. These paintings will be viewable on my Web site (a link to my Web site is on the right side of this page) in the near future. I will continue to post smaller paintings on my blog when I can fit them into my schedule.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Ghost Ranch — SOLD

Recently, I made my first trip to Ghost Ranch, where Georgia O'Keeffe found inspiration for her paintings. It wasn't until the end of the day that we arrived, just in time to catch the last minutes of sun on the cliffs. The color gradations from purples and reds of the geology to brilliant yellows of sunlit white cliffs, with subtle changes in reflected light are evident in this stunning landscape. I plan on doing at least one larger painting of this area.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Moon Over The Bosque — SOLD

This painting is of an area in the Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge near the Rio Grande, 16 miles south of Socorro, New Mexico. Right after sunset, the sky above the eastern horizon was layered with subdued color, each layer transitioning into the next and creating an interesting textural effect. The air cooled quickly, and the presence of Mr. Moon added a dreamlike quality to the quiet landscape.

The word "bosque" is Spanish and refers to small wooded areas along the flood plains of stream and river banks in the southwestern United States. In the fall, visitors to the refuge will witness flocks of migratory birds such as sandhill cranes, Arctic geese and many kinds of ducks. Many other varieties of migratory and native fauna are here, too. If you're lucky, like we were on this day, you will catch a glimpse of some of the more elusive critters, like the bobcat or mountain lion.

Sunday, October 25, 2009


There is not much pure white observable in clouds. If you study them closely you will see they are made up of shades of gray, with a relatively few brilliant highlights of warm, yellowish white. These highlights of reflected sunlight create the illusion that the entire cloud is "whiter" than it actually is.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Clouds Adrift

The air is cool and fresh after a storm. Here, the fragments of a once larger storm cloud float across the blue sky and bid farewell.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Creeping Shadows

Greens in the desert Southwest are mostly pale or muted. It's necessary to have a presence of mind when observing the subject and mixing paint in order to avoid transforming a painting of the desert into a rainforest landscape. There are times, however, when intense greens can be observed, and these are enhanced when the sun is low in the sky. Such was the case when I discovered this early evening scene along the highway to Cochiti Lake in New Mexico. Dappled light on the foreground shadow area made for spots of intense green.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Load of Firewood (study)

This painting shows another view of Highway 6 in New Mexico. I was attracted by the brilliant sunlight that penetrated the fragmented layers of storm clouds and reflected off the highway surface and building.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Foothills Evening — SOLD

At sunset, color and value contrasts are strong. What attracted me to this scene was the strong blue light from the sky reflected in the shadows of the rocks and ground.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Prickly Pear — SOLD

Boulders, cacti and grasses occupy the foothills of the Sandia Mountains in Albuquerque. The grasses accentuate the spines of the prickly pear and create an interesting textural effect in this painting.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Mesa Shadow

This painting is of another view along Route 6, southwest of Albuquerque. The dramatic play of light and shadow on the landscape and the variety of geologic features are what caught my eye. It's really a matter of timing to find these ideal conditions. Wait a few minutes and the lighting effect is totally different.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Field In Late Summer — SOLD

Open Space: A View with Room Art Exhibition had its opening today in Albuquerque and I attended with my easel and paints. I set up outside the building and painted the field of grass and sunflowers and a cottonwood tree. Lots of friendly people and other artists attended and stopped to chat while I painted.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Along 6 — SOLD

On Wednesday, I took a drive on Highway 6, southwest of Albuquerque. The highway is a remnant of old Route 66 and offers views of open, grassy, high desert, punctuated with the occasional land feature. Lighting is what makes this land interesting. Add clouds, sunlight and shadow to what might otherwise be the same as what was seen five miles back and you have a spectacular subject. The clouds and light take the main stage in this painting, with juniper trees and the mountain playing a supportive role.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Day Luminary — SOLD

Here is another attempt at depicting brilliant sunlight on clouds and sky. The sun was partially obscured by the cloud, which caused a refraction of its rays.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

King For A Day — SOLD

A thunderhead forms during the middle of the day on this early September day in New Mexico. Its enormous presence is manifest in the vast unobstructed landscape. By evening its magnificence has waned and it disappears under cover of darkness.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Wildflower — SOLD

I saw these wildflowers while walking along the Rio Grande. Their appearance suggested they were past their prime, and I thought I would take advantage of the short time left to show them off against a brilliant blue sky.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Rio Grande View

This painting was done during the last days of August and is a depiction of the Rio Grande as it flows through Albuquerque. The river has a muddy color, but from this vantage point, its color is the reflected light from the sky, shadows and the surrounding landscape. The feature I like best about the Rio, as a design element, is the series of shallow, meandering channels that zig zag, split and rejoin.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Latecomer - SOLD

The skies were clear all day Monday, when we drove around the rurals near Santa Fe. On our way home, we encountered a stray thunderhead. It formed just in time to show off its beauty in the early evening sun.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

August Evening — SOLD

Juniper trees help define the contours of the land along the highway to Cochiti Lake, north of Albuquerque. A hazy sunset created a soft light on the landscape.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

After The Main Event

Friday was a wonderful day for clouds. The sky was gray in the morning, and Albuquerque finally got some much needed rain. By afternoon, patches of blue were appearing, and I headed for the mesa for a better look. I have a convertible, so I had a spectacular view of the sky. I got some good painting material and ideas for larger paintings. I'm headed for Santa Fe for two days and hope to have some paintings to post from that trip this week.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Down The Street

I've been wanting to paint a street light at dusk for years. There is something about the warm glow of the artificial light against the cool color of the sky that appeals to me. I'm also fascinated by the area right around the light, where there is an absence of color in the presence of light. It sounds like a contradiction, but that is what I see. Can anyone explain this visual phenomenon?

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Monday, August 10, 2009

End Of The Day

This is the sunset from last night. Earlier in the day, my wife and I drove 200 miles of highway around New Mexico, in part, to find new material for painting. The best lighting conditions and subject I was able to find was this sunset, just minutes before arriving back home.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Wrapped In Blue - SOLD

This cloud was almost directly overhead. The sun was behind the cloud, making the edges of the cloud very bright and the sky very blue. Conveying this dynamic light effect in a painting is great fun.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Early Light - SOLD

Here is another back lit effect, with the Sandia Mountains obscuring the rising sun for a few more minutes.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Quiet Dusk

The location for this painting is about a mile from my house in Albuquerque. The sun was setting, and I had to work fast to make some color notes during last few minutes of light.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Morning Light

The sun was creeping over the Sandia Mountains, and I wanted to capture the near silhouette effect of the tree in the morning light.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Trying To Rain

Here is another view of one of the ancient volcanoes on the West Mesa of Albuquerque. The time is late in the day, when only the cloud tops received the direct rays of the sun. Not enough moisture in the air to allow much rain from these clouds.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

A Cloud Askew - SOLD

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This impressive cloud caught my eye on the grasslands west of Albuquerque. The cloud was changing shape fairly quickly and I snapped some photos to use as reference later in the studio.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Afternoon Buildup

This is my first posting. As is typical in the summer, afternoon cumulus clouds grow quickly. By the time I finished this painting, the cloud had expanded appreciably. The land feature is a remnant of an ancient volcano on the West Mesa in Albuquerque.