Friday, June 16, 2017

Camino de Santiago

So here's a fun you may know last fall Elke and I walked the 500 mile Camino de Santiago, also known as The Way.  A lady that I work with is going to walk the Camino next summer.  In anticipation she commissioned me to do a painting for her of some place along the Camino that she can find.  A gave her a bunch of photos to choose from, and this is the watercolor I just completed for her.  She and her husband will walk about a month before arriving.  You'll note that at the upper right hand side between the house and the tree is one of the many Camino landmarks.
Next up...another commission from a friend who took a great photo of Stockholm  harbor, that he wants memorialized in paint.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Capri, Italy

Just finished this exciting commission.  Capri, Italy, or better yet, just off the coast of Capri, Italy.
I really enjoyed the composition, and colors of this subject.  The tilt of the horizon with the chop of the water, does give a nice sense of motion.  The couple I am painting this for spent part of their honeymoon last year at this spot, and on this boat.  I'm happy to be able to memorialize this special time for them.  The photo attached is a bit darker than the original painting.  Up next is a photo from our walk across Spain last fall...more memories!!!

Friday, January 20, 2017

Friends on a log

I finished this painting over the Christmas and New Year break.  I started this painting about nine months ago, but set it aside to accomplish a couple of other works.  This painting is from some photos I took at a pond in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco.  It took three different photos to come up with this design.  The duck's body and head are a mix of two photos, and third helped with some of the feathers.  The turtle originally was somewhat blocked by the duck's body, and I separated them.
here you go...

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Vernazza, off the table and to the framer

Wow, this painting was an exercise in endurance.  It's been on my drawing table since I think July.  There was a two month period from mid September to early November where I was on my pilgrimage in Spain and therefore didn't paint.  Combined with at least 150 hours in this work, and there you go.  Months.  So, I am really glad this painting is completed and I'm happy with the results.  I bumped up the vibrancy of the colors ever so slightly because I think the colors in reality were a little brighter than the photo from which I worked.  Also, this is a large painting for me, in fact the largest I have done.  Normally I work from a 20"x30" board, and this painting is on a 30"x40" board.  The size is 22x37.  A big area to cover with little brushes.  Fun, and satisfying.  I'm not sure what is next...I had set aside a duck and turtle painting I had just started to do this, so I may attempt to finish.  I'll show something in the next few days.  Thanks for coming by.

Thursday, September 8, 2016


Now that I completed the painting of my Spanish teacher, I am back hard at work on this large painting of Vernazza, of the 5 towns known as the Cinque Terre.  If you haven't traveled to this part of the world, add it to your bucket list.  And then when you get there take the walking path between the villages and you'll arrive at this spot from where I took the subject photo.  This painting when completed will be the largest painting I've done to date.  Normally I work on archival quality watercolor boards which are 20x30 inches.  I wanted to find a larger watercolor board, and after some looking and googling, I found  a board that is 30x40 inches.  So this is like doing a painting twice the size, and it is taking way more than twice the time.  A couple of days ago on my day off I spent 10 hours painting, and I accomplished the church at the center left, and a couple of windows to its left.  Normally I spend somewhere between 60-100 hours on a painting, this will be over 200 hours, not complaining, it's a lot of therapy.
I wish I could say check back soon and see a completed "masterpiece", but next week Elke and I leave for Spain to do the Camino de Santiago walk, which will have us back home at the end of October, so....check back around Thanksgiving, I hope to have something very cool for you!
Thanks for coming by.  Mark
By the way, the top of this painting is the top of the green hill and blue sky.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Monica y Coco

Well it's been awhile since I posted an update.  In the past 3 months I have started 3 different paintings, and for different reasons, I halted the painting I was doing, and finally have completed the most urgent one. 
I have been working with a Spanish tutor for 3 years now, in preparation hopefully for having a part time life down in Ecuador someday.   Monica has been wonderful, demonstrating an amount of patience with me that would impress Job...and in the mean time I am learning some Spanish.  Monica will be leaving the area next year with her husband, thus ending our teacher - student relationship.  As a small token of my huge appreciation I asked Monica if I could paint something for her....she was pleased to have me do a portrait with her beloved Coco.  Portraiture is my weakest skill set with paint and brush, but dogs on the other hand are a bit I was happy to give it a you are...
I am already weeks into my next painting which is also the largest painting I have ever done.  After searching for awhile I finally found a source for large high quality watercolor board that I use.  My normal painting is roughly 18x28 at the largest, but I found a board that is 30x40.  So you will soon see my progress of Vernazza, Italy.  One of the Cinque Terre, mediterrenean towns.  Thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Vintage Foosball

Here is something very different from my painting table...antique foosball guys.  There's a hotel down in Cuenca, Ecuador that we stay at, and in their game room is a vintage foosball table.  I get a kick out of these guys.  I'm guessing they are made of cast iron (metal), and they are perfectly chipped and used.  Probably they all suffer some form of concussion - head injuries.  Anyhow, I squatted down to look them in their eyes and snapped some photos.  This is my rendition of these strange little men...who just keep on kicking!