Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year 2011

Thanks to all of you who have viewed my blog and artwork in 2010. Hopefully, you will return to visit me this coming year. Our family is thankful for all that we have and we look forward to having a great 2011.

May all of you be successful in sticking to your resolutions for this coming year.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Meadow Near The Dome

A golden tree sits in a meadow surrounded by pine trees with "Half Dome" in the background at Yosemite National Park in California. I saw a photo of this spectacular view and it was too nice to pass up. There are so many great views in Yosemite and I think this is one of the best. This view sparkles in part because of the great color in the foreground tree whose leaves are probably gone by now. Ink and watercolor.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Mission San Antonio de Padua

POPULARITY KINGS: This image has over 700 views in 14 months. Two other mission images have 446 and 437 hits in same time frame. This art is viewed more than any other subject within my blog. I must conclude that readers like missions.
 Located on the sprawling Hearst Ranch, Mission San Antonio de Padua sits within the “Valley of the Oaks” on California’s scenic Central Coast. The Santa Lucia mountains backdrop this historic mission where ancient oak trees frame the fully restored adobe buildings which include the Church, museum, cloister, a garden and outbuildings. It was founded as California’s third mission in 1771. Ink and watercolor.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Hillside Village

A little village sits peacefully on a hillside where there appears to be no roads or vehicles. While this setting looks pleasant, it could be dangerous if people lose their footing and go tumbling to who-knows-where. Ink and watercolor.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Mountain Slopes

These Sierra Nevada mountain 
slopes look very peaceful in this painting unlike how they are looking currently. As I post this image, the mountains are receiving very heavy snow with strong winds. We are receiving lots of rain with gusty winds on the valley floor. Winter is here!

Once the storms pass, we will be able to see the mountains as brilliant white patches above the greenery of the foothills--pretty to view and exciting for skiers. Watercolor.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Vermont Red

This painting was done as a demonstration for one of my classes in October. I had intended to sketch in the image only so I could do my initial washes in class. But, I got carried away and did the entire painting. I had to do another painting for my class demonstration. I am pleased with this one. Ink and watercolor. SOLD

Monday, December 13, 2010

Snow Field

The phenomenon of the passing of the seasons is everlasting. In this scene, winter has set in. The snow has stopped falling, the snow on the ground has muffled most sounds and the home in the background is a lonesome sign of life in the area.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Chinook At Home

This painting was done from a photo on Flickr posted on I received permission to show this on my blog so here it is. Check out other photos on this Flickr site. This is Chinook who seems very happy at the San Diego Zoo. This bear's secret was to be captured so it would not face the hazards seen by other polar bears in their natural habitat. Check out the polar cam at the zoo.

Sunday, December 05, 2010


This art was done while referring to several photographs to make a new outdoor restaurant scene. This sketchy painting was done over four to five days in my garage this summer. Each day as I walked by the painting I would stop and add a few pen lines and some more color. Between mowing my lawns and trimming bushes, this is what I came up with. Ink and watercolor.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Mission Santa Ysabel Asistencia

This facility is located in southern California east of San Diego. It was built as a sister mission to one of the California major missions. This one is named Santa Ysabel Asistencia. In the many years I lived in San Diego, I never knew this existed. Now that I have moved, I can only draw it from a beautiful photo. Ink and watercolor.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

No Jack-O-Lanterns Here

These pumpkins made the cut---or they missed the cut--- from being made into jack-o-lanterns. These pumpkins were part of a cluster that remained from a once healthy pumpkin patch. Ink and watercolor.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Savour The Moment

This big turkey has survived for another season. He walks around the turkey farm looking for some of his friends who have disappeared. I do not know how long these birds live before they become too old to be eaten but maybe this one will enjoy his stay on the farm until old age takes its toll. Savour the moment old friend. Ink and watercolor.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Until Next Year

My title indicates that we are at the end of a season which was created by Mother Nature earlier in the year. The sad part is that these beautiful leaves are disappearing. The good news is that next year a new batch of leaves will be budding and the long cycle will begin again. Colorful leaves like these never seem to be very boring. Enjoy the fallen leaves around your home because soon they will be blown away or covered with snow. Ink and watercolor.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Loomis Drug Store

The Main Drug Store in Loomis, California sits in the heart of this little town. At one time, this road way, now called Taylor Road, was the major highway (Highway 40) between San Francisco and Reno. All vehicles went past this little drug store. Back in the 50s, all vehicles slowed to a crawl going through the little towns of Auburn, Penryn, Loomis and Rocklin. This drug store is still in business being run just as it was many years ago. Ink and watercolor. SOLD

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Sneaky Fog

Fog has always been sort of sneaky to me. I have lived in areas most of my life where the fog comes in when conditions are right. I come into my house as the sun is going down then go outside an hour later and there is a thick layer of fog down on the deck. It's disguise is very sneaky. This painting shows a hint of fog ready to envelope these colorful flowers. Ink and watercolor.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Detailed Owl

I developed this owl as a demonstration in one of my art classes. Using a photograph as my guide, I penciled in the owl and slowly developed the image as the class went on. The students watched for the first fifteen minutes then began to draw on their own. My finished art is the top piece. Because I was too lazy to paint in a background, I did the bottom image with the help of layers in Photoshop. The trees were shot in my backyard and the owl art was layered on top. Ink, Photoshop, watercolor, Sharpie and Prismacolor pens.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Suburban Living

This painting is my version of a view in the suburbs. Most suburbs are nice because they are away from the bustle of city living. The problem is after many years, suburban areas begin to remind us of the cities because homes and traffic become so intense and congested. On this painting, I deviated from my normal style "just because" which is fun to do once in a while. Ink and watercolor.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Bright Sunflowers

These colorful sunflowers were drawn as I was dozing off for a nice nap on a hot summer day this past summer. Even though I was liking what I was drawing, I really could not stay awake--so I put my work down and took a nap. After the nap, I completed the drawing, added watercolors and other inks to complete the image. Ink, watercolor, color Sharpie and Prismacolor pens.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Under An Autumn Tree

This painting was done from a photograph. Location is unknown. The leaves in the photograph were more yellows and golds. I changed them to include reds, oranges and some purple. We still have lots of color on our trees in Lincoln but the mountain trees are losing theirs. Wherever this tree is, I'll bet it has lost all its leaves. The seasonal cycles march onward. Ink and watercolor. SOLD

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Mission Santa Ines

This is Mission Santa Ines located in southern California near Santa Barbara. The original mission was destroyed by an earthquake in 1812. It was reopened in 1817 and reconstructed again in 1947. Today, the mission is an active parish with a museum, gift shop and information center. Ink and watercolor.

Monday, November 01, 2010

Along The Water

A beautiful   scene along the water  is highlighted in this post. Reminds me of a scene from Europe. In fact, it is a scene from Europe taken from a photograph but I just can't remember which country. Ink and watercolor.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Time Spent In Photoshop

Sometimes it's fun to spend some time 
experimenting with Adobe Photoshop just like it's fun to 
experiment with watercolors. I used some of my original paintings to play with the filters available in this application. It is fun to see the many interesting transformations that can be produced.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Going To Church

On a bright sunny day, these people are going to their beautiful church for late morning services. After church the entire family will feast on a filling brunch then go visiting friends. That's what a relaxing Sunday should be like.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Glaring Eagle

This predator is clearly capable of securing any meal it wants by pouncing on unsuspecting critters. I saw this eagle in a newspaper ad and I really liked his piercing look. I used black and color Sharpies with watercolors. SOLD

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Brilliant Autumn Colors

The trees that surround us are moving into their cooler weather phase as they change their colors. This phenomenon has many of us searching for the ultimate changes of color before the trees drop their leaves in preparation for the cold winter months. My painting shows one of the many autumn paintings I have done. The tree trunks were masked out using blue painters tape cut to varies sizes and widths. Next I applied the brilliant washes. I pulled the tape off and added ink lines, and washes to the trunks. It's a simple process. Try it! You will like it!  Ink and watercolor.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Old Store In Sheridan

This summer, I traveled to Sheridan which is located on Highway 65 between Lincoln and Marysville, California. The railroad tracks cross the highway in Sheridan where this little store sits on the frontage road. I remember this store as I was growing up when our family would travel through. This old structure is just a memory for the many folks who purchased goods there. Now it sits all boarded up. The car belongs to a postal employee who works next door. Ink and watercolor.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Flower Wagon

While back in Vermont this summer, I discovered this nice little cart sitting empty on the porch of my brother-in-law's cabin. I took some photographs and when I returned home I drew the cart but I also included pots with flowers. The empty cart would have been OK but I added the flowers for more interest. Ink and watercolor.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

The Dam At Lake Hodges

Life is swell when I can sit in peace and quiet at a scene like this. This old dam is at the west end of Lake Hodges, a beautiful little lake near Escondido, California, located about 25 miles north of San Diego. When heavy rains hit, and they do hit in this area that gets low amounts of precipitation, the lake fills to the brim. The water begins to overflow into a stream which meanders to the ocean many miles away. Ink and watercolor.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Carl's Jr.

You may recognize this sign during your travels around town. It leads you toward a recognizable fast food establishment where you may dine. The friendly birds love this sign.

Monday, October 04, 2010

Rocky Roadrunner

We received two pieces of colorful garden art for our yard. The wings spin around to supposedly keep the birds away. The spinning does not work well unless I oil them constantly. Our local birds, however, feel they have a new friend and suspend themselves in flight over the two Rocky Roadrunners as if they want them to play with them. The bright colors make these guys very noticeable and popular. Children think they are a toy and want to yank them down and play with them. Ink and watercolor.

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Beneath The Surface

This large fish is a version of some kind of colorful trout searching for food in a cold stream up in the mountains. If you can make your lure twirl properly you might bag one of these beauties. My fishermen friends would like to snag one of these. I wish they would so they could bring one or two home to share with me. I love to eat fish but I do not care to catch them. I would rather sketch while they fish. Ink and watercolor.


Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Seeing Is Deceiving

Last year I had the opportunity to be down on the playing field near the San Francisco Giant's dugout. Tim Lincecum, the team's star pitcher walked by. Also known as The Freak by his team mates, Tim is only 5'-10" tall and weighs about 170 lbs which made me wonder how an athlete with such a slight build can throw a little round baseball as hard as he does.

The answer is that he has the arm strength, was taught the proper pitching mechanics and he has the grit. Each game he hones his skills and is learning to pitch smarter. The Giants are close to winning their division as the regular baseball season nears the end. Sharpie, Prismacolor pens. SOLD

Monday, September 27, 2010

Duke Was Number One

My friend Duke belongs to my niece Jackie, her husband Will and their one-year old daughter, Lucia. Duke was in the family way before Lucia came along and was really the "king". Now with Lucia as part of the family, Duke has realized he is not the "top dog" anymore and really does not like it one bit. If we pay too much attention to Lucia, Duke will leap in between us to make sure he is not left out. I hope Duke knows we still love him. When we say "Stay" he leaps at us. The dog learns slowly if at all. Ink and watercolor. GIFT

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Lotus General Store

This old-fashioned general store in Lotus, California, still stands proudly and is open for business. This painting was started last summer but was finished this September. The little village is in the gold country of Placer County near Coloma. Our plein air group decided to paint out in this area and I sat across the road from the store. Except for many cars passing by on this country road, the morning was pleasant and I finished the major lines of this building that day. One year later, using images from my camera taken that day as reference, I completed the painting. Ink and watercolor.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

McSketching On Tuesday

Yesterday, I stopped at a famous fast food establishment and had some breakfast while I sat in my car and sketched this familiar signage. It was a clear, sunny day, I was alone and no one was bugging me. It was totally peaceful. Ink, watercolor, color Sharpies.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Dog Days Of Summer

Dog days of summer in my mind are the hot summer days that take place in late August and early September when we are all just plain tired of the blasted heat. Our thoughts are tending toward cooler autumn days and nights and even the images of cold winter days. It's all a vicious cycle because during the bad winters our thoughts turn to warm spring days. This image shows the threat of thunderstorms and lower river levels and attempts to denote a hot, muggy day. Ink
 and watercolor.

Monday, September 13, 2010

House For Sale-Cheap!

This might have been a nice little home at one time. It now is abandoned, owned by someone, I am sure, and is available to some brave individual or couple to fixup and use as a winter home. There is no running water, probably has an outhouse, and includes plenty of wild neighbors and fantastic landscaping. You may need to travel a good distance for supplies and you cannot get sick because I will bet there are no medical facilities nearby. Ink and watercolor.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Every Cloud Has A Silver Lining

Look for the silver lining in my clouds as the famous old proverb talks about. Clouds are beautiful and we take them for granted and, of course, you do not really see something special unless you really want to. When they are fluffy we feel good but when they are dark and low we know we may need shelter. These little samples of  landscapes and clouds were done quickly just to get the feel for some ideas I have for future larger paintings. It's always fun to play with ideas. Ink and watercolor.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

At The Bend

A powerful engine, loaded with fuel, hauls many freight cars as it roars through a clearing rainstorm. It approaches an old grain elevator and assorted buildings, a railroad unit house and many blue puddles reflecting the sky behind the clearing clouds. The sky should probably have more blue to match the amount of blue I have reflecting in the puddles. If I can fix, I will. If not, I will leave it alone. Ink and watercolor.

Saturday, September 04, 2010

My Kind Of Dessert

The season for fresh cherries is over. But, when they are plentiful, they make a fantastic light dessert to top off any meal. While growing up, we lived near orchards where we could eat as much as we wanted. All the mothers would prepare fresh pies and turnovers. In fact, we could pick and eat any fruit that was grown so I felt I was really spoiled. This small painting reminds me of my time growing up and the fun we had when school let out in June until we started again in September. Ink and watercolor.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Hills, Lakes And Cattails

Fresh cattails, cool, blue waters and dry, brown hills dotted with trees always make for a nice landscape painting. This scene is typical in California during the summer months. Many people do not like the brown hills, but I do. During the spring, the hills are a beautiful green which most people like. Visitors are sometimes surprised to see so much dry land up and down the state. Ink and watercolor.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Totally Immovable

These huge, dry mountains and hills at the edge of a desert appear immovable. Over time they do move because of the pressures within the earth. There is a certain beauty to the dryness and blandness in this type of scene. Many do not like the dry look. I love it and the isolated feeling. Ink and watercolor.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Wise Old Gray Owl

This owl looks mean, wise and serious as he peers directly into our eyes. But, I have never met an owl who does not look serious. I do not even think you would ever find him ASLEEP. This owl was done quickly using an Ultra Fine Point Sharpie, shades of gray brush pens and watercolors. SOLD

Monday, August 23, 2010

Cattail Cluster

A loose ink and watercolor rendering shows a section of cattails on a quiet summer morning. A few birds are flying over providing the only noise that could be heard at this time. It was very peaceful and relaxing at the edge of this pond.


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