Tuesday, November 22, 2016


Jesus is my latest painting for a series of apps by Doreen Virtue. 
I painted this one 100% on my iPad with my Apple pencil using the Procreate App. 

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Desert Rain over Black Mountain

We had a rainy evening last night so I was inspired to paint this quick little rainy view of Black Mountain on the Tohono O'odham Reservation from Mission Road near my house.


Desert Rain over Black Mountain
Acrylic on canvas
8x10 inch.

Monday, October 24, 2016

The Anza Trail book

I'm currently writing and illustrating a book on the Anza Expedition.

Anza explored the west coast of the U.S. and founded the city of San Francisco in 1776 - the same year the colonists declared independence from England on the east coast.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Tumamoc Valley

A page from my Journal of Tumamoc and the Tucson area.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Anza Out of the Woods

A new Anza painting in honor of the upcoming Anza Days 2016 at Canoa Ranch and Tubac Arizona. This one is of Anza and troops coming out of the woods near the river. I painted this one with casein and then finished in acrylic.

Out of the Woods
Casein and Acrylic on panel
8x10 inch

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Painting in the rain

On September 7, 2016 remnants from tropical storm Newton hit Tucson and it rained all day.  Its so unusual for us here in the desert to get a full day of rain. I got out my casein paints on the patio and painted my garden using rainwater. Casein is becoming my favorite medium for plein air painting.

Backyard in the rain
Casein on paper
9x12 inch

Friday, September 9, 2016

Archangel Gabriel, Raphael and Uriel.

I recently finished a series of paintings of three of the Archangels.
These are digital paintings. I started them on my iPad pro using the Procreate app. I did most of the rendering using the Apple Pencil. It responds just like a brush or pencil or what ever tool I assign to it. At a certain stage, I flipped them onto the computer and finished them in Photoshop.

These will be used by Doreen Virtue in  a series of new apps that will be available soon. The app using my Archangel Michael is already available.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Plein Air

Another plein air study from my backyard. I sprayed myself down with mosquito repellant and sat for about an hour and a half on my back patio.  My goal is capturing values and lighting.  There were lots of hummingbirds, woodpeckers, towhees, dragonflies and butterflies flying through my field of vision. I need to include some of them in the next painting.

Acrylic on paper
9x12 inch

Monday, July 4, 2016

Quick Studies

Here two recent one hour studies. The first one is of the giant aloe plants at the Tucson Botanical Garden. I went with OPUS (Old Pueblo Urban Sketchers). These aloes are about six feet tall.
  The second is from my backyard. A quick study of my Shrine of the Virgen de Guadalupe, trying to capture the way the light was playing over the plants and the mosaic.

Acrylic on paper
6x8 inch

Acrylic on paper
6x8 inch

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Peder Mork Monsted

For years I've been studying the paintings of Peder Mork Monsted. I love the way he captures values, color, lighting, and form. Here are 4 of my studies of his work. He worked in oil paint, but I thought I'd see if I could reproduce his technique in several different mediums.

Acrylic paint (Golden Matte Acrylic)

Oil paint

Acrylic paint (Nova Paint)

Casein paint 

What amazes me about Monsted is that his paintings seem almost photographic, but they are actually fairly loosely painted. I think it is his mastery of values and lighting that creates this effect.  My first attempt was with oil paint, but I discovered that I can capture this style just as well in acrylic or casein. 

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Paintings Sketches

More painting sketches - all from the last week or so. All painted on location in less than an hour.

Acrylic on paper
6x8 inch
From Tumamoc Hill. Everything is drying up, but the saguaros are in full bloom.

Afternoon on the Patio
Acrylic on paper
6x8 inch
I was sitting on the patio and loved the way the sunlight caught the hanging spider plant and potted plants. I had to grab my paints and try to capture the values and colors.

Morning on the Patio
Acrylic on paper
6x8 inch
Once again working on values - shaded foreground plants with sunlight bathed landscape behind.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Updated website

I just totally revamped my website and uploaded over a 150 paintings. Check it out:

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Quick painting

I've been working on quick little paintings from nature. These are fast paintings done in under two hours. This one was done in about 50 minutes. This really helps me focus on getting the core values, colors, lighting, form and composition before I have time to think about it and over work it. I painted this one on my back patio.

"View from the patio"
6 x 8 inch 

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Tumamoc Courtyard

Tucson is getting hotter now, so I found a shady spot on the patio of the Research Center on Tumamoc Hill and painted the courtyard. I've painted this area several times in different seasons. As we move into the hottest, driest time of the year, I notice a lot of plants are shriveling up and going into drought dormancy. The brittle bush which was vibrant with flowers just a few weeks ago, are now just brown leafless twigs. The Foothills Palo Verde trees are in the final weeks of flowering as are the cholla.

Tumamoc Courtyard 5-9-16
Acrylic on canvas
8x10 inch

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Palo Verde Bloom

The Palo Trees are blooming again in Tucson. The Blue Palo Verde is in full bloom in Tucson and the valley floors, and the Foothills Palo Verde is just starting to bloom on the hillsides. I did this one inspired by the intense yellow flowers in an almost "Jackson Pollock" abstract manner.

Acrylic on canvas 
9x12 inch

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Tumamoc Sketches

Here is some green for Saint Patricks Day! Desert Green. In most landscapes the leaves are green, but here in the Sonoran desert, the Saguaros and other cacti are green and the Palo Verde tree is green all over. These are both on-location sketches from the north slope of Tumamoc Hill. My main goal in these is to quickly capture the lighting, colors and forms before I have time to think about it. So I try to compete these in around an hour.

Palo Verde
Encaustic on Paper
9 x 12 inch

Another painting with my new Encaustic Wax paints. I love these scenes of plants symbiotically growing above, below, around and next to each other. In most of these Tumamoc studies Im trying to absorb the harmony of these clusters of plants. 

Desert Storms
Acrylic on Paper
9 x 12 inch

This was painted on a beautiful afternoon with storm clouds coming and going and a few sprinkles on me and the painting.  Lots of plants in bloom - especially the brittle bush which literally covers the entire mountain with bright yellow. For this sketch I used the same acrylics that I used to paint the Presidio Mural. Ive found that they are actually great for these quick paintings, although there is a bit of value shift from wet to dry colors. The biggest issue I have is getting an strong opaque yellow without using the toxic cadmiums. 

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Pima Canyon

A small oil painting from one of my many hikes up into Pima Canyon, in the Catalina Mountains just north of Tucson.

Pima Canyon
Oil on Canvas
8x10 inch

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Fairy Dusters

I finished this one last night. Inspired by my walks on Tumamoc and the Tucson mountains.

Fairy Dusters
Acrylic on panel
8x10 inch

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Tumamoc sketches in casein and encaustic

Here are a couple of my recent plein-aire painting sketches from Tumamoc Hill. This first one was painted with casein in about half an hour as it was still cold up there - you can see the snow on the Catalina Mountains in the distance.
Tumamoc 1-11-16
Casein on paper
5x7 inch

This one was painted in a little over an hour with my "new" paints: water based encaustics from Cuni http://www.encausticcuni.com This is first time I've used these paints. I really like them. I've always wanted to try encaustics, but never wanted to mess with heating up wax to paint. These paints however work straight out of the tube. It is thought that this is same formula used by the ancient greeks and romans to paint the famous Fayum mummy portraits, which are still in perfect condition after almost 2,000 years. 

Tumamoc 1-18-16
Encaustic on paper
9x12 inch