A reminder that I am now posting more frequently on my website blog rather than on this Creative Color Blog and on my Third Time Around Blog.  To see more samples of the plein air landscapes I painted last month in California please visit the new blog at

Mussel Rock, Pacifica, CA

Mussel Rock, Pacifica, CA

I will continue to post on this blog, but maybe only once a month.  I post weekly exercises and new paintings on the website blog.  You may also subscribe to a monthly Newsletter to update you on current exhibits and workshop schedules.

Thank you for viewing my work.

Last day of a road trip vacati0n…. Tom is already asleep …. I was ten stories up reflecting on the last seven days on the road.

Gouache Travel Kit

I love those precious moments when I realize, and accept, that progress has been made.
I brought along gouache, but didn’t squeeze it out into the pans until last night, listening to the sound of the ocean waves breaking against the beach.  I brushed a bit of color onto the ink drawing I did of the kitchen in the motel room in the Outer Banks, NC.

Detail of ink drawing, Outer Banks Motor Lodge kitchen

This morning I awoke early to an amazing predawn light upon the ocean…

6:45 am, Ocean City, Maryland

This is my first weather journal painting in gouache.  My second was of three figures on the beach, out early to watch the sun rise. I wish they knew that their special moment was captured in my sketchbook….. but I don’t know them and they will never know….

One figure snapping a photo of the other two figures against the sunrise in Ocean City, Maryland …. gouache.

Color has taken on a new place in my vision….. I’m not sure where that place is.  In a week I leave on another journey… back to the Chesapeake Bay area to paint for six days…… Hmmmm.  Do I bring watercolors and gouache?  Oil paints? Acrylics?

I am finally mixing my pigments intuitively.  I need to stay healthy for another thirty years, at least….. the joy of color is just beginning!

We were fortunate to spend two nights in a small motel on the beach of the Outer Banks in North Carolina.

Shadows on the sand dunes. Watercolors in pans in Altoid Tin

The red splotches are from the backside of unresolved paintings that I’ve recycled into pages of a coptic-bound sketchbook.  I’m getting used to painting over splotched paper.  It was a bit unsettling at first.  Keeping in mind my ultimate goal of learning rather than producing, the splotches don’t matter.

Sketchbook drawing: painted en plein air, directly with watercolors.  I used normal watercolor ‘travel’ brushes rather than my waterbrush.

Watercolor Sailboat Study

I recently posted several of the watercolor studies of sailing on my other blog, Third Time Around.  All of them were done with a limited palette: Yellow Ochre or Raw Sienna, Light Red, Alizarin Crimson, Cerulean Blue, Cobalt Blue and French Ultramarine Blue.  There was a slight, very slight, touch of cadmium red light in the sail in the above study. the focus has been on using the pigments for their natural color value and their tendency toward warm or cool.  Focus has been on getting the values right with the least amount of color mixing possible.

The cerulean I use for the “in light” areas.  The Cobalt Blue is added as the form turns from the light.  The French Ultramarine is used in the out of light areas.  A touch of Alizarin is used in mixtures where the form is turning from the light.

The shapes that are struck by light are warmer.  As the form turns from the light it becomes cooler as it is affected less by the sun as a light source and more by the sky as a light source.  The out of light areas become even more neutralized while still retaining color reflected by near surfaces.

More samples: