Animal Painting, Landscape, oil painting, Painters, Painting, Plein Air, Plein Aire Painters, Portland, Sauvie Island

Cows at Coon Point (ala Roos Schuring)

I went out painting with a friend last week and came across a small herd of cows lounging in the sun. They were the same type of cows that I often see in Roos Schuring’s paintings. She’s a fantastic painter in Holland. I wrote about her back in Aug 2012.

Check out her site here.

So I decided to see if I could paint these cows ala Roos Schuring.

Cows at Coon Point 9"x12" oil on linen panel
Cows at Coon Point
9″x12″ oil on linen panel


Art, Landscape, oil painting, Painters, Plein Air, Plein Aire Painters

Pacific NW Plein Air 2012

I love (/hate) plein air painting but consider myself a bit of a hack at it. I have lots of excuses and I wanted to use many of them over the last 5 days, as I tried to paint some good paintings in Hood River. This is the first time I’ve participated in a plein air competition and I really enjoyed painting with a group of extremely skilled plein air painters.

‘Nothing Runs Like A Deere’ 9″ x 12″ oil on linen panel

This is one of my entries, painted at the beautiful Sakura Ridge Farm and Lodge, above Hood River. Please don’t judge the place by this painting. The views of Mt Hood and the valley and the lodge were amazing.

Click   HERE   for more photos of the paint out at Sakura Ridge.

The opening reception is this coming Friday, Sept 7th at the Columbia Gallery of Art in Hood River from 4 til 9. If you’re in the area and want to see some extraordinary plein air paintings, please stop by. The show runs through the month of September.

Art, Landscape, oil painting, Painters, Painting, Plein Air, Plein Aire Painters, Portland, Workshop

Plein Air with Stephen Hayes

I received a last minute invitation, from my friend Shawn Demerest, to attend a plein air painting workshop on Sauvie Island with Portland based painter, Stephen Hayes. I was only able to attend one day but it was well worth it.

Caldera by Stephen Hayes

16″ x 120″ oil on canvas panel – Elizabeth Leach Gallery

Since I’ve started painting again, I’ve focused on learning traditional painting techniques and the workshops I’ve attended have been about painting that way. Although Stephen has spent years painting plein air, he is a contemporary painter who doesn’t limit himself to traditional techniques. In fact, he uses the landscape before him more as a jumping off point rather than trying to capture the moment or scene. (Those are my impressions of his work, not Stephen’s words, btw).

Having originally started out as a non-traditional painter,  it was freeing to see Stephen paint more experimentally. Stephen shared some interesting ways to rework areas of the painting. I especially liked how he talked about working a painting back and forth, losing it and bringing it back, pushing and pulling it toward and back from the brink of disaster.

One “rule” I hear over and over from traditional painters is to put a brush stroke down and leave it. That is a rule Stephen is not afraid to break.

I did a couple of studies, during the workshop, starting out my normal way but found it a lot more fun to play with them, not being afraid to damage them or destroy them.

8″ x 10″ oil on panel

6″ x 8″ oil on panel

Although these sketches may not look a lot different from paintings I’ve done in the past, they were a lot more fun to do.

Art, Landscape, oil painting, Painters, Painting, Plein Air, Plein Aire Painters, Portland, Workshop

From Sauvie Island Convenience Store



6″ x 8″ oil on panel

Sauvie Island is popular with bicyclists, fishermen, bird watchers, hunters and plein air painters.  The easiest place to meet up is the Cracker Barrel convenience store, which is a short distance from the bridge that is the only way on and off the island. I did this little sketch of the fields across the street from the parking lot, last Saturday while waiting to meet the group I was painting with.

Portland plein air painter Celeste Bergin showed up to meet another group of painters, which she wrote about on her blog.

A couple of things are different in this painting from the others I did during this weekend. One, I didn’t use any alizarin crimson, two, I did this by myself while waiting for my painting companions to arrive. I find that I’m able to get into a sort of meditative state of mind while painting alone that seems more conducive to what I need to enjoy the process.


Art, Landscape, oil painting, Painters, Painting, Plein Air, Plein Aire Painters, Workshop

Painting with Elio Camacho – man of mystery


I was delighted to spend the last three days painting with my friend Elio Camacho. Elio did his best to coax more color into my plein air paintings and I resisted as much as I could but I think he may have gained some ground on my precious grey palette.

Elio studied with Ovanes Berberian (some of his work can be seen here), who studied with Sergei Bongart.

My paintings got progressively worse as the workshop continued and I think that’s a good thing because it means I was trying new things and I expect that, as I’m able to find my way with these new ideas, my work will be better for it.

It was great fun to finally meet Elio, after coresponding with him over the internets and blogosphere for the past year or so.  I hope we get to paint together again.