Monday, August 29, 2011


Late Afternoon Light
16 x 20

The last few weeks have been a busy time in the studio as I am working on several groups of paintings for a couple of different shows. The work for the group show in London and for Atlanta will be shipped next Tuesday and the others shortly after. This painting will go somewhere although I haven't quite decided where yet!

My Trees class has kept me busy as well, with my students doing some lovely work. I'm also getting ready for my Taos workshop, pulling together some teaching materials and images.

Perhaps the most exciting thing though is the seed of an idea for a new project which I'm not quite ready to talk about yet. Stay tuned!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Student Drawings

My online class Drawing & Painting Trees started last Friday. I am so pleased with the work the group is doing, so I wanted to share some of it with blog readers. In the first week, we are studying the concept of taper-the diminution in size from trunk to limb to branch to twig, as well as using Ruskin's Elements of Drawing to do some drawing exercises. Although students are encouraged to work from life, I have also posted many examples of 19th century drawings so that students can also make copies, a time honored way of learning. Students are using pencils and charcoal. This is just a small sample of the many drawings the group has produced over the last six days.

Judy Warner, Harvard, MA

Judy Warner, Harvard, MA
A Ruskin exercise

Tom Peterson, Canton CT

Deb Mason, Fredericksburg, TX
copy of a Jervis McEntee drawing

Sandra Daunt, New Ross, Ireland

Jamie Kirkland, Santa Fe, NM
Ruskin exercise

Jan DeLipsey
Dallas, TX

Julie Davis, Austin, TX
Ruskin exercise

Chris Chisholm, Tyngboro, MA
Copy of William Trost Richards drawing

Phoebe Chidester
Clearwater, FL

Rose Tanner, Banff, Canada

Anne Marie Propst, NC
Concord, NC

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

It's a life, not a job

The Simplest Thing
9 x 12
Available at Huff Harrington Fine Art, Atlanta

Yesterday I was sorting through a few things in the studio and came across a couple of things that had been pinned to a bulletin board in my studio in New Mexico. When I was packing for our move to Texas over four years ago, I carefully put them in a folder so I wouldn't lose them, and then, of course, didn't find them until yesterday. There is a favorite quote from Emerson and another from Emily Dickinson. And, this one from my friend and mentor, Hollis Williford (1940-2007). Hollis was many things- a prolific and passionate sculptor, painter, printmaker and draughtsman, an authority on the history, peoples and lore of the American West, and student of art history. He was also a generous and unstinting mentor. I am grateful every day for the things I learned from him and the support he gave me.

"Don't wait for inspiration. Attack your work with a club and let your perspiration speak instead of revelation. Learn to be a perpetual student with an open mind. Think of your work as a journey without a destination. It's a life, not a job. During your first thirty years as an artist you notice you begin to work smarter instead of harder. The mistakes and shortcomings don't happen as often, and the success ratio goes up. The depth of understanding that is such a part of the evolution of ability intensifies with time and you find simplicity in beauty. Emerging artists - develop a strong, consistent work ethic. Educate yourself by studying and discovering all the giants on whose shoulders you wish to stand. Make life as much of a first hand experience as possible, because it is the source of your inspiration and subjects. Your individuality will develop as a natural part of hard work and application; hang on to it for dear life, for it is all you have that is truly yours."

Hollis Williford

Saturday, August 13, 2011

New Web Site

Over the last few weeks I have been working on a new web site, one that I'll be able to update myself and will eventually include some snazzy new things like video clips. It is up now, so click on over and take a look. I am still tweaking things and trying to figure out the mysteries of meta tags and descriptions. Let me know if you see anything that doesn't work. Feedback is welcome!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Autumn-Morning Mist

Autumn-Morning Mist
12 x 12

There was most definitely some wishful thinking going on in the studio when I painted this. Hard to imagine that fall will ever come, but I was able to conjure up this painting of those lovely autumn mists from memory.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

In Morning Light

In Morning Light
12 x 10

It has been so blazing hot, I am leaving earlier and earlier for my morning walk these days. The upside is that I am enjoying all the earliest bits of light while there is some residual coolness (relatively speaking) in the air.

I have one spot left (now full ) in the Drawing and Painting Trees online class starting in a few weeks and a couple of spots left in Field Sketching for Landscape Painters which begins in late September.