Friday, April 6, 2018


My wife enjoys watching the Hummingbirds in our backyard when they come to our fountain.  I tried to use a wet paper in doing this painting, letting the colors run and bleed into each other (Sfumato technique).  I would like to develop my skill in this technique since it works so well with watercolor.  I used an ultra-fine felt pen for the beak and eye.
This was my first attempt, with which I was not happy.  My daughter, who is an excellent artist, gave me some ideas on how to improve it.  I was using the technique within the subject, but not on the edges of the subject.  Also, the colors were too brilliant.  I softened the edges and muted the colors down a bit.  I think the top one looks much better.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

San Giorgio Maggiore by Twilight

I wanted to do a painting of something we saw on our trip to Italy in 2016.  This is of San Giorgio Maggiore across from Venice.  I have wanted to "loosen up" my paintings, so I used Claude Monet's impressionistic painting as a model.  Below, you can see Monet's original.

An interesting footnote... I usually frame my paintings in dark wood or black frames.  For some reason, I chose a fancy gold frame.  I thought it might defuse the bright colors of the painting.  I don't know why, but I just wanted it in the gold frame.  When my son saw my painting, he said, "Oh, The Thomas Crown Affair".  I didn't know what he was talking about--then I realized that is the painting that gets stolen in that movie...and it is in a fancy gold frame.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Viking Knitting Bracelet

While watching Jeopardy on TV last week, a contestant mentioned Viking Knitting.  Intrigued by the name, I looked up a tutorial on Youtube.  After a few false starts, I finished the bracelet above.  It came out pretty good, but somehow mine reminds me of the paperclip or staple necklaces and bracelets the girls used to make  when I was in grade school.  Not quit as nice as the ones you see on Youtube.


At first, I used 20 gauge wire and a 1" PVC pipe to start the weaving.  The wire was too thick and the pipe was too big.
I switched to 26 gauge wire and a half inch pipe and had better results.
After knitting the wire, you pull it through smaller and smaller holes to compress it. I added Lobster Claw clasps to each end.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Spirit of St. Louis Movie Poster

This is the second in a series of movie poster art.  Steve is a good friend who enjoys flying airplanes.  I substituted his name for the real star of the movie, Jimmy Stewart.  I used the original movie poster below as a model.

Monday, January 29, 2018

Woven Blanket

This is the second blanket that I have woven on a loom that I made.  It is 54" by 24".  It took me almost 6 months to complete.

Half-way complete.
Tying off the fringe.

Working the Weft.

Setting up the Warp.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Hollywood Western Movie Poster

This is the first in a series of movie poster art.  Tom is a good friend who owns a ranch in New Mexico.  Miss Pearl was his loyal dog.  I substituted his name for the real star of the movie, Tom Mix.  Below is the partially completed picture.  At the bottom is the model I used for the painting.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Colt Frontier Six-Shooter and Holster

This is a dot drawing of a Colt Frontier Six-Shooter.  The background is black watercolor that has been partially scrubbed off with a sponge.  The photos below show how the picture progressed.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Peach in a Glass Bowl--Still Life

This is a still life watercolor.  I was inspired by a painting by Allison Polgar.  Her painting was hanging in her parents' house.  I used a beautiful watercolor by June Rios as a model for this painting.  The challenge for me was to make the bowl look like it is made of glass and to match the color for a ripe peach.

Thursday, November 2, 2017


This is a rather simple watercolor painting.  I used a stencil that I had used on a previous piece of artwork for a friend.  The image is of the controversial Ernesto "Che" Guevara, who was a major figure of the Cuban Revolution and has become a symbol of the counterculture and rebellion.  The image shown here is actually reversed from the original 1960 photo by Alberto Korda titled, "Guerrillero Heroico" (English:  Heroic Guerrilla Fighter)  It may be the the world's most famous photograph and the Victoria & Albert Museum says that the photograph has been reproduced more than any other image in photography.  Can you tell what the colors and the blue stripes represent?

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Spanish Floral Holster & Gun Belt

I hand-tooled the holster as a gift for my Father several years ago.  It is from a Tandy Leather kit.  I recently found the gun belt at an antique store in Temecula.  I thought that they complimented each other well.  The loops are a perfect fit for .44-40 cartridges.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Carlos Santana

I have always been intrigued how Carlos Santana is so intense as he plays his guitar.  It is almost as if he is in a trance when he plays.  Although he is getting older, he is still deeply into his music.  This is another of my Sharpie pen dot drawings.  I added watercolor on top of the dots.  I am not sure if I liked it better in black and white only or with the color.  Please tell me which you like better--color or black and white.  The photos below show how the picture progressed.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Cartridge Belt Slide

I always liked the "cowboy-style" gun belts with the loops for cartridges.  I tried to make a cartridge belt slide.  The challenge was finding the correct thickness of leather to make the loops.  I had some thin leather that I had used for a book cover, but it did not hold the cartridges securely.  My other leather was too thick to make the loops.  I ended up buying some leather bookmarks and splitting them lengthwise.  They were the perfect thickness to make the loops and still hold the cartridges securely.  I made it to hold .44-40 cartridges.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Our House

This is a tribute to the song, "Our House" by Graham Nash and sung by the group, Crosby, Stills and Nash.  Nash wrote it to Joni Mitchell while they were living together in Laurel Canyon.  As you read the lyrics below, see how many elements are in the painting.

I'll light the fire, you place the flowers in the vase that you bought today.
Staring at the fire for hours and hours while I listen to you
Play your love songs all night long for me, only for me.

Come to me now and rest your head for just five minutes, everything is good.
Such a cozy room,
The windows are illuminated by the evening sunshine through them,
Fiery gems for you, only for you.

Our house is a very, very, very fine house with two cats in the yard,
Life used to be so hard,
Now everything is easy 'cause of you and our—

La, la, la

Our house is a very, very, very fine house with two cats in the yard,
Life used to be so hard,
Now everything is easy 'cause of you and our—

I'll light the fire, while you place the flowers in the vase that you bought today.

Leather Checkbook Cover

This is from a Tandy Leather Company kit.  One side
is a floral design.  The other is a stylized version
of the last name of my sister.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Senior Center--Piano Player

I try to go to the Murrieta Senior Center a couple of times per week to work-out in their exercise room.  While I am there, I am amazed by several of the gentlemen who play the piano.  They are very talented musicians and it is a treat to hear them play!

Monday, May 15, 2017


The key to any good defensive football team is pursuit.  This is a painting from the 1979 Sugar Bowl between Alabama and Penn State.  The painting was originally 11"x 14" but there was way too much grass field and crowd background.  I felt that it was a more interesting composition if I cropped it down to 8" x 10".  

Monday, April 24, 2017

Dragon Knife Sheath

I made this knife sheath for a knife my son has had for a long time.  I thought the dragon sort of matched the theme of the knife itself.

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.  

DEDICATION:  This picture is dedicated to Mrs. Carole Louise Cooney (1937-2017), my 11th grade English teacher at Fountain Valley High School.  She was a nun, who fell in love with a priest.  The Pope released them from their vows so they could get married.  She was the Drama Teacher at FVHS from 1970-1990.   She was one of my favorite teachers.  God bless Mrs. Cooney.

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.