'Pole Canyon Road' - Great Basin National Park

8x10     oil on canvas panel     SOLD

This plein-air oil painting is from a dayhike into a lesser-known area of Great Basin National Park.. one of the most remote regions of the West. Mining was a large part of the old economy before the turn of the century.. and this road was made and used by those long gone gold miners. Just up the road is a dugout.. not the baseball kind.. but a dwelling built into the hillside as shelter from the cold bitter winds of Nevada. But on this bright June day.. the past melted into the present.. perfect.


'Racing the Sun'

8x10      oil on canvas panel

This is the second painting in a series of oils featuring majestic clouds.. clouds silently composing wonderful landscapes in the Space known as the Sky.. the sky we take for granted and rarely contemplate. When clouds are present.. there is a dance of forms appearing and dissolving... constantly changing shape and color.. sometimes bright white... sometime sombre gray... or reflecting the rainbow colors of a sunset.

In this painting... the colors are subdued and subtle.. the soft undersides of the low clouds take on the reflected colors from the earth and pavement below.. the lavender shadow of a passing cloud on a rarely-travelled road.. fun racing the sun.


'Cloud Concerto' - Grand Canyon National Park

8x10      oil on canvas panel     SOLD

Nowhere is Nature's music more dramatic than in the beautiful landscapes formed by clouds... the ever-changing forms in the colored light of sunrise or sunset... a painter's inspiration. I remember spending many mesmerized summer hours as a child laying stretched out on the grass watching the clouds turn into fairytales come to life. This painting is the first in a series of the abstract beauty of skies.. skies as majestic music.

Here is the underpainting for this piece .. the design ..


'Blue Highways' - somewhere in the American West

8x10     oil on canvas panel     SOLD

The beginning of a new series of highway/road oil paintings gleaned from my extensive travels.. based on one of the hundreds of road photos in my collection. The title of this piece is from a famous book detailing impressions of the less-travelled regions of the U.S.. written by William Least Heat-Moon. And the asphalt really is blue in the mid-day sun. I love the open highways in the Outback regions of the West.. no traffic.. just light and space.. plenty of time to soak-in the countryside.. cruising .. the good life.


'Burnt Orange' - Southwest desert painting

5x7  oil on canvas panel  SOLD

Many artists fear using orange.. but it is an useful color on my palette.. maybe because much of the land in the Southwest deserts is naked... barren of the cover of plants... beautifully designed... baked by the intense unrelenting sun.... burnt orange.


'Canyon Bliss' - Drawing

This is a page from one of my sketch books.. an idea for a large oil painting of water as it hits the submerged rocks in the Colorado River.. the force and beauty of the spray as it catches the light.. the backdrop a stylized version of the desert along the river. The main design to work out is the pattern of the spray and also to try to capture the translucent nature and weight of the water as it rolls by.   And all this action is lit by the late morning light.. refracting.. a feeling of diamonds throw in the air.. liquid magic.


'Capturing Sunrise' - Great Basin National Park

4x4     oil on canvas     nfs

Another view of the famed Wheeler Peak ... first to receive the morning light. I felt duty-bound to paint at least a couple studies of one of Great Basin's landmarks. Right now.. I am focused on completing two road pieces.. stark asphalt and clouds. Back to the easel.. these will be posted soon.


'Wheeler Peak' - Great Basin NP - Nevada

4x4      oil on canvas      nfs

Here is the first piece of a popular vista here at Great Basin NP... a view of Wheeler Peak Basin featuring the highest mountain in the area.. Wheeler Peak.. over 13,000'. The trail to the top is all high elevation... t starts at 10,000' from a little parking area along the drive to the end-of-the-road Wheeler campground. Once known for it's glacier.. now there is just a smidgeon of snow. The creeks formed by the melting glacier and seasonal snowpack provides a lush well-watered oasis in the dry high desert of Nevada. Better come visit before it becomes a shadow of it's former self.

The mountain mahogany [usually just a large bush] are tree sized here.. and the mormon tea [usually just a small shrub] are the largest I have ever seen.. mammoth. The feeling here is like witnessing the remnants of an once-lush bygone era.. still strong and magnificent.


Back to Work - Grand Canyon skies draft

8x10 oil on canvas panel

After getting settled in our new camp and taking a few weeks off exploring the high elevations of Great Basin National Park.. it is time to get back to work! To warm up.. a few quick pieces. Here is the underpainting for a sky study from a photo I took last summer over the Grand Canyon from Mather Point. I also completed two small oils of Wheeler Peak... he highest mountain close to our camp.. will post them later.

My current goal is to be much faster painting these small oils.. more impressionistic with the objective of getting an juicy expressive stroke with just the right color and value in one go.. whew!  This kind of work demands concentration and letting go at the same time.. like a dance.. a spicy tango.