Christmas 'Pomegranate'

5x7     oil on canvas panel      SOLD

Getting back to the easel..decided to paint a series of still life objects.  Since it was early December and the pomegranates were ripening here in the desert..I chose them.

Such a great subject...beautiful rich alizarin crimson with a host of other reds from my boxes of paints.  Why use alizarin you might ask? ...because there is simply no replacement..close..but not nearly the same.  I say..let this magnificent red speak for itself!


'Tonto Junipers' - Grand Canyon

'Tonto' - Grand Canyon
12x12  oil on canvas    $395

An impression of the late afternoon light over stylized Canyon formations from the Tonto...some of the best views can be found on this mid-level plateau.  Magical times.


'Grand Canyon Moment'

'Grand Canyon Moment'
8x10        oil on panel       $285

This is from a series of studies I did of the last light on a particular Canyon formation..one that millions of tourists see from the South Rim.  My focus in these studies was the contrast of complementary colors ... and the drama it affords.  The beautiful weathered shapes catching the warm golden rays of the sun amid pools of cool cobalt blue.  Great fun to paint!


'Desert Glory'

9x12   oil on canvas panel   $325

Desert plants have always fascinated me ... how do they survive and thrive in the harsh climate of the deserts? ...especially in the furnace-like conditions down on the valley floor of Death Valley.   This oil study is of one such hardy old survivor...which seemed to glory in it's environment.


New online shop...ClearLight Studios

'Templar Light'     8x10     oil on panel

Clearing out the studio...many small studies and plein-air pieces are for sale online.
Please drop by my gallery-shop and browse....very affordable prices for new collectors...


'Raven's View' - Lake Powell - Utah

5x7     oil on canvas panel

An oil study from a different perspective...a bird's eye view...above the northern canyons of the turquoise waters of Lake Powell in Utah...truly a painter's paradise.


'Lee's Blues'

6x6    oil on canvas     SOLD

A quick study from the Lee's Ferry area...here the Colorado River flows swiftly down from Lake Powell.  This is the only spot to launch a boat and enter the Grand Canyon...a thrilling adventure.  

There is a great campground nearby...but you wouldn't want to be there in the summer..100˚plus.  Fisherman prize this stretch of the river.. and if you stay in one of the quaint lodges nearby..you will be sharing the space with fishermen, avid hikers, intrepid travelers, photographers, and..painters! Go there.


'Powell Point'

  9x12     oil on canvas panel    SOLD

Sunset plein-air from just outside the boundary to Bryce National Park in Utah...a wonderland of colors and shapes. Powell Point is the tallest landform in this area...over 10,000' and home to a healthy magnificent Bristlecone pine forest.


'Nankoweap Noon study'

8x10    oil on panel     NFS

A quick preliminary oil study for a much larger painting which took many months and constant re-painting to finish...after all that...I actually like this small piece better. There must be a moral somewhere in this:)


'Burnished Light'

9x12    oil on panel     $345
email for purchase

An experiment capturing those elusive last rays of sunlight...painted while I had my wall tent studio on the South Rim of the Grand Canyon.  Limited palette..focus on violets, purples and oranges...some of my favorite Southwest colors.


'Road to Valhalla'

'Road to Valhalla'   18x18   oil on canvas

Almost sunset...a late jaunt to the windswept dunes beneath Valhalla Canyon..an imaginary expedition from the comfort of my studio.


Grand Staircase painting update

After extended camping expeditions to Utah and the outback of central Nevada [which was great!]...I returned to work on this piece...this is where it stands now. I has changed quite a bit from the original layout...however.. I am still not satisfied with the design and will likely change it yet again. So..back to the easel to solve this problem.


Paria Progress

Off for an extended plein-air painting camping expedition for a month...so this studio piece will have to wait until I return. Here is how it stands as of this morning. Really been hot here in the desert and in the studio...looking forward to the high elevations of Utah!


Paria River Canyon revision

Here is the design I will be working with...this is a fairly complete underpainting from which to adjust colors and values....just a normal stage in development of the concept.


Paria River Canyon underpainting

Here are the first layers of color...mainly ultramarine blue, manganese thalo, cadmium red deep, cadmium red light and a little naples yellow. I will be expanding this limited palette somewhat..but this piece is based on a blue/red concept. You can see the shapes are taking on a life of their own already. Long ways to go....


Grand Staircase - Paria Canyon - drawing

Started a new painting from one of my photos taken in early fall...the Paria River Canyon area....24x24 oil .. one of my favorite areas...a relatively unknown vast high desert region of the Grand Staircase NM...just on the border between Arizona and Utah. A painter could spend a lifetime in that wonderland. Here are two versions of the structure...the initial layin.. a de-saturated version and the drawing I did on the canvas with my brush...prussian blue over a dried flesh-colored acrylic wash..just to seal the canvas and cut the white glare. I find this the only good use for any 'flesh' named paint...the earth as corporeal. Onwards!


'Sanctuary' - Lake Powell finish

Finally! I am calling this finished...20x30 oil on canvas...cruising in for the night on the magnificent Lake Powell. This started from a photo from one of my houseboat expeditions...but it has changed significantly from that image... to one expressing the beauty of reflected light into this unknown cove and the peace of nightfall...sanctuary.


Lake Powell update

Still working on this piece...getting there. I am posting all these versions of a painting so you and my students can see how a painting might evolve. Complex works of art demand lots of problem-solving...and answers that serve both the original conception and the painting's evolution towards a conclusion that presents itself as felt. This conclusion is usually not the artist's choice alone...the painting speaks and has it's own life...it seeks full symbolic manifestation. The artist acts as a medium and a partner in this process.


'Sanctuary' almost finished [again]

I think there must be 20 pounds of paint on this by now...have been experimenting with colors and shape changes...much easier to do in Photoshop than with wet paint layers. Now to refining from this stage and figuring out how I want to do the water. Water needs to be clean and not fuzzy...so there is work to be done!


Lake Powell changes again

This is the kind of painting that one could re-paint many times. Since the basic composition is interesting..I decided to experiment further...more shape changes and increased the chroma ...a strong red orange light is being reflected from an unknown source on the left...plus there is still the last rays of sunset on the top rocks. I will continue to refine this idea until it all comes together. However...since I have been working on this exclusively for so long now...I am looking forward to the next project...so this will be wrapped up soon. More color/ value adjustments on the rocks and then the final glistening effects on the water.


'Sancturay' revision

I decided on changing the shapes of the foreground rocks and tweaking the other forms somewhat. Also you can see the first layer of color on the water. I want to make it look like still dark water with a glossy foreground bow wake....coming into 'sanctuary' for the night.


'Sanctuary' almost finished

Since the rocks are nearly finished [except for fine touches]...I will be painting the water next. If all goes well it should not take long. I put a thin glaze on the water surface already...and when that dries...I will add more warm glazes and a few floaters on the glassy surface. The time of day and mood indicates a calm surface and a deep dark color with glowing reflections...now I just have to do it:)


Lake Powell painting progress

Here is where this painting stands today...I decided to emphasize the reflected light coming into the cove from the left...it lightens the formations considerably..but since there is a lot of light in the sky yet...I think this will work. I added a few bushes on the slopes...and adjusted values again [and again]. Rocks are about 90% done...soon on to the water challenge!


Lake Powell 'Sanctuary' update

Today's effort focused on painting the sky and cooling the formations as they turned from the reflected light. More work to do!


Lake Powell painting process

I am into the refinement stage on the rocks now...the water reflections won't be painted until the formations are 90% finished. Time to get out my mediums and start mixing with the oils for the final layers. I will be using a high-gloss mixture of spike solvent, varnish, stand oil and turps for the water...and a damar varnish, stand oil, wax/turps mix for the rocks and sky [a much more matte medium]...this will add to the sandstone texture instead of all glossy. I also might pull out the palette knife for a few thick pieces of paint on the foreground rocks. Since there is not a lot of depth in this composition...I will use some texture for contrast.