Sunday, December 26, 2021

Recent Paintings

Here are a few of my recent pieces. Two of the pet portraits are commissions and the other two paintings I painted for my two friends (Cissy and Wendy). 

11" x 14"
Oil on Canvas

8" x 10"

8" x 10"
Christmas gift for Cissy

Jeff's Fish (Wendy's husband)
8" x 10"
Christmas gift for Wendy

Sunday, November 7, 2021

Pet Portrait Commissions

I wanted to share a few pictures of some pet portraits I've painted in the past. Please reach out to me with any questions and contact me for prices. Keep in mind that oil paint takes a little longer to dry so please place your order about a month before you need it.

Best reference photos:
  • taken outdoors
  • flash off while taking your photo
  • camera set to the highest resolution
  • nice balance of dark and light areas (optional but nice to have)

Sunday, September 19, 2021

Dune Ridge Trail at Indiana Dunes National Park

Dune Ridge Trail
18" x 24"
Oil on Canvas
Here's a painting from my recent trip. I've posted a few of the "In progress" pictures below showing the different stages of this piece. This is the view from the base of a trail that leads to a hill overlooking the Great March at Indiana Dunes National Park. When I was walking down the trail I saw this beautiful view of the afternoon light. The sun was hitting the grasses and creating beautiful shadows. 

I met a young woman from Chicago on this trail that had recently lost her husband. She was watching me do a few sketches of this scene and we talked about losing someone that you love. I told her that I had recently lost my dad. She had come to the park to take a break from her job in Chicago. It was nice chatting with her and I don't think it was a coincidence that we met. Sometimes I think God places people in your life for a reason. This is one of those times. 

Monday, September 13, 2021

Day 2 - Dune Ridge Trail - Indiana Dunes National Park


Here's one in progress. I'll try to work at least one hour every night this week until it's finished. This is the beginning section of Dune Ridge Trail.

Saturday, September 11, 2021

Indiana Dunes National Park Artist In Residency Program

Chicken Coop at Chellberg Farm

The Barn on Chellberg Farm

The Cows at Chellberg Farm

I have just finished my stay as an artist in residence at Indiana Dunes National Park. Here are three finished paintings from my trip and I have plenty more in progress. The chick coop painting is now part of the National Park Collection. 

This was an opportunity of a lifetime. The park and trails are something that I’ve never experienced before and being an artist there with my tools was a blessing. My art is very much intertwined with my faith in God so each day when I did my work it was in the light of His presence. I’m still growing and learning as an artist and painter. In other words, I’m a work in progress in both my faith and my art.

I want to say thank you to Jeff, Stephanie, Tommy, Sarah and Robin. These people really made my stay perfect. Jeff Mazurek is the park ranger who is in charge of this A.I.R program, Stephanie, his wife does the housing. Jeff gave me an excellent tour of the park. Tommy and Sarah were my housemates during this stay. Tommy works in maintenance at the park and Sarah is in charge of the volunteer programs. It was great getting to know them and I learned a thing or two about park life. Robin has a lovely Airbnb in Ste. Genevieve, the town where I stopped on my way to the park from Mississippi. I enjoyed visiting with her at the lake and the tour of beautiful St. Genevieve. It's truly a hidden gem. This Mississippi girl says thank y'all for your hospitality!

Jeff said something to me during the tour that stuck with me and that was "paint what inspires you". I’ve learned that makes for the best work. Paint from your heart, not your head. There were so many trails to hike and beaches to explore. There were bird-watching platforms and rivers to canoe. There was so much to take in and enjoy and I did.

I set up my easel throughout the park to do plein air painting. The Chelberg Farm inspired me the most.

Not that a ramble afield makes everything
okay, just like that. But going out alert
and open causes some chamber of the heart
that has temporarily drained to pump
again. You can remember that you can
harbor loss, hold tight to sorrow, and honor
grief, while still rejoicing in the rich gifts of
the earth… and in a world deeply flawed…
this is no small potatoes.
Robert M Pyle Orion, March/April 2005

Here are some of my takeaways for artists that participate in this program:

  • Paint with a fan brush. This works great at getting the grasses.
  • Wear insect repellent every day before your leave
  • Bring water on your hikes (obviously but I forgot when I hiked on Cowles Bog Trail)
  • Take your dinner to Lakeside Pavilion and eat it while you enjoy the sunset (you really can see the Chicago skyline across the lake)
  • Visit the local art store, Firme Art, on highway 12, and buy something to support this awesome art store #buylocalthinkglobal
Here are more photos from my trip:

Mount Baldy

Dune Ridge Trail

Cowles Bog Trail

The top of Cowles Bog Trail overlooking Lake Michigan

Black Oak

Sunset on Lake Michigan near Century of Progress Homes

Tommy, the park ranger

Chicago at Sunset

I met this nice man who made this car and was on his way to the labor day parade.

He wanted me to sit in it so he could get my picture. This was taken at Portage Lakefront and Riverwalk.

Historic French Home in Ste. Genevieve 

One of the oldest homes in Ste. Genevieve 

Countryside in Ste. Genevieve 

Historic French Home in Ste. Genevieve 

Pat's Pasteries in Ste. Genevieve 

more of Pat's Pasteries 

Robin's Airbnb in Ste. Genevieve 

Robin's gazebo & lake
I recommend her place if you visit Ste. Genevieve. She took me on a tour of the countryside and showed me some of the oldest French homes from the 1750s. Thank you, Robin!
Head over here to check it out:

Sunday, July 25, 2021

Reservoir Overlook at the Natchez Trace

oil on panel 

It was a beautiful morning at the reservoir overlook at the Natchez Trace. I painted this from 7- 9:30ish this morning. I used just these three colors plus white to paint this piece. I'm practicing a limited palette and also focusing on getting the values correct in the big shapes without getting too caught up in the details. It's not easy using just three colors. One of my artist friends told me that there is a lot more harmony in the colors if you don't use too many pigments but you have to go at it boldly without being indecisive otherwise you'll create mud.

Monday, July 19, 2021

Sunday, June 27, 2021

Mick's Garden
6" x 6" 

Mother's Hydrangeas

Natchez Trace along the Banks of the Ross Barnett Reservoir
6"x 8.5"

 Here are a few of my most recent paintings. I've been working outside (plein air) a little more too. I'm getting ready for my artist residency trip to Indiana Dunes National Park In September. 

Watercolor Daily

These paintings were inspired using word prompts from the Sketch A Day app. The paintings are all original - painted from life or a referen...