Wednesday, March 29, 2023



While living in Baltimore and looking across the harbor, I saw many scenes like this one and have managed quite a few small paintings so far. As I work my way through this series, I am re-discovering the delight of painting a subject that I once tackled many years ago while living in St Albans, UK, and also for a short while, in Amsterdam. I would go out with a sketchbook, a small folder of tinted paper, a pack of watercolors and a range of black fine-line pens to draw or paint buildings as the fancy took me. This kind of work was a fine introduction into the art of plein air painting and drawing, which I think has helped me a lot over the years - especially when drawing and painting birds. This small work is 7 x 5 inches, acrylic on gessoed panel.

Saturday, March 25, 2023



In this small painting, I wanted to capture the spirit of a cool clear early morning sky before the sunrise. I sat out on the nearby boat dock looking across the almost perfectly calm water to get studies for this one and marveled at the birth of another perfect day. I used acrylic paint here which I am a bit out of practice with - I found it a little difficult to judge the correct tones especially as the paint dries to a lighter tone than when you mix it. Still, I was happy with the finished study. Size is 7 x 5 inches, acrylic on canvas panel.

Thursday, March 16, 2023



These quick watercolor sketches of a Great Blue Heron fishing were done from a bird we often see when walking down at a nearby lake. The bird held this pose for a long time but we never saw it catch anything (this time). The water has been a little brown and muddy recently due to runoff from a nearby construction site - this has meant that the heron hasn't always been present. I guess that if it can't see fish in the murky water, it would make catching them very difficult so probably goes elsewhere.

In these series of pencil sketches, I tried to capture the play of light and shadow on this preening bird. This is probably the same bird as the one I painted above since it is usually seen in the exact same places. I'll try to do more sketches in watercolor but using a better quality paper. The top watercolors were done as an experiment on Crelando paper. I found this quite good for quick light sketches but not so good when using heaver washes since it is quite thin and has a delicate surface. Sizes of both of these are about 12 x 9 inches.

Tuesday, February 28, 2023



 Like a lot of my paintings, this one was started some time ago and I only recently finished it. Red-tails are probably one of my favorite raptors to paint - mostly due to their many plumage variations which excites me as an artist. I have done many studies like this over the years and as I find more varied birds, I'm sure I will do more. One of the most interesting red-tails I have seen was a falconer's bird - almost completely pure white with only a few darker feathers. The bird was also incredibly tame and allowed me to handle her without any bother. This allowed me to gather a lot of information on its feather structure and the formation of its muscles etc just by gently feeling her with my fingers. All this was translated into sketchbooks and many watercolor studies - an experience I am highly grateful for. This oil on board is 8 x 10 inches.

Saturday, February 25, 2023



This is a painting I did some time ago - a favorite of mine, both because of the time of day, and because of the winter snow. Sometimes I think I could just paint scenes like this and be satisfied! And now that we have actually had some snow around here, I'll be working on more paintings like this one. Size is 16 x 20 inches, oil on canvas.

Sunday, February 5, 2023



Some time ago, I painted a small study of the area looking east near Guard Shore Beach along the Chesapeake and while I felt that I did capture the feeling of a bright but cold morning, I decided to re-work the painting as it did look a little plain. I started with the sky as I wanted to capture the feeling of some showers that I had seen nearby and after finishing it, did a little more to the distant treeline and also the foreground grasses. After the re-paint, I'm much happier with this little one now and I'll probably paint a larger version sometime soon. With this work, I have once again gone back to painting the Eastern Shore which I have grown to love over the many years I have been exploring the area around the Chesapeake. Size is 5 x 7 inches, oil on canvas panel.

Tuesday, January 31, 2023



I am working on this Blue-footed Booby commission and am nearly finished with it. Since I am not that familiar with this species (I have seen brown and red-footed boobies) I went for a resting pose trying to capture the character and markings of the bird. Size is 14 x 11 inches, oil on canvas board.