Friday, April 30, 2010

Spring One Plus Three

Spring One Plus Three___6x8 oil study on linen__$150 Click BLOG image to see thick details
The other day at my friend's ranch I was waiting for Robin to finish her work and grabbed just one more canvas to do this quick sketch. The "one" is the cow, and the "three" are the cattle egrets. I LOVE when the egrets accompany the livestock in the pastures, following closely to snatch up little bugs in the grass. It seems that the egrets on my old farm were more shy than these. These hung close to us all day, giving us opportunity for good sketching and good photos.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY To my oldest kiddo, DAVIE! I LOVE YOU!!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Cactus Blues

Cactus Blues__6x8 oil study on linen panel___$190
These are our famous prickly pear cactus. Anybody growing up in these parts WILL have a personal prickly pear story! of the beautiful things about our spring is that after all the blues fade (which they are doing now...finally waning!) we are blessed with brilliant flowers in all OTHER colors. These prickly pear will bloom in another month or so, in BRILLIANT YELLOW!...I will get out and paint them soon!!
If you have not gone to see the farm paintings at the Gallery on Main in Marble Falls, this will be your last weekend to do so! Let me know if you go!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Faraway Blues

Faraway Blues___6x8 oil study on linen panel___$190__WET PAINT
Back on the Secret Road with my buddy Earlayne...
When we first got off the main road, this little view appeared. There was a stretch of about 500 yards that took us 10 minutes to drive because every few feet was a new view and photo op! If I had not been there myself, I would look at these thick bluebonnets and say "...way too 'fantastic'"...but they really have been this thick and bushy!...on the other hand, travelling to the northern counties of the Hill Country, yesterday, I could see a big difference in the fullness of the bluebonnet patches. Not only that, but the dirt in Salado (north) is NOT RED, like the dirt in the sandy marble and pink granite areas near Fredericksburg...I think I will go out again tomorrow....just doin' my job!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Blue Pastures

Blue Pastures__6x8 oil study on linen panel__$170 blog image to see some juicy detail
I am swerving off the "secret road" bluebonnet paintings I promised this week, because today I headed north with artist pal Robin Cheers (go see her work today!...and note her comment about TICKS...I feel like she does tonight!). We went up to Bell County to paint on the ranch of my friends, Tom and was a PERFECT day, weather-wise, but I got a few new scratches on my new pick-up truck, driving some narrow trails at the ranch. As I look at my study above, I can see some adjustments I need to make (cow anatomy), so if you want it, let me know, and I will send you the "better version". Robin and I discussed how, having grown up sketching HORSES, we both have to "proof" our cow drawings, lest our natural inclination to "round out the rump" takes over...By the end of our day, our "pasture mates" grazed themselves closer and closer, until we were surrounded by all the angus, horses and cattle egrets...oh, and ONE SERIOUS art critic, below...

Robin facing off with an art critic

Monday, April 26, 2010

Blue Place

Blue Place__6x8 oil on linen panel__$190 wet paint! click blog image to see the details.
One of the first places we drove by on E's secret road was this little old place, surrounded by bluebonnets! It reminded me of a story I heard about some folks who REMOVED a building like this from their property, after well over 50 years! In that long time period, the ground had been moved and tilled and disturbed, but the year after removing the house, a great batch of bluebonnets burst forth in the exact spot (and space!) of the foundation ...perfectly in the shape of the dimensions. The seed had laid dormant under the house all those years!
Tomorrow I am heading to some counties north of here with a friend, to see what bluebonnets there are doing...but I have a few more bluebonnet paintings to post from the secret road! Stay tuned!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Shady Blues

Shady Blues_8x6 oil on linen panel___$190 includes shipping

I mentioned the "secret road" that I was headed out to on Friday with my friend Earlayne Chance. We met out in Mason, TX (home of the Mason Open Tennis tournament where they mark off the streets downtown and play tennis there, and also play on some of the area ranches' tennis courts, and when the lights come on in summer, every great grasshopper in the county comes to the lights and crunch under your feet while you are tryng to play....ah, memories!)...

Anyway, I had to follow Earlayne down to the secret road, and it's still a secret! I have no idea where we were, but it is real pretty!..I have been working from my photos all weekend, and have a whole new batch of little bluebonnet studies for this week! Stay tuned!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Edgy Blues

Edgy Blues__6x8 oil study on linen panel___ $150 all wet!
Not only is this a great spring for Texas Bluebonnets, but the creeks and dry beds are constantly full of water, too. This low place along the Willow City Loop has had water in it all this time. Tomorrow I am meeting some friends to paint in a "secret place" where the flowers are supposed to be PERFECT!...I don't know where it is, but I LIKE perfect! Right now it is raining in these parts, so I hope tomorrow will clear up a little bit so I can paint!.
Two things to remember:
1.Selected paintings from my "Last Year on the Farm" are on exhibit at the Gallery on Main Street in Marble Falls, TX till the end of the month. PLEASE email me if you would like a special "tour" for your group Gallery is open on the weekends and by appointment
2. Workshop June 14-16. The bluebonnets will be gone in Fredericksburg by then, but it ought to be a great time for their famous PEACHES! We will work in the studio, and on location, en plein air, focusing on DRAWING and learning to paint faster!
E-mail me if you want info

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Bed of Blue

"Bed of Blue"___6x8 oil study on linen panel___$190
I have recently been all over my central Texas area, painting like a crazy person! I figured today that I have been in these counties: Williamson, Travis, Hays, Blanco, Gillespie, Llano, Kerr and Burnet! I will be adding a few more this week, and posting many more of these small canvases. ..It has really been fun hearing from the many "misplaced" Texans who follow my blog! I feel so sorry for y'all!...but I KNOW these paintings help, and my guess is that you will return to the Lone Star State, soon! ...I am working on large canvases of a few of these recent studies. I will not be posting the big ones till I am REALLY through with them...stay tuned!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Mesquite Blues

Mesquite Blues__6x6 oil study on canvas panel___$ art to see details!
There is a double meaning with the title, "Mesquite Blues"...Of course my first thought was the BLUEbonnets, our great state flower of Texas...but when I titled it, I had a painful childhood memory of hobbling all the way home from a friend's house with a mesquite branch stuck in my bare foot. THAT sure GAVE ME the blues! Mesquite trees are full of big thorns. They are certainly pretty (one of the last to bud out in spring, usually just before my beloved pecan trees). Mesquite trees are hard wood and much of our famous Texas BBQ is cooked over mesquite wood. The Native Americans used the seed pods to make flour, too, I think... but these trees are INVASIVE and can take over a pasture in s few short years. They were a constant target for removal on our farm! But the thorns are the worst part. Little branches full of thorns break off and you can't see them in the grass. When I stepped on them I could not even bear to look, but would hop home on one foot....only my mom was allowed to take stickers and such out of my this day I am a BIG SISSY about getting things in my feet! (For my "non-Texan" friends, it's pronounced "mess-KEET")

Monday, April 19, 2010

Blue Yonder

Blue Yonder___6x6 oil study on linen panel____$150 (includes shipping)
The bluebonnets are still all over the place. Recent rains mean that the grasses will grow tall soon and cover up the rest of the flowers, so I am out as much as I can right now...and working on big versions of some of these recent studies.
"Paint the Town" in Marble Falls was a BIG success for the town! I judged over 150 paintings, and had a really hard time selecting "the BEST"...It could easily have been a 6-way tie!...If you are a painter, I hope you will put this event on your calendar for next year...the location cannot be beat, lots of variety for things to paint, the planning is smooth, the prize money is nice, and there were plenty of sales, so the artists are happy! ...

Saturday, April 17, 2010


The Last Painting at the farm.....April8 here to see all 365 paintings
(well, I went back a couple times after this, but this one is official :)
TEXAS COUNTRY REPORTER is re-running the feature they did about my Last Year on the Farm. SUNDAY MORNING (10:30 am central time on RFD-TV...but check the time in your area)...They did such a great job of telling my story and show a LOT of the paintings. Please tune in to see! You can turn off the sound and cover your eyes when I am on...The paintings were featured in three solo museum shows in's the best thing I have ever done, art-wise. This is the painting they filmed me working last one at the farm... WATCH THE SHOW if you can!...let me know what you think!
And if you are in Marble Falls, TX come see me Sunday at 1 pm. I will be giving a talk about the farm project, and there are 100 of the paintings on display. Main street Gallery, 205 Main Street...downtown

Friday, April 16, 2010

Cedar Blues

Cedar Blues___6x8 oil study on linen panel___$170 WET!__click image to see details
This one "reads well" as a smaller image or thumbnail, but seeing the goopy details is kind of fun!
It's cloudy and rainy these days, but we all know the dry heat is on the way...when the clouds break, our hot Texas sun will make the grasses overwhelm these bluebonnets, so I am out in the fields as much as possible these days while the blue still shows. My guess is that this time next week much of the blues will be buried beneath the greens...such is bluebonnet season! In fact, these "bouquets" already were FULL of seed pods, which grow like peapods out of the stems under the flowers. Soon they will POP and spray the seeds far and wide for next year's crop!)..
.TAKE A DRIVE on SUNDAY to meet me in Marble Falls! I REALLY HOPE you will come see my special exhibit of 100 of the Last Year on the Farm paintings from my 2008 museum exhibit. I will be there to give a talk and sign copies of my book at 1 pm at the Gallery on Main...205 Main Street, Marble Falls, TX. See y'all there!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Bluebonnet Sea

Bluebonnet Sea___6x8 oil study on linen panel__$170 soaking wet! (click to see details)
This place is not far from my place in Round Rock, in the same county. Last week I ventured into the hill country, but this week I have a busy schedule, so I am wandering nearby. We Central Texans are just giddy with this year's show of our beloved state flower. And now the fields are blooming with oranges, yellows and the rest of the color wheel....(more on that later)...TAKE A DRIVE on SUNDAY to meet me in Marble Falls! Over 60 artists are there NOW to "Paint the Town" (and nearby landscapes)...I get to judge the works, and they will be on display Saturday and Sunday, and you'll be able to purchase wet paintings and even award winning paintings! I REALLY HOPE you will come see my special exhibit of 100 of the Last Year on the Farm paintings from my 2008 museum exhibit. I will be there signing copies of my book and giving a little talk about the project and my EXTENSION of it: "Passing ....the Great Plains".
205 Main Street, Marble Falls, TX. See y'all there!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Hill Country

Hill Country__6x8 oil study on linen panel___$150 still wet
This is an idea I like, but the outcome doesn't please me much , so I will do it again...
I have talked about the "two paintings" is a verb (I was PAINTING this) and the other is a noun ( this PAINTING has a lot of green). Every time I work, there are two paintings (the verb and the noun) artist MUST NOT judge the noun part while "verbing"....It's better to wait a few I will not comment on this painting (noun), anymore :)

Monday, April 12, 2010

Spicy Burrito

Spicy Burrito__6 x 8 oil study on linen panel___$150
I have been out with the bluebonnets this week, and saw this little guy in the shade of a huge oak tree near my friend Kathy's place. He seemed to be nosing around between the prickly weeds, but I liked his gestures and the dappled light on his coat. Little burros ("burritos" ) are often kept to discourage coyotes from pestering young animals in the pastures.
This week I will judge the "Paint the Town" plein air event in Marble Falls, TX. Over 60 artists will be there and nearby, painting the beautiful locations of this central Texas area. On Sunday at 1:00 I will give a little talk about the Last Year on the Farm exhibit, and signing my book about the project. PLEASE come see about 100 selections from the series (see all 365 here), and stop by Main Street Gallery to say HELLO!

Friday, April 09, 2010


# 8 of 24 painted in 24 hours__"A Spring Day: Last Year on the Farm"__6x8 oil__available

In 2007 I completed a daily painting project creating 365 small works of our Last Year on the Farm. Part of this project included a group of 24 paintings for each season (Fall, Winter...etc). These 24 paintings were painted in 24 hours. You can click here to see the Spring group of 24 paintings in 24 hours. The one above is a favorite of mine, because of its simplicity, and the cloud shadow on the land. The one below is included in the Marble Falls Show that culminates next weekend at the big paint-out event "Paint the Town". I will judge the works of over 50 painters who will work in and around Marble Falls. Then they will sell the works at the event. On SUNDAY, APRIL 18 at 1 pm I will give a talk and sign books about my Farm project... 100 of my farm paintings are on display there till then! PLEASE COME meet me at 205 Main Street, Marble Falls, TX.

My favorite plein air supply company, Judsons Art Outfitters tells a little about this on their blog today. You will see a familiar image there (mine!) and some good reading at
Be sure to browse their site. They have the BEST plein air options out there!
Another one from 24 paintings in 24 hours of a "Spring Day Last Year on the Farm" this one is
# 20 of 24, and it is available at the exhibit in Marble Falls. COME MEET ME on April 18.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Enchanted Spring

Enchanted Spring __12 x 16 oil on linen panel___state 1 plein air study
Late in the day on my painting excursion with Pat, yesterday, we were on the road to Enchanted Rock and HAD to stop to paint this scene. The grass was so green and lit just right it actually hurt the eyes!...and the photos are very dark, so I am glad I painted this one from life...I will need to "finish" it from the photos, but the colors I need are there :) (I will post the finished one if I remember)
Today was my actual birthday. THANK YOU to all my old friends! It was a SPECIAL treat to hear from a friend who has known me the very longest! Rhonda and I were babies together, lost track of each other for 30 years and today, remembering my birthday, she found me. God bless Mr. Internet! ...My favorite part was dinner with my family! After a great meal they rented a "nice" "G" rated movie. Last year's birthday movie is STILL a big sore subject around our house...the kids thought I would like "Sweeny Todd...the Evil Barber" (or something like that). They know I like musicals, and I like Pirates of the Caribbean, but in this one, Johnny Depp cut people's throats in the barber chair while singing broadway songs!! Caught us all off guard...way too graphic ...we were not expecting all the blood! I was horrified and kids still laugh at their own poor judgment that day.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Willow City Loop

Willow City Loop__8x10 oil study on linen panel__$250 when I am finished with the big version
I usually shoot a photo of the place where I am painting, just in case I need the reference details later. I RARELY post this reference photo, especially if I have been painting en plein air. But TODAY's location was so spectacular, that I NEED to show you what it REALLY looked like! (see below). I will be starting a large painting of this study as soon as I can, while it's all so fresh in my mind. ...This is TRULY a record year for Texas wildflowers. I told my painting buddy, Pat, that we used all 5 senses today!: The SIGHT of amazing colors, textures, places!...the SMELL of bluebonnets (and the goat farm we stopped at)...the FEEL of the cool air...the SOUNDS of the spring, like the birds that sound like dripping water (cowbirds?), and the spring peepers (frogs)...and I guess to complete the senses, Pat made some great food for my birthday lunch! what a pal!...and We stopped at a little BBQ place on the Loop and got a pulled pork sandwich...

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Pecan Holdouts

Pecan Holdouts___6x8 oil study on linen panel___$150 soaking wet!
I say this every year...My favorite time of year is spring. Early, before the pecans bud out. They are the LAST of the trees to get any leaves, so while everything else is bright green, the pecans are still bare and branchy…. It’s That time of year right now! My friend Kathy called yesterday and said "you gotta come see our bluebonnets"! So, I drove over to see her place between a couple of small creeks, and found a wonderful pecan bottom just the way I like it!
Tomorrow I will be out again with my buddy Pat...she is just about the funnest person to paint with that I know...We really get into time we looked up and were surrounded by a herd of cattle...another time we didn't see the hail. But then lightning struck nearby (we didn't see that coming either). But it saved us from being pummeled by the hail....hmmm HAPPY SPRINGTIME, Y'all!

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Spring Day on the Old Farm

Spring Day on the Old Farm___6 x 8 oil__one from Last Year on the Farm__available
I passed by our old farm the other day...It looked a lot like this painting, which I did during one of my sessions of "24-paintings-in-24-hours"....I pulled this one out as I was varnishing the "remnants" of the 365 paintings , getting them ready for the exhibit now hanging in Marble Falls, TX.
Next week is my birthday week, and I plan to get out and paint a lot. Spring is beautiful this year...I can't wait.
Tomorrow is Easter. I hope you will take time to ponder the amazing meaning...Happy Easter!


Friday, April 02, 2010

Springtime Greens

Springtime Greens_ 6x8 oil study on linen panel__$150
It was good to get out in the Texas Spring-time, yesterday. I went to paint at a small ranch south of Austin, and came home with this little study...Many "green ones" to come!...spring is fully here! Next step will be for the mesquites and pecans to bud out! Can't wait to paint that. ...I brought a good selection of spring and summer paintigs to Marble Falls for the Last Year on the Farm exhibit. Actually, there are 100 small works like this one, showing all 4 seasons of our last year onthe farm. I will give a galery talk and sign my little book on April 18, and over 50 painters will be on hand painting the area and selling their works. PLEASE COME!