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.