Saturday, November 5, 2011

Forrest and Interior



Here are a couple of pieces from around my farm. Painting inside the forest is a pretty good challenge. The light can move quickly and change the pattern of light and dark dramatically during a painting session. I like trying to capture this fleeting quality.
The interior is my dad's tool bench, in a shed at the farm. We haven't gotten around to cleaning it up, I sort of like leaving it that way, just how he left it. There are some leaves growing inside that came through a gap between the wall and the window. It seems as if the entire space is covered in a film of grease. Anyone who has seen my studio can see where I got my sense of organization from.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Second Half of October


Autumn played some tricks this year. We had a frost in September that turned many trees brown. It seemed as if the colors were going to be subdued this year, compared to last years explosion of chroma. In the second half of October, the reds and yellows popped and I'm glad they did. This is a street in my neighborhood from a week ago. It was a overcast and rainy day, but the sun came out for two hours and I immediately set up my easel, stopping as the sun went away. I think I made the right decision.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Thats a wrap on the Fall Art Tour 2011

The Fall Art Tour has passed. I'm exhausted. The space that I exhibited in was a renovated chicken coop on our family farm. I'm thankful for everyone who helped, especially my mom, my wife, my aunt and sister in law who were all very involved in making the tour a success. There were over 80 paintings hung, and many less came home. Here's to a good tour, I can't wait until next year. Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Fall Art Tour, This Weekend

 Sumac and wild grapes 4x6"

Calf Grazing 5x7"

The Fall Art Tour is finally here! This third weekend in October is always a blast and this is my first year of being a part of the fun. We have renovated our old chicken house, on the farm, into a studio. This was a huge task, and I really have my mother to thank for it. We cleaned it, removed the ceiling to open the space and whitewashed the walls. Finally, we added a chandelier. It is a well lit and clean space, and I'll have just under 80 paintings displayed for the tour. For something new, I've posted a couple of 4 color reduction prints that I'll also have available for the tour. They are both based on paintings that will be on the tour as well. Please browse the website for the tour at for more information.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Taliesin Group Show at the Artisan Gallery

12x12" oil on linen

8x16" oil on canvas

John Ribble, Chris Gargan and I have a group show this Friday, September 16th at the Artisan Gallery in Paoli. John and Chris happen to be the subjects of the above paintings, which were both painted this summer at Taliesin and will be a part of the show.

Monday, September 12, 2011


12x16" oil on canvas

12x16" oil on canvas

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Reedsburg Independent

I have had the pleasure to work with Jeff  and Mary Seering on several projects throughout the years. In high school, Jeff would come to the art room and we would work together to create political comics for the paper. I also got the chance to work alongside Jeff, at the paper, during 2003 and 2004 as a graphic designer. One of my farvorite projects from that period was creating the characature of him for his editorial section in the paper, which still runs. Jeff is an important asset to our community, real Reedsburg man and he has always supported whatever ideas I come up with.
When he pulled up to take this photo of me painting, by the mill pond in LaValle, I wished I had a larger canvas and a haircut. Thanks for everything, Jeff!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

From Summer

6x8" oil on linen

22x28" oil on canvas

12x16 oil on panel

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Summer is Over - Have a Nice Day.

Have a nice day - 12x16" oil on canvas

I had a good run at summer this year, but it's coming to an end.
The summer felt like one of those endless, sunsoaked summers, like when you were a kid. This was the first summer that I took the dive into "just painting" and I owe very much to everyone who made it possible, especially my wife Jenny who believed in me enough to make it happen.

School starts today at the UW, and I'm also lucky that my schedule is going to allow me to paint everyday during the autumn. I'm fired up for the change of season and new scenery.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

My Taliesin Summer part 3


Painting with Chris Gargan is very motivaitonal. He has much energy for paintning and he often completes large canvases in one go. The best thing about Chris, is that he forces you to think. During our painting time at Taliesin, we were constantly trying to restate what the experience meant to us, not only dealing with the facts of the place but how do we feel about it. The project of working at Taliesin was meant to be a leisurly time, for artists to do their thing and to come together at the end with some paintings. Because of Chris, wanting to make more of this time, we did make more of this time. We groped for answers and tried to experiment. One idea that sticks out in my mind is that Chris often enjoyed the fogginess of the first painting of the day, trying for the answers. He liked the exploration process and thought that after becoming warmed up, we would loose some of that. There were times where I was very enthused to be painting and times where I wanted to throw the canvas and never come back.

The first piece above was painted on Chris's birthday. This view of the midway farm marked the point in the summer where I started to pick up steam with the project. It was a hot and milky morning. During these hot days, the paint loosens up quite a bit, and when this happens I'm tempted to use some thicker strokes of color. It was the first piece that I tried out some transparent green gold, which gave the shadows some luminous qualities while still painting with thick impastos.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

My Taliesin Summer part 2.




Chris Gargan and I painted through some dramatic weather during our time at Taliesin. Chris stored an 10'x10' ezup tent in our studio and it enabled us to paint in both the rain and sun. The round bales piece was painted in the second half of July, we had only one morning with these bales before they were taken from the field. When we pulled up, the light was moving quickly so I tried to observe the colors of the shadowed area before they moved.

The second piece was painted on a hot and muggy afternoon, outside of the tea circle. We couldn't set the tent up at this spot, and I got nailed pretty hard with the mid afternoon light. The paint was really loose this day due to the heat and sun.

The tent saved us on the third piece shown above, and allowed us to paint under some pretty hard rains that hit at the end of the session.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Door County Plein Air

The Door County plein air festival is one of the largest events for painters in the country, and is only a few hours from my home. This was my first year participating and I had a really good time overall at the event. Dan Corey came out from Maine and we stayed at a pretty unbelievable place, the By the Bay in Fish Creek. The digs were right across the street from where the paintout happened, so there were no worries of trying to get there and park etc.

The weather on the morning of the event was pretty dramatic. There was a sliver of yellow sky below some looming storm clouds. I thought it might rain. Some artists were mixing colors on their palettes or sketching on their canvas before the horn went off to open the event, but I don't know if it helped them because the sun came out about a half hour into the paintout.

I had painted around the area the day before, and the water was much calmer. One onlooker who saw my painting from the first day, and the piece pictured above said that I dropped the ball in the contest, she liked the smooth and sunny water better than the choppy stuff that I captured in the contest. Well, opinions aside, the water was pretty choppy, and dark, that morning and I'm not out there to paint postcards.

Overall a good event. I think that for Dan and I to go out there and give our best efforts added some variety to the mix of what went on display that evening. I can't wait for next year!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

My Taliesin Summer part 1

16x20" oil on linen.

12x16" oil on linen

12x16" oil on linen

This summer, Taliesin Preservation hosted a group of artists to paint on the grounds of the landmark as a part of the centennial celebration.

Chris Gargan and I decided to make the most of this project, to really get to know the landscape. The summer was characterized with the challenge of finding the most interesting way to talk about the experience and attempting to organize a landscape that was not the most pleasing around. I agree with the idea that nature is perfect, but her design is not and it was good to study ways to approach this.

Chris and I had a great time attempting to figure it out. He towed his tree fort, a studio built onto a motorcycle trailer, to a farm next to the Taliesin grounds which served as our home base. We became friends with a group of bricoleurs whose workshop was also on the farm. The bricoleurs were always around helping Chris and I make the most of our time at the property and fixing our broken down easels. They let us store water in their refrigerator and drank all of our beer. These guys even let us into some places on the property that were viewpoints that have not been accessed by the public.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Door County

8x8" oil on canvas.

20x24" oil on canvas.

14x18" oil on canvas.

24x36" oil on canvas.

I am heading to Door County to paint and have fun at the dockside quickpaint.
I am looking forward to the trip. Jenny and I vacationed there in the autumn and we both enjoyed the area.

The temperatures yesterday and today bordered 100 with plenty of haze and humidity. I have been painting every morning with John Ribble and Chris Gargan at Taliesen, and today we beat the heat by painting under a tent. I'm hoping that there is some cooler air up in Door County!


Friday, July 8, 2011

Where I'm From, Show Wrap-up

The opening for my show, "Where I'm From", went great. Most of the collectors who purchased a piece agreed to let the painting hang for a couple of weeks, so if you haven't had a chance to see the show please stop by the Blue Heron.

There is a ton of non painting work that goes into having a show, and I'd like to thank everyone who lent a hand in one way or another. We had a great jazz collective who played for pennies. Lindsey Kaney created a great vinyl display for the wall. Dana, at the Blue Heron, does everything she can to get people in the doors, and buttons up all of the sales.

On my end, the weeks leading up to the show went well. The biggest challenge for me was to sort through all of the paintings, and come up with the best pieces that would fit together for the body of work. There are always those last minute paintings that you have in mind to deal with and it's a balance to make it all line up. I had nailed it down, hung the show on a Monday, and by Wednesday came back and hung about 10 new pieces and arranged everything differently.

The only thing that didn't go smoothly was receiving 3 damaged frames in the mail. Two frames were dented and one, a 16"x20" frame, actually had one 15" side. I ordered these frames about a month in advance of the opening, but they went to back stock and didn't arrive until a week before the show. Everything worked out, and it kept me on my toes leading up to the show.

I am working on a new project, a collaboration with the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation. It is a pretty exciting opportunity and gives me the opportunity to paint on the grounds of his home property, Taliesin, this summer.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Where I'm From - Opening July 1

I am pleased to announce my summer show, opening on July 1st.
This show is going to focus on the change of season, from January to July.
I've been working this week getting a few last minute pieces completed, ordering frames and getting the cards ordered.
I will be giving an artist talk and slideshow on opening night, hope to see you there!

Monday, May 23, 2011

A Nice Time of Year

Painting alla prima in spring is just right. It feels great to get out, do something and leave taking with an image of the season.

Magnloia Tree. 12x16" oil on linen.

Tulips. 10x20" oil on canvas.

Sunset Studies. 8x10" oil on linen.

Magnolia Neighborhood. 12x12" oil on linen.

Spring Tree Study. 8x10" oil on linen.

St. Peters. 12x16" oil on linen.

These paintings are all available. If you are interested in a piece, please email me for a price list.

Monday, May 2, 2011

First Signs...

...Of Spring. I'm so happy that May is here, even if it feels more like March.

This was the perfect place to set up and paint on the one nice day that we had last week. You can see, there are no leaves on the trees, but we're on the verge.
Bodendeins round barn.
12x16" oil on linen.

Daffodils have to be my favorite flower. I think I like them most for their attitude. When it snows on them they dont die, they just put their head down and wait for the next sunny day.

11x14" oil on linen.

11x14" oil on linen.

I had plans to paint outdoors yesterday, but my easel blew over immediately after setting it up. I headed into the studio and painted a May Day Bouquet.

8x10" oil on linen.

By evening the winds died down and I was able to get out for the last bit of light.

8x10" oil on linen.

Finally, a wild card. This is a piece from January. It was cold and windy, so I tried to finish it as quickly as I could and took written notes about things that I would change in the studio. I pulled it out over the weekend and decided to leave it as it is, I liked the geometric shapes after all.

16x20" oil on canvas.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Sauk County Summer Art Classes

During the spring semester I taught two classes for continuing education at UW Baraboo, a drawing/watercolor class and an oil painting class. The classes went great, and several students asked if I would offer something during the summer.

This summer I am offering three different art classes, Drawing Fundamentals, Studio Oil Painting, and Plein Air Oil Painting. I am very excited about all of the classes, but especially the outdoor class. We will set up at locations like Devils Lake and Owen Park. If you would like to receive a brochure with a detailed description for each class, please email me:
Registration is going on now, and I would like to cap each class at ten students.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Still Life

This boquet has been staring me down. Last week I spent several sessions working on a larger still life of these flowers. After battling that for awhile, I just had to set it in my studio window and attack it alla prima. I painted this right on top of a failed landscape from early this winter. There is a surface quality to this piece that I can only describe as different due to the thick impastos from the earlier painting being covered by a new layer. 16x20" oil on canvas.

11x14" oil on linen.