Sunday, September 22, 2013

Studio Sept 22, 2013

Studio shot this AM. Ann and my December show is taking shape. The semester is in full swing so I am not spending as much time down here as I'd like, but I feel that I can work through the end of October (with hopefully a five day Edisto visit tucked in there) before I start worrying about the framing, etc. Maybe make it to 20 pieces, we'll see. I have a backlog of pieces that I've started and others that I want to do so maybe this show can't come soon enough.

Beachy Still Life #17

11x15" Watercolor on 140 lb. Kilimanjaro WC paper

Number 17 features a Kiener Whelk, two Atlantic calico scallop shells, another bottle with OBX sand and finally, another automobile plate with the Highway number 12 on it. Had to get Highway 12 in this series somehow!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Beachy Still Life #16

11x15" Watercolor on 140 lb. Kilimanjaro WC paper

Sixteen is another quick one. This features a Shark's Eye Moon shell and an Ark shell.

Beachy Still Life #15

11x15" Watercolor on 140 lb. Kilimanjaro WC paper

Number fifteen features a Horse Conch, rarely found on the beach. This is one that Ann found on Edisto Island a good while back. Stoney's Seafood is a place where we regularly got our fresh fish for grilling, done by yours truly, down in Avon, NC on Hatteras Island.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Beachy Still Life #14

11x15" Watercolor on 140 lb. Kilimanjaro WC paper

This is a hard one to get a good picture of. And, I hope it's not "cheating", but I kept looking at this small twisted feather that I ultimately did not choose for the previous painting, sitting in it's discarded spot as I was over-working number thirteen. Somehow it looked wounded with the T-pin still stuck through, so I decided it was one I wanted to do - whether it makes Ann's and my November show or not. Plus, it was a real exercise in subtle, something that I don't think of usually, until after it's a by-gone decision. So anyway, here is number fourteen, such as it is. Now what to do next...

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Beachy Still Life #13

11x15" Watercolor on 140 lb. Kilimanjaro WC paper

Number thirteen features a Channeled Whelk, a small Angelwing, a Buxton Seafood sticker on a very very old wooden paintbox.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Beachy Still Life #12

11x15" Watercolor on 140 lb. Kilimanjaro WC paper

Well I'm off to a solid start to the Fall 2013 semester, which is going to be an interesting one to say the very least. I did manage to fit in number twelve in this series, which features a Hatteras Hi license plate that really should be on the front bumper of my car. Included is a Mexican soda pop bottle and a cockle shell. I've started buying interesting things to drink, etc, if not only for the bottle it comes in!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Beachy Still Life #11

11x15" Watercolor on 140 lb. Kilimanjaro WC paper

Number eleven features a Lettered Olive shell and a Sweetgrass basket that we bought on Edisto Island, probably 23 years ago. At that time there wasn't a basket stand set up and established, but a table set out in a front yard right on highway 174. We pulled over and waited until this young lady came out of the house and sold us this one. We have the vantage point of knowing what we paid for this basket, comparing to what they are selling for today. I think in that amount of time these baskets have been collected all over the world, increasing the value. Rightly so, as they are now recognized as being more than mere craft, but beautiful works of art.

The baskets that these folks make get much more elaborate than the one shown here. Below are  a couple of paintings I did of these ladies some time ago:

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Beachy Still Life #10

11x15" Watercolor on 140 lb. Kilimanjaro WC paper

Number ten features a wreath I bought from Lily Howard on Edisto Island in exchange for taking some reference photographs of her, from which I did a couple of paintings some time ago. She and her daughter, and perhaps another woman, have the only Sweetgrass Basket stand on Edisto. In the last decade or so, a lot of attention has been rightfully paid to these basket makers of South Carolina. Primarily because as a people, they have successfully held on to much of their culture through all of these years, the style of the baskets reflect a direct connection with the West coast of Africa. The shell is an Angelwing. They are so fragile a shell that this is the most whole one we've found in years and years of beach combing. They do get much larger, but good luck finding a whole one!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Beachy Still Life #9

11x15" Watercolor on 140 lb. Kilimanjaro WC paper

This is number nine in this series. I wanted to do three of my bottles together to see what it would look like. There is featured here a young, broken knobbed whelk, I think, and an Atlantic giant-cockle shell. The background of this one has a real estate map of Edisto Island (approximately drawn).

Friday, August 9, 2013

Beachy Still Life #8

11x15" Watercolor on 140 lb. Kilimanjaro WC paper

This is number eight. This painting features a Shark's Eye Moon Snail shell. I found this at Edisto of course, at night with a flashlight in the surf on one of our daily evening strolls after dinner. The sand in the bottle is from our favorite house in Avon, NC on Hatteras Island. The background is this piece of rice paper that I've stapled to an old drawing board. I'm progressively adding a blue wash on it as I use it as a background for this series. This is unplanned, but it might take off as an interesting (yeah right) element to this series - don't know.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Beachy Still Life #7

11x15" Watercolor on 140 lb. Kilimanjaro WC paper

Back to the old sketchbooks again. Here is a Knobbed Whelk from Edisto Island, SC. The background is a watercolor sketch I did when we were staying at a really nice house in Duck, NC. The house was almost too nice, we were used to a bit rougher accommodations down in Avon. It did feature this wooden model of a schooner up in the arched window facing the ocean. I liked the silhouette created by the early morning sun.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Beachy Still Life #6

11x15" Watercolor on 140 lb. Kilimanjaro WC paper

Here is number six in this series. I think this is a Kiener whelk found on Edisto Island, as so many of the shells that we've collected are. I have never experienced a beach like Edisto when it comes to complete, whole seashells on the beach itself. There must be someone out there who can explain just why, but I sure can't. I think it's great that there are State Parks like Botany Bay where you cannot collect the shells like we did these probably some twenty years ago. I don't know how to identify sea birds by their feathers, but this one is like no other that I've come across, kinda fluffy.

Botany Bay surf

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Beachy Still Life #5

11x15" Watercolor on 140 lb. Kilimanjaro WC paper

This is number five, with a small Tun shell. I also collected this one in Bermuda. Tun shells are very fragile, and this one had a crack in it, so I guess it's proper that I did some sort of painting with it before it's too late!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Beachy Still Life #4

11x15" Watercolor on 140 lb. Kilimanjaro WC paper

Still Life #4 features a Queen conch I collected way back when I was in the Air Force and stationed in Homestead, Florida. That was an awesome place to live when you are 20 years old and single. I was certified in scuba diving and we went out nearly every weekend. Homestead is 30 miles or so south of Miami, so it is situated between Miami and Key Largo. Heaven on earth. I was saddened back in the early 90's when hurricane Andrew flattened the place.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Three Nemcosky's

15x22" Watercolor on 300 lb. Kilimanjaro WC paper

Here is a just completed, long promised portrait of Uncle Bob, Aunt Sher and cousin Jeremy. It took me a while to get to. I think there was a confidence level of uncertainty going into this, not really knowing where my skills were with portraiture that counted. Since of late I have been "in-production" as much as I ever get really, so I thought now was the time to "just do it". I'm generally pleased with the results, but being so close to it, well, you know how that to ship and await the long anticipated response. But I have just begun the drawing of Beachy Still Life #4, which in theory will not have the same concerns that a triple portrait does indeed have.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Studio Production

A studio shot this AM. I'm trying to finish a triple portrait of some of my relatives, which I will post as soon as I'm finished. I have Beachy Still Life #4 all set up and ready to go, but I really want to finish the portrait, as it was promised some time ago.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Beachy Still Life #3

11x15" Watercolor on 140 lb. Kilimanjaro WC paper

Here's number three. Sketchbook and old unclean palette in background, with a Tun shell I collected way back when we lived in Bermuda, while snorkeling at one of our favorite spots. Ann found the whale bone vertebra at Edisto Island a long time ago, and finally one of the bottles that I collect for this very purpose.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Hand Pan Man - At the Farmer's Market #5

15x22" Watercolor on 300 lb. Kilimanjaro WC paper

There's not much to say about this piece other than it is my 4th attempt at this particular image. I was doing some experimenting with my painting process and thus got into trouble with some of the materials - mainly the masking fluid. I blamed it on the product that I had, but we all know that is the craftsman blaming his tools. I learned some things I guess, mainly patience (yeah, right). So this is pretty straight forward painting. It got too dark too quickly and has a few spots of trying to recover lights and I scrubbed a bit too vigorously. So I was thinking at that point, what, would I even try a 5th attempt? I thought not so I just went with what I had going and will happily let this image go peacefully into the sunset.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Beachy Still Life #2

11x15" Watercolor on 140 lb. Kilimanjaro WC paper

This is the second in this series, so now I can compare these first two in order to get an idea of where this may go - what to do, what not to do, etc. The idea of putting a painting in the still life came from Ann. I've done it before, but it has been a very long time. In this instance, I've clipped one of my open sketchbooks onto an old drawing board to use as a backdrop.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Beachy Still Life #1

11x15 Watercolor on 140 lb. Kilimanjaro WC paper

Once I realized that Ann's show in November/December was actually a two-person show it motivated me in a way that only deadlines can. The show will be up during the Christmas buying season, so the lady that runs the Rock School Arts Foundation in Valdese, NC indicated that the show should be of sell-able art, that that is what she had in mind. Well, it's been awhile since I have done work with that specifically in mind, but I thought what the hell, that will be fun. I work , usually on holiday relaxing with family and friends when I do landscapes and still lifes, etc. and I really do enjoy doing them. But usually the work that I do are like journal entries with personal notes, etc. on them, which in my mind renders them not for the open market. So I made a plan to do at least one still life on the quarter sheet size every week end between now and mid-November. That should give me about 16 to 20 of these babies. I don't plan for all of them to work out to be of show quality over the span of that time, or I might poop out on the idea after a short while - but what the it goes.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

At the Farmer's Market #4

15x22" Watercolor on 300 lb. Kilimanjaro WC paper

Oh gosh, what to say about this one. It was one I had to do because I had failure 3 times in a row trying to do another piece and I was really frustrated with myself. I'm still going to do the image that I was attempting, I really like it a lot, but need a "cooling-off" period first. So this piece, yes, is another performer at our local Farmer's Market. I'm adding these pieces to a series of street musicians that I have the opportunity to meet.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

At Work in Tennesee

22x30" Watercolor on 300 lb. Kilimanjaro WC paper

I did not really meet these people. They were getting to work as we were leaving the hotel we stayed at overnight on our way back from Cincinnati. This was one of those compositions I was not so sure of when I started out. As this was in development I started getting into the personality of the woman on the right. I talked to them for only a brief moment, but through painting them you feel that you get to know them on some level. Strange. Fun.

Detail - the woman on the right

Monday, June 24, 2013

Supermoon Day 2

Some of the reasons I got the new camera that I did was that it seemed perfect for me, a few more mega pixels, a decent zoom and some opportunity to shoot out of auto mode. Not bad for a $200. camera!

Sunday, June 23, 2013


15x22" Watercolor on 140 lb. Kilimanjaro WC paper

This is a portrait of Stanley. Ken and I met him as we were leaving Botany Bay, a state park on Edisto Island, SC. We were stopped by Stanley as we were to take a left on the highway because they were paving the road. We got to chatting; Stanley was born on Edisto and was giving us suggestions as to go around the traffic hold up. I did not want to trust my directional abilities and chose to wait until Stanley would allow us to take our left turn - so we chatted some more. Everyone I meet on Edisto, especially those who have lived there for a long time express the same love for the natural beauty of the low country. I know that we do too.

Oh no, these details are too much fun !

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Before Edisto. Birdhouse Man Paul

22x30" Watercolor on 300 lb. Kilimanjaro WC Paper.

This is Paul whom I met for the first time a month ago down in Charleston County, SC. He lives just before the Dawhoo bridge that connects the mainland to Edisto Island. My friend Ken has been collecting his work for a number of years. I decided to head out with Ken and the family this past visit and meet him (after buying a birdhouse for our yard).

Detail of Paul

Monday, June 10, 2013

At the Farrmer's Market 3

15x22" Watercolor on 140 lb. Kilimanjaro WC paper

I took the photo of this little guy some time ago at Boone's Daniel Boone Park, which is adjacent to the Farmer's Market. It's a wonderful setup, as the park has an outdoor amphitheater where performances might be happening, or pioneer re-enactors making crafts around log cabins, or just someone playing banjo while sitting on a log such as this little fella.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Tambourine Player in Montgomery

22x30" Watercolor on 300 lb. Kilimanjaro WC Paper

This is the third (and last) of the three musicians we came across at a Krogers grocery store when in the Cincinnati area last February. I started this third piece about two months ago, but the semester bore down on me and the events of family life kept me from the studio. It is so hard to finish a piece after such a long absence from the flow of the mini series. I decided to do some experimenting with technique and plain invention in order to just finish it and move on. I like some things about it, hoping the wonderful smile this woman had would carry the day. But it's hard to cover up the over-worked quality - so that's it - I'm moving on.

Edisto in May

These are a few watercolors I did while at Edisto with the family and our watercolor buddy Ken. I honestly don't know what I'd be like if we didn't go to Edisto a couple of times a year. These sketches sure help in loosening up. I have quit worrying so much about the drawing, sorta embracing the inaccuracies and chalking it up to expression. I'm learning this from my old pal Hugh. Gotta let the media do it's thang.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Kroger Drummer

22x30" Watercolor on 300 lb. Kilamanjaro

This is the second of a three piece band we saw in Krogers grocery store last month. I loved this guy - really intense looking and determined drumming.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

For Hugh

Hey Hugh,

Here is a composite I took this AM of my office. If you want I can take a picture of the painting studio too.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

March studio

Latest studio shot.

In a Krogers #1

In a Krogers #1
22x30" watercolor on 300 lb Kilimanjaro

We were in Cincinnati last month; while shopping for groceries we encountered a three-piece band in the front of the store playing away. I couldn't resist of course taking as many reference shots with my phone as I felt that I could get away with.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Happy 4th

Happy 4th
15x22" watercolor on 140 lb Kilamanjaro

Maybe it's a sign of being tired of winter, this painting a picture from last summer. My daughter and I went to an alternative 4th of July parade up in Todd NC, orchestrated under the auspices of Elkland Art Center. I caught this young fella in the middle of the parade. We plan to get involved with it again this summer, I guess it can't come soon enough.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Feed All

Feed All
22x30" watercolor on 300 lb Kilimanjaro

This is an image of another street musician in the town of Boone. This is Edward, who also works in the produce section of the grocery store I frequent, so I have befriended him over the years. I've taken several photos of him in the past, but somehow decided on this one to paint. There was a lot of ups and downs with this piece - at times I really liked it in its development. I'm at the point now where I just wanted it to be over with so I could start on several other ideas I have.

Friday, January 25, 2013


22x30" watercolor.
Here is the image in the studio photo below. I'm thinking about calling this one finished.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Plugging Along

Tuesday AM in the studio feeling pretty good. Got a piece framed and ready to ship to Raleigh for a Flower Still Life show and making headway on this next watercolor. I'm really enjoying painting this one, sorta savoring it cause it's a subject that seems to paint itself. This young man is playing an old National Tricone steel guitar - one like the old blues players played. I failed to get his name, but he has a bit of a story. What I know of him was related to me after the fact by my students who seemed to know a lot more about him. Sure hope that I run into him again. I'll post the finished image - I want to say in a few days, but I'm having so much fun that I don't want it to end.