Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Venerable Spirit (30x40")

This is "The Venerable Spirit" (30x40") oil on wood panel. I did a smaller version (6x8") of this image a while back and have had a fondness for it..I wanted to do a larger version and finally got a chance to..viola! This boat was docked in Rockport harbor some years ago and has absolutely beautiful lines. As a design, the work was done for me, look at that swooping line on the left side of the boat..what a craft! The colorful reflection of the houses in the background keeps your eye from exiting the picture plane and keeps it moving around the composition.

Thank you all for checking in from time-to-time, I hope you'll be back..I'm very excited for 2010 as an artist. I have four shows scheduled so I will be very busy. Here is what is ahead in 2010:
Rockport Art Association, Rockport, Mass solo show March 28
The Gallery at Mill Falls, Meredith, NH, one man show June 25
The Kennedy Gallery, Portsmouth, NH solo show August 06
Button Factory Open studio, Portsmouth, NH December 05.

Happy Holidays to you all and happy New Year.
Todd Bonita

Monday, December 07, 2009

Thank you.

Max, Alison and I at my Button Factory art studio
Thank you to friends and family and the hundreds of visitors who stopped by my art studio this weekend at the Button Factory open studio event. It was a huge success. I had some genuine belly laughs and met a lot of really cool new people from all over the country. I met a guy who recognized a boat in one of my paintings as belonging to his neighbor..he called him and told him, and in a short time I was shaking hands with the owner of the boat..Turns out his father-in-law built him that boat by hand..after a brief phone call I was soon introduced to an 89 year old boat builder named Charles who had made that boat with his own cool is that?! He invited me to his boat building workshop where I definitely plan to go and observe and in all likely hood do a painting of this man working his craft. It was wonderful.
Fifteen paintings found new homes and I will likely start relationships with two art gallery owners who welcomed my work this weekend. Thanks to you all.

Charles B. Darcy the boat builder who hand crafted the pea pod boat in my painting titled Newcastle Dory #1 shown on the wall behind him.

Friday, November 27, 2009


I would like to invite you to my 2009 artist open studios event in Portsmouth, New Hampshire on December 05 and 06 from 11 to 5p. This takes place at the Button Factory artist building at 855 Islington's the 23rd year for the building and the fourth for me. This is our annual holiday event where we open our studio doors and invite you all in and includes over 70 artist...painters, photographers, sculptors, woodworkers, jewelers...and even a guy who makes wooden boats by hand. Lots of creative types and some unique holiday gifts. I am in studio #224..second floor, take a left and I'm all the way in the back...I share a studio with Lynn Crocker, the book binder. I'll have wine, beer, water and of course cream soda. My Mom usually bakes something nice too. Please feel free to stop by and say hello.

Here is a link to the Button factory web sight that includes directions and more info..hope to see you.


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Three Scalliwags

I finished and framed this (16x20") oil painting I'm calling "Three Scalliwags". These dinghy's are moored in Perkins Cove in Ogunquit, Maine. The red one says "Ugly Anne" om it and belongs to a larger boat of the same name. This stuff is gold to me. I love the character and sense of humor that the fisherman who named it must have. There is an honest filth to it that I'm attracted to. I think my recent paintings have this thread of filth weaved into it..everything is a little banged up but still pretty sturdy. Chipped paint and worn surfaces..wonderful textures..good stuff.

This painting will be hanging at my annual open studio the first weekend in December at the Button Factory artist studios in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. I'm in studio #224, please feel free to come by and say hello. I'll provide more details in a coming post.

I also want to thank the jury of the Rockport Art Association in Rockport, Massachusetts for welcoming me as an artist member. I'm honored to be part of the rich art culture of Cape Ann. A lot of my painting heroes have roots there and I'm looking forward to taking part in their exhibitions and activities. I currently have about a half dozen paintings on display there as part of the new Members exhibition in the upstairs gallery and a few smaller pieces in the Holiday small works show in the main gallery.

Hope this finds you all well.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


This is an 18x24" oil painting on canvas I'm calling "Smitty". The oarsman is my brother Bobby Smith, (He took his stepfathers last name Smith) he was perfect for what I was looking for in this painting. Sort of a "Middle-aged man and the sea" concept. Sometimes I get these images and ideas in my head and they haunt me until I put them out there in paint. I've wanted to paint Bobby in this kind of image for a while and as a matter-of-fact, I consider this 18x24" canvas a teaser for a much larger canvas I have in mind for 2010. This filthy rogue still haunts my head.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

The Oar House

This is an (11x14") oil painting on wood panel that I am calling "The Oar House". The structure is an old shed near the school house on Monhegan Island. I put the oar and life preserver in the painting to help the composition and to support that nautical feel I was after. I also created and exaggerated a lot of the rust stains that are running down the door and clapboards. Rust has that burnt umber/orange hue that sometimes works to add interesting color and design to a painting.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Max 2

This a small oil painting I did of Max from photo reference I took in the summer of 2008. I did the drawing last December and I just got around to finishing this for my wife as a gift for our tenth anniversary last week. Time really flies, particularly when you have a little wipper-snapper. What a joy watching my little rug-rat grow, I can't believe he'll be three in January.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Dirty Oar

This is an (11x14")oil painting on wood panel that I'm calling "Dirty Oar". The model is one of my best friends, Johnny Hames. He was perfect for what I was after in this painting; A dirty, hard-working fisherman type. For me, I think it's helpful to know the model when you have something specific in mind. Johnny was perfect because he's so filthy and dirty...some may even use terms like scummy, disheveled or scuzzy-filth-bag. I did, however, have to struggle to create the painting in such a way as to not bring attention to the models enormous ear lobes..not to mention, his obscenely-colossal-mammoth-like nose. I think it would have detracted from the spirit of the piece. It's important to use artistic license when confronted with compositional decisions such as the ones presented here.

Friday, October 02, 2009

Patience (24x30")

This is an oil painting on wood panel that I titled,"Patience". It's (24x30") and is a much larger version of a smaller (6x8") painting I did last year that you can see by clicking here
I love the scale of this new version...nice and airy and quietly commanding attention. At one time in art school I was told to, "Learn the rules so you can break them". I think this painting is an example of that. The subject is smack in the middle of the composition but ironically, that's what makes it work for me. I'm using symmetry to convey stillness in the design. This was integral to the mood and feel that I was after in this painting; contemplating the lost art of simple silence, stillness and patience.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Lines and Colors feature

I'm proud and grateful to be featured on Charley Parkers very popular art blog "LINES and COLORS". I've been reading it for several years and almost feel like "one of the cool kids" to be in the company of so many of my favorite artist. Check out Charley Parkers blog "Lines and Colors" here: LINES AND COLORS

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Black and Blue

While driving down the cape, I caught a momentary-peripheral glimpse of some boats in a small cove in Eastham. I knew I would return first thing in the morning to capture them with the rising sun. I returned just after five a.m. and discovered an artist gold mine. A dozen dinghy's all bathed in that rich Cape Cod light...A string of pearls out there on the cove..OK, ...a little dramatic but what happened next convinced me that my passion may be moving into the uncomfortable area of obsession.

After taking reference photos of the boat you see here in the painting "Black and Blue", I looked one there but me...I climbed in the boat and rowed around to the other dinghy's fixated on the brilliance of the light, the boats and the tranquil calmness of the water. The hair on my neck was standing.

I returned the boat exactly like I found it. That's not me or my personality to steal a boat..(borrow!)...I was in a state of was wonderful.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Old Red

This is "Old Red". It's 24x30" and is painted in oils on a linen canvas. It's a larger version of a painting I did a few years ago. You can see the older version here.

This painting represents my effort to achieve almost everything I'm after in picture making; simple design, singular focus of subject matter, a poetic use of color, texture and a full tonal range. I use these technical aspects to try and instill mood and character. I try to say something. 'Ol Red is a nod towards the leatherneck, craggy old sea salts who spend their rugged lives on rocky ships.. They are wise from the hard won knowledge of a life at sea. They smoke, drink, swear, tell dirty jokes and throw punches...their skin cracks when they laugh and sing. They are loyal to a fault...They are the old man and the sea...They are colorful New Englanders with nicknames like 'Ol Red. The chipped paint, the worn and weathered's all in there.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Christine Hanson 09-11-2001

This is a small sketch I did of a two-and-a-half year old girl named Christine Hanson who perished aboard United Airlines flight 175 as it slammed into the Trade Centers south tower on September 11, 2001. She was from Groton, Massachusetts and at two-and-a-half she was the youngest of the 2,973 victims. Christine was traveling with her father Peter Hanson and mother Sue Hanson, they were on the way to California for a trip to Disneyland and to see relatives.

I didn't know Christine or her family but they will be in my thoughts and prayers today.

Monday, September 07, 2009

Watching the Sunrise

This is "Watching the sunrise". I have an affection for this painting. For me, it's about the afterthought of watching the sunrise with those little birds and sharing a quiet moment with nature. For me, the act of watching light and observing how it falls on objects is at the heart of what picture making is about. The way light hits something is the first thing that stops me as a painter. It can sometimes make the hair on the back of your neck stand know you've really got something. That's how I felt when I came across this boat and the way the rising sunlight was creeping up the back and side. The birds were not really there, I put them in as a device to share the experience with.

I use symmetry in my design to achieve a sense of stillness in some of my paintings. That's what's going on here with the boat and it's mirrored reflection. Everything is still; the boat, the birds, the water..the only movement is the implication of a rising sun outside of the picture plane.
This is oil on masonite, (10x20").

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Morning Mist

I love painting and I also love looking at other artist work. There is a photographer from Canada named Peter Bowers, who's work I find incredibly powerful, simple and poetic. His work, for me, represents our quiet and respectful reflections on nature. His imagery possesses a lot of the things I'm personally after in picture making. The oil painting above, "Morning Mist", was completed using some of Peters inspiring photos. It's (16x20") and I painted it in oils on a wood panel. ( A thousand thank you's Peter for your permission ).
Peter could very well have a completely different take on what his work means to him but one of the great things about art is the notion of walking into a museum or gallery and simply falling in love with a piece because it moves you for whatever reason. In my opinion it's not terribly important to even intellectualize simply moves me. It's a curious thing.
Last week an amazing and courageous women named Robin recently sent me this touching letter about what my paintings mean to her, I'm completely moved by her thoughts:
Hi Todd,
Joan called me and I purchased Shallow Water. She is sending it off this week. Cant wait. Thanks for your thoughts on paintings. I have my own thoughts on my attachments to them and what they represent to me. When I bought that first painting I had just finished my 8th round of chemo at Dana. I have Non Hodgkins Lymphoma. I have a daughter who had just turned three when I started my treatments so I worked hard to get into remission. I had tremendous support all around me family, friends ,church family etc. But cancer is a lonely battle, God guides you through it but he is all that can help during that dark time. So the first painting represented kind of a tight relationship and also rich colors and darker water. The second painting was lighter water and a solo boat, maybe as I got better and felt better and less depressed I was able to manage a bit better on my own. And I had to start to be independent again. And that painting mirrored my feelings. Now Im two years out, im feeling so much more positive and happier and very thankful. The water is soft and light filled and the sun is shining! God got me through the deep water and to safe place. I love that sunlight in the newer paintings. Canoe has an exuberance and playfulness which is just beautiful and it has the rich colors but with lots of light.
So I didn't mean to wax on for so long, but you were so open with me about how you feel about your work- I thought maybe you would like to hear about the effect your work has on others. I am excited to see what the future holds for your work and evolution as an artist.
A true fan always

You make it all worth it Robin, thank you...and thank you for your permission to post your letter...I'm a true fan of yours always.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Winnipesaukee Canoe

This is "Winnipesaukee Canoe". It's 11x14" and painted in oils on a gessoed wood panel. My wife recently told me that "Winnipesaukee" is a native American term that means, "Beautiful water in a high place". We just got back from vacationing on lake Winnipesaukee and the translation is right on the money..We had a really nice vacation and I came home relaxed, inspired and ready to hammer out some new work. The opening was very special for me, my family and friends traveled from far-away places to come and see the show. I was sincerely touched by the support.

This canoe was painted with reference from Thompson Lake in Maine but it could be just about any New England lake in the summer. The mood of this piece for me is set by the transparency of that water in the foreground. It's that moment standing on the dock and simply taking it in..a day-dreamy moment, gazing into the shallows and drinking in the quiet and stillness of the surroundings. With this piece, as well as "Survivor", I have included more of the landscape in the composition.

Monday, August 03, 2009


"Survivor" (11x14") oil on wood.

This may be my last post before my gallery show opening reception this coming Friday, so I'll repeat the where and when here:

The Gallery at Mills Falls
312 Daniel Webster Highway
Meredith, NH 03253
(on Lake Winnipesaukee)
Contact Christine Hoedecker-George for inquires ( or call the gallery at (603)279-3123
Opening reception for Todd Bonita new oil paintings "Boats" August 7, from 5-9p.

I've had a few emails asking if my work will be up after the show..just to be clear, the gallery represents my work so God willing, I should have some paintings on the wall throughout the year. Please feel free to stop in any time to have a look. It's a beautiful part of the lake, lots of shops, cafes and things to do and see. Alison, Max and I are making a vacation out of it and will be spending the week. Hope to see you there.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Lake Cove

This is "Lake Cove" it's (18x24") oil on canvas. This is part of my one man show at "The Gallery at Mills Falls" in Meredith, NH on Lake Winnipesaukee. The show is in two weeks..Friday, August 7, from 5-9pm. I have thirteen new paintings in the show and a bunch of small studies as well. This should be fun as I have invited quite a few characters. Alison, Max and I are going to make a week vacation out of it. Please feel free to come to the opening and join us.

The Gallery at Mills Falls
312 Daniel Webster Highway
Meredith, NH 03253
(603) 279-3123
Click here for Mapquest directions

Monday, July 20, 2009

Foggy Cove Dory

Here is one of the paintings I finished over the last month and a half getting ready for my show on lake Winnipesaukee. I've been busy painting and preparing for this show, which will be in three weeks (August 7th, from 5-9p) at The Gallery at Mills Falls in Meredith, NH. I have about fourteen new paintings for the show and maybe another eight small studies. I'll be posting them as I find time..I should really be in my studio right now but I miss posting regularly and wanted to post an update.

This is "Foggy Cove Dory" and is an 11x14" oil painted on a gessoed wood panel. This painting reminds me so much of the great state of Maine and the mysterious mood the coastal region has when the fog rolls in. This particular style of dory also reminds me of Maine. It's a classic fishing dory, the kind they used a hundred years ago to present. The design of this boat is simple and beautiful. I chose this specific angle to not only make the design of the painting work but to also show off the lines of this graceful and rugged vessel.
Thank you for looking..I'll try and post more from this show soon.
All the best.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


I finished this painting about two weeks ago but have been busy as a bee getting ready for my first one-man show coming up the first week of August, I'll post about that soon. Anyhoot, I finally had a chance to scan and post this tonight. My wife came up with the name for this about ten minutes ago; "Reflection". I'm a fan of the one-word titles..I think this is well suited for this painting. This is 11x14" oil on wood panel. the boat is from a reference photo I took on Cape Cod about three years ago..I did a similar version of this painting in 2006 and it's neat to see how much my work has changed since then by comparing them. Click this link to see the original version I called "quiet time":

After I tightened the drawing I pretty much painted this off the cuff, making up most of what you see here in the finish. This will be in my one man show August 7th at The Gallery at Mills Falls in Meredith, NH on lake Winnapasaukee.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


Ask any artist and I'll bet they will admit to be notorious day-dreamers. I'm the worst when I'm driving on the highway. I miss exits all the time, it's really an issue..ask my wife, she'll tell you. I've not only missed my exit, but on several occasions I've continued on past several more exits before realizing I was in a deep day dream. It can be a major inconvenience but I love that peaceful state of mind. This painting is influenced by that blissful state of day This is oil on wood panel. (8x6") and is currently available at The Art House gallery in Brewster, Mass on Cape Cod. Feel free to email me if interested in this piece.

Hope this finds you

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Shallow Water

This is another 6x8" oil painting that I recently sent to The Art House Gallery in Brewster. This dinghy was moored in just a few feet of water in Provincetown. I liked how it appeared to be weightless on the water. it's (6x8") and is painted on a gessoed wood panel.

Monday, April 27, 2009


There is something about this painting that reminds me of a summer Sunday morning..clean and bright. This is a small 6x8" oil painting on wood panel that I sent to the Art House Gallery on Cape Cod.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Mourning Light

This is one of five new oil paintings I just sent to the Art House gallery in Brewster, Mass on Cape Cod. This is "Mourning Light" (6x8") oil on wood panel.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Dock 31

"Dock 31" (6x8") Oil on wood panel. This is one of a small series of paintings I'm working on for The Art House Gallery in Brewster, Mass. There are five 6x8" paintings in all.I'll post the rest soon. This one is "Dock 31"..simple as that. It's a cool looking boat with beautiful lines docked on dock #31 in Camden Maine harbor. To me, this is just a painting of a finely crafted vessel. Not different really than a still life painter who carefully chooses his subjects simply for the beauty he sees in them..or a figure painter who chooses a specific model or poses her in a particular manner because he admires the way the shapes, curves, lines and light create a unique design.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Scotty's Cove

This painting was inspired by the small town legend of a man named Scotty and the cove that was named after him. The following story is true...but quite frankly I can't confirm it..but it's a good one anyway.
I grew up in the small sea side town of Winthrop, Massachusetts and in the 1990's I rented a small studio right across the street from the Atlantic ocean. My back yard butted against a small cove that overlooked the Boston skyline and the Winthrop, Yacht club. It was in this cove that I met one of my neighbors, a very funny sign painter named Rick. For a fee, he would carefully adhere the name of your boat on the stern with vinyl lettering. The day I met Rick he was shit-faced and telling filthy jokes. He handed me one of his business cards which included an itemized list of the services he provided: "Vinyl Lettering, Wood & Billboard Signs, Airbrush & Pinstriping | Auto, Truck, Boat, & Van, Banners, Auto Graphics, Wood Signs, Parquet floors and Belly Rolls". I didn't know what "Belly Rolls" were and when I asked him, he lifted his shirt and started rolling his belly. The guy was hilarious.
Because I lived on the cove I would see him from time to time, usually just a wave and sometimes a quick belly roll.

Rick was an alcoholic and he was going through a bitter divorce battle. It was soon followed by a bitter custody battle over his only son. He lost everything in the divorce, including custody of his son, Rick Jr. His drinking became worse and there were nights when the police had to break up domestic altercations on his ex-wife's lawn. A restraining order soon followed. His ex was so bitter over it all she threatened to legally change the name of their son Rick Jr. to spite his name-sake...eventually she actually went through with it. Her son's name was legally changed from Rick Jr. to Scotty. needless-to-say, Rick Sr. was pissed but there was nothing he could do in the courts, he no longer had custody. He had no say.

...Or did he?...Rick Sr. changed his name to Scotty too. Brilliant! His wife still lived on the cove with her son and to spite her he made it his mission to re-name the cove, "Scotty's Cove". To boat owners who were docked in the cove, he offered discounted vinyl lettering if they allowed him to add the words, "Scotty's Cove, Winthrop, Mass" on the stern. On the route 145 road signs that lead through Winthrop he added in small letters, "Scotty's Cove 1 mile". That's true. If you're ever in Winthrop on rt. 145, take a close look and you'll see the words..they're still there. Eventually boats all over town had "Scotty's Cove" written on them and it soon began to be known town-wide as Scotty's Cove. His Cou'de Gra came when "Scotty's Cove" found it's way on to an official Winthrop, Mass map.

Several years later, Scotty Sr. passed away in his lawn chair in his front yard on the 4th of July. Independence day.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

David Baker (1941-2009)

My Father-in-law passed away three days ago..I'm profoundly saddened, sick over it and simply still cannot believe it. He was a salt-of-the-earth goof-ball and I loved him and miss him already and can't believe I'll never see him again.

He had back pain just after the new year and an MRI revealed that he had a metastatic tumor that was spreading rapidly. My poor wife was the one who told horrifying?! Less than eight weeks later he died in Exeter hospital surrounded by his family and friends. I just can't wrap my head around how quickly is all transpired..all of this.

Five of my favorite David Baker memories:

1) In 1998 I bought an engagement ring and decided I was going to ask Alison Baker to marry me just after the new year..and in the tradition of courtship, I was going to ask her father David for permission to marry his daughter. At that time I worked as a chainsaw sculptor, carving bears and eagles on Cape Cod, it was a very cool job. My plan was to trade one of my carved bears for his daughter. David had a great sense of humor and was a woodsman and I knew he would appreciate it. I snuck the bear into his basement and the exchange went something like this:
Me (standing next to the bear trying not to laugh): In the tradition of the pioneers who traded skins, furs and pelts for the Indian chiefs daughters, I would like to trade you this fine wooden bear for one of your squaws.
David: which one?
Me: The medicine women (Alison was in medical school at the time)
David: I'll give you Kristen (Alison's twin sister)

2) David came to visit Alison and I when we lived in Philly and he was bragging about his artistic ability and how he was going to switch careers and become an artist. He wanted an honest critique of his art and showed me a stick figure drawing of a bird. I played along and gave a rave review and agreed that he should switch careers and hang up the fifty years he worked as a fire fighter and sell his tree service that he owned since 1967. We had a brief chuckle, he flew back to New Hampshire and I never gave any more thought to the stick bird. A few days later as I poured a bowl of cereal for myself a piece of paper with a stick bird drawing on it fell into my bowl. Dave tucked it in the box before he left..I phoned him, we had another chuckle, I thought it was over. The next day Alison was reading a book and a stick bird came out of one of the pages..another one was found wedged between the stacked dinner plates..another in my sock drawer, underwear drawer, several shirt and coat pockets, shoes, utensil drawer, cups, mugs, countless books, etc..we would find them weeks, months and even years later. The last was about two years ago wedged in the pages of another book. The later we would find them the funnier it became.."Oh my God, Alison, I found another stick bird, the man is nuts". He later revealed he thinks he made over a hundred of them and spent hours making them. I've never more looked forward to finding another one.

3) The day we moved back from Philly, David was so happy to have Alison home in new Hampshire again..he spent a large part of the summer mowing the words, "WELCOME HOME ALISON" in a grass field behind his house. It was about a football field long..not kidding.

July, 2003: Alison standing in the middle of the "Welcome Home Alison" field. David had lifted me in his bucket truck to take this photo.

4) Blueberry picking in his secret spots...I had only picked blueberries on mountainsides prior and didn't realize his secret spot was chest deep in a blueberry bog..great fun though..we got gallons.

5) Target shooting competitions in Davids woods..the targets were bear bottles and he would sometimes call me asking to help him make targets. He was a better shot than I was and I suspected he would would sometimes dog it and lose on purpose to make me feel good..I didn't care, I just genuinely enjoyed his company and being with him.

I miss you David.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Baseball #5

Pitchers and catchers have reported for duty in Florida so it won't be long before I'll be haggling with a scalper outside of the Cask n'Flagon for an obscenely expensive Red Sox ticket. I can't wait. This painting has had me in the spirit lately.

Someone had seen my miniature painting called "October" and commissioned this slightly larger (4x6") painting of the same ball for her husbands birthday. it prompted me to do a few more original baseball compositions which I'll be posting later this week.
This is "Baseball #5" (4x6") Oil on wood panel.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

More work in progress

I thought I would post what I've been up to in the studio these days. I've had to skip several studio days to attend to family matters but I did manage to get to a lot of under paintings and works-in-progress. Today, I'm posting the monochromatic under-painting of an 18x24" version of a painting study called "Ol Red". you can see a little of my set up in the foreground of the photo, I've decided to leave it in and chat briefly about my process, tools and pallet. That small bottle of light-brown colored liquid on the lower left is a nip of Baileys Irish Cream. Just kidding! Thats my bottle of Alkyd medium; Liquin. I use that in the early under painting stages to help the paint dry quickly. I'm using a wood pallet these days but I also use a glass one at home. My colors have been about the same for the last three years..from left to right as you see them layed out on my pallet are Titanium White, Cad Yellow, yellow Ochre, Raw Umber, Cad Orange, Burnt Umber, Cad Red, Aliz Crimson permanent, Dioxozine purple, Ultra Blue, Cerulean Blue, Cad Green Light, Permanent green, Viridian, Sap Green and Ivory black. Not shown are the colors I was using to do this under painting: Winsor & Newton Under painting white, Mars Black and Raw Umber. I had my full pallet out just in case I was feeling audacious..I wasn't. I use a lot of different brushes but for the under painting I use hog hair bristle brushes (various brands) and a few sable varieties to soften edges. I don't use any turps or add oils at the under painting stage. Actually, thats a lie..After I seal the charcoal drawing of the boat with a spray fixative I apply a "whisper thin" coat of refined linseed oil to the entire canvas to improve even flow but thats it! Then I cover the canvas with a thin layer of Raw Umber and use a rag to wipe away my lights. I build up the lights further using the under painting white. this keeps my lights opaque and thick while maintaining thin and transparent darks. I work the darkest darks with a thin wash of Mars Black. Thats it really. I'll chat more about my process when I post the next image of the progress of the above painting.

I put this work-in-progress painting in a frame and set it on an easel by my work station so I could sneak peaks at it throughout the day..hoping to find resolution to the issues I posted last time. I got some creative emails from some friends of old college roomate Dan sent me back this image with a shark fin behind the boat. The truth is, I'd love to go with that one but my brillaint frined Beaman suggested I crop it..I may go that route.

here is what my set up was like while can see some of my really cool studio too. I'll try and post a panorama of my studio in the future, I absolutley love working there.

All the best for now.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Work in progress

I have been busy on several compositions that are currently in several different stages of completion. This is an 18x24" oil painting in my studio that I still have to resolve..that vacant upper left corner gives me the's just unsettling. I'm going to put it in a frame and set it on a nearby easel and get cracking on something else. I'll let this marinade while in my periphery for a while and hopefully a resolution will come from being away from it for a period.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The Lake

This is another one of the Larger (large for me) paintings I recently finished and am just getting around to photographing and posting. I called this "The lake", it is 18x24" oil on canvas.

I'm looking forward to the spring and summer to get out to the lakes and do more paintings of the shallows and shores. The variety of colors and textures in lake water imagery is stunning and makes for endless subject matter.

For me, this paintings success relied on depicting the rocky shallow water and getting those beautifully rich, earthy colors that make it distinct.

Monday, January 12, 2009


I painted this Pony for my four year old niece Emma as Christmas gift. It's 4x6" and is oil on linen, mounted on panel.

A different subject matter for me but Emma has been asking me to paint her a Pony since the spring..great fun knowing that it was for her.

Monday, January 05, 2009

The Humble Trapper (30x40")

I finished this larger version of "The Humble Trapper" painting in December and I am just getting around to photographing and posting it now. It's the largest oil painting I've done to date at (30x40"). It was a lot of fun to work at this larger scale for me and I've already gessoed another 30x40" wood panel with the intention of doing another.

This painting is currently available (please email me at for price).

"The Humble Trapper" (30x40") Framed.
I'm standing next to the painting to show it's scale. I may go even bigger before the year is out..

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Web sight update

Happy New year! My web sight was just updated with new images to start 2009 off fresh. Thank you Wade Settle for your work on this. You can contact Wade at: if you would like some web sight design of your own. Click here to go to my web sight: