This blog showcases small and large paintings depicting landscapes, wildlife, and still life subjects. Selected paintings are for sale.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Half Built Bridge or Casselman's Progress

Hello all. I've been quite busy with another painting, this time an 18x18" depiction of the Casselman River Bridge near Penn Alps in Grantsville, MD. I'll be posting progress photos so that folks can watch the bridge "emerge". I'll have to say that stonework is a challenge, particularly if you're really committed to giving more than just an "impression". I wanted to really faithfully show the texture and detail.

Below is the reference photo that I am using followed by my painting progress. I'll let you be the judge as to whether I'm doing justice to this amazing landmark. By the way, in later posts I'll give a little more background info on the bridge's history.

Reference photo:
Painting in progress:

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Cardinal on the Picket Line

This painting was inspired by my neighbor's aging picket fence. The pickets have reached that point in their lives where they're a little weatherbeaten, the edges have softened a bit, and they're a little mossy -- kinda like some people I know. Aged to perfection, or at least 'honest beauty'.

Anyway, I found inspiration in the these pickets and added a common songbird that's often under-appreciated.


And yes, I'll never look at ivy the same way again!

(16x20 acrylic on canvas)

Saturday, August 25, 2007

The Highlands of Western Pennsylvania

(12x24 acrylic on canvas)
click image for larger view

Yes, the highlands. This painting depicts a view from Haining Hill near Springs, Pennsylvania – about 3 miles, as the crow flies, from the highest elevation in Pennsylvania (Mt. Davis, 3,213 ft).

Rolling picturesque farmland, not rich by any means, but certainly picturesque. As you stand atop Haining Hill you get a real sense of being ‘on top of the world’. The topography is rolling with prominent ridges, all part of the ancient Allegheny Plateau. Some interesting history in this area as well. Further south from this point is the remnants of General Braddock’s road, which old Route 40 follows and which Interstate 68 parallels.

The view that you see depicted is looking southeast towards Springs, very near the area where my father and I were raised. In fact, we used to gather hickory nuts in that woods in the distance off to the left of the dirt road. Yes, that's a dirt road and for some of you that's a rare sight, but I'll leave that for another discussion...

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Evening at the Forgotten Gate

Someone's left the gate open, for a long time. I came across this scene on one of my back road excursions on Maryland's Eastern shore. A sort of faded elegance draped in late day gold. Obviously someone took great pains to create a memorable entrance. Now it appears to be forgotten -- except for someone who stopped and thought it worth a painting.

Hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed painting it...

(orig. 5x7 acrylic on gesso board)

Thursday, August 2, 2007

What did Captain Smith see?

I frequently play a little time-travel game as I drive around Maryland’s Eastern Shore. I ask myself, as I look out over the marshes, what did this place look like 400 years ago? What must it have been like for Captain Smith as he commanded a small open vessel up the Chesapeake? Perhaps it looked something like this painting. Quiet, cold, obscure. Bounteous yes, but not without serious dangers – the indigenous people weren’t always kindly to bearded Englishmen who often said one thing while doing another.

If we’re really honest with ourselves and with history there are two things of which we can be certain: John Smith didn’t see the Chesapeake the same way we see it today, and what we see is simply a fragment of what once was.

Smith didn’t see the Chesapeake as something to be appreciated as one might a fine painting or as a recreational stress-relieving interlude. He saw it as commodity, as a way to make a name and a fortune, and as adventure. Rather than seeing a peaceful scene, he might have focused on the oyster beds (they were hungry that first year) or the pines in the distance (good for ship masts perhaps?). In other words, one might say he saw the Chesapeake through utilitarian eyes.

What the early 21st century observer sees when they look out over the Chesapeake is a sad tattered remnant of what once inspired Smith to write “…heaven and earth never agreed better to frame a place for man’s habitation.” Gone are the migratory masses that blotted out the sun and seemed to go on forever. Gone are the oysters. Gone are the massive trees. Much is gone, and yet the Chesapeake can still inspire people with its beauty, much as one might admire an old, worn out, but beautifully-tailored evening gown.

(unframed 5x7 acrylic on gesso board)

painting will be up for auction - check back soon!

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Who Grows Your Food?

It's easy to forget that up until relatively recently (within the last 60 years) most people still lived a rural existence, and small farms were the norm. Nowadays it seems that we have entered the age of agri-business and corporate farming. So who grows your food? Has it arrived at your dinner table after having traversed the continent in the back of some refrigerator truck, specially-bred to withstand the rigors of shipping? Or did you buy it direct from the grower, handing him or her cash and chatting about the weather? (no swipe your card and wait for the cashier)

Rest at least somewhat assured that there are still small farms to be found in this country. People working very hard to produce food for their families and to earn enough cash to buy the necessities of life. Yes, farming is an honorable profession but it's not one that we honor very often, do we?

This is an actual farm not far from where I grew up. I wish there were more of them like this.

(original 6x8 acrylic on canvas board)

Saturday, July 21, 2007

And the cow jumped over the moon...

This is one of my larger pictures (12x24). I had posted this painting in one of its intermediate stages earlier this month, before I had worked on the tree's foliage and added the cow and moon.

Tilghman's Neck

A common early summer scene on the Eastern Shore. I encountered this view along one of my favorite back roads. The time is around 7 or 7:30p in late June, when all the world is draped in a lovely warm gold light.

Tilghman's Gold
(orig. 8x6 acrylic on canvas board)

$110 + S&H

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Shoemaker Hill

A portion of the landscape where I grew up in southwestern Pennsylvania. A very quiet area, you can stop your car on this spot and hear nothing but perhaps the miniature mechanical clatter of grasshoppers flying through the weeds along the road.

(original 5x7 acrylic on canvas board)

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Saint-Pierre Lighthouse

This is the Pointe-aux-Canons Light at the Saint-Pierre harbor. Saint-Pierre is an island off the southern coast of Newfoundland which is a French possession. And you thought that France is all on the other side of the Atlantic didn't you?

(original is approx. 7.5" x 7.5" watercolor on 140lb watercolor paper)

Monday, July 9, 2007

A Foretaste of landscapes to come...

These are a foretaste of the style of landscape paintings I will be posting in the coming weeks. They are slightly larger in format but nonetheless give the viewer a sense of what to expect. While these paintings are not for sale, future paintings will have a 'bid' link to Ebay.

The first is what I have entitled 'Forest Boulder'. This boulder actually exists in Swallow Falls State Park in western Maryland. (original approx. 9x12 acrylic on canva-paper)

I took some artistic license and added the white tail deer -- not out of character for this location.

The second painting is one that is "in progress" and is tentatively entitled 'Broken Tree'. This is a scene from western Pennsylvania, between Meyersdale and Garrett, in southern Somerset county. I wanted to evoke the feeling of a late summer dusk, the air humid and heavy but with a whiff of the autumn that will follow. And I also wanted to evoke a sense of quiet with nothing to distract the viewer except the sound of katydids and crickets and the odd bird singing goodnight.

(original 12x24 acrylic on stretched canvas)

As one can see, I still have significant work to do on the foliage and the grasses of the field. However, I am happy with my progress so far.