Pond and River Studies


I’m always looking for new ponds and rivers to investigate. Sometimes the newest are close-by; it’s just takes a fresh perspective or change of weather…….enjoy.

Technical painting notes: Each of these studies is painted on prepared watercolor paper (one coat of clear shellac front and back, to isolate the fibers from the acid in the paint). I used Winsor Newton Impasto medium to speed drying and to give the paint a rich, buttery feel – very useful for palette knife painting. I find a silicone scraper with a chiselled tip especially useful for drawing through the wet paint to reveal color below. I also used an ebony pencil to draw into the wet paint for darker lines and to offer crisp graphic relief when juxtaposed with the buttery paint.


First Morning

TM9170 First Morning 42×48 oil on panel

The space feels sumptuous, as if the horizon could wrap its arms around you and yet stay out of reach. Two waves, crossing paths, have agreed to succumb. The only sound is their collapse, the frailty of ripples and their dissipation……..under a remnant of fog. Keep cool, and enjoy.

TM9170 First Morning – detail with waves rolling in

TM9170 First Morning – close-up of sand, showing use of layered spatter and blotting


Poet’s Point

TM9169 Poet’s Point 34×40 oil on panel

I’ve been visiting this particular outcrop for quite a few years, mostly in the mornings and late afternoons either going to or heading home from the studio. There were a few mornings, not too long after sunrise, when I had an opportunity to watch the local beaver responsible for designing this wetland.  It’s a beautiful achievement. It wasn’t until I visited the spot nearer to 11am this past May that the light was finally perfect for painting. So I have a beaver to thank, and a particularly bad commute. Oh, and about the poet………….maybe next time. Enjoy.

TM9169 Poet’s Point – detail



Edge of the Meadow

TM9167 Edge of the meadow – Late Summer 7×7 oil on paper

TM9168 Edge of the Meadow – June 7×7 oil on paper

I love the mundane, the easily overlooked, the ordinary, and yes, the non-view. Why? Because the more you really look at anything, including everything that is supposed to be boring or inconsequential, the more you start to see how amazing everything is. To focus is to see, and that’s what I choose to devote my life to – seeing and sharing what I see. These two meadow studies are “no place in particular.” Yet oh how lovely each place is, from the close harmonies of color to the way nature (the trees) gingerly step out toward the pasture, as if taking small steps each year will bring something closer – but what? Enjoy.


Technical painting notes: These two small oils were painted on rag paper primed front and back with clear shellac. I used primarily a palette knife and Winsor Newton’s Liquin Impasto medium to control translucency and the density of the paint.

Autumn with Mr. Inness

TM9164 Autumn with Mr. Inness 42×60 oil on panel

Pretending to paint alongside one’s heroes can become addictive. George Inness, the nineteenth century American landscape painter, has always been a favorite of mine. His later, autumn views were particularly beautiful in their apparent simplicity and rich color. When I finally had an opportunity to see them up close at the Montclair Art Museum in Montclair, New Jersey I was astounded by the abstract gestures and freedom of expression. Inness was so far ahead of his time.

Autumn with Mr. Inness is my homage to his work and a way to immerse myself in his aesthetic sensibilities. While I can never actually meet him. I can enjoy an afternoon with him in my imagination. Details from the painting are below. Also, you can follow a link to a wonderful example of Mr. Inness’ work.

TM9164 Autumn with Mr. Inness – detail fromabove center with reflected foliage, floating leaves, and pine needles

TM9164 Autumn with Mr. Inness – detail from right side with reflected and illuminated tree


Wake Me Up, September!

TM9163 Wake Me Up, September! 36×36 oil on panel

Wake Me Up, September! is one of many paintings that will be going to shows later this year. I’ve been fooling around with color and new ways to layer it, enjoying a bit more saturation too. I think it’s partly because autumn is so bright, but it’s also a new appreciation of what saturation can accomplish – the way it delivers a thrill. Details below. Enjoy.

TM9163 Wake Me Up, September! – detail from left of center showing loosely painted layers of brush and roller-applied paint

TM9163 Wake Me Up, September! – detail from upper right

TM9163 Wake Me Up, September! – detail from lower edge of painting with cloud reflection