My Work

Oil and watercolor work areas

Matting and Framing Space

My Studio is a nice space.  There is room for all I need to do.  I have areas set aside for watercolor, oils, matting and framing, storage and even up to 6 students when I clean things up.  I'm pretty lucky.

My watercolors are painted almost exclusively on Arches 140lb. cold pressed paper that I buy by the roll, but there are many good papers available.  I've found that a good quality paper is one of the biggest determinants of a good painting.  It takes the paint better, and will stand up to repeated washes - which I do a lot of.  I cut the paper down to a size I think the image deserves, stretch it, and do my best.  My brushes are mostly inexpensive synthetic ones.  They are usually stiffer, and I like the snap they have.  I can control the paint better with more control in my brush.  My paints are a mixture of Winsor &Newton, Grumbacher, Da Vinci, or anything else that I may find.  

The same can be said for my oil paintings.  I like all different brands of paints and synthetic brushes.  I haven't painted with oils as much as watercolors, so, I'm still figuring out the differences, but I found I like painting on a stiff surface, like a board, instead of canvas. 

The difference between my watercolors and oils is my watercolors come out the way they do.  I don't try to have a style - its just the way they come out.  On the other hand, I want my oils to be looser and more spontaneous, with a lot of texture. That is something I try for.  It is a nice break to go back and forth between the two mediums.

I love the days when I know I can spend most of the day painting.  I usually start at about 10am when the light is right, and after my boys are at school, I've answered e-mails, and I've checked the surf and decided not to go.  With all three boys in school, I know I can paint until 3 before I have to do anything else.  I love putting in a good book on CD and just painting away.  I've gotten so I can't paint without listening to something good.  And I find that if I really like the book I'm listening to, my paintings will turn out better.  During the winter, the light is usually done around 3pm, but in the summer, I can paint until 6pm sometimes with good natural light.   

On days when the surf is good, or I need inspiration, I'll sacrifice painting time to get some exercise and hopefully some good photo references.  I mainly work from photos, because I find I like to capture a moment in order to paint it.  I like scenery and lineup shots, but I love paintings that tell a story.  Something that captures an event.  And those moments happen quickly.  So I get them on film to paint from later.  I love someone walking to the surf, or waxing their board, or just watching a good set roll through.  Those are my favorite paintings.  And hopefully they ring true to other surfers, as they recognize what is usually an ordinary event - only made to look cool.  

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