Finding a Rhythm - A Painting a Day

I am trying very hard to find the rhythm to posting my blog; it’s not as easy as it seems it should be.  In the same way, there is rhythm to painting that will take some time to find and develop.  It includes, but is not exclusive to subject matter, color interaction, style of application of paint, size of canvas, etc.  There is also the rhythm of finding time to paint in the busyness of everyday life: between taxes (please don’t remind me!) and jobs; family and home; the items that must be done and the ones we want to do.

So, where does painting fit in for you?  When you pick up a brush or palette knife, do you feel that rhythm or is it being interrupted by other demands?  Does the process feel fulfilling or struggling?  Some days, the rhythm is there; others it is not. But I do know one thing for certain: the more I paint, the more I love to paint, the easier it is to paint, and the more my rhythm - for painting - develops and flows.

My goal is to complete one painting a day (or 4-5 a week), just a small one, spending at least one hour and not more than two. Take a look at my first attempt:

Too Cold to Swim - 12x6"
Come back regularly to check on my progress and see new paintings!

Spring Green!

"Green" seems to be the new big word in our vocabulary that can mean many different things - most of them good.  In painting the color "green" is very much the same.  It can indicate a great variety of colors from olive to turquiose and every other word you can think of in between.  Green is especially important to the landscape painter.  So consider removing green from your palette!  There was no green on my palette when I painted either of these paintings.  Removing green forces you to mix your greens and this will aid you in learning to mix all colors and tie all the elements of your painting together due to the limited number of colors on your palette.

Toulumne River Solitude 

O'Haver Dawn 












My palette is: titanium white, cadmium yellow medium, cadmium scarlet (cadmium red medium is almost identical), cerulean blue, French ultramarine blue, yellow ochre, and raw umber.  Remember that colors vary by brand and grade (student versus professional) and also mix differently from one another.  My paints are mostly Winsor Newton although, with help from students, we found that the Daler Rowney Georgian Cerulean Blue (hue) and Yellow Ochre mix together well for nice bright sea or aqua greens more so than some others - and they're fairly inexpensive.

If you want to learn more about greens by painting on location or are interested in plein air painting, there's still room in my Plein Air Painting class through Lafayette Studio.  It starts Sat, April 2nd, 10 AM - 1 PM.  There's more info on my "classes" page on my site or by going to  


It's a GREEN DAY! Happy St. Patrick's to all!

If you're painting, especially landscape or other natural features, remember that viridian is not a "natural" green and should be considered a "mixing" color - that is, mix another color with it (unless you're painting an umbrella or a Folger's coffee can - then it's pretty close all on it's own).  The same goes for the pthalo green in acrylics.  On the other hand, green food and drinks - definitely the brighter the better!


Spring Class Sign-ups Are Now!

Classes start in two weeks!

Click on following link for class descriptions and instructions to sign up:



My First Post!

I was trying to say or do something profound for my first blog entry such as challenging myself and my readers to draw or paint at least 30 minutes to 1 hour a day.  But then one of my students who demanded credit while truly wanting to remain anonymous (Janet) suggested I just write what I am constantly telling them in class: make your darks darker!  So there it is, profound wisdom in 4 little words.  It might not work for what you’re painting or drawing, but it is almost always true for me.
Welcome to my blog where I hope to share ideas, thoughts, and what may turn out to be (or not) little bits of wisdom to help us all on this lifetime journey in the pursuit of what we love: art!
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