Monday, 14 January 2013


                                           Clarissa    Oil on canvas 40 x40 (16" x 16")

What another chicken? This is actually the same chicken as posted earlier on a green background. There are only two left in our neighbour's flock, and the other chicken is not as photogenic. Due to the degree of shadow on her in this one I have used a yellow ochre background as a complementary to the primarily violet shadows . The theory is that the visual vibration between the two will make the object more three dimensional. There are still some edges to adjust but sometimes it is best not to fiddle too much.

I have had trouble posting recently. Blogger seems to have changed the format for creating posts and it has taken me a few weeks to figure out how it now works. I eventually had to open a Picasa web account and upload my photos to it and then post from there. It would be nice if they actually told you of the changes. So Happy New Year to all.

Sunday, 9 December 2012

Salle de FĂȘtes: Neuvicq le Chateau

The Salle de FĂȘtes and the Rosseti House in Neuvicq le Chateau was a commision for the Rosseti family, essentially a 'house portrait'. While the commisions are nice I do find them very constraining . There is always a feeling the house has to be very accurate and recognizable which results in a loss of spontaneity and abstraction. In reflection if the painting was still in my studio there would be someone peddling a bike across the square to animate the painting and give the buildings scale. This was one of three produced for the same client, although the third is still in the studio waiting for final inspiration. Maybe that cyclist will finally appear with the proverbial baguette under the arm.

Incidently the frame is a design by Marc Hanson, a Colorado artist who has taught me  many things, both in actual painting and simple things such as 'how to build a light-weight inexpensive wet canvas carrier ', using duct tape and foamcore. See

Thursday, 29 November 2012

More chickens

Here is another studio painting which I recently completed using a previous quick study as a reference (see previous post). I decided to intensify the shadow areas and the background to make the chicken a little more three dimensional. I also worked in more detail into the head area. I decided to reverse the image to avoid too much of a direct copy of the earlier syudy. My wife wants to keep this one and it is now in our kitchen. I again apologise for the handheld quick photo.

Another study for a chicken in motion, both hens belong to a neighbour. I took the reference photos while looking after them last fall. Unfortunately the red hen has since 'bought the coop'. I find it usefull to keep a file of local images for those rainy days in autumn as I am for the moment a fair weather plein air painter, unlike Donald Jurney and his hardy New Englanders.

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

First plein air 2012: rainout

                                                            French Hen 30 x 30 (12"x12")
                                                  oil on gessoed board

Our Wednesday Plein-Air group headed out today for our first of the year session but the weather did not cooperate. Six of us persevered in Mike Harris's studio and pushed the paint around for a couple of hours. My wife had been asking for a chicken or two for the new kitchen so I tried the above study of a rusty coloured hen which she has been caring for over the winter.

The photo is just a quick snap in the studio, complete with glare. I'll try to post a propper one later.