Archive for the ‘horse’ Category

A Rolling Stone

July 15, 2018


Work in Progress on a Commission

In recent weeks, I’ve done everything except gather moss. Since Bloomsday (June 16), I’ve had the itch to wander in the fashion of James Joyce’s Ulysses, and so I set out to experience adventures between Arlington, Fort Worth, Denton, and Palestine, Texas. But all the while I wandered and collected experiences, I itched to return to the mountains, and on July 1, after finishing my last art show of the summer, I began loading the Jeep for my journey west. Of course, I had to bring my work along with me, so I decided to call it a “working vacation.”


This watercolor is commissioned by a special man who had his own epic “Ulysses” experience while at Fort Worth’s Santa Fe Depot in recent years. I haven’t yet heard his full story, but this view of the depot triggers deep-felt memories for him, and I’m delighted to take on the task of recreating the image.

Pointing the vehicle to Amarillo, and subsequently travelling the great Southwest, I have painted daily, and prepped for my fall load of college courses. These regular activities, along with moving about and experiencing new things, has kept my life busy and satisfying in the best way.


I accepted an invitation to watch a parade and local rodeo in O’Donnell, Texas, and took dozens of pics, marveling at every turn. A heavy shower watered the countryside that afternoon, cooling temperatures and making for great photo opportunities.



Though growing up in the St. Louis area, my father was always fascinated with the rodeo, and I attended these events as a child, seeing my last one while in high school. Now, forty-five years later, I attend a small town event, and experience an unforgettable evening.


I still haven’t reached the mountains, but they are still on my radar. I am dying for the opportunity of plein air painting again.

I would like to say more, but I’ve promised myself a full day of class preparations, and I haven’t even yet started. So I’ll just say Thanks for Reading, and I hope to post again before too long.

I paint in order to remember.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself I am not alone.

New Work for the Weekend Show

March 30, 2017

sandi (2)

The Splendor of a Morning Ride


Surveying the Results

As my show continues through the next two weekends at The Gallery at Redlands, 400 N. Queen St., Palestine, Texas, I am bringing out more work not on display before. The original watercolors featured above have already sold. I have on hand two limited editions of the equestrian subject, and one of the pheasant hunt. The equestrian limited edition sells for $100 and the pheasant for $80.

These subjects I used to paint quite often in my past, but I’ve gotten away from them recently. Once this show is over, I intend to return to some of my earlier subjects, particularly railroad themes and Victorian homes. I haven’t gotten to paint seriously in several weeks as I’ve been busy getting ready for this show.

Thanks for reading. I have at least one more image I hope to post later today.

Sun Setting on the Second Day of the Gallery

March 25, 2017

day 2b

Late afternoon sun flooding The Gallery at Redlands

What you don’t feel, you will not grasp by art,

Unless it wells out of your soul

And with sheer pleasure takes control.

Goethe,  Faust

The opening days of The Gallery at Redlands have been unbelievable as I have met countless new friends and renewed acquaintances with old ones.  I’m exhausted to the bone, but thrilled to share that three of my original pieces have found a new home.  I cannot thank my patrons enough for their interest.  And the day has been filled with the loving presence of friends of mine who have journeyed for hours to spend a day with me, even though I was covered up most of the time in the gallery.


Sold this evening

laguna madre

Sold this afternoon

Thank you for reading.  I’m exhausted after a 10-hour day in the gallery, but very happy tonight . . .

Framing Frenzy for the Upcoming Show

March 2, 2017


I just posted this evening that my next One-Man-Show will open March 24 at The Gallery at Redlands in Palestine, Texas. In anticipation of the opening, I went on a framing frenzy, delivering three originals to my favorite local frame shop today —

The Fort Worth Cattle Drive is on a full sheet of 300 lb. watercolor paper and will probably anchor the new show, as we’re pulling out all the stops in the framing and presentation of this piece.  Also being framed is the historic St. Ignatius Academy in downtown Fort Worth. This painting was also created on a full sheet of 300 lb. paper.


And finally, my first “selfie” titled “Heidegger’s Hut”. This one is also being made into a series of limited edition signed-and-numbered giclée prints.


Three weeks seems such a short time to get ready, but I have already forty framed paintings on hand for the opening.  The main thing now is for us to get the word out, so I’m beginning by reaching out to all of you, my friends.  I hope if you’re in the area that you can come to the show.  I would love to see you.

Thanks for reading.

I paint in order to discover.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself that I am not alone.


Plein Air Painting and Thoughts from an Ancient Chinese Canon

March 25, 2015
Winter Tree Study in Stovall Park

Winter Tree Study in Stovall Park

The artist should not only paint what he sees before him, but also what he sees within him. If he does not see anything within him, he should give up painting what he sees before him.

Caspar David Friedrich

Though we travel the world to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Today, while re-reading the Six Canons from Xie He, a sixth-century critique of art from a Chinese thinker, I thought upon the first canon: Engender a sense of movement through spirit consonance. One interpreter renders the final item “spirit resonance” or “vitality.” It was said that the Chinese critics thought if a work of art did not contain “spirit resonance”, then there was no reason to spend any more time looking at it. I decided to ponder this while taking my exercise walk tonight, and take my supplies with me just in case. As I strolled Stovall Park, I came across this bare-bones winter tree waving in the rising winds signaling a possible storm. I set up an easel, the storm moved around me, though there was some drizzle (it’s watercolor, so no bother), and after thirty minutes I decided to stop with what I had. Just as last weekend, when I gazed into the tree tops at Richard Greene Linear Park, I found myself attracted to the movement of the limbs in the crown of the trees, gently dancing in the high winds. This is a study I want to pursue further, as I have never been satisfied with my tree studies in paintings. For most of my life, I have admired the anatomy of trees in winter, with all their contours exposed, and wished to capture them on paper. Finally I’m getting around to trying more than just once or twice. I cannot explain my connection with nature, but I’ve always been moved by Emerson’s words from his first book Nature:

The greatest delight which the fields and woods minister is the suggestion of an occult relation between man and the vegetable. I am not alone and unacknowledged. They nod to me, and I to them. The waving of the boughs in the storm is new to me and old. It takes me by surprise, and yet is not unknown. Its effect is like that of a higher thought or a better emotion coming over me, when I deemed I was thinking justly or doing right.

Stopping after 30 Minutes

Stopping after 30 Minutes

I am not a horse person. I do not ride. But I’m always amused that when I set up an easel adjacent to an empty pasture, it doesn’t stay empty very long. I don’t pretend to know horse psychology, don’t know if they expect me to feed them, reach out to them, or if they’re just curious at the new side show. But I do love their company, and think few animals are more magnificent than horses.

One Should Never Paint Alone

One Should Never Paint Alone

Thanks for reading. It’s been another good day and night.

I paint in order to understand.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself that I am not alone.

There’s a Certain Slant of Light

December 15, 2013
First Waking Moment of Sunday

First Waking Moment of Sunday

There’s a certain slant of light,
On winter afternoons,
That oppresses, like the weight
Of cathedral tunes.

Heavenly hurt it gives us;
We can find no scar,
But internal difference
Where the meanings are.

None may teach it anything,
‘Tis the seal, despair,-
An imperial affliction
Sent us of the air.

When it comes, the landscape listens,
Shadows hold their breath;
When it goes, ‘t is like the distance
On the look of death.

Emily Dickinson

I love Emily Dickinson’s work, but have always wondered over this verse.  Like Edward Hopper, I love slanting light, and I love the quality of winter light the most.  So, when I awoke this morning and saw this on my bedroom bookcase, the words of Emily’s poem immediately flashed across my consciousness, and pulling the poem from my book, re-read it.  Still it reads with a sorrow that I never feel when gazing at winter light.  I always wonder if I am misinterpreting her in this poem.

I could not wait to enter the studio with such clear, cleain light flooding my house.

Race Horse Commission

Race Horse Commission

I am spending today, trying to finish this final commission to be devlivered on Monday.  That will make three commissions in three days signed, sealed and delivered.  A load will roll off my back when that happens.  I am overwhelmingly grateful for those two ice days that opened up a four-day weekend for me.  Withouut that precious time, I’m not sure how I would have pulled off these commissions.

Two Commissions nearly ready

Two Commissions nearly ready

The gas station painting will be delivered to its new owner this afternoon.

Christmas Commissions in Progress

Christmas Commissions in Progress

The Jeep painting I delivered yesterday.  I’m starting to feel like Santa Claus.

Back to work.  Thanks for reading.

I paint in order to remember.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself that I am not alone.

More Stockyards Work, Sign Added, More Details, Etc.

November 30, 2012
Watercolor of Fort Worth Stockyards

Watercolor of Fort Worth Stockyards

I finally got the background billboard blocked in, worked some more on the longhorns to the left, finished the hooves of all the right-hand livestock, and laid down some more street shadows.  I have an early-morning appointment, so I need to retire for the night.  But I am now confident that I can finish this up later Saturday.  No doubt my readers would enjoy seeing something besides longhorns every time they open my blog.  I’m getting a little weary of the composition myself.  Here’s to a weekend filled with art, literature and good things . . .

Thanks always for reading.

Friday Night in the Man Cave, Watercoloring the Cattledrive, Still

November 30, 2012
Fort Worth Stockyards Cattle Drive

Fort Worth Stockyards Cattle Drive

I am not crazy about 72-degree November evenings, but I’m glad the weekend arrived.  I am nestled into my garage Man Cave, and really in the mood to push this Fort Worth Stockyards Cattle Drive to a conclusion.  I had no idea how many weeks this thing would take to see to its conclusion.  Tonight I worked on the hooves of this lead horse, and am waiting for the paint to dry and set up so I can go back into the street and deepen the colors and details.  I need to work some shadows onto the horse’s legs as well.  Two other riders await completion as well, and I need to decide what to do with that large billboard sign stretched across the top right border of this composition.  All in all, though, I can see the finish line.  Maybe I’ll cross it tonight.  Stay tuned!

Thanks for reading.

Beginning Work on the Fort Worth Stockyards

August 15, 2012

Fort Worth Stockyards

While allowing my Savoy Hotel painting to lie dormant for a day, I decided to go ahead and pour the background trees in this 22 x 28″ watercolor of the Fort Worth Stockyards.  Last week, for the first time in my life, I drove over there, sat in the 105-degree afternoon, and waited to see the longhorns driven down West Exchange Street.  It was worth the wait.  I have a little experience painting horses (very little), and zero experience painting livestock.  But, we’ll see how it goes.  First I have many layers to pour in order to lay in the background foliage.  I’ll be at this one for awhile.

Thanks for reading.

Equestrian in Fall Foliage, December 17, 2010

December 17, 2010

Equestrian in Fall Foliage

Here is a large 18 x 24″ watercolor I began over a week ago.  It’s been difficult finding quality time to paint, trying to close out the fall semester at school.  My wife Sandi is riding her horse Andante just as the leaves are beginning to turn in south Fort Worth, Texas.  Most of the foliage at the top is poured from bowls onto the wet paper that was previously masqued, then treated with salt and a spray bottle, along with plenty of tissue-blotting.  For the first time, I’m introducing the color aubergine into the shadows of the bay horse–I’ve never before known for sure how to shadow this guy.  I think this is going to work.  I did a plein air sketch of the pair of trees behind the fence, several weeks ago while we were on location.  I also took several digital shots of Sandi and Andante.  Now I’m hoping to combine two photos to create this landscape.  Hopefully I can finish this one by Christmas.

Thanks for reading.