Thursday, December 31, 2009

Passing West of Ft.Sumner, NM_Great Plains, grassland, sky

Passing West of Ft. Sumner, NM__6x8 oil on linen panel__reserved for 2011 exhibit

Returning through the southwestern Great Plains, I have this last painting of 2009. It is my 1,006th daily a few days I will GIVE AWAY #1000, a painting I did a few days ago. Click to see it, then email me if you want to be in the hat to win it!
2010 looms, and here is what I will be up to, in brief:
Passing America: the Great Plains...I am preparing 150 new works for exhibit in the fall of 2011. This extensive project will take me through the Great American Plains a number of times. I will blog along the way and will also present some opportunities for folks to join me and follow the progress. You can start following the early stages NOW at I will post some neat photos and new thoughts about this recent trip in a few minutes. Please go see!
I also will do my usual 3 or 4 shows, a few workshops, and pay visits to the great galleries that represent me.

MAINLY, though, I will stay near the home front as much as possible.
It is a little bit too soon to mention this, but I have a new web site in the works. I cannot wait to "open the doors" to let you see it! My target date is January 4, the same day I will draw for the free painting! Remember to sign up! ...and have a HAPPY NEW YEAR.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Christmas Still Shines__mountains, night, snow

Christmas Still Shines__6 x 8 oil study on linen panel___$150

I mentioned in yesterday's post that I snatched some of our "family vacation time" to paint a little bit, but the family drove off in the van and I left my brushes there. So yesterday's painting was done with a palette knife. This one above I painted right afterwards with a paper towel. I painted it from my memory of the night we drove in. It was just getting dark and the details on the mountain were gone, but the little cabin lights sparkled like diamonds on the snow. I especially liked the Christmas lights...
A word to you artists...LOWER your expectations when trying new things, like paper towel painting...some of you are still new to painting, so the advice applies OVER ALL...Keep expectations LOW and you will always enjoy yourself! I teach this in my workshops. Join me at the next one in Fredericksburg, TX in about 5 weeks, Feb 5-7. I will bring the Full Moon :)

Monday, December 28, 2009

Winter Trees__snow, landscape, mountains

Winter Trees____6 x 8 oil study on linen panel___$150
When the family drove to town, I took the opportunity to paint a little study of the view out our side door, her in South Fork, Colorado....Only thing was, I left all my brushes in the van, so I painted it with a palette knife. I am no expert in that, but ist was a fun exercise! Immediately after painting this one, I did one from memory as we drove in the other night...I will post it tomorrow.
Big news in our family today! I became a future "mother-in-law"! My son had a wonderfully planned proposal to the girl of "our" dreams :) Everything that could have gone wrong DID, but somehow the good Lord provided wonderful memories for this great young couple, and it was a PERFECT time for them! We love you Tanner...and Ashton!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Passing Outside Muleshoe__red barns, snowy, landscape, plains

Passing Outside Muleshoe, TX__8 x 10 "drive-by" study ___
In a few days I will update some info and photos of a trip I am taking right now...Passing America Trip #2. Please see my other blog about the project, and I will let you know when you can read the latest. We are on the road, and connecting is always a hassle. I have been trying for 2 hours with no success...except if you click on the BLOG image you will see a WAY HUGE version...ooops...the painting isn't half this size...but the brush strokes are interesting this big :)...this little painting above was done one the move, pasing through the High Plains of Texas. Happy New Year! Be sure to sign up for a free painting from I will give away next week. See the blog post from a few days ago for info :) Be sure to send an email that you want to be in on the drawing. To

Friday, December 25, 2009

Bearing Gifts_6x6

Bearing Gifts__6 x 6 oil study on linen__$100
Agh! Computer monitor problems again, and I cannot tell how this one will come out on your monitor, but it's awful on mine!...Here is a couple of pack mules...bearing gifts, of course! Merry Christmas! Please e-mail me if you want the free painting I posted a couple of days 1000th daily painting will be given away to a lucky collector...January 4th. Here is my e-mail if you want to be in the running. (You will get an auto reply, because we are doing Holiday stuff and will be in and out) MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Color of Quiet__Cypress, pond, reflections, fall, trees

Color of Quiet__24 x 36, a painting for Christmas from Steve to BRV___Merry CHRISTmas!
All those cypress studies lately were preparation for this large painting commissioned by my brother-in-law, Steve, to honor his parents at Christmas. Whenever I posted the studies, I had to be rather cryptic in my description of the work, because I knew they read the blog. Steve was great at reading between my lines as I posted comments about those little cypress studies, but refrained from details that might give it away!
Yes, my brother-in law is "Steve Vaughan" (not to be confused with Stevie Ray...) and, believe it or not, he is married to "Sarah Vaughan" joke! (You music lovers are now amused!)
MERRY CHRISTmas to all, on this wonderful night!
PLEASE see yesterday's blog post and respond if you want the chance for that free 1000th daily painting!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

My 1000th Post_sunrise, city lights, landscape, farm, barns

My 1000th Post___email me if you want to be "in the hat" to win this one!___winner to be determined on Jan. 4, 2010 click image to see larger
Boy have I been thinking about this a lot. This is my 1000th post since I started doing a painting a day. I am giving away this original oil painting - a "THANK YOU" to many friends who have been along on this journey with me. I decided to paint what I MOST LIKE TO PAINT: My farm...I looked through MANY files (I have over 10,000 shots from the farm.... one day, my dream is to produce a BIG BOOK with the farm paintings, lots of these photos,and some writings....) So I chose to paint a NEW DAY...a sunrise...full of color and HOPE! I want the painting to be a reminder and an encouragement to whoever wins it! I want it to be meaningful and as I thought about it I kept remembering something I was taught a long time ago. It is from the ancient writings of a wise King named Solomon, in a book called Ecclesiastes." Even if someone lived a thousand years—make it two thousand!—but didn't enjoy anything, what's the point? Doesn't everyone end up in the same place?"...the book ends with this "solution" to how to spend your life: fear God (revere and worship), do what He tells you, for this is the whole duty of mankind....
Sorry, I tend to think too deep sometimes...this is, after all, just a little bit of color on a canvas! I will take names of those interested until the drawing on January 4...Merry CHRISTmas!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Cypress Fall Study 2_cypress trees, fall color

Cypress Fall Color 2__6 x 8 oil study on canvas__$90
I painted fall color on some rivers this is one I forgot to post, but I noticed some cypress trees by my mom's place today...still loaded with "fall" color, though here we are on the second day of winter! Our fall color usually stays till about Christmas, here in south-central Texas, then we have about 3 weeks of winter...speaking of Christmas, my niece sent me a link where you can watch that great secret Disney movie I told you about a few days ago. It is an old classic animated cartoon. There are three parts, here is the link to part one. (parts 2 and 3 are there, too) Find someone to share this with's GREAT!
TOMORROW is my 1000th post, which I have decided to give away! I will leave the art up for folks to see for a few days and will have a drawing for it on January 4th. If you want to be in the "hunt" for it, please click here to e-mail me and let me know. THANK YOU to all who have followed me from the farm to here! Merry CHRISTmas!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Regalos_Espiritu Santo, mission, crescent moon, night

Regalos de Espiritu Santo___8x6 oil study on linen pane l___$150

I often paint the Presidio in Goliad, La Bahia. Well, across the San Antonio River is the mission which was one of the First in Texas. It is the place where cattle ranching got its, what HISTORY in this part of Texas, going back into the 1700's! This is a study for a larger work I am making of Mission Espiritu Santo Regalos de Espiritu Santo means Gifts of the Holy Spirit, and if you look at the bottom right, there are a few shadowy figures bringing gifts to the mission...common, this time of year! Merry CHRISTmas!

Eric R., and Linda just pointed out to me that this is ALMOST my 1000th daily painting Blog Post! I am amazed by that! This one is 998 and on Wednesday, I will post my 1000th. I have never given one away before, but I think I WILL give #1000 away. How about I let you see it first, and if you want to be "in the hat" for it, drop me an EMAIL at . I will put all the names in a hat and have Linda draw out the name on MONDAY, JANUARY have till then to drop me an e-mail..this will be fun!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Snow Pony_paint horse, oil painting, snow

"Snow Pony"___6 x 6 oil study on linen___$150
Plenty of horses are having to graze under the snow these days...I hear...but not here in central Texas. I painted this from a photo I took last winter. Pretty soon I will be taking another trip through the plains, hoping to see some snow and livestock on the little farms there.
Merry CHRISTmas, y'all!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Lowing 3_black cow, cattle, white face, small oil painting

"Lowing 3"___6 x 6 oil study on linen___$150
The cattle are still lowing...I have revisited the farm lately, via photos and a few small studies. Compare this "Low-er" with yesterday's. It appears that it is the same cow, and I think it is. Funny, as an artist paints, our eye records MANY things each time we look up. We take note of proportions, and negative space and lights and darks and all the art terms you can think of...These things stay in our memory bank, stored up to use later on another painting. While painting the "bangs" on this cow's forehead, I remembered painting similar shapes and textures in yesterday's work....same cow! To you art students: THIS IS WHY carrying a sketchbook is SO IMPORTANT. I worked from two different photos that I had taken, but did not remember or notice the similarity in the photos of the cows. Shooting pictures really does NOTHING to improve your art technique...but sketching does! Do you agree?

Friday, December 18, 2009

Lowing 2_cow, cattle, white face,oil, small original

"Lowing 2"___6 x 6 oil study on linen panel___$150

The cattle are's Christmas time and I always loved this "theme" when I lived on the farm. If you haven't looked at the 365 small paintings from my "Last Year on the Farm" (which is the name of the exhibit which traveled the USA in 2008), please go look! Especially take a look at the December paintings and read those field notes...there is a lot about "lowing" in those paintings. It was a cold December, as it's turning out to be this year, and our cows huddled up together a lot....Merry CHRISTmas!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Lowing 1__cow, calf, small oil painting

"Lowing 1"___6x6 oil sketch on linen panel___$150 soaking wet!
"Away in a Manger" is one of the best Christmas songs. The first line in the second verse is "The Cattle are Lowing..." so that's where I got the title for a little batch of lowing cattle I painted today...Like that movie I mentioned yesterday (The Small One),the song is a creative work which takes the real Christmas story and embellishes some of the facts, giving your imagination a moment of wonder. This is a season of WONDER!...Merry CHRISTmas!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

That Couch Look__sketch, dog, Great Dane

"That Couch Look__from my sketchbook _5.5 x 8.5 ebony on paper... $90 if you are first to ask for it!
Our "Good Dane" Romeo is not allowed on the couch...I just made life more difficult for myself for the next month or so by allowing him there, just now. Ah well, it's Christmas time...and my daughter's little dogs were on the couch in my lap and Romeo was just aching to join us..."well, OK, just this ONCE!"
I scanned it after my first 5 minute "scribble-in" (below). I think it's a good look at another way to sketch! Most of the time we start with LINES...but WHY? I will teach this "scribble-in" method at my workshops in 2010. It is a great intro to impressionism! Get out of the cold! Join me at the next workshop in Fredericksburg, TX, Feb. 5 - 7. email for info
"That Couch Look_State 1, the 'scribble-in'"

Small One_Sketch, donkey, Christmas, Mary, Joseph

Small One___from my sketchbook

Here is a little donkey sketch I made the other day...a donkey at a nearby ranch. When I got home I decided to add a couple of shadowy figures in honor of The Season! When my children were little, out favorite Christmas video was a certain Disney movie that NO ONE ever knew about. It's a story of a little donkey that played a big part in the First Christmas. It is a classic Disney production, complete with original songs and that heartwarming story line which is GUARANTEED to bring a tear to your eye...happy tears, by the way. If you have never seen The Small One, go get it NOW, for some great Christmas's short, maybe 20 minutes...then tell me how you like it!...Merry CHRISTmas!!!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Tall One__Sketch, cowboy, roper, Texan

"Tall One"___from my sketchbook
I am still sketching a lot these days, finding it easier to grab the pencil than the brush...and waiting for a shipment of linen panels I ordered...they arrived, so expect a little more color to come :)
The focus of my recent workshops has been DRAWING...Drawing does not always mean "pencil work". ANY painting must be drawn first, whether you use line or shapes to draw is up to you! I teach all aspects of drawing as we workshop is February 5 - 7 in Texas! Join us if you can! E-mail me for details ...yes, Barbara, this is a sketch of Frank :)

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Beehive Ms.Santa_Christmas, soul, Gospel singer, sketch

"Beehive Ms. Santa"__a memory sketch on a happy day___for my mom
I will try not to ramble, but...
Today is my middle child's (son) 24th birthday. After a big feast (my first attempt at crab legs...I forgot the utensils to crack them, so we set the table with hammers and scissors...worked just fine, thank you!) we all loaded up and went to my mom's nursing home and their great Christmas bash! Entering the door, we were met with one beautiful Gospel singer, Judy Arnold, in the middle of a lively version of the Christmas spiritual "Children Go Where I Send Thee" . Judy is a performer in Austin and is amazing. She has a voice so loud and clear that it feels like it's coming out of the deepest part of your own lungs! My mom was in the background, beaming and she and Judy had a little "connection" going on. I saw tonight where my emotional attachment to the arts comes! Mom falls in love with great talent and boy is she a fan of Judy's now! After the song, Judy came and held mom's hand and thanked her for the "love" she felt. It was a real sweet gesture by a talented artist toward a humble little lady in a wheel chair who cannot move her arms to clap, but cheers with her eyes. ..I want to grow up like my mom!
(Oh, yes, that is a beehive hair-do...part of a great act!...I drew this from memory...apologies to Judy Arnold.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Christina 2_woman, sketch, Indian, pencil drawing

"Christina 2"___from my sketchbook__$90
Again, no "boundary lines" or "outlines" or "contour lines" to start this sketch. ..I learned to draw the hard way...trial and error and LOTS of erasing. After MANY YEARS as a busy artist, I now SELDOM use an eraser! It is my opinion that ANYBODY can be proficient with drawing...while teaching art for 19 years, I saw MANY students who approached every drawing with contour lines, or the "outline"...this SEEMS easy, but is the worst way to get a good drawing, unless you have a GIFTED eye, and can naturally solve problems of proportion, scale, perspective, and all those difficult things. Since not many are THAT gifted, I teach PRACTICAL lessons for ANYONE who wants to draw better! THERE REALLY ARE SECRETS and SHORTCUTS!...I will be teaching a FEW workshops next year...not as many as I have in the past. First one is Feb 5 - 7 at Fredericksburg Artists School, in Texas. Click the link and scroll down for info...MERRY CHRISTmas! (Happy Birthday, Tanner :)

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Sun Warmed Wiener_dog, Dachshund, old dog

"Sun Warmed Wiener"___5 x 5 gallery wrapped canvas, original oil, ready to hang___$190

Max is our neighbor at the family place in Colorado. Fred owns him, but Max owns the canyon. As soon as we are up moving around, here he comes for a treat (my mother-in-law started all that and Max depends on it, now). After his treat, he hangs around. When I was up there painting a couple months ago, Max spent every morning with me while I painted....speaking of my morning painting, I found the image below, which I have not posted till now. I put down the main color notes in this one, then moved on to another painting as rain came up the canyon. Somehow I never went back to this one till the next morning. The canvas had been out all night and a little mouse visitor came and tromped all over it. See his toe prints all over the left side and on the white part of the right side? I was really tempted to leave them on this canvas, but decided to photograph and fix the painting.
Mouse Toes on the Landscape(unfinished)___6 x 8 oil on canvas___This one is now cleaned up and finished and available at Act I Gallery in Taos, NM

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Christina_sketch, woman

Christina Sketch___8.5 x 5.5 ebony on paper___$90 includes shipping if you remind me!
It's good t sketch a lot (I say that because I have been sketching a lot :) As a young artist, I DREW a lot, and my objective was PERFECTION: scale, perspective, proportion values...I LABORED HARD over, I take on every sketch with a freer hand, usually just scribbling in mid values and then punching in some dark values at the end! I save those "commitments" for last. Her hair was really black, but I wanted her eyes to have those darkest darks! I can always go back and make the hair darker later if I want, but haven't committed, yet.
We sketch a lot at my workshops, ...Next workshop is in Fredericksburg, TX Feb. 5-7 Email me if you need more info

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Couple of Chicks__chicken sketches

Boggy Creek Chicks____from my sketchbook
I went out with our painting group, Plein Air Austin, this morning. We met at Boggy Creek Farm, a small organic farm in the middle of east Austin, not too far from where I grew up. The most amazing thing this morning was when I first stepped out of the car and walked up their path, the smell of tilled earth met me and BOY did it feel like home! I had a whole lifetime of memories in that one little breath, and realized that not only did it smell like my childhood, but also those 30 years on the farm. You see, the farm I just moved away from was within 6 or 7 miles of my childhood home, and it's all in the same 10 mile radius of Boggy Creek. Huge century old pecan trees, black dirt, crisp air...ahhhh!!! I was a bit overwhelmed by it all and ended up chatting with the artists and doing a few sketches of the local chicks. I still have my clucking skill and kepth the poultry interested in me while I sketched them.
Speaking of agrarian things, I was recently interviewed by It's a nice take on my farm story. click link way below to read it!

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Full Howl_Romeo, Great Dane, Dog, sketch, howling

Full Howl__from my sketchbook, ebony on paper__$90
After a couple of days of Romeo sketches, I found a great photo of him at the farm. Here is my sketch from that photo. He is in "full Howl", but I forgot what he was howling at. It was either a far away ambulance or some coyotes...A great feature of Great Danes is their big jowls...they blow in the wind and flap around when they shake their heads. In the past few days I have sketched what I call "woo"...when the dog "talks" to you by making a growly "woo, woo" sound. When a Great Dane does it, his "lips" pucker up, sort of and it's the only time they don't flap around. The "full howl" is an extreme version of this. ...I know...This is more info than you wanted on our "good Dane". If you are reading this on my blog, please scroll down to see yesterday's post. I forgot to hit "publish" yesterday. If you get my daily mail, then you saw it! If you would LIKE to get the daily mail please EMAIL ME at and I will sign you up.
IF YOU LOVE DOGS, you will LOVE this sweet video<>

Monday, November 30, 2009

Woo 2_Romeo, Great Dane, Dog, sketch

"Woo 2"__our Good Dane Romeo in pencil__$90
Romeo understands when someone is looking at him. He is "self conscious". He still feels privileged to be an "inside dog", since his early years were spent on the farm, outside, where he had an entire shed to himself! He is so big and used to get in trouble for knocking things down while wagging his tail...things like small children. So, even though he knows his place better, he still has that great guilty conscience. That's probably why, as I draw him and look at him a lot, he wonders why. So he comes to get in my face, to make sure he's not in trouble. I had the camera handy and snapped him looking over my shoulder with the sketchbook today....
remember, if you want to reply,you can leave a comment below or click here to e-mail me

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Woo__Romeo, Great Dane, Dog, Sketch

"Woo"___ Good Dane, Romeo__from my sketch book__$90
If you look him in the eyes (at eye level , by the way), and say in a deep voice, "w o o o o", then our "good Dane", Romeo, will "woo" back at you. He is a real lover boy and loves it best when you look him in the eye and say "woo"...

web site:
USA blog:
I have a new shipment of my book Last Year on the Farm: A Story of Change
Great for Christmas gifts! Be sure to ask me to sign it $34 soft cover $39 hardbound...INCLUDES shipping

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Little Cardinal_cardinal, red bird

Little Cardinal__8 x 6 oil study on canvas panel__$150 if you are the first to ask!
Many cardinals have been hopping around between the trees in our back yard these days. They seem to show up better this time of year....I love the cardinal's song. It is very distinct and LOUD and clear! My Grandpa Pedro (a wonderful Italian man from the Old Country) rescued a little cardinal in his garden. Gigi lived in a cage in the house and would sing every morning...LOUD! When Grandpa would go outside, he would take Gigi's cage, open the door and let him fly away...Gigi always returned for the night. This went on for years and is my fondest memory of Grandpa Pedro.
web site:
USA blog:
I have a new shipment of my book Last Year on the Farm: A Story of Change
Great for Christmas gifts! Be sure to ask me to sign it $34 soft cover $39 hardbound...INCLUDES shipping

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

All Day Wednesday__cooking, woman

Me Cooking______All Day__a self portrait TODAY

I don't often do a real self portrait, though I use my personal experience in almost EVERY painting I do...Since I finished cooking at 11 pm just now, this was drawn from memory...sort of...

I spent the past two days doing this all day! LOVE IT! A whole new way to be creative. Our whole family loves to cook, and so we have been enjoying kitchen time, getting ready for a small gang at the Thanksgiving feast tomorrow. Family, food and football! PRICELESS.
Hey...those of you who know's this likeness? :)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


"Gobbling"___from my sketchbook__HAPPY THANKSGIVING
I saw these turkeys at Palo Duro Canyon in Texas last year...This is a pretty quick sketch and a reminder to all that I hope you will have a nice, happy Thanksgiving...remember to give thanks...we have so much to be thankful for....

Monday, November 23, 2009

Made in the Shade_cows, shade, trees

Made in the Shade__from my sketchbook___5.5 x 8.5 pencil___$90

A sketch from a recent trip...I liked the massiveness of the trees and the shadows they cast!
Something I "preach" a lot at my workshops is the great benefit of sketching. We all have heard it from art teachers our whole life: "sketch, sketch, sketch!" is why>
Grabbing a camera and snapping a photo has NOTHING to do with improving your skill as an artist. It's like filling your plate with food and putting it in the freezer without even tasting it!
Studying a scene, evaluating shapes, simplifying the idea, grouping the values, then putting your hand to the task is GUARANTEED to improve your eye and skill. The food analogy would be like looking at each dish CLOSELY, so you can FEEL the steam, and smell the aroma, till your mouth waters, and then TASTING it enough that there is nothing left for the freezer! (Thanksgiving onthe brain, y'all).
Bottom line: Carry a sketchbook and use it a lot! Happy Thanksgiving!
Check my new blog!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Causing a Stir__BBQ pit, Pots, pans, grilling

Causing a Stir___from my sketchbook__$90
Last summer in Arizona, I kept a sketch book along the way. I liked this guy as he tended the pots and pans on the grill. He was in his element and didn't notice me there. What is it with men and their grills? I think it's great, because grilling created the best smells and best food! I hope you enjoy something grilled this weekend!
Once again I will ask if thee is ANYONE out there getting a garbled e-mail from me? It seems that I have fixed my problem!...please check out my new blog, "Passing America..."

Friday, November 20, 2009

Cypress Fall Color_cypress trees, fall color

Cypress Fall Color__8 x 6 study, oil on linen__$90
Texas sometimes does not even get fall color, but this year we have had some. They came earlier than usual, but the cypress trees are just now past prime along the Guadalupe River. Late in the day, the light was on these tree tops...
Now, I just put up a new BLOG last week. Please visit when you can...somewhere in the process, blogger asked if I wanted to use the new setup, so I thought I would try it for my new blog...BUT, It changed this OLD blog, too, and as I copy the content and send the mail to my GROUP, I am hearing that there are glitches. PLEASE, help me fix this by letting me know if your mail from me (at the google group) has glitches.
If you want to be in the google group that gets my daily painting in your e-mail, Please let me know :) Click e-mail below :)
web site
My new project blog:

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Twilight Glow__mountains, snow, cabin lights

Twilight Glow__30 x 40 Oil on linen__a BIG one
Making plans for a family Christmas ski trip, I just HAD to paint from last year's photos. Of course I combined a few of my favorite shots. This was that beautiful time of day that artists call "the golden hour" when the sun is about an hour from setting and all the warmest colors of the spectrum take over.  There is a glow on the mountain and long cool shadows at the same time. If you look hard you will see the glow of a couple of cabins welcoming you home!....This is a very large work that I will commit to a gallery as soon as I am through tinkering with it. Tomorrow, though, I will loan it to the Hill Country Bible Church  in northwest Austin, TX, and it will hand in the Cafe area for a few weeks.
Follow me on the Great Plains

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Hook Em_sketch, Longhorn, Texas

Hook Em__8.5 x 5.5 pencil sketch__$75
Ah, Longhorns! Our great symbol of Texas pride and the mascot of our University! I have always lived near pastures of longhorns, even now in a Round Rock neighborhood, there is a ranch nearby with many longhorns! I like to sketch them, because they have a different physique from the cows on our old farm. You cannot just sketch any old cow and then add horns. Longhorns look different!....and the females have horns, too!
PLEASE look at my new blog, and consider following my project "Passing America: The Great Plains". I heard from an artist buddy. Michael Ome Untiedt who was not real fond of the way I explained the project. He is one of my VERY FAVORITE artists and just about the best writer I know, so I will be doing some editing on that blog to communicate better what it is all about . Stay tuned and go take a look.
Click to reply E-mail

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Low Tank__Angus, cows, water, tank, pond, whiteface

Low Tank__18 x 24 oil on linen___available
I finished this one today, using one of my studies from the farm collection . (click link to see all 365 of those works). I have wanted to paint this one BIG since I first painted the study a few years ago. The title describes the setting. A "tank" is what we call "water ponds" in this part of Texas...They are "stock tanks" made to keep livestock watered. Our farm had 4 or 5 of them and they were gathering places for cows, herons, migrating birds and our boys who loved to fish, and the dogs who loved to swim there. The water is VERY low in this view, but I remember a rainy fall followed and the water came nearly to the top of the dam that year.
I shot this photo late in the day, and will replace this image with a better one tomorrow, so if it looks funny, check the blog tomorrow afternoon :)

Monday, November 16, 2009

Grazing Together_cow, cattle egrets, angus, black

Grazing Together__24 x 30 oil on linen__available
FINALLY, I completed the demo start I did the other evening at the PACT meeting (PACT is an art group in Austin...and I hope y'all can remember how this one was difficult to photograph, but you can click on the image to see details.) This subject might be my favorite thing to paint...really, ANYTHING having to do with farms is my passion. Please see my new blog and project at  and be sure to sign up to be a follower, as I am making changes  constantly to update the project.
Passing America: The Great Plains

Friday, November 13, 2009

Announcing a new BLOG_Passing America_drive-by paintings fromthe Great Plains

Passing America__a sketch 5 miles south of Roaring Springs, on the Texas High Plains
I have been given another solo museum show at the Great Plains Art Museum at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln. The exhibit opens in October, 2011. For the next 2 years I will be extending the themes of my own Last Year on the Farm. America's small farms are passing away, and the landscape is changing. Especially in the Great Plains. I want to explore what that means and how it can be communicated. I am an impressionist and will paint the Passing of family farms in a special way...on the move, as I pass by on the roads and rails of the plains.
My new blog is documenting every step of the way...see where I have been so far and please sign up to follow! This will NOT be a daily painting effort, but I will post as I prepare works for the exhibit and while I travel the plains.

BELOW: Grazing Along__sketch for that painting I keep promising to show...TOMORROW!....maybe

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Grazing Trio_cow, angus, egrets, sketch

Grazing Trio___5.5 x 8.5 sketch
I have been painting this week, but not well enough to photograph the cow painting I began as a demo Tuesday night...Actually I lost most of the day, doing some heavy duty house cleaning and solving a self inflicted cell phone problem...TOMORROW I will finish and post the Angus painting. I am on the verge of creating so much anticipation that I hope it's not a let-down!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Angus Place_sketch, pen, Black Angus, cow

"Angus Place"___from my sketchbook, 5.5 x  8.5
I am still sketching the angus this week, preparing paintings, and working out problems, all while re-configuring my studio...I FINALLY finished that project today!
The demo I did last night was a good start! (Notice I chose to NOT post it, yet). There was a good crowd of at least 40, so I chose to work BIG, though I only had about 45 minutes...I hope to post it tomorrow!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Big Boy___black cow, angus, pen sketch, cattle

"Big Boy"...sketching a lotta bull!
This is officially "angus Week" for me, since I will be painting an angus scene tonite at a demo I am doing for an art club nearby. I have been enjoying the sketches, and when it came time to prepare reference for a demo, the angus angle seemed just right! I will post it tomorrow, unless it comes out awful...
Some of you, my "regulars" replied a few weeks ago that you'd like to follow my new blog "Passing America..." I will get more info out on that sometime during the Holidays. I created the blog this week, and am learning new things about Blogger. Since I started this blog a few years ago, I have done NOTHING to update it...just too busy to get on that roll, but last night I really got into it. It appears that while working on the new blog, I must have ordered changes or updates for this one , too, because it LOOKS different....UH OH, I hope I didn't lose all my archived content....

Monday, November 09, 2009

Angus Reflection_cow, angus, black, sketch

Angus Reflection__from my sketchbook__8.5 x 5.5__$50
We have water in Texas now....ahhhhh
I am moving my studio downstairs this week...what a chore! I don't have an easel I like down there, yet, so twill be sketches this week!

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Big Nap_sketch, Dog, pen drawing, Great Dane

Big Nap__a sketch of Romeo, my Good Dane___5.5 x 8.5__$90
Romeo, my "good" Dane does not leave my side. He just had a birthday last week, making him 6, which is real OLD in Great Dane years. As I sketched him, he fell deeper and deeper to sleep and by the time I was done, that right ear was on the floor, along with his drooly jowels...
Well, I was wrong about the football game being on national TV....but son Samuel did get his opportunity and played all but a couple of plays in a great game against Texas' 10th ranked team. They held them off for most of the game, and except for a couple of missed big plays, the Round Rock Dragons did well in a 14 - 31 loss! Sam threw a couple of touchdown passes and had one good run! ...He is sad that his football season is over, so guess what he did today???...went to the batting cages for some baseball action...Happy Sunday!

Thursday, November 05, 2009

November Moon_Full moon, Texas Hill Country, night

November Moon__12 x 16 oil on linen___available
Monday night was a beautiful full moonrise, and some of my artist friends and I met to paint it. I could not stay long, so ended up with a study while there, which I worked on in the studio today.Couple a bad photographer (me) with a bad monitor (mine) and you have an explanation as to why there are two versions of this painting today. It's the same painting, but I cannot tell which one looks closest to the original, since my monitor is unreliable these days. So, pick the BEST one, and that's what the painting looks like!
Our Central Texas moonrises are the BEST! Maybe because there are sweeping views of the distance and one gets a good feeling of the majesty of creation. I will be teaching a workshop in February at the beautiful Fredericksburg Artists School. We will take on the moon! ...and probably a couple of sunrises and sunsets, too. Come if you can, Feb 5 - 7. Click the FAS link for info.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Midnight Pie_sketch, old people, grandparents

"Midnight Pie"___an old sketch while Grandmother told me the story....
Grandmother Helen was a fearless cook, and often tried new recipes. But Pappy's favorite dish of all was Grandmother's cherry pie. She told me the story about how one time, neither of them could sleep, so they went outside together, in the moonlight, on the front porch at 8 Sunset Trail, Sunset Valley, south Austin, TX...a sleepy little community, established over 60 years ago...a place where the yards were big enough that they had a small stable full of horses in the back. They sat in the metal chairs there with Pappy eating a big piece of cherry pie...she in her robe, he in his birthday suit! I couldn't get this image out of my mind and HAD to sketch it. ...haha!!....I have been looking for the sketch to share with the family, but didn't find it till today...too late for the funeral.

To FULLY understand this, please look back at my blog from a few days ago, where I tell about the passing of a great lady, Helen Vaughan, my grandmother (for the past 33 years).

Our family came together for Grandmother Helen's funeral, yesterday in San Antonio. The cemetery there is just full of family, and walking among the headstones was, somehow, comforting. ...In my blog post few days ago There is a photo of Helen and her best friend/cousin, Dorothy, who also passed away last week. What a moment to see Dorothy's fresh grave right there by Helen's. The stories and memories were flying and a few new memories were made...especially for the youngest kids in the family.
I will always have this vision of midnight pie, and probably will not be satisfied till I paint it someday.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Fall Flight_Geese, goose

"Fall Flight"___7 x 8 framed size....oil on matt board, framed and ready to hang__$190
I worked this study from some reference photos I took in Maryland last fall. There was a pasture full of Canada Geese grazing, and flocks were flying over at the same time. I have been to the Eastern Shore several times in the fall and am always amazed at how many birds gather there. I am still not sure if they are there for the winter, or are just passing through on their way south. To me, Maryland is "way north".
Since I have two more years of high school football, I will not be going to Maryland in the fall (or any place for that matter) till 2011. Till then, I will stay close to home and in the studio! As fun as travel is, and as exciting as art selling and painting all over the country are, there is NOTHING to compare with watching your own young "chicks" prepare to fly out on their own!...I FINALLY believe what everyone told me: "They grow so fast!"

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Geranium Day_geraniums, red flowers

"Geranium Day"___12 x 12 demo. Oil in linen panel___$ wet and available $ to the first who asks
At the end of a great workshop, yesterday, the light was low and fell perfectly on these geraniums at D.'s place, so I did a quick demo...the bottom image was what I ended the day with: a "nearly finished" 30 - 45 minute demo. The top image is how it looks after about another hour of tweaks. I put little containers under the "floating stems" on the left side...and added some juicy paint for the finish. The light caught me off guard, today...the sun sets an hour I photographed the finish in VERY warm sunset light...if you are interested in it, please et me send you a better image :)
state 1_Geranium Day...