Jul 29, 2009

On the Boy Scout Trail

“Camp Tuscarora Diptych”
4.25 x 12" orginal watercolor

I had absolutely no intention of painting on this outing. I was actually doing research for an upcoming commission. But give me half an hour of waiting for something to happen, and I am glad I have my watercolors with me. Some people knit, some smoke, some read; I paint. Bug spray comes into play. I carry repellent and I carry itch medicine. It’s all part of the deal. I was introduced to plein air painting in 1981 at the Minnneapolis College of Art and Design. I remember my teacher saying, “The entire experience will impact your work, even the sound of a trickling brook nearby.” This I have found to be true. It includes all the positives as well as all the negatives. Who says that ant hill that I’m standing on doesn’t speed up the process, giving the painting a freshness that it would otherwise not have?

Jul 24, 2009


“More Hot Wieners”
6 x 9" watercolor

Someone just called and asked me if I am the owner of “Touch for Much”.
“Dog grooming”, he said after I was silenced. I told him I am not. What are people thinking?!

Okay, back to the art at hand. This painting was delivered yesterday to The Little Art Gallery, the gallery in Raleigh who so well represents me. Folks actually go there to request Behr watercolors of their favorite Raleigh scenes and hangouts. I did not paint this one yesterday, but I did stop at The Roast Grill for a quick hot dog. A well known Chicago ad agency just happened to be there doing a photo shoot. When George, owner of the Roast Grill, told the photo entourage that I paint the place, they must have known an artist would be a likely ham for their photos. So folks, if you see me on national TV, chowing down a dog, do let me know.

Jul 22, 2009

Sweeter ‘n Wilber’s iced tea

“One Sunday morning”
8x10" oil on panel

“Sweeter ‘n Wilber’s iced tea” is an expression coined by a friend of mine. It’s one I wish I’d thought up. I know folks who only drink “sweet tea” if it’s Wilber’s iced tea. And nothing could be more delicious or thirst quenching in the heat of summer in Carolina. And nothing could be more quiet than a Sunday morning in Carolina, unless, of course, you’re in church. I chose to paint the scene above before the Sunday crowd. Wilber’s is never this quiet. The place is world famous. Before it was so famous, in 1965, I went on my first dinner date at Wilber’s. Little did I know that one day I’d be painting it. Go to Wilber’s most days, and you’ll be standing right under the F-15 Strike Eagle jets as they zoom their way back to Seymour Johnson Air Force Base. I love the contrast of the high technology in the sky with the barbeque joint and its fruitstand on the ground.

Jul 19, 2009

More feathered friends

“Sitting Tall”
6x8" oil on panel

A Minneapolis friend has tried to point out the humor in my work. I find it in some of my art; not in all. This one, seems, definitely, to have that humor. Found these seagulls sitting fat and happy near an operating fish house on the coast. They were the biggest seagulls I’d ever seen. As it was raining outside, I painted it in my lap, inside my car. Thinking about calling this type of painting en plein auto. Will run this idea by my cousin in France.

Jul 12, 2009

Independence Day Escapade

July 4, Atlantic Beach
6x8" oil on panel

Sorry for the absence folks. A friend was good enough to invite me to stay with her on the coast at Atlantic Beach for a week. I painted several small oils. Love the way small formats have a way of making my brushes bigger! I’ll post another of these small oils just so I can tell you the story of an unsinkable brush.

Sitting on the dock, totally immersed in the painting below, I did the unthinkable. I flicked my favorite brush right into the water several feet below. And then it was my brush that did the unthinkable — it floated! Vertically! I hope that there were no fishermen watching me. I stretched my entire body and legs far enough off the dock to fish out the brush with my toes. And dropped it! But then, with even greater determination, I was able to repeat my action and fish it out. I have lost brushes to the water before. This time I got lucky.

Soft light on rugged boats
6x8" oil on panel