Composition Choice for Well Known Scenes

 This 12 x 16 oil painting is of the iconic Golden Gate Bridge. However, rather than give the viewer a typical straight-on view of the entire bridge, this composition provides interest through the lower vantage point. Fort Point is at the base of the bridge. On this foggy day, your eye doesn’t see all of…

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To Commission or Not to Commission…

Generally, I’m not a fan of commissions because it can stifle creativity if too many constraints are added regarding size, color, and composition. In the past year, I’ve completed three commission paintings successfully. Here are a few tips that have made the experience worthwhile. Release the pressure of a commission piece by knowing that if…

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Mare Island Naval Base

Plein Air Editing and Action

Too many times, I’ve come across a scene worthy of memorializing as an oil painting, but didn’t stop to capture it in that moment. When returning, something changed (e.g. weather, building torn down, field plowed). I live on Mare Island and when I was on my bike ride today and saw a new ship in port, I felt it…

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Pauses are Key in Painting

It’s easy to overwork a painting. A common problem for many artists. A painting becomes muddy and loses its natural appeal when you don’t know when to stop with the incessant brush strokes. On the flip-side, a painting can feel unfinished if you stop too soon. The best approach is to pause at key points.Literally…

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Six Ways Artists Can Stay Motivated During Winter

As a full-time artist who enjoys plein air painting, winter months can be long and sap the creative spirit. This year has been particularly difficult to stay motivated due to the abundance of rain. I’d love to hear from you if you have additional suggestions or tips for the winter blues. Here are my six favorites. Read…

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