Blog - On the Easel

A collection of updates, recent information and things that inspire me.


Rattler Rattler, oil on panel 10"x 8". I bought this many years ago at Wall Drugs in South Dakota, a store that specializes in just this sort of thing. If I remember correctly for a quarter you could play tic-tac-toe with a chicken in a big coin operated machine by the front door.

Visible Man

New painting "Visible Man", oil on panel, 12"x10" . This painting will be in my upcoming show at the DCCA. Come out if you can make it, the opening reception is on December 7th from 6-9.  

Nocturne... re-done

Here is another painting that I have decided to go back into and change, hopefully for the better. This painting is "Nocturne" 38"x 40" oil on panel. My experience with "Rocket Pops" convinced me that I needed to think about revisiting several paintings and I am really happy with the results.

This is the new version with the orange sky and lots of trees.

And this is the old version with a less detailed background.

Rocket Pops 2.0

Rocket Pops new version.

This is one of a series of paintings that uses landscapes as a way to inject a narrative into a still life. The landscapes were paintings that would hang on the back of the studio wall behind the still life and create a tableau. I did a number of paintings with a fairly minimal background  but recently I have begun to wonder if this is the best way to go with these paintings, so, I pulled the varnish off of this one and started painting. I used a few images from the Hudson River School and took bits and pieces in order to construct the painting you see here. As you can see it is quite a difference from the last version. I pulled much of the chroma from the sky and there is nothing minimal about the new background. I am quite happy with the result, enough that I think I might re-visit some other paintings.

Rocket Pops old version.

The content of the painting has changed from being a study in phoniness to an more allegorical painting but I have little doubt that it works better this way. The foreground and background are more together, thanks to the overlapping shapes, and the viewers eye makes its way around better when looking at the composition than before the changes. Let me know if you agree that this is an improvement or disagree.

Light Bulb

"Light Bulb" oil on aluminum panel 12"x 10". Another clear object, for some reason I have been doing a bunch transparent still lifes recently. I love that this painting is almost monochromatic, but looks can be deceiving. When I do gray I always have on hand: Ivory Black, Titanium White, Raw Umber, Burnt Umber, Burnt Sienna, Cadmium Red, Cadmium Yellow Deep, Cadmium Lemon Yellow and a blue either Ultramarine or Cobalt. Black and white are really cool when mixed so a bit of Raw Umber warms things up and then I add bits of the rest to get things right. I only mix tiny bits at a time so there is some variation throughout the painting to keep things interesting.