Painting in Pairs

Good day, Fine Art Appreciators!

I share with you today some of the paintings I made over the past few months here in Bend, Oregon. It’s been a wonderful stay here in the High Desert with more adventure to come. I would be remiss if I did not thank my sister Carol and her husband Regis who shared their home with Carly and me, making this extended stay possible. My art would certainly not progress as I believe it has without the loving support of family and friends. So, thanks to all of you for helping me along this good journey.

As is typical of my artistic practice, I often paint the same scene, or motif, more than once, which allows me to not only develop a deeper sense of the motif, but to also explore different aspects of the elements of painting, such as mark-making and color use, in the various versions. These “pairs of paintings” are the subject of this post.

I began my Bend painting adventure with some studio work, revisiting a plein air painting of Sparks Lake I made a few years back. In this work, I strived to bring the mark-making right up to the surface of the canvas and push the value spectrum further (meaning: enhance the difference between the lights and darks) while retaining a bold color palette.


Sparks Lake Sunset. Oil on paper, 22×28″, 2015

I completed two additional versions of this same motif, one of which appears below. In this painting, I adopted a more minimal strategy, attempting to utilize the white of the paper in the construction of the scene.


Mountain Reflection, Sparks Lake. Acrylic on paper, 22×28″, 2015

In addition to the new motifs I’ve explored here in Oregon, I continued to work on New Hampshire scenes, like the two of Chapel Rock that appear below. I worked from photographs in this case, which is a rarity for me since I highly value the input in all its manifestations that I receive from direct painting of the motif. My attempt in both Chapel Rock paintings was to maintain the sensibility of direct painting despite the use of the photo. As is often the case while working in pairs, I try to push the level of abstraction from one painting to the next through the use of bold mark-making and exploratory color.

Chapel Rock, WMNF. Oil on linen, 20x24", 2015. Available

Chapel Rock I. Oil on linen, 20×24″, 2015

Chapel Rock II. Oil on linen, 20x24", 2015. Available

Chapel Rock II. Oil on linen, 20×24″, 2015

Here are some other examples of “pairs”:

Smith Rock. Oil on linen, 20x24", 2016. Available

Smith Rock. Oil on linen, 20×24″, 2015

Smith Rock II. Oil on linen, 20x24", 2016. Available

Smith Rock II. Oil on linen, 20×24″, 2015

Cows at Pasture, Central Oregon. Oil on linen, 16x20", 2016. Available.

Cows at Pasture, Central OR. Oil on linen, 16×20″, 2016

Cows at Pasture, Central Oregon II. Oil on linen, 18x24", 2016. Available

Cows at Pasture, Central OR II. Oil on linen, 18×24″, 2016

Thanks for looking and reading!