Wednesday, February 21, 2018

The corner of Plaza Square and Strand Street

The corner of Plaza Square and Strand St., St Helens

4" x 8" hot press 140# Sennelier's hot press cotton watercolor block

Sennelier watercolors
Holbein gouache

Click to view larger.  

Friday, February 16, 2018

A Glimpse of St Helens

I wanted to knock out a bunch of images for the upcoming Plein Air and Urban Sketching show at the St Helens Library coming up in May so I thought I'd work on some small pieces to highlight several areas around town.  First of several paintings of the area.  

4" x 8" hot press 140# Senneliers cotton paper
Sennelier watercolors
Holbein gouache

Columbia Blvd

Monday, February 5, 2018

New business cards have arrived.

Originally I thought the two subjects were related since they feature the same location, just different focus areas.  Experience has shown the images appeal to different interest groups so I made two different cards.  

For the Timberline Lodge coloring book:

For the Newels of Timberline Lodge coloring book:

Sunday, January 28, 2018

The last page.

I went to the Portland Art Museum this morning. I drew a bronze Japanese hawk sculpture from the 1800's. Because of the restrictions in the museum I could only do the pen and ink there. I added the watercolor after I got home.

This is the last page in my journal so it's time to begin a new one.  I bought two - one is smaller, another is larger than this one.  Smaller because my sketches aren't intended to be permanent works of art so smaller/quicker is better.  Larger because some of these have actually turned out to where they should be matted and framed so I should give myself the opportunity to develop the images more.  
I'm split on which to use.  Regardless I have the hardest time cutting bound journals apart so what's the point really.  Obviously I have unresolved issues.  Fortunately my unresolved issues aren't anything critical in the big picture.  I'll eventually figure it out.  Until then I'll enjoy the journey, whichever way it takes me.  

Friday, January 26, 2018

St Helens Fire Department

Typical winter in Oregon is wet and cold so I have been looking for indoor venues for my plein air/sketching group.  The St Helens Fire Department let us sketch their equipment in the bay.  Watercolor in my sketchbook.  

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Caples House

This one has a complicated history. It started out as a gouache piece in my sketch book. I had never worked with gouache except as a highlight to another medium. I seriously did NOT like the painting from that day. I let it sit for months before deciding to test the water solubility of gouache and rinsed off as much paint as I could. Just like with watercolor, apparently gouache has staining qualities in some colors. I let it sit a couple more months. Not all of the pigment from the gouache came off so it wasn't a blank slate to go back to. I decided since this page is a giant experiment, why not go back to it in watercolor.

Caples House, Columbia City, OR
Watercolor in my sketchbook

Sunday, January 21, 2018


While I love working in colored pencil, it is a slow medium.  We can't really get around the fact that collectors don't understand how much time it takes to complete pieces in colored pencil and they rarely command a price reflecting the time in them.  It is most definitely a passion.  Everyone I know looks for ways to speed up their process.  A couple years ago I began using watercolor as a foundation.  The methodology is almost opposite to everything else I know about painting.  I had to learn how it worked to use it.  In the process I began to enjoy watercolor.  I am now pushing beyond the expectation that it only be a foundation and am challenging myself to finish the pieces as watercolor pieces. It's an interesting journey to be sure.