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Further Upstream, oil on canvas, 38x54

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Plain Business, oil on canvas, 26×54

I like strong design in painting, and Plain Business is all about composition. I was drawn to the stark contrast of the straight forward, no-nonsense architecture against barren foothills underscored by a rail line that seemed to emphasize it. The scene’s unique amalgam of natural and man-made elements—gridded siding, round silo, straight rail line, sharp cliffs, barren hills and lush green foreground, all capped off with an impossibly blue sky—presented a fun challenge. I wanted [...]

Fresh Yellow, oil on canvas, 20×30

Landscapes inherently are banded. There are bands of sky and back, middle and foregrounds. In my painting, Fresh Yellow, the bands are very apparent and I played it up more with a line of clouds and a real dark foreground. My inspiration for this piece was to depict perspective within the bands. The distant hills have gone to blue. The middle ground has its buildings and trees. Control of the value and color of the buildings [...]

Spring Again, oil on canvas, 20×30

I keep coming back again and again to landscapes with vivid greens. Oil paint has many options for green out of the tube and whatever you can mix from the primaries. None of them ever seem quite right but I continue to try. Spring Again is an abject lesson in getting the greens right. This is a landscape scene in Idaho somewhere near Fairfield. Snow melt water is in the ditches, the distant hills have not [...]

Back Country, oil on canvas, 14×20

A lot of country in the west and northwest seems to be back country, those areas inhabited more with animals than humans, hence the title. I like cruising back country roads looking for unique or unusual scenes from which I derive my oil paintings. This view attracted me because I found that one house on one dirt road out in the middle of nowhere somewhere near Fairfield, Idaho. I thought that there was a hopeful connection [...]

Full Palette, oil on canvas, 40×26

What does Full Palette mean? Putting titles on paintings is a way to keep track of what's what. I've tried titles like Landscape #1 or Vista #47 only to quickly realize that it muddles things up and creates chaos. My titles invariably describe the piece in a word or two. The title, Full Palette, came about because this oil painting contains the six colors (plus white and black) of the color wheel: yellow, orange, red, purple, [...]