Autumn Brushwork

The leaves are finally and reluctantly beginning to fall, but this year’s wet weather must be muting their colors, so I dug out a photo that I took last Fall of a bright, bitternut hickory along the Wyomissing creek.

A few months back I bought a couple of flat brushes as part of my run-up to painting in oils, but there is still a pile of acrylics laying on my table, so they got the assignment. Instead of a precise drawing I decided to let the brushes indicate the shapes. I had a lot of fun with this one.

Acrylics on Arches watercolor paper.

Mid Spring on the trail

This is an acrylic painting. I made it last year from a photo that I took along the Wyomissing trail. Everything had just started turning Spring green, and I felt the urge to put the watercolors aside and record this one with a more forgiving medium. Two nice features of acrylics are their fast drying time; and the ability to scrape off and reapply paint until you’re satisfied with the result.

Acrylic on illustration board.

A Seasonal Tradition

A few weeks ago, the very lovely Amy and I found ourselves following a tradition that’s been in our families since our own grandparents were young, and probably before them, since the idea of a Christmas tree has its roots in the old country. We went trekking across fields lightly dusted with snow, populated with fir and spruce, and shopped for the perfect tree, the one just right for this year.

You can readily see my part in this activity.

This is acrylic on illustration board.

However you mark the holidays, I wish everyone out there in Blog-Reader Land a happy, healthy, safe and peaceful time. Above all, celebrate by talking to one another, and making new friends as well as connecting with old ones.

Columbus Day


His achievements are controversial today, but you at least have to admire the brass tacks on a guy like Christopher Columbus. For this post, I will focus only on his initial trans-Atlantic voyage. First, he had to petition a financial source that was not even in his own country to fund his idea. What idea, you ask? He only had to convince the King’s court and a few dozen experienced sailors, (meaning real-life tough guys), that he could find the Far East by sailing West in three wooden ships of questionable seaworthiness. All this while concealing the fact that he didn’t really know for sure where he was going to make landfall, he only had a rough idea; and a dream of getting rich when he got there. That he persevered, braving an ocean that could arbitrarily drown him, and keeping an unruly, mutinous-minded crew on task is a testament to his audacity as well as his seamanship and leadership skills. Columbus wasn’t the first to discover the new world continent, and his first visit set off a chain reaction that had ominous repercussions for the native inhabitants. Nevertheless, his inaugural trip lands him squarely in my old-school, Bada$$ Club.

This is a bit of a dramatic illustration of a sunset during the first trip, when the three ships, two of which were faster than the larger flagship, closed together for the night. Acrylic on canvas paper; this painting is about ten years old.

Memorial Day


We in the United States mark this day as the unofficial beginning of the summer vacation season, but Memorial Day is a federal holiday for remembering all Americans who died in defense of freedom. This is my tribute to the fallen. It’s painted from a photo taken of an anonymous torpedo plane from VT-8 Squadron that took off from the aircraft carrier USS Hornet on June 4th, 1942 and didn’t return. Acrylics on watercolor board.

April 15th, 1912


In the collective psyche of humanity, few peacetime disasters stand out with greater impact than the sinking of the RMS Titanic. Built with state-of-the-art maritime technology and declared unsinkable, the world’s largest ship sank on her maiden voyage, taking 1,500 people with her. Her memory lives on through books, movies, artifacts and photographs. This was painted from one of the last photos taken of the ship as it left Queenstown, Ireland. I limited my palette to Paynes gray, Prussian blue, orange and white. Acrylic on watercolor board.

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