Wednesday, February 3, 2016


Terrytown Creamery 12x16" oil on panel available at Gallery Dillon

Evening Farm 11x14" oil on panel available at Gallery Dillon

I am dropping off work to Blue Heron in Reedsburg and Gallery Dillon in Madison this week, and I am also in Outside the Lines Gallery in Galena, IL and Cornerstone Gallery in Baraboo. I have worked with Blue Heron and Cornerstone Gallery for 7 years now, and am new in Dillon and Outside the Lines. Having great galleries is everything to me. They keep me motivated to paint, and give me opportunities to show and teach.

I have a Valentines event coming up at Blue Heron, and have taught several classes in their studio, as well as have had at least a show a year there over the years. I am also getting ready for a still life show and class at Gallery Dillon, and I appreciate the opportunity to teach in Madison.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Door County Ice Cream Factory Delivery Van - 30 Paintings in 30 Days - Day 30

You Know the Place 9x12" oil on panel. sold

This is the last painting that I'll post for the 30 in 30 challenge! This is the old iconic delivery truck in Ellison Bay. When Cory, Maci, and I went to Door County for the first time, we went out painting on the first day in Gills Rock. Then we stopped for a pizza at the Ice Cream Factory. It was a lot of fun to page through their book on Door County shipwrecks, and see all of the historic photos from the northern Door. I shot this photo, on our way out, and finally gave myself a reason to paint it.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Still Life

Lemon Still Life 6x8" oil on canvas $99

This is a painting that I painted during the first week of the 30 paintings in 30 days challenge. The best part of the challenge is that I've found myself painting at times of the day that I probably would not be during this month. If I had things to do during the day, there is no relaxing on the couch in the evening, it's firing up the stove in the chicken coop studio and chiseling away at another painting. This was one of those paintings, where it was late into the evening.

Today we set up for the Cool Boo Open Studio's. I'll be showing with several other painters and artists at the Baraboo Arts building on Saturday the 30th. Two of those people happen to be my girlfriend and bestfriend Josh! We set up our booths today, and I'm happy for how each of ours turned out.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Oranges - January 28 - 30 Paintings in 30 Days

Oranges - 8x10"
We are winding down the 30 in 30 Challenge. A few paintings, including these oranges, will be going to a still life show at Gallery Dillon. I've had a good time painting for the challenge, and I feel very warmed up for the month of February, when I'll be going on a painting trip to Door County with Matt Holt.

Grapefruit Slices 6x6" oil on canvas. $80

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Allis Chalmers Tractor - January 27 - 30 Paintings in 30 Days

I got out to paint today in the morning, and was glad that I did because clouds rolled in just as I was packing up. This is an Allis Chalmers covered with our fresh snow. My girlfriend had to drop me off and pick me up, because there's not where to park on this road. She asked me if I got cold, but all I can think about when I'm out there is chasing it down.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Cows January 26

Another small study, this time of cows. I painted this in the studio from photo reference that I took this autumn. These are the neighbors cows.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Chug - January 25 - 30 Paintings in 30 Days

A little study from today, painted from a photo taken on my trip to Florida in 2014.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Subjective Primaries - January 24 - 30 Paintings in 30 Days

Barn Shapes - 24x20" oil on canvas - sold

I got James Gurneys book this week, and it took me back to my days in commercial art school. I have not done much painting with a limited palette, but am open to finding out more about what color can do. In the book, Gurney talks about using a gamut mask to create color harmonies. With this method, it's not only about what colors you put in, it's also about what you leave out. A gamut mask is a shape that is cut out and placed over a color wheel.

Gamut mask, with an intense orange, and less intense magenta and green
This is the gamut mask for the first study. I used pure orange as one of my subjective primaries. For that, it was easy to use cadmium orange straight out of the tube. To lighten the tonal value of this color, I simply added white. To Darken the tonal value, I used burnt sienna, which is a darker and less chromatic orange.

The second corner of the triangle, is my next subjective primary. It is a green, but notice that the edge of the triangle is closer to the center neutral grey than the orange. In color space, this means that the green needs to be neutral. I neutralized pthalo green with burnt sienna for this primary, and then made two additional value stops.

The third corner is a neutralized magenta. I used quinacridone rose neutralized with some pthalo green and a little burnt sienna.

The painting that I worked from was a late afternoon study of light hitting my barn and grainery. The first limited color scheme worked well. The blues in this painting had to be created by mixing the neutral green with the neutral magenta, so they are no where near as blue as the original. The orange and yellow notes rang true to the origional. I think this is a good gamut mask to use to get late light. There is one piece of blue, in the green shadow on the foundation, just to the right of the darkest "doorway" note in the painting. That was the most intense blue I could make.
Gamut mask with intense blue, and less intense magenta and green
I used pthalo blue for my subjective primary in the second study. There are three different values, which I made with white. I used the same neutral green and magenta as in the first study. Notice that the color wheel is the exact opposite of the first study. In the first study, I could only mix blue from the neutral magenta and neutral green. In this study, I could only mix orange from the neutral green and neutral magenta. It makes sense that this subjective secondary is very neutral, just look at the space in between the magenta and green on the color wheel, it's very neutral. I found that there was a couple of moments when I felt this grey was looking orange, but in general, it was pretty dull. You can see the subjective secondary (orange) below the intense pthalo blue swatch on the study below.
 Pigments are different from light. Warm pigments are more sensitive than cool pigments (it's easier to cool a warm pigment than it is to warm a cool color), and white is a cool pigment. After the second study, I was hungry to see if I could make a color study that had just a bit more orange than the grey orange above. I mixed a neutral orange, that was warmer than the neutral orange above, but still very grey. The mixture was burnt sienna, with a pinhead of pthalo blue, and white to lighten it. This was a good learning moment for me, as I was able to capture something of the light, but in a very limited palette.

It was worthwhile to do these studies, I have some ideas for how to do it better next time. One last note, is that my subjective primaries were orange, magenta and green in the first. Orange and green are secondary colors, and magenta is a tertiary. On the second study, Blue is a primary, and the magenta is a tertiary, and green is a secondary. For reds, which is traditionally thought of as a primary color, I had to mix the magenta (tertiary) and the orange (secondary). It's cool stuff to think about. Check out Gurney's book and then visit to make your own gamut masks.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Pollution - January 23 - 30 Paintings in 30 Days

Pollution 8x8" oil on canvas - $99

I was out in the field today for a few sketches. The day started out with sun, but became overcast around 3. This was my last sketch of the smokestacks of the day.

Workshop at Gallery Dillon

I have a three day workshop coming up at Gallery Dillon in Madison! The class is going to focus on simple still life items on a colorful and patterned tablecloth. I taught a similar class last year, and it was one of my most successful of the year. There are some photos showing the students at work. In this class, we work on the same painting over three days. On the first day, we design our values composition on paper, and then create an imprimatura underpainting on the canvas, scrubbing in our darks and pulling away the lights. On the second day, we paint all the still life objects. On the third day, we will paint the tablecloth and the edges between the objects and the tablecloth.  
Pat has some great work in the gallery, and I'm excited to teach the class. It's my first workshop in Madison. Give the image a click, to make the text larger. To sign up for the class, you can email Pat at, or me at

Friday, January 22, 2016

Door County Interior 8x8" oil on canvas - $99

I returned to my file of photo's today. I view my photos while painting on a canon projector (It's this model). I project the image on the side of the chicken coop studio, and then stand back at my easel from the image about 12 feet and paint. I took my time researching projectors, and I'm happy with the canon model. The image that I project is around 8 feet large and is very bright and colorful, even when I have the lights on in the coop.

I used to paint photo's from a tablet screen, but I find that having a large reference makes me feel like I'm there just a little bit more. The projector has a usb drive, so I just download photo's on a thumbdrive, and can then scroll through them. I also have my dvd player hooked up to it, and I watch skate video's when I ride my elliptical trainer in the mornings.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Little Cow

Here's a little backlit cow sketch. I enjoy painting subjects such as this because the rimlight simplifies the composition and creates great value and color contrasts. The frame came from an estate sale this past autumn. I'm hoping for sun so that I can get outside and paint. I enjoy working from reference, but after I do it for a few days I am ready to get back out there.