Thursday, July 24, 2014

Soaring above the Beach

Soaring above the Beach

24" x 30"
Oil on sandeply Panel

Gwen and Grant playing on the sandy beach at New Brighton Beach in California. 
On the day depicted there were an unusually large number of sea birds - gulls, pelicans, grebes, cormorants and terns soaring and fishing just offshore.

Perhaps it was seeing those birds or just childlike enthusiasm, whatever - they began to soar or dance in pure enthusiasm with the joy of being in this place.

It was a cherished moment.

This painting was on my easel for about five weeks as I worked it, changed my mind, changed value and sunlight and tried to create a unity of effect. No palette can stay fresh for that length of time so part of the challenge was recreating the palette each time I worked on it after an absence.

Katie Powers took the photo used as a reference for this painting.

I'm especially pleased to capture Gwen's sailing energy and her whirling figure.

As you can see from the dimensions above, it is a bit larger than most of my works in this category.

Monday, July 21, 2014



16" x 12"
Oil on sandeply Panel

The original was painted some time ago. It hung in my office for a time and has more recently been in the studio.

After seeing it day after day, I decided to re-work some passages. As a rule I continue to make minor changes in paintings for a week or two after I think that they are done and publish them. Then I don't go back even if I see something off.

In this case I thought it needed a little attention.

This rendition is a little more mellow as befits the subject.

Campbell 2014

Campbell 2014

24" x 18"
Oil on masonite panel

Campbell has chosen to be baptized next month and therefore she is dressed in white in anticipation of this ordinance. White is symbolic of the purity of the atonement.

She is a special young lady and has a very lively sense of humor. 
She is also caring and loving, as befits a disciple of the Savior.

Campbell is a blessing in my life.

Her mother took the reference photo used in this painting.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Cold Water in High Country

Cold Water

18" x 24"
Oil on Sandeply Panel

I have been fascinated by the nuances of painting snow. This painting combines snow with water reflections and massed color.  I like the combination of the cold water with the cool blue elements and the warm color in the rocks showing beneath the surface. I think that is why it seems to work. We know the water is icy cold yet it has a warm hue beneath the surface.

The conifers are a cool element although there is also some warm yellow and red scattered throughout those passages

Jay Moore painted a vertical scene with these elements, I thought that I would try it in the horizontal form, so I reworked the scene.

I think that the receding underwater rocks are more realistic in the actual painting than the photograph. It's interesting how little blue can be put into the sky and it will still look 'real'. The colors lose saturation and definition as they recede. 

The snow and the underwater rocks are soft rounded shapes while the conifers and most of the shrubbery is angular.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Running in the Surf

Running in the Surf

18" x 24"

Oil on Sandeply Panel
[click on the image to enlarge]

Our family enjoys getting together at New Brighton Beach on the California coast.

Katie Powers took some wonderful photos of the beach activities. Using one of those as a reference photo, I was able to explore the surf and atmosphere of the day. It suggests the foggy offshore haze typical of the area but still a sunny day on the beach.

It is very tempting to put lots of other focal points in a scene like this.  I liked the way this worked with our view point lowered to their level or even a bit below it.