Saturday, December 31, 2016


"Precocious" 8x10 oil

"Sun and Prongs"

"Sun and Prongs" 5x7 oil
I always learn so much from these small studies. They're quick and fun and I can work out problems I've encountered in bigger paintings. I take a lot of notes when I'm working! My sketch books are valuable resources when I need to refresh my memory.

Saturday, December 24, 2016


"Deadfall" 14x18 oil
This piece was a lot of fun! All that furry texture and the structure of the grizzly bear's face kept me interested and entertained throughout the painting process. I love it when I get excited about a painting as it progresses!
Merry Christmas everyone!!!

Thursday, December 1, 2016

"White Flag"

"White Flag" 8x6 oil

"Berry Picker"

"Berry Picker" 6x8 oil
It's so rewarding working on these smaller pieces... especially when they turn out like this one!

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

"Hoof Dust"

"Hoof Dust" 9x12 oil
I pushed my boundaries on this piece... in both color and subject. I wanted the painting to be simple and dramatic, so I kept most of the brushwork big and impressionistic. More about the relationships between warm dusty hues and the cool blues and violets in the shadows, the horse ended up being the perfect vehicle for this exploration.
I learned a lot on this one. It's on days like today I feel like I'm finally learning to paint :)

Friday, November 4, 2016

"High Country Nomads"

"High Country Nomads" 30x46 oil
This is the biggest painting I've done in quite a while! Glad to finally wrap this one up and move on to the next project. Feeling pretty good about this piece.

Three Small Works for PWAF

With only 2 weeks ahead before the opening of the Plantation Wildlife Art Festival in Thomasville, I've been feverishly working to round out my inventory for the show. Below are three 5x7 pieces headed to that event. I have to admit, I love working on these little gems. It's fun to watch them come together :)

"Crawdaddy" 5x7 oil

"Teton Dawn" 5x7 oil

"Black Bruin" 5x7 oil

Saturday, October 8, 2016

"Rainbow Groove"

"Rainbow Groove" 18x24 oil
The paint has been moving pretty well since my return from Wyoming. The trip was both productive and inspiring. I'm hoping to keep this momentum and stay in this great painting "groove."

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

"Monarch of the Winds"

"Monarch of the Winds" 12x18 oil
With a recent stay in Wyoming still fresh in my heart, strong inspriration is driving my work. The paint seems to be moving well and I'm already looking forward to the next piece :)

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Jackson Hole Fall Arts Festival 2016

I'll be at Mountain Trails Gallery in Jackson Hole, Wyoming for the annual Fall Arts Festival. If you're in the area, be sure to stop in the gallery and check out my latest body of work. September is an exciting time to be in the Rocky Mountain West, so don't miss out!
Hope to see you there :)
Below are the 3 new works I'll be delivering to the gallery. I'll also be completing 2 works in progress while there.
"Prairie Vigilance" 12x9 oil
"Going Deep" 24x30 oil
"A Cutt Above" 18x14 oil

Sunday, August 7, 2016

"Prairie Vigilance"

"Prairie Vigilance" 12x9 oil
This is the last of 3 new pieces headed to Mountain Trails Gallery in Jackson, Wyoming for the Fall Arts Festival. See you in September!

Friday, July 29, 2016

"Going Deep"

"Going Deep" 24x30 oil
This is one of several pieces headed to Mountain Trails Gallery in Jackson, Wyoming for the Fall Arts Festival in September. Hope to see you there!

Monday, July 18, 2016


"Reveille" 5x7 oil
Working away in the studio, I relish the moments when my mind drifts back to adventures in the field. This piece transported me back to mornings in South Dakota. 
Warming water for coffee on the tailgate of the truck, the haunting screams of bull elk carry accompany the rising sun. And I smile. For at that very moment, all seems right with the world. Like the soothing warmth of that first sip of coffee, I'm comforted by the sounds of elk on a nearby ridge. The sun has not yet crested the mountain to thaw the frost on my tent, so I readily anticipate a large mug of hot java and look forward to the day ahead. The possibilities seem as limitless as the landscape. It's going to be a good day.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

"Cracking Timber"

"Cracking Timber" 5x7 oil

Low-hanging branches rattle and break as a bull elk navigates his way through heavy timber. Massive antler versus dry wood... the sound is unmistakable.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

"Mountain Prince"

"Mountain Prince" 20x24 oil
There have been a lot of projects swirling around the studio in various stages of completion. Finally, some are reaching the stage where I can call them "done!"

"Dark Noble"

"Dark Noble" 10x8 oil

Saturday, July 2, 2016

"Shallow Cutt"

"Shallow Cutt" 6x12 oil
I haven't posted in a while, so if it seems I've been slacking in the studio... far from it! I've got 5 projects in various stages of completion, so all is well. This little piece came off rather quickly and I'm pleased with the results!

Sunday, May 15, 2016


"Flare" 30x24 oil
Continuing on with the contemporary push, this piece was way outside my normal artistic concept box. I'm really excited about the results!

Saturday, April 30, 2016


Okay, so I've been experimenting a little farther (than usuaul) outside my comfort zone lately. I always know I'm forcing myself to learn at the easel when there's a knot in my stomach and I'm starting to sweat. On a few remarkable occasions I've hit on something that really seems to work. I think this was one of those times.

"Headstrong" 12x9 oil

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Trout Squares

These are a little different. Working with the trout theme, I've been trying to push some of the paintings to a more contemporary look. I'm pretty happy with the results on the first two.

Untitled Trout Square 2 8x8 oil on cradled panel

Untitled Trout Square 1 8x8 oil on cradled panel


Thursday, April 21, 2016

Persistence, Luck, and Underwater Photography

I've been lucky.

Wanting to work on a few brown trout paintings, I've been in search of opportunities to shoot good reference photos... a deceptively difficult task given the nature of brown trout. Even when conditions are ideal, the task of underwater photography has a multitude of challenges to overcome.

About as good as it gets most days.
Where I live, browns tend to live in some less than pristine places. The water is often murky and dark. The streams can be choked with silt, so every movement stirs a cloud of debris into the water. Brown trout, especially big ones, most often feed during low light periods... sometimes the really big fish can be nocturnal (perhaps a brown trout nocturne painting in the near future? Hmmmmm...). Dark overcast skies, rain, snow, and general crappy weather can make fish aggressive and result in some outstanding fly fishing. None of these things are good for aquatic photos. 

Related to the item above, the best photos I get always seem to come during bright sunny conditions. Water quickly defuses light, so color and contrast quickly fade as the point of view moves deeper into the water column. The midday sun on cloudless days makes for remarkable patterns of light and hues really pop. Unfortunately, trout can be spooky and all but impossible to catch on these bluebird days. 
Nice shot, Sparky.
Aside from dawning snorkel gear and submersing myself in 45° water (which there's no chance in hell I'm going to do), aiming the camera to get the fish in the frame is a crap shoot. It's always a little easier if I've got someone along to wrangle the fish while I concentrate on the camera. Understandably, my fishing buds aren't nearly as interested in getting these shots as I am and tend to be off doing their own thing. So most times I'm left to handle this on my own. My photography technique consists of holding the line with one hand (after I'm lucky enough to catch a photo-worthy fish), jamming the camera into the water with the other, and trying to guide the fish and the camera in coordinated movements. It's akin to the old barroom 8-ball "poke and hope" method. When the fish are particularly frisky, this can lead to some comical mid-river dance moves and lots of fishing line wrapped around my legs. I've looked up on occasion to find I have a puzzled yet amused audience watching from the stream bank. I'm actually amazed every time I manage to get a great shot. There are literally hundreds of clunkers for every good one.

All that being said, I've managed to get some absolutely outstanding material in the past week. The water has been unusually clear and the fish surprisingly cooperative. LUCKY! LUCKY! LUCKY! Oh... and I get to go fishing and call it work. HA!

Oh, and if you were hoping to see my VERY BEST shots here... FAT CHANCE! There are enough lazy "artists" out there using to web to rip off the work of others. I think I'll keep those pix for myself ;)
Okay, I'll probably paint a version of this shot soon.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

"Rock Bottom Brown"

"Rock Bottom Brown" 11x14 oil
I've been working on several projects simultaneously (maybe the subject for another post) and not really finishing anything. Hopefully this is the first of several pieces to be completed in the next week or so.

Monday, March 14, 2016

"Rainbow Reflections"

"Rainbow Reflections" 24x30 oil
This is easily the biggest trout painting I've ever attempted. I have to say... I'm pretty pleased with the results. I've been in a bit of a slump lately, so I'm hoping this will get me back in the groove.