Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Hollywood Western Movie Poster

I have always wanted to do an early-Hollywood western movie poster.  This is a watercolor painting.    Below is the painting as a work in progress.  Below that is the Tom Mix movie poster that I used as a model.

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.  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 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.  Below are 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.


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 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.