Tuesday, December 30, 2008

A New/Old Marquee

The City of Auburn, California, reinstalled an exact replica of the old theater marquee as it was when I was a kid. The old marques began to come down many years ago. I sketched this during the past summer not long after it was installed. Now cities are realizing that we like the look of the old to enjoy memories of when we were growing up. I used Pilot Precise V7 and V5 pens on this drawing. This ink is NOT permanent and will bleed when water hits it. If controlled, it offers a nice, loose wet look to my artwork. Ink and watercolor.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Wild Chicken Coffee House

Daily hierarchy-having coffee. I stopped in to have a warm cup of coffee at the Wild Chicken Coffee House in Loomis. It's a cozy little spot where the locals come to drink, talk and use their computers (like they are at Starbucks). I sat in the corner, in a clandestine manner, and drew this scene. Nobody bothered me except for one woman who was looking at me and I thought she thought I was drawing her. The man reading his newspaper was a perfect model--he barely moved. Later that day I completed the drawing and decided I should post it.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

As The Moon Rises

Simple watercolor experiment shows a moon rising up over the evergreen trees. Trees are done very simply with thick brush pens while thin pen lines were used in the sky. I used Sap Green, Paynes Gray, Ultramarine Blue and a bit of Yellow and Raw Sienna.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Wind-Swept Tree

This rendering shows my color version of a lonely wind-swept tree high in the Sierra Nevada mountains near Yosemite. I had posted this previously in a black and white version only. With the added watercolors, I feel the art has more interest. These hardy trees endure freezing temperatures, rain, snow and heat but they continue to survive. This tree is shaped by the winds and the only noise heard here are the voices of nature. Watercolor on bristol board.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Uncle Ben

This was supposed to be the famous face of Uncle Ben who is used on the packages of a variety of rices. I painted this from the painting used of Uncle Ben on the packages. I liked the ink work because it was free and I wasen't really trying to copy the image that closely. I like the washes also. Only thing really does not look like Uncle Ben. Great exercise though. Ink and watercolor.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

First Snowfall

A painting for the winter was done quickly and shows a scene of the Lake Tahoe area after its first snowfall of the season in a normal year. The view is from under a snow-covered tree looking down toward the lake. I must have felt rambunctious to do a snow scene because they are challenging for me. This is only about the second one I have ever painted. The note cards I made of this went over big at the last arts and crafts fair in November. Now if we would only get some snow in the mountains and rains in the valley soon!

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Trees Still Dropping Leaves

I drew this while sitting on a comfy chair on a pleasant day before Thanksgiving in my mom's front yard. Surprisingly, there are still lots of leaves on these trees some of which are still very green. Seems like the leaves are staying on the trees longer. We have not had much rain and it is just now getting cold. In error, I drew and painted this on the first page of my watercolor booklet which was not watercolor paper. It still turned out OK but I did not achieve the nice watercolor look. 8" x 10", ink and watercolor.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Similar But Different

These two images of the old Roseville, California
Tower theater are similar but different. I posted
the black and white version in 2007. I have since
added watercolor which leaves much more of
an impact with the viewer. Humans gravitate
towards color and if we are made to choose
between black and white or color, the color version
normally wins out.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Bishop's Pumpkin Farm

Our art association had a plein air outing at a local pumpkin farm. The farm has train rides, animals, vintage machinery and lots of things for children. There are also two major pumpkin patches from which customers can pick out their favorite pumpkin and take home to carve. We artists sat around and painted on a beautiful, mild day in mid-October. I did the major drawing on site then completed the painting at home using photo references. Ink and watercolor, 8" x 20".

Friday, November 28, 2008

A Lone Hot Air Balloon

A hot air balloon soars quietly above the countryside above some hills in California. The sun is low in the western sky and bits of sunshine bathe the top of the hills. These balloons are very quiet except for the blasts of air that blows upward into the balloon to keep it afloat. From the ground, it is common to hear the people in the gondola talking since these balloons do not get very high off the ground. 10" x 13", ink and watercolor.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Uncle Jean's Pickup

My uncle Jean bought this brand new pickup back in the early 1950s. He would stop and pick me up as I was walking home from school. I remember the fresh clean smell of his new vehicle and remembered thinking that I might own a pickup just like his some day. Now, his pickup sits broken and undriveable. For many years, my uncle could fix the problems and now he can not. So it sits rusting in the sun as a memory of the 1950s.11" x 14". ink and watercolor.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Roses In The Breeze

One of three rose bushes on the side of our home was the object of this painting. It was a sunny day and the wind was blowing which prompted the name of this post. These three lively rose trees provide healthy flowers from spring until late fall and seem to always be bouncing like they are dancing. The other trees sprout yellow and orange roses. I like the amount of detail in this work. The ochre band in the background was added for more interest. Ink and watercolor.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Flooded Evergreens

Most of the time we worry about too little water in our lakes. In this scene, we see a lake that has overflowed its normal beach areas and the water has backed up into the evergreens. It's nice to pretend and dream that we have more fresh water than we know what to do with. This artwork was an exercise in wet-in-wet and was an experiment only. This was one of many little pieces done on a day I call "play day" where I just try to play with color, ink and textures.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Mission San Antonio de Padua Two

The old missions of California are spread all over the state. This mission, San Antonio de Padua is located in southern part of the state several miles inland from the ocean. The countryside can be dry but very picturesque with a beautiful variety of trees. In their prime, these missions were majestic and were major landmarks throughout the state. Today, many of them have not been kept up to look like they were during the old days. My rendition shows the dry, brown hills typical when the rains go away dotted with the bright green of the trees. Ink and watercolor.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Rural Sidetracks

Quiet little sidings allow excess freight cars, old cabooses and any other railroad equipment a safe place to be stored out of the way of main traffic. These pieces of machinery withstand the elements as they rust away and endure a slow death. We used to jump onto these old cars to play "train" when we were kids. We would come home with scrapes, cuts, sprained ankles and torn pants after playing on these huge toys. 11" x 14" ink and watercolor.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Vacant Pots Of Color

Empty pots against a patio wall is an exercise in simplicity. Spackles of color are shown on the pots along with a variety of color. These empty pots would have been spectacular if they were filled with flowers and other growth. I thought of filling the pots with growth but it was too late since the images were already drawn in ink--next time! Ink and watercolor. SOLD

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Moonlit Forest

I developed this night scene using Sharpies, Rapidographs and watercolors to denote the stillness of a late spring evening high in the mountains. This is done very simply with thick and thin strokes, some detailed pine branches which one would not actually see at this distance and an unreal moon glow. Mountains in the background were not filled in totally which allowed color to peek through. It's fun to play like this. Ink and watercolor.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

In Need Of Repair

My sketch shows the upper parts of some Greek structures. The buildings are painted bright white and the roof tops are brilliant colors. This art shows some cracks and blemishes on the structures that really are not seen in most photos. The people take good care of their buildings but this one is in need of repair.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Plump Zinnias

Here is a floral image of some beautiful, plump, round Zinnias. Producing a colorful flower, this plant blooms from mid-summer until the frost comes. Butterflies love these flowers. The plant is very hardy and can grow in hot sun and needs water only two or three times each week. In this painting I used more than I normally use to complete a piece of work--Rapidograph pens, brush pens, color pencil and watercolors. This is currently with a white mat in a 12" x 14" white frame. SOLD

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Late Color At Lake Side

Colorful trees showing lots of color right at the edge of a small, cool lake in the Sierra Nevadas. While the trees displayed the colors of fall, the day was very warm and much like August and not late October. For effect, a positive one I hope, I moved the edge of the lake closer to the trees. In real life, the trees do not grow that close to the water. It's nice to be free a times and not be real in my paintings. Ink and watercolor.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Desert Outback

This artwork shows the hot, lonely, dry areas typical of the deserts in California. The plant life manages to grow even with very small amounts of rainwater. The rock structures are many and the one shown here is a common formation. Mornings are stunning and mild, days hot and torrid and evenings beautiful and warm. During the warm months, this is a great place to live if you are a snake, lizard, rabbit or coyote. During the winter months, it is a great place for everyone to visit. Ink and watercolor.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

My Vacation Is Over

We just returned from a fantastic vacation in Vermont and New Hampshire in the USA and the cities of Montreal and Quebec in Canada. We were gone for 12 days. We saw the beauty of the color change into fall and lots of wide open countryside. Quebec City was our favorite place. While our trip was fun and leaves us with great memories, we suffered and agonized as we saw the news reports on the world economy. Now, we are enjoying the comforts of our home and I am back at my computer ready to post again. I missed all opportunities to draw and paint because our schedule was so hectic and because we encountered rainy weather the first part of our trip. I took many, many photographs and hope to do some paintings from them.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Home Decoration

A beautiful, colorful plant adorns our home and it's called a Bright Bromeliad. There are many varieties of this plant but the one we have is colorful and healthy and makes an attractive piece for any home. This painting will be framed and will be entered into my next large exhibit next February. Ink and watercolor, 16" x 20".

Monday, September 22, 2008

The Edge Of Color

Two deer graze peacefully in an opening on a meadow next to a densely populated forest. The greenery of trees in the foreground is framed by the color of the leaves in the background trees. In this painting, I played with masking out all of the tree trunks then came back and painted the trunks in various shades as needed. This is the time of year that trees do their amazing change once again. Some trees keep their leaves, some trees change to beautiful colors before they drop their leaves for the winter ahead. Ink and watercolor.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

It's Back Again!

The new football season is back again! With that in mind, I recently pulled this drawing out of my archives portfolio to post. This sketchy drawing shows a charging San Diego Charger of the past, Earl Faison, who played with the team in the 1960s. This huge lineman was fast and big. I drew this from a photograph and I like the sketchy, loose style that I often stray away from. At times, I draw like this again because it is so free. I do the line work, throw in some washes and it is done. Rapidograph pens, 11" x 14", ink washes.

In conclusion: .... and if the current Chargers do not get their act together this is going to be a disaster of a season!!!!!! They have already dropped their first two games.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Merced River, Yosemite

My painting of Yosemite was inspired by a beautiful photograph shown in the August 2008 issue of Sunset magazine. The photograph immediately caught my eye as I am a lover of the Yosemite landscape. The trick to making this painting real I believe was to make sure I got depth in the river, shown by the fuzziness of the underwater rocks and the shadows of the rafts. Also, I deemphasized the background mountain by mainly using subdued grays. In summer, this river offers a quiet, relaxing route through Yosemite. In winter, it becomes filled with lots of water flowing very fast which makes it treacherous and totally opposite of what you see in this painting. 16" x 20", ink and watercolor.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Elaine's Favorite Teapots

These colorful teapots are from my wife's teapot collection which are placed on top of the cupboards in our kitchen. I started this painting over a year ago. I drew it out in pencil then I was afraid to paint it for fear of botching the whole thing. Last month I said "what the heck--if I botch it, I botch it and that's it". I am still trying to find my nitch with pen strokes. I like what I did here--my pen lines are not too loose and not too tight. Hopefully, you will like this painting. 11" x 14", ink and watercolor.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Up A Tree

I drew and painted this upward view of two trees several years ago. I have since enhanced it a bit and the final is shown here. My wife (who is my biggest fan and best critic) said it would never sell because it looked like a carrot with its greenery (Hello, Elaine. How's your imagination?). I made a print of this for a show. A customer walked in, took one look at it, and purchased it immediately. That is why I have learned, if I don't like a piece or my wife does not like a piece, I display it at a show anyway. It seems there is something about any art that may tickle someone's fancy and it may sell. Since the painting is already done, I may as well try and sell it! I really have nothing to lose. 11" x 14", ink and watercolor.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

A Visit To Greece

This painting is a night scene in Santorini, which is a group of islands off the mainland of Greece. These islands are spectacular and have so much beauty accentuated by the beautiful Sea of Crete which surrounds them. This evening scene shows the sparkle of a countryside where many of the homes and towns are highlighted with lots of display lights. This brilliant effect offers a dreamy and romantic vision of life in Greece. The islands of Santorini are actually in a caldera of a dormant volcano. Luckily, this volcano remains dormant so the world can enjoy the beauty of the remains of previous eruptions. My artwork fits into an 18" x 12" frame and will be entered into a two-month exhibit beginning this month. Ink and watercolor.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Puppy For Adoption

I saw a full-page advertisement in the Sacramento Bee concerning animals for adoption. A large black and white photo of this little guy was part of the ad and he was perfect. He has this "how-can-you-NOT-adopt me look". My drawing was done using Rapidograph pens, quill pens with black and brown inks. Most people say this little dog is "so cute" or it is "so ugly it is cute". Anyway, I hope it was adopted. My name for him is "Moe"

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Majestic Monarch

This is the first piece of a series I am doing with butterflies. I am starting now as there are fall art shows planned that I will enter. The fall shows are great for selling for the holiday season. This art will fit into an 8" x 10" mat and framed. It will be for sale along with sets of note cards. Ink and watercolor.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Summer Flowers

This colorful painting of pots and various types of flowers is shown on a typical hot summer day in the middle of California. In full bloom, the flowers produce their own beautiful color to go with the nice colors of the pots or urns. August temperatures have been in the 90s. The summer heat will prevail for at least another month then many of these colorful flowers will lose their luster and disappear--only to reappear next year. 11" x 14", ink and watercolor.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Clumps Of Cactus

This desert scene shows a variety of cactus that grows in clumps which may be found in the arid environments of California and Arizona. This semi-realistic artwork has lots of color and loose detail. Fits an 8" x 10" mat and work is done using quill pens, rapidograph pens and watercolor. Sometimes "loose" is better and that is what I wanted for this exercise.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Can't An Animal Just Stare?

I saw a photograph of these ferocious little lambs in a pasture. It's amazing how these animals can stare at us like they are wondering why we are looking at them. They are probably thinking how "geeky" and "strange" we humans are and have a good laugh talking about us over dinner at night. Who knows what they are thinking and who cares. This artwork was done using quill pens with black and brown inks on watercolor paper.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Amtrak At Sunrise

An Amtrak passenger is racing out of the sunrise as it heads west on a cross country haul. Train travel is still very magical to me. If you have time, travel by train. You will find it is so much fun and very relaxing. The views are generally spectacular while you let someone else do the driving. My painting is fictitious but I believe shows the magic of trains. The engine is narrower and taller than an actual Amtrak engine but I made it that way for impact as the train gets larger the closer it gets. The hint of color in the clouds reflects the rising sun. The ground areas show shadows along with brightness from the headlights and sun. Missing, is the noise and intensity of this huge train. I hope you enjoy my painting. 11" x 14", ink and watercolor.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Country Arches

This high arched bridge spans a peaceful country valley. The trains passover on this bridge and break the silence of the country side. The structures, the greenery, the distant hills and the bridge together make this a pleasant view. To artists who think they need to be exact on everything, note how I have made the lines on the bridge very loose but the structure still looks real. So do not worry if all of your lines are not exactly straight or angles perfectly squared off. This painting is 8" x10", ink and watercolor.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Pine Tree With Mail Boxes

Last week I was up at my mom's home doing the lawns, trimming and cleaning up her property. While resting in the shade, I noticed the pine tree and row of mail boxes directly across the road. I always wanted to sketch this scene and just so happened, I had a watercolor pad and pen handy. So I drew it! The sun was to the west casting a rich yellow green highlight on the pine needles. Pine trees are fun to do--just do not try to do every branch and clump of pine needles exactly as they are on the tree. It's OK to free lance a bit but the end result must look like a pine tree even if it is not exact. The mail boxes were simply done. Five light colored and one brown. Simple, colorful and country-ish!!!!! Enjoy. 8" x 10" ink and watercolor.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Where Is My Luggage?

As I was waiting at the Sacramento International Airport this summer, I began sketching and taking photographs of people milling around. The one interesting spot to watch people is the baggage claim area. People see their luggage then barge through others to get their bags as if they are not going to reappear again soon. But what is most interesting are the intense "I-hope-my-bags-made-it-look" on the traveler's faces. Trying to be inconspicuous, people try to remain calm but actually look very nervous about not seeing their bags. My sketch shows the first guy with the backpack who was jumping in and out of the corridor of people; the guy with the cap who was very stoic and cool; and the last guy who was nervous big time and almost frozen. My sketch hopefully captured some of the nervous looks you may recognize at this interesting part of air travel. Who knows-- you may be one of these types who provides some humor to other people-watchers!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Color and Shapes Experiment

This image shows another experiment and an exercise in using colors and sharp shapes. I began the painting by merely painting onto 140# watercolor paper with lots of color and very wet. The color shapes looked like they could be a grove of trees so my direction focused on trees. In order to NOT be too real, I made 90% of my shapes with sharp points using thick and thin lines with Micron 02 and 05 pens and brush pens. Sometimes it's just fun to experiment and sometimes the art is very useable. I am using this art as a background for note cards. 2" x 3", ink and watercolor.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Cable Car 21 At The Top

A San Francisco cable car reaches the top of the hill as the bay and Alcatraz appear in the background. These vehicles are a major source of transportation in "The City" and have been around for many years. Convenient and casual for the general public, these cars slowly do their thing every day of the year. We rely on seeing them and we rely on using them. You may see long lines of people waiting to jump on but they disappear quickly. A jammed packed car can hold about sixty travelers. Hop on the next time you visit. 11" x 14", ink and watercolor.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Burger, Anyone?

I began drawing this hamburger as I was sitting at an all day art exhibit. Unfortunately, I had not eaten much that morning so the longer I drew the hungrier I got. My lunch break came and nowhere could I find a hamburger joint so I had tacos. Actually, it did not matter what I had I was so hungry. Hamburgers are still a special treat especially when you can use crisp hot onions, juicy red tomato slices, and fresh leafy lettuce. For added zing, try eating a hot chili pepper on the side. After eating one of these loaded burgers you will know when you've had enough. I used Rapidograph pens, color pen brushes on bristol stock to produce this art.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

A Rose Design

Red and yellow roses highlight this small and colorful ink and watercolor painting designed for a note card. I used black brush pens, Rapidograph fine line pens as well as watercolors. The color to the right side is nothing more than wanting more color on the right side. My emphasis was on color and simplicity. 2" x 3", ink and watercolor.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Cups Of Hope & Joy

Another image from our kitchen cupboards. This is on the same line of my previous post named "Mugs For Coffee Lovers". My wife had a set of four given to her by her sister-in-law many years ago. These are the lone survivors and we cannot figure where the other two went. Probably got broken. But our guests really like these and the colored words and verses from the Bible printed on them. Fits a 10" x 13" frame and is done with ink and watercolor. SOLD

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Village Somewhere

Early morning?- or is it late afternoon?-depiction of colorful buildings, deep shadows, bare trees and blue sky of a village somewhere. Is it in USA or Europe?--I think Europe. Most of the ink work was done with black brush pens and larger Micron point pens which is a change from my normal, smaller pen points. Overall, I like the final look of this painting. The thicker strokes do not bother me and the blue tinge in the shadow areas really enhance the overall of this painting. The drawing of the buildings is not too detailed. 8" x 10", ink and watercolor.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Into The Dark Of Night

I painted this scene because I love trains and railroads and the excitement they bring. Here, a train heads out into the night on a long haul somewhere in the USA. This is my Midsummer Night dream. Watercolor.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Break In The Storm

A beautiful sight to see is when the sun comes out from behind the clouds during a FIERCE rainstorm. The glimpse of light may be brief but it is quite nice to see. My watercolor sketch is 2" x 3" and is an image from my mind, which is frightening in itself. I hope you will enjoy it anyway.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

NCAA Division I Baseball Champions

The Fresno State University Bulldogs are the 2008 NCAA Division I baseball champions! And since I am a former Bulldog baseball player, I, along with many others are extremely pleased with this year's College World Series ending. Fresno State powered past the University of Georgia Bulldogs 6-1 in the final game of the series. Fresno's overall record for the year was an unimpressive 47 wins and 31 losses. But when tournament time came around, the Dogs got tough by winning the Long Beach regional and the Tempe super regional before blasting through the best in college baseball at the World Series in Omaha, Nebraska. Mike Batesole, the coach of the Bulldogs, was masterful in using his pitching staff and thankful that his hitters battered opposing pitching. They won six times when a loss would have ended their season. They won seven games against teams ranked in the top 10 and three more against teams in the top 20 to claim the 2008 title. Congratulations to the baseball team at Fresno State University.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Related Feature

The above article features related content.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Time To Gamble At Lake Tahoe North

During the end of May we took a trip to Lake Tahoe to see a friend and have lunch. I was excited to take my art equipment and camera. I planned to sketch outdoors as well as take photographs of the lake. Unfortunately, the day was gray, dark and cold. We saw snow flurries as we had lunch. I took some snapshots of the casinos because they have such neat signs. This view is on the Nevada side (where gambling is legal) looking back towards California. On this artwork, I used rapidograph pens, watercolors and brush pens. This was drawn from my computer screen by pencil onto the watercolor paper. Perspective is slightly off on the "Crystal Bay" and "Club" signs. Even with this glitch I think the art came out well. Final painting is 16" x 20", ink and watercolor.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Cool River Valley

A beautiful valley and a clear, cool river running through it shows why it is so nice to get out of the city and see the countryside. My painting shows the variety you can see in settings like this--cool blue waters, colorful river banks, lush evergreen trees and in the background the dry, rolling hills dotted with trees. This combination was what drew me toward doing this painting. 7.5" x 7.5", ink and watercolor. SOLD

Friday, June 13, 2008

Yellow Sky At Day's End

This is a simple illustration using one color with black. Unfortunately, I did not do this on watercolor paper. The yellow sky has different tonal values to add interest. The trees were done in solid black with no tones. The ocean in the lower part and in the background was done with diluted black ink. The idea for the yellow sky was something I saw at a beach on a late, hot summer afternoon. Seems like there was dust in the air along with some fog coming ashore that gave this effect. The sun was only a hazy ball in the sky. While this was only an experiment, I put a mat on it, and it looks pretty good. 11" x 14" ink and watercolor.


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