Children change so quickly


Andrew painted 2012

Andrew painted 2012


Robert and Andrew - brothers & buddies

Robert and Andrew – brothers & buddies

Today I returned from a photo session in Jasper Alabama. Two years ago I painted a portrait of Andrew, it is now time to start the portrait process with Andrew’s younger brother, Robert.      I would like to thank you Portraits South and their representative Elizabeth Bresnahan for the opportunity to work with this wonderful family.

Workshop 101

We Three CherriesMy students were not beginners but accomplished artist with a different style of painting. We had a great time discussing procedures and tools of the trade. My demonstration was of a small cup with 3 cherries. After my demo the class painted. Our day was packed with energy, learning and fun.

The pressure is ON

Monday morning up at 3:30 am … desperate for the coffee and waking up

out the door at 5:15 am… always a fear of heavy traffic or a missed flight

at the airport by 6:30 am on my flight at 7:30 am

Oh Yes, its’t spring break on a Monday morning, Wow this little Memphis airport is busy

Arrive in Charlotte at 10:30 am in a rent a car by 11:oo am. Grab a quick bite.

1:30 pm at Amy’s home (my client)



The portrait of Lauren, I painted about 4 years ago needed to have a slight touch up in a small spot…. it was fixed.

We  worked off and on the rest of the day photographing Will, looking at the images on the computer, making 4 x 6 prints to view again, seeking to get the perfect photographic reference for this portrait.

This was awesome day, we got the perfect photographic reference for Will’s portrait.

I am back at the hotel by 9:30 pm working and getting too tired. Will discuss the photo session on the next post.

Preparations For a Photo Session in N. Carolina

Thanks to Grace Robbins, a representative of my agency Portraits Inc., I had the opportunity to work with a wonderful family in Hickory, North Carolina again. I painted a 3/4 length portrait of the their daughter several years ago.

Each year I have several out-of-town photo sessions. This time I would like to bring you with me.  The last 3 days I packed slowly to make sure I didn’t forget anything. I am not talking about make-up, clothes or shoes. I mean photography equipment, paperwork, e-ticket – I take the bare essentials in personal items.  Good thing the airport doesn’t weigh carry-on because this equipment gets heavy. At all times I keep my equipment in hand.  I am also very focused until I get exactly what I need in a photographic reference.  I better get to bed – have a big day tomorrow.

IMG_1815 travel with photography equipment

traveling with photography equipment

Gallery 202 in Franklin TN

My one year anniversary with Gallery 202 in the historic district of Franklin Tennessee.  From the very first day Jim and Kelly have embraced me with kindness. Gallery 202  is so warm and friendly that I consider it an honor to represented by their gallery. They have a huge collection of exquisite art to view and purchase and are extremely knowledgeable. If you are ever in the area please stop by and let them know I love being one of their artists.

To learn more about  Gallery 202 HERE.

Grass is Greener

Grass is Greener

Twin Peaks

Twin Peaks

Both paintings are 36 X 36 oil on canvas.


The Process of Painting


Still Life Painted From Life
 Still Life Painted From Life


Painted From a Photographic Reference
(because a 2 year old can’t be still long enough)

Learning to Paint

In painting portraits one has to train oneself to see the subtlety of colors and values plus take the time to learn the basic skills of drawing.  Learn to look at your subject for value, structure and light. Training takes time and one must develop a keen since of observation.

To be a balanced artist, one must paint a variety of subject matter in different situations. It is imperative to paint from life, whether it be still life or Plein air (outside with natural light). At the beginning of learning one may start by using photos or pictures of other artists for convenience but working from life is a must for anyone who really wants to succeed in the world of art.

Yes, I also started with photos and I still use photos as reference but I paint from life every chance I get.

Ready To Deliver

To me, this sweet, beautiful little boy appears to have stepped out of a story book from bygone days.

The portrait process for the painting began in June of 2013.  After I took photos the family and I decided which photo would be most appropriate for their heirloom portrait.



 photo 1  Photo 2  Photo 3


I begin the process of enlargements thinking about the size and colors to be used. I make a charcoal drawing, a small color study and a scale drawing to be the final painting size.

 charcoal  color study

My process involves photo sessions, meetings, sketches, layouts, and color studies, then another meeting with the client for finalizations. For me portraits take time – potentially weeks or months before the final unveiling.

 IMG_0260  IMG_0263  IMG_0266
 IMG_9354  IMG_9356  IMG_1532

Two views of the final portrait. One is a closeup of the child’s face and the other is the full portrait.

closeup Full Portrait

Thick Paint


foreground with thick fresh paint

Details added with palette knife

Everyday I paint, always looking to improve. When painting, the more I look the more I see.
Photos can't capture the real beauty of an oil painting.  But photos are a wonderful way to check myself Photos can’t capture the real beauty of an oil painting. But photos are a wonderful way to check myself. I will continue to check and recheck making improvements until I am satisfied with this painting.



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