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Friday, January 18, 2019


Satisfied, 12x12, oil on linen panel
Here we have a satisfied Heron. I took this photo right after I saw him catch and eat a fish. I am painting these shore birds with great delight. Ah to live where they are an every day occurrence. Not that we don't see Blue Herons and lesser Egrets right here in the middle of Denver Colorado. We do. I see them at the park 1/4 mile from my house every summer. But the lake with its not so glamorous broken walls or caged rocks aren't quite as pretty a back drop as the Gulf is. With waters that glimmer and change color along with the shifting colored sand.
Here is a progression for you. I started with painting over a plein air painting from a few winters ago:
From the looks of it, I was painting over another old I must not have ever considered done as there is not title for it on the back...So the Heron is #3, oh my! I was not unhappy with this painting for having painted it on site on a cold crisp January day in record time, but really, the subject wasn't very interesting.

You can see after my initial block in over the old barn you can still see a ghost of it. In the finished painting it is much fainter and if I didn't show it to you, you would most likely not ever see it. I don't understand why I enjoy doing this so much but I know I am not alone in this. There is one more shore bird I am going to do painting over another plein air painting that isn't that great before I run out of 12x12 paintings to paint over. Stay tuned!

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Goin' Fishin'

On the Prowl, 12x12, oil on linen panel

Progress has been made on my egret painting. I painted in more than I had originally intended but there you have it. From day to day what we are going for can change. Everyone seemed to really like the daffodils coming through the egrets body so I left some but not as much as I had thought I would.
I still like it and overall, I think more people will like it this way too because they won't know any better!

Here is a bit of the progression. The image below is where I first stopped. I could not bring myself to 'ruin' what I felt it had going for it and everyone who saw it in this stage said to leave it alone! Eventually it just called out for more trust in my abilities and more paint. This first block in was where I stopped and had a hard time wanting to mess with it. It looked very oriental in style and the shapes coming through the light wash were an interesting element.
Original block in on top of still life painting
Here is the next phase when I finally decided I had to make it more a painting as I had originally intended before I got distracted by the textures and color showing through:
First foray into trusting my gut
I wasn't sure if I wanted to let go of the daffodils in the image above. Ultimately the whites were competing too much. The bird was not coming forward and being center stage. I then was asked by a new acquaintance if I would be willing to film myself painting for a project he is working on. I know he is a musician but I didn't ask what the project was. He has been generous in sending me recordings from the class we are taking together. I did not think to record the lectures until weeks into the class so I felt I owed him a return favor. I picked this painting as it looks good on film and I had only a few touch ups to do. Once I got going I changed my mind and saw the daffodils coming through as a distraction.

Friday, January 4, 2019

New Year

First, I want to start off by sharing with you two recent responses to my work. The first came from the judge for the November to ART MUSE online juried contest. One piece I submitted was Marbled Water. Here is what I received as a finalist: I like the unusual viewpoint and the variety of shapes that come together in an  abstract design. The suggestions of seeing through the water and the reflections from the hard edged buildings are very well described. Nancy Tankersley
Marbled Water, 30x30, oil on linen

The second came in an email this morning from a friend and collector who now lives in Vermont. Her brother-in-law teaches color at the Parsons School of Design in NYC. Here is what she wrote: Dan is a professional artist who teaches color at Parsons School of Design. I always enjoy his comments on our artwork. He loves your work, the light you get, the precision. This trip he particularly enjoyed looking at your painting of the cattle and horses and dog crossing the road in Wyoming. I can't remember exactly what he said but he loved the way you used colors and asked me to tell you how much he likes it!
Cattle Crossing, 12x24, oil on panel
It is always gratifying to discover how much your work impacts others. For someone who teaches color to comment so positively on my use of color is high praise indeed! I attribute it to John Singer Sargent. He is my inspiration.
With the holidays and family from out of town visiting etc I haven't had much time at my easel this past month or two. I have done another little 6x6 to show off today. I took the photo reference at the end of the hollyhock season. I think I needed a little color and hope for Spring.
Hollyhock, 6x6, oil on panel

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Along the Arno

Along the Arno, 6x6, oil on panel
This is not my normal style but for some reason this little scene called for something different. And it is hard for me to paint this small anymore where once it was very comfortable.
The texture comes from two things. I gessoed the panel with a paint roller which gives it a kind of knobby texture to begin with. And second I had painted this scene already. Then decided I didn't like it so painted over it again. I do like the painted over effect so I am happier with the newer version. I also decided to use colored pencil instead of trying to paint the lines I wanted.

The story here is about the buildings. I do love the way the buildings in Italy are orderly yet jumbled. Florence has a lot of hills so it almost appears as if buildings are built upon buildings. The flower boxes are ubiquitous as well. It is one way to add color and get your hands in the dirt in a place with very little garden space.

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Then and Now

An acquaintance/collector contacted me today. Here is what her email said:
I haven't seen you in a long while but did want to let you know how much I am So So ...enjoying your partings in my home on - going - ly!  I just moved one from downstairs upstairs to my office to so that I can look at it as I work at my desk.  I thought of you and how much I wanted to let you know.  Much love to you and our old investment group too!... Love... M

I have attached a photo of the one I look at now everyday in a new way...
Painting Along Cherry Creek, oil
I looked in my art files to see if I could find the images for this painting and its name. I could not! It is from before the age of digital photography! Oh My. It is my only palette knife painting and painted plein air back in the day when I was just starting to paint outdoors. It is very gratifying to know that it is still being enjoyed after all these years.
Spring Reflected, 36x24, oil on linen

And here is a painting I just sold to someone who found me via Nextdoor! One never knows how you will be found. I had responded to someone months ago who was looking for local art to furnish their office. I was never contacted from that post. Last week I had a private message from new neighbors looking for local art to hang in their new home who had seen my response. They are so happy with their new painting and it just so happens to be of their alley! Isn't it amazing how things work out? 

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Urban Garden

Urban Garden, 30x30, oil on linen, available
This painting has taken most of this year to get it where I like it and the camera likes it as well. Sometimes the camera "sees" things I miss. Or it will pick out a paint color that just jumps out of the image and becomes a bulls eye. Finally, it seems we both can agree, at least for the time being.

This scene is in Urbino, Italy, a medieval walled hill town in the Marche area of Italy. Which is adjacent to Tuscany. I had read that Marche was so much like Tuscany except less tourism and less money. So of course I had to go and check it out! We were staying in a resort town off season. But this resort town was for Italians. So not much English spoken here. While at the train station trying to figure out buses or even a taxi, for pity's sake, I heard English! This is after trying French, German and English with the ticket agent in the train station. There was  a young woman taking to two others in English. She was a student in Urbino and her brother and his girlfriend had come for the weekend to spend it with her. They were all from England. She said they would walk us into town and help us get oriented as my internet was not working and the map I had found online for this seaside town was so not accurate on any level. While walking us into town (lots of pedestrian streets) she said we should take the bus on Saturday to Urbino for the market. Flea market, antiques, and normal food market was something to go and experience. I had no plans as I often depend on serendipity when traveling, so market day seemed the perfect thing to do. Urbino was all up or all down, with barely any just flat areas except the small main square. I was quite taken with it. This is not my first painting from that day going to market.
Urbino Alley, 30x20, oil on linen, available

Here are paintings I did from the seaside resort area where we stayed in one of the only hotels still open. As is usual in seaside towns, you can tell the foreigners because they are not bundled up and they are in the water, if only wading...In October it was in the mid 70's and yet you can see this bicyclist has on a down jacket and scarf...
Racked, 20x30, oil on linen, available
Adriatic Evening, 24x24, oil on panel, available
I hope you enjoyed your little tour of the Marche area of Italy. It is just south of Venice as the crow flies. But by train you need to go West to go south! Be prepared for little or not English if you decide to venture here. I liked that aspect of our 3 days there, but I know for some it is not comfortable. It sure makes it an adventure.

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Marbled Water

Marbled Water, 30x30, oil on linen, available
Last spring I was in Greece for a few weeks, staying mostly on a small, non-touristy island. Yes, there are a few still in existence. This was our first day on the island and we were checking out various coves and beaches to see what we liked for possible return visits. The beach here was tiny and there were locals living (illegal, I believe) in a few of the syrmata's (boat garages) so it wasn't a place we returned to after this initial visit. But sitting on the natural stone 'walkway' away from the beach and the locals was amazingly tranquil and rejuvenating for the soul. One of us even went swimming. I preferred to sit with my feet in the water being nibbled by small fish, until the jellyfish arrived. I was mesmerized by the patterns made in the water. I had never experienced anything like it before. As the light shifted so did the patterns and reflections. I took a series of photos as the patterns evolved until this marbled effect showed up. It was the last photo I shot in the series and my favorite. Suffice it to say, whenever near water I studied it and was continually enchanted by the way it was a living entity ever changing before my eyes. I hope to do more water scenes I encountered to show how distinct the different areas of the island were and how the light impacted the designs in the water. I have been to  many beaches around the world and have never seen anything like what I saw in the Aegean.
If you have a better idea for a title, I am always open to suggestions. I lack creativity in naming paintings...