Monday, March 31, 2014

Terrytown Barns

Sunlight is my favorite condition to paint in, I'm sure it is the same for many painters. The sunlight casts shadows, which create shapes to design the canvas with.
A barrista at the local coffee shop commented that March gives the feeling of a hangover to those who don't drink. I haven't had a drink in a while, and I sort of enjoy the overcast days for reasons other than painting.
To me, these dreary winter days feel neutralized. I do not get a big rush when painting them, it is more of a steady pace rather than a chase. These barns have also felt the steady pace of season after season beating them up.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Workshop at Blue Heron

I have posted my 2014 workshop schedule on a new tab, just above this post. The first workshop is coming up quickly, and is a workshop that is going to be held in the studio space above Blue Heron. I have been teaching a 6 week drawing class at UW-Baraboo, and am excited to get back into the swing of teaching. If you would like to hear more about the workshops, you can drop me a line at

Monday, March 24, 2014


This is Baraboo Wisconsin, a town that sits between two bluffs. I've spent time in Baraboo painting over the past five or so years, and this is an interesting vantage point that overlooks the downtown, with the Devil's lake bluff in the background.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Polar trees

I noticed these trees when I was at a birthday party. A friend of mine set up some snowboard jumps and rails to grind on on a hill in the country. They grilled out and had a couple cases of beer. The party was a lot of fun, it's always nice to hike a hill when snowboarding. It was a clear afternoon, and these trees were on fire when the last light fell on them.

Friday, March 14, 2014


The early light piece at the start of this post was done on a Wednesday. I was painting the factory, with the light intensifying the color of the smoke coming from the smoke stacks, when my friend Brian Brenner parked his car, and went to work at a different factory. I worked his car in. Sometimes there is an idea not to chase after things in a painting. I got some good advice on the subject from a seasoned painter who told me not to chase the light, unless it got better.
The barn is on Terrytown Road. I paint out there a lot, and his farm gets plenty of attention from me. I've painted the long view of his place a few times, but this is the first from inside my truck. I was parked at an abandoned school across the street from his place.

Polar Vortex

This winter was one for the record books. At one point, temperatures didn't go above freezing for 25 days. One intense cold front was dubbed the Polar Vortex, and these two paintings were created during this time. Buzz words aside, it was cold, cold enough that I would have to turn on the heat in my truck every 15 minutes or so. These were painted from the front seat.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Lesters Car - Ellison Bay Pontiac

The painting above was done for the Door County Plein Air Festival last summer. The car is an old Pontiac, that is missing the front bumper. The property is undergoing a restoration, but the building to the right of the car (that is being held up by stilts) will have to be tore down.

George Bentley, the owner of the car, shared some history. He wrote:

This is "Les Tour", Lester Bentley's car that was purchased new.  The car would carry a full size portrait frame from New York to CT through its pillarless window system. They would sit inside the frame while it rested on the window doorframes back to the studio where Les painted President Eisenhower at the pinnacle of his career. It will move into the grainery threshing floor to begin restoration this winter. Thanks for painting it!
                 -George Bentley.

Here is the portrait of Eisenhower, painted when Bentley was 44 at his studio in Connecticut.