Workshop Rockport Maine September 11-15, 18-22

THIS WILL BE ANOTHER WONDERFUL WORKSHOP, WITH DAILY DEMONSTRATIONS IN WATERCOLOR AND OIL.  5 sessions per week and frequent critiques with lessons on value, design, color, and capturing light.

Please come and paint contact with me and the group for more information contact me through this blog or at

watercolor painting of coastal rocks

opaque watercolor Pemaquid Point, Maine

oil painting Rockport Harbor, Maine

In the studio: “Sitting on the porch” painting and poem

In this painting I am really trying to focus on the sunset without it becoming a cliche.  I kept everything dark and without description and then built the paint up in the sky to bring the light forward.  This is a view of our lake at sunset and the poem is a reflection on duality and choices between negative and positive.  Its what we choose to focus on. 

sitting on my porch

Sitting on the Porch

Looking across the lake;

As prismatic colors merge

to darkness, to night.

Tense, irritated, gritting my teeth

over-run by the bullying sounds

of big boy muscle trucks, mufflers regurgitating

the egos of their drivers,

doing their narcissistic best to infect my life.



just breathe.

Force my attention

back to the water;

day is dissolving into night

the colors, fill my senses,


The roar continues,

Trucks coming up and over the hill

Air brakes popping and exhaust rumbling

Ugly noise piercing, polluting the air



just breathe

My inner world transcends from tense to calm;

Harsh sound is absorbed like drops of water in sand;

Replaced by the lifting songs of evening

Cheeps of resident Redwings declaring their undying love

The splashing of fish feasting on flying insects

The whisper of swallow’s beaks clipping the water’s surface

I breathe the cool evening air

The highway din fades like a memory,

a pleasant hum remains


Incessant herds of Harley’s scream;

Loud as jack hammers pummeling rock

sucking up the tranquil glow

Erasing it stroke by furious stroke

And spitting their venom into the evening air



just breathe

love starved bullfrogs are croaking, louder as darkness falls

to my left I hear the tenative sounds

of deer clacking across the stream finding their bed in the meadow grass.

The quilt of night swaddles me,

I look inside and find that space

My choice between

on edge or at peace

In The Studio: February Morning, new oil and poem

This painting is from an image of a really cold February morning at a farm in Upperville, VA.  I was out walking before sunrise and was struck by the absolute still frozen air and the spectacular colors of a winter sunrise.  I tried to capture the light that sort of floats on the darkness as the sun peaks over the distant trees and to keep the values and color of the foreground snow correct for this time of day.  The poem is my interpretation of the effect of the cold as I walked in the field.

February Morning

February morning

Cold as a body search

A bright sliver of Alizarin rose, wedged

between dark and dawn

A whisper of the rising sun

Warm colors leaking slowly into black

As they push away the night

Like crystal goblets shards of light

I hear my boots, crunching,

falling slow

breaking patches of crusty snow,


Walking into stillness,

A dusting of silver frost

Breathing air so solid it bites

Stocking cap pulled down tight

Every breath blue vapor clouds

Ears and nose brittle red and raw

Stepping along I hear my steps,

cracking weeds like broken glass

On the wind, smells

Of early morning warming fires

Bacon and grits on the hearth

Sounds of horses rising

A murder of crows cawing

Blue black morning

Frozen air

January 13, 2017 - 7:00 pm

Nanine - “My Lord! What a morning,
When the stars begin to fall”

January 13, 2017 - 10:34 pm

Steve - thanks I was trying to capture a feeling just like that. I’m glad you like it

In The Studio: An Oil Painting And Poem “Past its’ Prime”

This painting is a metaphor for all of the rural beauty that is being lost to urban sprawl.  I used a palette knife to paint most of it and it was a demonstration for my Friday class but I finished it at home.  Take the time to look and appreciate, the soon to be gone, farms, barns and fields, they are more than just quaint buildings; they are our past.  They reflect the society we were before we became virtual and gadget oriented.


Past its’ Prime

This barn is past its prime

Red boards gone to gray with time

Voracious weeds starting their final feast

Vines and trees breaking the bones in its’ feet.


I stand along the road and paint

Its’ portrait like a red robed saint

Sadly out beyond the owner’s care

Its’ forgotten beauty a gift to share.


How many seasons have come and gone

How many more left in its song

A time gone now when roads were lined

With barns all red and in their prime.


I drove this lane a few months back

This once proud barn desperate; just a shack

Covered completely in tangles of green

More holes than not its fate now seen.


It was my pleasure to know this barn

But to pity the owners, lucky to see its charm

But it needs cows, pigs or sheep

To protect it from this ravenous creep.


Today our lives are bling galore

We consume our days always wanting more

But take that drive out to country lanes

Because soon all farms will have gone;

A shame.

In The Studio: Summer’s Soft Blue Haze

This painting and poem is hopefully a sign of good things for the New Year.  I was happy to paint another version of the view from the porch at Eagle Rock Lane, and this one has a more atmospheric and light filled quality.  I like the contrast between the warmth of the front and the cool violets of the distance.  The poem is my reaction to the scene which I have looked at for over 3o plus years.  Soon I will be painting from our renovated 1734 cabin in Paris, Va.


Summer’s soft blue haze

Shimmers like a quiet pond

Gold flecks dapple, green

Trees, standing like guardians

Of infinite horizons


Vultures like skaters

Carving figures on clear ice,

Glide gracefully in circles,

Waltzing on thermals

We stand hypnotized by flight