Tuesday, July 31, 2012


12"x6" Oil on Gessoboard
$195 Unframed
Click Here to Purchase

I just loved driving down the 101. For most of the trip I pretty much had my camera just perched atop the steering wheel as I drove. At least until the windshield gathered too many bugs... This tanker had such beautiful colors and reflections in it, I couldn't resist painting it. The perspective was a lot of fun too.

Our container arrives today! I am so excited to finally have our things out of storage. The downside is that this week has been crazy, so I haven't had much studio time. The upside is that along with the container comes about a years worth of art supplies (and two years worth of Cascade!). 

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Morning View

"Morning View"
5"x7" Oil on Panel
$95 Unframed
Click Here to Purchase

This painting took so much longer than I thought it would. But this is the first time I have really tackled people in any way, shape, or form in months. It was kind of an adventure. I found this scene on a Saturday morning down by the Ferry Market in San Francisco. The market has some wonderful food - lots of fresh fruit, jams, popcorn, cheese, you name it! So tasty. But behind the tents and stalls, there are some fantastic people watching opportunities. Plus, when you add in the the view of the Bay Bridge - just amazing!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Greek Detail

"Greek Detail"
4"x4" Oil on Gessoboard
$45 Unframed
Click Here to Purchase

I was having a stuck afternoon. All the shophouses looked the same, I couldn't seem to come up with any new compositions or colors. I was tired - just stuck. So I zoomed in on the corner of one shophouse and decided to do a small study of the top of one of the columns. They're so hard to showcase in a regular painting, just too much detail. This definitely helped get my brain on another tack and loosened me back up. Plus, I had a lot of fun experimenting with the colors in the shadows. The bright magentas and purples were so fun to work with!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Aqua and Palms

"Aqua and Palms"
12"x12" Oil on Gessoboard
$475 Unframed
Click Here to Purchase

Since yesterday's blog post was quite the epistle, I figured I'd leave today's short and sweet. This is a view from lower Tanjong Pagar looking towards Chinatown. I just loved the turquoise shophouse and the palm trees lining the street next to it. Made me so happy to paint it!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Club Street Arches

"Club Street Arches"
6"x6" Oil on Gessoboard
$120 Unframed
Click Here to Purchase

This is a lovely little house right up on Club Street, close to Chinatown. I was finally able to get there during a time of day that had a lot of the houses in this beautiful light. Turns out that time of day is first thing in the morning!

Right now I am finding more growth and development in my art from trial and error and seeing what works than I could learn from somebody telling me how to do it at this point. Mostly this is because I am working on developing my style - that involves quite a bit of inner reflection and study of others that you simply have to do on your own. Your style has to do a lot with three things - your color palette, your brushstrokes, and your subject matter. 

My subject matter is slowly growing and evolving, but I'm really trying to define my style more through my colors and brush strokes. To do this, I'm especially enjoying studying other artist's paintings - how they crop them, how they frame a subject, the lighting. Then I look at the color and brushstrokes and figure out what I like, what I don't like. I have especially started looking at other artists for their color handling. For example, I have been struggling and struggling with yellows. How to have them go to shadow without having them look muddy. For the painting above, I took a look at Karin Jurick's painting, "Hot Seat." (Click Here to view/purchase)

Since I was having a rough time with the shadow side of yellow, this was a perfect painting to use for study. She has one small spot that is pretty much black, and another that is a very warm black/brown. But then for the rest of the medium shadows, it is much warmer than I initially tought. I was taught that shadows make colors cooler, which initially you are taught to mix compliments - so that would mean to add blue/violet. And yes, they do, but if you go too cool, too quickly, the color winds up looking muddy and dead. 

Karin's shadow is ALIVE. She doesn't define too much, and she doesn't make the shadow just one flat plane, but it the shadow stays nice and warm. It is basically a burnt sienna, and in some places a really lovely red orange. When you use these warmer darks, it still gives the impression of shadows, but the shadows become much richer. Shadows aren't always blue. In any case, since my shophouse was a yummy buttery yellow, I didn't have the shadows go too warm, as I didn't want the shadow to be warmer than the sun-drenched portion. This was a great exercise, and I learned quite a bit.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Light Urple

"Light Urple"
6"x6" Oil on Panel
$120 Unframed
Click Here to Purchase

Yes, yes, the title for this one comes from one of the great 90's SNL skits: Celebrity Jeopardy. If you haven't seen the skit before, here is a link, I hope it makes you smile today!


If this shophouse looks vaguely familiar, well, I've done this one a couple of times. It has sort of been my baseline since it was the first shophouse I ever attempted to paint.

Yeah, so looking back on the last one is kind of a bit embarassing, not going to lie. I kind of miss that point when I thought everything was a wonder and that art supply stores held lots of mystery. Nevertheless, it really helps reinforce that as you get to a certain point in your work, "brush miles" are what really count.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Chinatown MRT

"Chinatown MRT"
6x6 Oil on Gessobord
$120 Unframed
Click Here to Purchase

Back to the shophouses! This one is right by the entrance to the Chinatown MRT. If you come up from the MRT, and look up to your right, this house is right there. As for painting the shophouses, it feels good to be back. I really enjoy coming back to them and trying new ideas on them. On this one I really wanted to try and work on painting the details in the architecture. I've done it a little bit, but not in quite as much detail as this one. Man, it was fun.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Motel California

"Motel, CA"
6"x6" Oil on Gessoboard
$95 Unframed
Click Here to Purchase

This is another one from the California series. The Eagles song "Hotel California" was stuck in my head, so pardon the punny title. :) I basically pulled into San Luis Obispo for about an hour and took a bunch of photos. I'm still sad that I was only there for an hour, and that it was in the middle of the day, when the lighting wasn't so great. It is such a neat little town. Definitely on my list of places to go back to in California.

At the end of last week I took a look at the calendar and had a small breakdown. I realized that the fall show season is only a couple of months away, and that I had very little new work showcasing Singapore. Whoops! So, the California series has been put on the back burner while I come back to Singapore. This fall I am doing some larger pieces, and I'm really enjoying doing them. Shophouses have kind of become my happy place. I'm always growing, learning and exploring, but I love coming back to the houses after a break. I usually come back stronger, with fresh, new ideas. Here's a progress photo of one currently on the easel (it will eventually be 12"x24"... that's BIG for me!).

Sunday, July 8, 2012


6x6 Oil on Gessobord
$95 unframed
Click Here to Purchase
This is a wonderful little signal house that I saw as I was driving south on the 101 from Palo Alto to Newport Beach. That highway has some beautiful scenery on either side of it. I am only sad that I didn't have the time to really explore more of the nooks and crannies - I had to boogie down to Newport Beach for my workshop. 

Sorry about not posting much the past couple of weeks. I've been working on this California series, and after letting it sit for a week or so, I went back to the paintings. Only a couple of them were really up to par, and should have been wiped off. I think I was just locked in such a battle with them that I didn't want to let go. But that is one of the things I've started to learn about painting - when to not release things. The journey is about painting every day - but there are going to be some lemons in there, and that is okay. The lemons are an important part of learning, it means you are pushing yourself.

Monday, July 2, 2012


6"x6" Oil on Gessoboard
$95 unframed
Click Here to Purchase

It's that time of year, the great American summer roadtrip. I figured that with this week being the 4th of July and everyone embarking on their family vacations that it would be a good time to start posting my CA roadtrip series. This little number is on 278 in South Carolina, on the way from HHI to the Savannah airport. I seem to paint that highway quite a bit, but then there are some pretty sights to be seen there!

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