Saturday, January 31, 2009


What a glorious day....70 degrees, clear skies. Our Saturday plein air group gathered at James & Melinda Kocian's home in the country....about 3 miles northwest of Waxahachie. Melinda, a fellow watercolorist who's "comfort zone" is in the studio, recently decided to give plein air "a go" and joined our group. Kocian's Corner has 3 or 4 old outbuildings, rolling hills, lots of trees, a creek, and a 30 acre lake. We all "scattered" in different directions; some went toward the creek, the rest headed toward the old outbuildings.
My painting is the back side of James' equipment barn where he keeps his red tractor (another painting, another day). The tree shadows falling across the red/rusty tin roof was a painting waiting to happen. Raw Sienna, New Gamboge, Ultramarine Blue, Brown umber, and Burnt sienna are my "winter palette" colors. Beautiful during the last of January, we can't wait to capture this wonderful country estate in all seasons! Today was the first of many days of painting at Kocian's Corner. "James' Equipment Barn"
Plein Air Watercolor
300# Rough Arches
11" x 14"

Saturday, January 24, 2009

What a great day!

There's only a few activities that will get me up early on a the top of the list is a paint out with my art buddies.... or right "up there" is an opportunity to learn something new or strengthen a certain skill. Today, I attended a portrait painting workshop lead by a great painter, Don Mullins of Ft. Worth, Texas. Myself and 10 other artists spent the day trying to capture a good likeness of our model. Portrait painting requires a whole different set of skills, focus, and colors. With a landscape, I'm making "broad" observations, moving a tree here & there to make a better composition, using nature's palette of greens, golds, Reds, & Blues. A portrait is a different mindset...I don't have the "option" to change the shape of the nose or make different hair; I must paint shapes, lights & shadows as they relate to each other with the final result being a likeness of the person sitting before me. Here's my project of the day.
"Tom Dodge"
12 x 16
Watercolor on 140# CP Arches

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Another watercolor on Canvas

It's still not my favorite surface to paint on but here's another little painting on watercolor canvas. It's 6"x6" Gallery Wrap.

View from the side (Gallery Wrap)

6" X 6" Watercolor 
Gallery Wrap Canvas

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Saturday Paint Out

With the temperature getting up to a "balmy" 62 degrees, I painted out today with four other artists. The 5 of us scattered out on about 4 acres of trees, a pond, little paths, & some outbuildings. I chose to paint the neighbor's house across the fence row. This time of year, the North Texas landscape is pretty blah...not much color except for a gorgeous blue sky and some evergreen trees and shrubs. It was great to get back out into the landscape after a too long holiday season and a month of awfully cold weather. One great thing about Texas is that the cold doesn't stay around long; we have a few days of cold, then a few days of warm. So, here's my painting of the day. Enjoy!

"The Dawson Place" 9 x 12 Watercolor on 300# Arches Rough

Sunday, January 11, 2009


Technology...don'cha love it? The new surfaces available for watercolor begs for experimentation and takes me out of my "comfort zone". I'm basically a "traditional" watercolor mantra is "wetter is better". I rarely use mask, saving the whites and following the "rules". Watercolor canvas requires a different approach...less water,(wetter ISN'T better), more paint, softer touch. Anyway, here's a little 6" x 6" Gallery Wrap.


Friday, January 2, 2009


JANUARY AFTERNOON - Watercolor - 8" x 12" - 300# Arches Rough.
I teach a weekly class in beginning and basic watercolor techniques at an art school in Cedar Hill Texas. My class begins again next week, so in the process of checking my supplies, I found this little demonstration painting from the last class before the holiday break; It was still stapled to my foamboard. Demo paintings usually lack in one or more areas; composition, color, linear and/or aerial perspective, contrast, etc. While this one may not get a "juror's nod", it still has appeal.

Today is 70 degrees...January 2nd! I'm on my way out the door with my paint gear in tow. We don't get this kind of day very often in January so I'm taking advantage of it. The mess in my studio can wait until tomorrow...or the next day!