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, Italy....one 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 easier...so I was happy to give it a go...here 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!

Thursday, March 3, 2016

A well deserved rest

Sometimes you run across a "thing", an "object", that has the appearance that it has served its purpose well.  So it is with my latest painting.  A sturdy, weathered little row boat that waits for its next adventure, and in the mean time takes a well deserved rest...

Thursday, January 7, 2016


A friend's little dachshund is named Schnitzel...what a great name.  She took a photo of Schnitzel helping with the tree trimming.  When I saw the photo last month I contacted her to ask if I could do a painting of it.  Not knowing little Schnitzel had recently passed away from cancer Monica was very pleased to have this happen.  I was drawn to this work because of the challenges that the face, and lights, and composition presented.  Here's the result...