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....
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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"...

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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.
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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 :)
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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.
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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...