Monday, December 7, 2009

Sight and Sound of Summer

The work of John Morris continues to attract me. see my Blog entry July 22, 2009.

His latest newsletter shows some great beach paintings. Go to

With the recent and continuing cold, rain and flooding in Ireland, and the current northern USA typical winter, looking at these summer scenes helps one's spirit.

Very Sound Stuff, John. I am just realizing that my creations may be inspired by thoughts of summer also.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

The Bait Diggers

This studio painting is one I intended to pair with New Friends. It also is oil on stretched cotton 18x24. I entered both for the annual juried Indianapolis Art Center Student Show 2009.

The jury accepted this one but not the other. I was formally notified that this painting won an award, but will not know what until Friday evening December 4.

I was honestly disappointed that both paintings were not accepted, as I believe they compliment one another. I guess this was not apparent to the judges.

New Friends

That cold winter studio session arrived and this is one of the results. As you can see from my last post showing Be My Friend, got a change of background before becoming the final product New Friends, oil on stretched cotton 18x24.

As I developed the painting, from the study, I felt that it needed more atmosphere than the neutral tidal pebble sand that was actually present when I took my digital pictures. Not sure it worked, but I enjoyed the process. I hope viewers agree

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Be My Friend

This is a quick sketch study Oil on Linen 9x12, as a basis for a larger painting, maybe for a cold winter studio work session.
Created from digital photos taken on a beautiful sunny summer morning sitting on a bench along the promenade at Sandymount Strand, Dublin, in August 2008

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

John Morris Irish Artist

Check out John's website. I have viewed his art at Irish galleries and, as is usually the case, the paintings are better than the web images. Nevertheless, the site captures the essence of his work. There is a nostalgic aspect to his beach scenes, and yet, they are a never changing scene. These could be from my youth even though they are current images. The sound of the sea and the breeze and the calls of children are conjured up for me, as I look at John's paintings.

John says "My paintings are about light and the effects of light on objects such as figures, water landscapes; they are about minute colour changes"

The site is

On the Road to Dingle

This is a studio painting (oil 9x12 on linen).

Some of the mountain chains on the Dingle Peninsula have no official name. I think that this is Stradbally Mountain, part of a long spine down the center of the peninsula, on the way towards Conor Pass.

The painting is from a visit home to my daughter, living in Tralee, from photographs taken on the move while driving to Dingle.

This is me (well-someone-bad likeness) at work in August 2008 on the rocky shoreline at Doolin, Couty Clare, Ireland.

This is a magnificent place to paint, provided you securely anchor everything down against strong, sometimes gale force winds blowing in off the Atlantic. The chances of a good soaking are also high, but then, shortly afterwards, out will come the sun and dry you off. Actually the stormy skies make for more stimulating images, anyway.

The famous Cliffs of Moher are in the background, by the way.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Doolin Cows

These cows appeared to me to be waiting for their chance at the Big Time as perfect artist's models.

This is my effort for the recent (First) Noblesville Paintout, held 4th through 6th June. The event was a great success and very well managed. I enjoyed participating. The overall winner in the oils section was Jerry Smith, whose work I admire.
For my part, I broke all the rules and forgot almost everything of what little I have learned about plein air painting, in my zeal to get this done.
Primary rule is speed. A plein air painter is in trouble if the work is not close to being finished around the three hour mark. As an absolute, six hours to complete ought to be the limit. This does not include, perhaps, some touch up time in the studio.
I started work at my chosen location 9.30 am and worked to 3.30 pm with a half hour break. Bad enough (too long) you might say, but I came back the next morning and spent four more hours before considering the work complete.
Anyway, look at the progression. Needless to say I didn't figure in the prizes or Mentions. Having said that-the main thing is I enjoyed creating the painting and enjoyed the showing on Saturday afternoon. As a bonus, I sold a painting afterwards. That image is also attached-a studio painting Doolin Cows from a visit to Ireland in 2008
Three stages of a 24"x18" oil painting (cotton on masonite), just completed. This is from a badly judged exposure setting photograph I took in Marlay Park-a very popular 300 acre public park in Rathfarnham, Dublin.

The demise of this great tree fascinated me at the time and, while I have made previous efforts to create a painting from it, this is my most "complete" effort. I had great difficulty with the tonal values because of the over exposure. This difficulty reinforces my belief in plein air painting, when, even if the painting is not a success, there is still authentic color notation from which a studio painting can be created.

Fallen Might-Marlay Park, Dublin, Ireland

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Indianapolis Museum of Art-The Garden Terrace

These are progressions of a plein air session November 4 2008, under the tutorship of Jerry Points of the Stutz Artists Association. These plein air classes are organized by the Stutz Artspace.

With Jerry's guidance, all participants improved their technique, color management skills and compositional awareness, while still having fun!

Jerry's website is and his new blog is

Friday, February 13, 2009

The top three images are of a painting just completed, based upon a plein air sketch, made some forty years back. This and some other sketches and photos will be the subject of a new group of paintings that will go on my website ( in the coming weeks.

Sometimes it is hard (for me) to explain exactly what catches my eye, while wandering about enjoying the fresh shoreline environment while looking for painting material. I think, in this case, it was the shape and texture of the breakwater with the lushness of the sand dune looming above.

I had difficulty with values creating this picture and, even now, in its finished state, it does not have the contrast as in the photo taken at the time the sketch was made.

Rosslare Strand, Wexford, Ireland

With great temerity, I am starting this blogspot, being a complete rookie to the process. I guess the whole truth is also that, for my generation (look at the ID photo!), this is not a "natural" process, but something I associate with the generations after mine (two?).

Anyway, here's hoping the process gets easier. Get me in a room with a bunch of artists-especially over a glass of wine-or whatever beverage is at hand, and I am ready for discussion. I hope I get some feedback.

As a start, I am going to post a few recent paintings, with the process as recorded in stages of progress. I will also explain why the piece was created-what attracted me and what problems I experienced in the process.