On Appearing Inactive

I have been a bit more active on Instagram lately. One thing it’s particularly good for is exploring all the wonderful artists from around the world, many of which fly under the mainstream radar. On Instagram, and any social platform for that matter, there is an unsaid pressure to be active and post regularly. I was able … Read more

Wise Words From Stephen King

A while ago I read Stephen King’s book, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft. It’s an enjoyable read about what it takes to become a great writer from the master of horror fiction. Of course, it’s aimed at writers, but the words run true for painters or artists of any medium. There was a particular … Read more

Tips for Clearly Observing the Subject

Observation is one of the most challenging and important skills to master as an artist. If you are unable to clearly observe the subject and all its nuances, you won’t have much hope of painting it well. Here are some tips to help you out: First look for big-picture themes and patterns. Then look for … Read more

Two Painting Tips I Gave My Sister

My sister took up painting recently, which is pleasing to see. The world could always use more artists! She’s been working on a wonderful mountainscape scene but was getting frustrated with the deceiving mountain colors. I provided her with two of the most impactful tips I could think of at the time. You might also … Read more

How I Travel With Wet Paintings

(This follows from my previous email: Traveling and Painting.) A few readers asked how I go about traveling with wet paintings. That’s a good question, as oil paint can take a few days to dry to touch. I only recently started using Guerrilla Painter boxes. These things have made painting on location much easier. I have two 6×8 inch … Read more

Travelling and Painting

I am currently staying at Hamilton Island with my brother, sister, their partners, Chontele, and Elora. Before we hopped on the flight, my sister asked if we are able to take oil paints and solvent on the flight. My initial response was “of course, just not in carry on”. But a quick Google search proved … Read more

Same Subject, Different Conditions

One of Claude Monet’s defining processes was to paint the same subject over and over again under different conditions. The constant subject allowed him to carefully study the often subtle relationships between color and light. I have been following in Monet’s footsteps for the last two months. Every few days, I go for a run … Read more

Changing the Perspective

I recently put the finishing touches on Minnippi, Tree, Downward Perspective. I painted this from an unusual, downward perspective. This really accentuates the cylinder form of the tree and gives us a more direct look at the tiny ripples in the water. It reminds me of Claude Monet’s Water Lily series. A key takeaway from this painting is … Read more

Dealing With Burnout

Artists need to be careful of burnout. We are particularly vulnerable to it and it can bring even the most experienced artists to a complete standstill. Or worse, cause us to retire from painting altogether. I had a nasty case of it not long ago. I was out of it for about a week. No … Read more

What You Can Learn From My Recent Painting – Manly, Shimmering Light

Here’s a recent painting: Manly, Shimmering Light. It’s a simple subject with many tricky aspects. Below are some key takeaways and notes from this painting: – My big idea for this painting was to capture the play between the shimmering water and the broken color of the leaves. – I also wanted to convey the brilliance … Read more