Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Mother Teresa

Mother Teresa, now St. Teresa of Calcutta in the Catholic Church, is one of the most iconic women of my lifetime.  And she accomplished this by taking care of the poorest of the poor.  This is a dot-drawing done with three different size Sharpie pens.  I added the blue stripes to her habit with watercolor.  The model I used was a dramatic photo from Getty Images by John Downing.  Below, is the picture at different stages.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Liturgy of the Hours Book Cover and Pouch

My life-long best friend, Ed, wanted me to do a book cover for his Liturgy of the Hours books that he carries with him every day.  This was a challenging  project on many levels.  First, if I do a project for myself and it doesn't turn out, I just throw it away, and I don't worry about it.  But doing this one for Ed, I felt added pressure to do a good job and didn't want to let him down.  Second, I needed to use a thin, calf skin leather which would fold around and over the book itself.  I have never worked with this thin-cut of leather before.  In order to do the artwork, I used a plate of thicker leather, which is the kind I usually work with.  I left the cover and the pouch a natural color with a neutral wax on it because I didn't want anything to stain Ed's books.  I used a darker wax on the plate which gives it a nice contrast and has sort of an antique look to it.  I told him that I am pretty good at making very primitive-looking items.  This looks like it might be more for St. Francis than Pope Francis, if you know what I mean.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Drew Brees

This is a watercolor painting of New Orleans Saints quarterback, Drew Brees.  I used a painting by Al Sorenson as a model.  I thought his work is very much like Leroy Neiman's style of painting, which I admire greatly.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

African Princess

 This was a very difficult subject. You see the original painting that I used as a model at the bottom of this post.  Above that, is my first attempt.  I was not able to capture the ethnicity of the subject, so I tried a second time.  I still do not think I captured her facial features as I would have liked.

Old Ford

Alpine Lake Sunset

I experimented with a very wet paper on this one.  
It reminds me of going on fishing trips to the Eastern Sierras.


Tuesday, January 10, 2017


I have always wanted to do a project dealing with the TITANIC.  When I was a child, I watched the 1958 movie, "A Night to Remember" and it had a great effect on me.  My Father did a report in college on the Titanic and in his conclusion said that if they would have called it, "The Ship that Only God could Sink" instead of "The Ship that Even God couldn't Sink", maybe the Titanic would not have been lost.  

In doing this project, I learned some new things about the Titanic.  Of the four smoke stacks or funnels, only the front three are functional.  The fourth funnel was added to make the ship look symmetrical.  There are also conspiracy theories concerning the Titanic.  One theory is that the Titanic never sunk.  The name plates were switched the Titanic's sister ship, the Olympia, in an insurance scam.  Another theory is that J. P. Morgan had the Titanic sunk on purpose to eliminate three prominent bankers who were on the maiden voyage because the were opposing him in the creation of the U.S. Central Bank.

Below is the finished project.  It is about 45" long and about 10" tall.  Below that are photos of the project at various stages.  The last photo is of the piece of cardboard on which I painted the project.  I was taken back by the ghostly image of what appears to be a sinking ship.  That might be more interesting than the project itself.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Rocco Globbo School for Women

One of the great lines from the movie, "A FEW GOOD MEN", Lieutenant Kaffe says, "After falsely accusing a highly decorated Marine officer of conspiracy and perjury, Lieutenant Kaffee will have a long and prosperous career teaching...typewriter maintenance at the Rocco Globbo School for Women!  Thank you for playing, 'Should we or should we not follow the advice of the galactically stupid!'"  I always wondered what it would look like in the Rocco Globbo School, so I created this sort of comicbook-style, scene.  I used colored-penicils and then enhanced the color of the photo.  It is very silly.

Thursday, April 14, 2016


Sandpipers are one of my wife's favorite birds.  Sometimes we even see birds in our front yard that look like Sandpipers.  For a model, I used a painting by Nova Scotia artist, Karen Morrison.  I liked this painting because I used a wet paper and painted fast and loose... something I want to incorporate into more of my work.

Friday, March 25, 2016


As a kid, I always enjoyed watching the Lone Ranger on TV.  His faithful companion was Tonto, played by Jay Silverheels.  It was good to see a Native American in the role of one of the good guys.  I liked the way Johnny Depp played Tonto in the Lone Ranger movie.  This watercolor was fun to do because of all the textures in it.
For someone else who loves the Lone Ranger go to: 

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Big Sur

I think that Big Sur is one of the most beautiful places on earth.  This watercolor is inspired by the artwork on the Spring 2016 L.L. Bean catalog, by artist John Bowdren.  Below are some photos of the painting in progress.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Early Spring Morning

While my wife and I were visiting the Rancho Santa Ana Botanical Gardens in Claremont, California, we viewed the Millard Sheets exhibit in their gallery.  Millard Sheets is famous in California for the mosaics he did for the fronts of Home Savings buildings and for his mosaic of Jesus on the library on the campus of Notre Dame University (aka:  "Touchdown Jesus").  I was inspired by one of his works called "Dairy Farm".  On my painting, I left out the cows but included some farm equipment.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Cowboy - 2

My first Cowboy was done with the Microsoft Paint program.  This is a second version of the subject in watercolor.  It is pretty simple.  I tried to use vibrant colors.  It is sort of like the coloring books that have recently become popular with grown-ups.  On this one, I like the way the boots, holster, and belt turned out.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Swallow-Tailed Kite

This is a watercolor painting of a Swallow-Tailed Kite.  The Swallow-Tailed Kit is an elanid kite which breeds from the southeastern United States to eastern Peru and northern Argentina.  (Wikipedia)  It is also the favorite bird of my daughter-in-law, Marisa.  I tried to leave the white parts of the bird as negative space (areas I did not paint) with the black markings of the bird defining its shape.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Walnut Fish Carving

http://media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/4f/2a/fb/4f2afbf7b78533ae3ee90b87869479b4.jpgThis is a fish carving out of dark walnut.  As mentioned in my Orca post, my father used to carve whales and dolphins out of walnut.  My inspiration for this one was actually a fish sculpture by Sam Maloof.  We visited his historic house in Alta Loma, California a few weeks ago.  I actually bought some scrap walnut they were selling from his workshop.  The fish and the base are both from Sam Maloof's wood.  Small photo is a fish carving by Sam Maloof.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Mission Indian Cemetery

This watercolor is inspired by the trips my wife and I take to visit the California Missions.  On our visits, many times the local Native Americans were buried in simple graves with only a cross to mark them.  I used Lorenzo Chavez's pastel, "Church At Canoncito" as a model but embellished the church.

Friday, January 22, 2016


This is an Orca painted on pine in a northwest Native American-style.  My father used to carve whales out of walnut like the one below.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Champagne Grapes

This is a still life watercolor.  I like the muted tones and texture of the the bricks and wall.

Friday, September 4, 2015


In my continuing quest to capture the essence of the wild west, I have added one of the most famous grave markers of the old west to my collection.  It is not much of a piece of artwork, but it looks similar to the real grave marker of Lester Moore, a Wells Fargo Agent, from the cemetery in Tombstone, Arizona (see below).

Friday, August 14, 2015

Leather Tooled Belt

I had completed the holster a while ago.  I just completed the matching belt to go with it.  Not quite what Roy Rogers would wear at the Rose Parade, but still kind of "cowboy".

 Details on the belt.  I replaced the replica conchos with real Indian Head Nickel conchos.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

"...And Hell's Coming With Me!"

Title is from the movie, "Tombstone".  Watercolor of Wyatt Earp.

The painting at various stages.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Rowing Scull Seat Restoration

A neighbor on our street was converting an old college racing scull into a 4-man, stand-on-top paddle craft.  He had removed all the seats.  I asked him for one of the seats to see what I could do with it.  The seat was very weathered and in poor condition.  I hand-sanded off all the old varnish and stained it a rich redwood color.  Paul, a very good friend of mine, attended Orange Coast College.  OCC has always been known for its outstanding Crew Team.  I put a plaque on the seat which says, "O.C.C. CREW".  I gave the seat to Paul.  I don't know that the seat was from an O.C.C. scull, but then I don't know that it wasn't. Click on photo for a larger view.

Sunday, June 29, 2014


As a kid, I was a huge fan of the Los Angeles Rams.  I was crushed when they moved to St. Louis.  Any old Ram fan will recognize the ram's head logo of the old L.A. Rams with some different colors added.  This was a fun watercolor project this summer.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Trout on Fabric

 Bridget Boyle, a master-quilter, asked me to do a Trout on muslin fabric so she could incorporate it into a quilt project.  This was the first time I had worked with fabric paint on cloth.  I was surprised that the lighter green paint, which I applied just below the darker green, had sparkles in it.  At first, I didn't like it, but then I realized it kind of looked like fish scales.  It was a very interesting project.  I don't think it would ever be used in a biology book to identify species, but I think 4 out of 5 pre-schoolers would recognize it as a fish.    I invite Bridget to tell us more about her project.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Convict Lake Rainbow Trout

This is a wood-carved piece of pine that I oil painted.  It was my first time ever using oil paints.  I put two coats of lacquer over it to give it a yellowed tint.  I mounted it on a piece of pine.  It reminds me of the fish I try to catch on our fishing trips to the High Sierras each June.  Click on the photo for a larger view.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Spanish Floral Six-Gun Holster

This is a leather holster with a Spanish Floral design on it.  I made the leather pattern for the holster and created the floral design.  It is not from a kit.   It is for a medium frame revolver with a 5 1/2 inch barrel.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Delta Queen Riverboat

This is a pen and watercolor painting of the riverboat, Delta Queen.  Her original structure was built in Scotland and assembled in Stockton, California for service between Stockton, Sacramento and San Francisco. Later, she was purchased by the Greene Line of Cincinnati, Ohio and served up and down the Mississippi River and her tributaries.  An interesting fact is that below the Delta Queen name on her stern, it still says, "Port of Cincinnati, Ohio".  She was later purchased by the American Steamboat Company with a home port of New Orleans.  She now serves as a floating hotel in Chattanooga, Tennessee.  Click on picture for a larger view.