Saturday, April 30, 2011

Quick Studies

Finally! Western PA is having a beautiful sunny day, so I’m finding it very hard to concentrate on work. The morel mushrooms are starting to show, birds are singing, and my mind and spirit are longing to be out there with them. Since I don’t think I can stay indoors all day, I decided to work on a couple of quick oil studies. I typically work on acrylic, so these oil studies are a refreshing break. They force me to think in oil (and it’s very different from acrylic!) and focus less on fine detail. It’s all about getting the shapes and edges correct. Done!

Now I’m going out to look for mushrooms!

Monday, April 25, 2011

"Last Snowfall" 10x20 acrylic

Wow. Has it really been 10 days since my last post? With spring sputtering forward only to fall back to near-winter conditions, a multitude of projects have been started and left in hopes of better weather. Many of my friends seem to be battling weather related depression of varying severity. I guess I’ve been doing okay, though I’ve been staying inside working more than I’d like.

On the plus side, I’ve managed to produce one of my more striking images. Special thanks are in order to Rodney Gallie for the outstanding reference photos. I don’t make a habit of using photos not taken by yours truly, but these were just too good to pass up.

Friday, April 15, 2011


Here's the result of forcing myself to paint for the last 2 days. This is about 1/3 of a 10x20 board. I'm starting to feel good about this one.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


It's been nearly impossible for me to pick up a paint brush lately. The stress of tax season and several other deadlines (some art related, some... not so much) have left me completely unmotivated. My production has level has never been an even steady flow. At times, I can work for months with barely a break. Others, I can't seem to complete a sketch without becoming distracted or discouraged. How true it is that state of mind plays such a major role in the creation of art. A positive attitude is fueled by accomplishments in the studio, which in turn feeds and perpetuates that positive energy. Similarly, a lack of production knocks my legs out for a while and makes it even harder to sit at the easel... the proverbial downward spiral. The goal today is to put some paint down... good or bad... and work my way out of this stagnant state.

Friday, April 1, 2011

More on Fly Fishing

I’ve never been much for pretentiousness. I try to take a logical utilitarian approach to just about everything… especially fishing. I like tying flies, though my eyes aren’t as good as they used to be. Still, the simple patterns seem to work best for me. I’m no expert, but I get by. And there’s a satisfactory little tug at my ego every time I catch a fish on a fly I’ve made myself.

Casting a fly rod can be artfully beautiful, but I can’t remember ever needing to cast 90’ of fly line to a rising trout. Short accurate casts that seem ordinary if not downright dull get the job done with the most efficiency.

Trout rising to invisible dry flies seem to be what the “pros” talk about over their cognac and pâté at the end of the day, though few can back up their yap with fish in the net. Far more trout at caught drifting nymphs under a float (“float” is the fly fishing world’s term for the lowly bobber) or swinging wet flies downstream through a riffle. It’s so effective many so-called purists frown on those that would stoop to that level. Whatever. I like to catch fish and sometimes flies just work better than anything else. That’s why I fly fish and tie flies. It makes me smile and that’s good enough for me.

Now I think I need to get some glasses.