Thursday, August 28, 2014

Capitol Reef

Capitol Reef

18" x 36"
Oil on Panel

Capitol Reef, located in southern Utah, is contained within a present day national park of the same name. It was called a 'reef' because it presented a long obstacle to crossing by the early settlers especially with a horse team and wagon.

The area has a surprisingly warm summer climate which is suitable in some small oasis valleys for fruit cultivation. The Fremont River supplies the irrigation.

This barn is usually called the Gifford Barn, although it might more properly be called after Calvin Pendleton, the early Mormon settler who built it.

I designed the painting to depict the early days of his stewardship.

The location is not easy to get to today, so one can readily understand that the Pendleton family ate and used what they grew or developed themselves. That might incline one to faith and prayerful diligence. At least the law of the harvest was surely a daily lesson for them.

Also the observation that without a steady supply of living water, this fruit harvest was not possible.

This area, the historic home for a handful of families, is also called Fruita. The last family moved away in 1969.

The painting has the prominent grey green hues of this American desert. Some of this was created with viridian, an intense green that I don't usually use. The sky which has a cerulean blue color was also painted with mixtures of viridian. In both instances the chroma has been stepped on rather severely.

The rock cliff face has a bit more iron oxide orange than the photo demonstrates in this view.

Plein aire frame

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Teasing the Waves

Teasing the Waves

18" x 24"
Oil on wood Panel

Griffin was playing on the beach at New Brighton early this summer. He was trying to get as close to the waves as possible without getting inundated when a breaker hit the beach. I suppose that everyone who has ever visited an ocean has done something similar.

Katie took a picture which captured the action and was the reference photograph for this painting. However for the design I wanted to turn the waves at an angle and have them quartering as they approach the viewer.

Besides the obvious interest in this little boy at play, I wanted to paint the waves and particularly the foam near the shore. It has an interesting action as the waves pull it apart just before they wash forward both breaking the foam and creating more

A simple design and it was fun to paint. And now I'm leaving the ocean and painting a much drier climate.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014


Summer 2014

20" x 16"
Oil on sandeply Panel

Rebecca provided me with many very interesting photographs and it was difficult to decide what poses and effect I wanted to work with. And Campbell has been here often this summer so I had the luxury of checking the painting from life.

I wanted to vary the background - making it cooler than the other portrait. I like the contrast between the cool background and the very warm features. The painting also uses different facial details than the other one.

To add some unity to the painting I chose to design a new dress so I could also add some limited color to it. I should have left well enough alone, as I painted the left shoulder about five or six times before I was satisfied.

It has very limited shadow but I was pleased with the result

Thank you Campbell. You are a special model.

Sunday, August 3, 2014



25" x 17.25"
Oil on Sandeply Panel

If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things [Articles of Faith 13]
Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.
[Proverbs 31]

I got the idea for this painting and it's title while studying some photographs taken by Rebecca.

I see this young woman looking outward and forward into the future.

It seems to me to have a very basic Christian value. The verses in Proverbs  discuss much more than what we usually consider modesty. For example: 

Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come.
 She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.
She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy.
She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.
 Her children rise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her.

Virtue seems to encompass basic goodness and a wholesome power that comes from good works. A purity of purpose and character.

It is a quality impossible to counterfeit

The tree framing the girl is also symbolic of the growth and possibility of a small seed nurtured by the gospel and atonement of Jesus Christ