Monday, November 23, 2009


I think the topic of sketching isn't discussed often enough. I devoted a day last week to doing sketches, so this post is in its honor.

I've yet to meet someone who didn't sketch, even people without artistic "talent." What do most sketches have in common? They're very quick, often informal, and the focus is not so much on results. As an artist, the danger is not doing enough of them. I certainly fall into this trap sometimes. One can get too caught up in churning out paintings. The artist's technique becomes tight: they lose playfulness and spontaneity. Sketching is just the quickest and purist drawing one can make. Every artist, no matter how skilled or experienced, also needs to brush up on drawing from time to time.

Many artists are reluctant to share their sketches with others. They can be intensely personal. A lot of times they are embarrassed or worried about being judged. I'm going to share with you two quick sketches I did of a church downtown. These were done with charcoal and white pencil. I limited myself to only a short period of time to make a complete statement. I'm not sure what I will do with these. Maybe I will use one to make a painting. Maybe it will simply be a record I can revisit later on. Or maybe it will do nothing but sit in the sketchbook. This is part of the fun of sketching.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Marina
Oil on Canvas 24" x 16"
This painting is available. Contact me.

Last week there was another full moon, and as always, I went out to try my hand at another nocturne. In the past, my nocturnes have been highly improvised. I would wait until the moon was well developed and shone brightly in the sky. Then I would jump into the car and search the area until I found a particularly brilliant spot to capture. This time, I had a plan in my head before I started.

Recently, I've been moving towards more formal compositions in my work. Laying out the perspective with a ruler in the dark was an interesting experience. I thought a marina woud be a perfect place to highlight the moon. I've spent a little time around boats and marinas, and I always found them very relaxing places to be. The cool breeze and gentle calm of the water is very peaceful. I tried to capture that feeling in this piece.