Painting the Sea and Sky Like This Calms My Nerves

This year has been a struggle for me as I live my artist’s life with ongoing depression and rising anxiety. Some might say I’m just another “tortured” artist, but it has taken me 20+ years to become accustomed to what “normal” feels like for me. And how I feel has changed alot this year for me.

So, as I work to get back to my own normal, one of my trusty therapies is my painting process. And besides trees, the sea and sky is one of my most favorite subjects. Painting the expansive sea and the ever-changing sky along with a nice, crisp horizon line holding them together almost always calms my nerves.

See what you think (and feel) with my latest sea and sky painting below. It’s titled No. 6 but is the only larger sea and sky painting to date that I’ve completely finished and mounted on panel. Click the painting or the link below to view it on my website.

Sure wish we were there in No. 6, don’t you?

Thanks for looking and for supporting my art!

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“Oregon Coast Sea and Sky No. 6”, oil and metallic watercolor on panel, 12 x 12 inches, $400 (available on my website).

I Painted the Orlando 49 – Into the Light

The horrific events in Orlando have taken over my creative process in my studio since it happened nearly two weeks ago. As an artist, I paint what I’m thinking and feeling – first I paint in my mind (often while I’m supposed to be sleeping!) and then, ready or not, I put paint to paper in my studio.

As a gay American, tragedies like Orlando impact me deeply. My own family has rejected me on this “issue” and I’m saddened that hate and anything but complete acceptance, still fills many people on this planet.

So, I paint. And then I paint more as I process what happened in Orlando and the 49 young people who died. The painting below, one of my Pacific Northwest Rains series, is one that I finished this week. I’m conveying the lives of 49 colorful people (as the stripes on the bottom) who are being transported through a black line into whatever silvery “light” is above and next for them.

I’ll never forget what happened in Orlando and will be painting many more as I try to make sense of people like the shooter… and my own family.

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“The Orlando 49 – Into the Light”, oil and metallic watercolor, 12 x 12 inches.

Here’s what I think rain looks like

Have you ever seen rain streaming dramatically down a window like it does in the movies? In those fat, silvery rivulets? I could sit in my comfy studio armchair and watch rain rivulets all day here in Portland.

Instead, I started a new series of oil and metallic watercolors called Pacific northwest rains. Water – especially rain – makes me feel cool, calm and balanced. Do you feel the rain in these abstractions, like the new one below?

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Why Do I Love to Paint Trees? Here’s a Hint.

I feel like a caterpillar.
After 12 years of my artist career, I’ve kicked off 2016 by examining everything I do:

Why do I paint?
What do I hope to share with you, through my art?
How do my inspirations guide what I put on paper?
Why do I love painting trees?

As I “metamorphosis” on these questions and more, I will share my discoveries with you this year. Right now, I can share a bit about those trees I love to paint so much.

As I travel my life’s path, I create idyllic places for me to “hide” — to keep me safe, and to belong — and all of these places always have trees.  Trees that shelter, that protect, and that cool. Evergreens and aspens from the mountains of my native Colorado, and towering hardwoods in the forests of southern Belgium. Trees that have trunks with those crisp lines that I love.

How could I not paint these trees, in those idyllic places?

 

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Large trees (aspen or birch?) are in progress in my studio (oil and metallic watercolor).

A Rash of Recent Acceptances Into National Exhibits Quickens My Pulse

"Bouyant" was chosen out of over 650 paintings to exhibit at the San Diego Watercolor Society International Exhibition in San Diego, California.
“Bouyant” was chosen out of over 650 paintings to exhibit at the San Diego Watercolor Society International Exhibition in San Diego, California.

I’ve had several of my new Metallic Squares series paintings accepted into well-respected, national juried exhibitions recently. I’m super-excited that my latest watercolor and oil paintings are receiving some attention and it gets my heart rate going in my studio to keep on exploring my Metallic Squares and painting more!

"My Personal Raincloud" one of 65 paintings chosen out of 665 for the Rocky Mountain National Watermedia Exhibit in Golden, Colorado.
“My Personal Raincloud” one of 65 paintings chosen out of 665 for the Rocky Mountain National Watermedia Exhibit in Golden, Colorado.

Four Seasons of Trees… Heading Off to Minnesota

I’ve been working on a commercial office space project for awhile now and have just finished a set of my Four Seasons of Trees fine art reproductions! This project was a set of custom fine art prints on canvas – each is 14″ x 36″, stretched on 1.5″ deep gallery-wrap stretcher bars and finished by hand with my signature metallic highlights. I think this set will look really great in the office they’re heading to in Minnesota!

Be sure to contact me to discuss creating a custom set just for your home or office!

"Four Seasons of Trees", fine art giclee on canvas, 14" x 36" each.
“Four Seasons of Trees”, fine art giclee on canvas, 14″ x 36″ each.

Snapshot 2, Number 2: Great reds and metallic coppers/golds!

Here’s a closeup of Snapshot 2, Number 2… one of my more recent elemental paintings in great reds and metallic coppers/golds.  I love how each square is like a mini painting within itself!  Email me or leave a comment to Name Your Best Price!

Visit my blog post here for all of the details on my Name Your Best Price sales event, and to view all of the other paintings still available.

Snapshot 2, Number 2; watercolor on paper (unframed), 15 x 15", regular price $350.
Snapshot 2, Number 2; watercolor on paper (unframed), 15 x 15″, regular price $350.