Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Take 'Em Boys! Finished...16"x 24" oil Bluebill waterfowling

This is a painting of my long childhood friend, Mike
whom I spent a good many days hunting ruffed grouse,
shooting skeet...but most memorable, hunting the Big
Bay of Green Bay. We called ourselves the "Bay Men!"

This depicts bluebills on the peripherals winging in,
and Mike is mindful of those bluebills he has
opted to pass up, (note his eye glancing up), but
is committing to what no doubt promises a better '
outcome before him among his decoy spread!

(Click on image to see much larger view)

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Two Dog Portraits...in Oil

Sporting portraits is not limited just to men and
women or youth hunting or fishing, but sometimes one's
favorite partner in the field is his/her dog. Here are
two example paintings I did...and taking advantage
of creativity, putting a composite images together from
really very fine reference photos in my possession.

This is a painting of Riley...a young female Chessapeake
Bay Retriever. Young...full of vigor and all that is pup.
She is maturing. I love her intense gaze. A very pretty

20"x 24" oil

And this, was a work for a wedding anniversary
gift...a Curly Hair Golden Retriever and a
chocolate Lab...Ashley and Gracie...24"x 30" on

clicking on the images will show a nicer larger view

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Mike and Tonio 14"x 18" oil

Here are more recent works, in oils...and oils have
a very rich color, and a painterliness. Such works
are better taken in from a few paces back, and getting
closer to the work you see the thicker medium of oil
applied with each brushstroke. This is really a
preferred direction I am going...and much fun for me.

This is a friend, Mike...and his Chessy retriever
female companion...Tonio...

Samples of Sporting Portrait Past works...

These are works from my past...

The first an oil, and a commission from the State Department
of Natural Resources, which I did for their annual state
warden's convention last year.

The piece is 30"x 40" on gallery wrapped canvas- A warden
glassing possible violation from an area blind of duck hunters!

The rest that follow are acrylics as the medium, and
what I'll say about these is they represent the atmosphere
of detail the wildlife art genre demanded in their day.
Averaging from 75 to 200 hours on a portrait using acrylics
and this style makes it today very difficult for anyone to
afford having a painting done.

Since I have been painting the past 14 years with my
portable oil easel outdoors on location, learning to paint
fast and painterly to capture the subject within a small
window of opportunity before the light would change, I
have learned to make much out of color and values, and the
brushstroke to suggest. In short...I am having a lot of
fun reviving this genre form for myself, using oils...and
believe I can offer a product that falls within the scope
of being more affordable. So...you see in these acrylics
a chapter of my past...a skill I have not lost, but not
inclined to continue with. I am enjoying the growth I've
had as a painter...and instead of just copying photo
references people give me, making artistic decisions that
will produce good paintings. That is because of my time
spent painting outdoors these past many years, and I now
understand what the camera does not capture as does the
eye. I hope you'll be able to pick up on my more recent
work what I'm talking about...however, enjoy these!

24"x 36" Mike's Pike!

This one actually done for a print series called,
"Ain't Seen A Thing All Day!" (prints still available)

This one called, "Bobber Stare Down!"

36"x 24"

24"x 18" Dick's Buck

24"x 36" Dave's Buck

Duane's Canadian Walleye-

Partner's Luck..

Catch 'N Release Moment-

A Father's Tribute and Memory-

Reviving of my offering to paint "Sporting Portraits!"

I have gone thru a metamorphosis as an artist, starting
out as a wildlife artist of reputation winning Wisconsin's
1984 Wildlife Artist of the Year, then on going state,
regional and national competitions placing as a finalist
or runner-up 23 of 34 times entered. My last win and
last time entering, the 1998 Wisconsin Inland Trout
Stamp competition.

Then about 14 years ago...I ran into a paradoxical wall
for myself. Here I was indoors painting about what I
loved outdoors. So much time spent on painting that I
literally had little time anymore to spend my time
outdoors. As a painter, it was a slow leak of that
which fueled me, and I needed to spend more time outdoors
without sacrificing my joy of painting.

The compromise was taking a portable easel outdoors, and
learn to paint from life. The vogue label for that today
is called "plein air" painting...that is French for
painting in the open air.

My style loosened up necessarily, as nature gives you a
very short window of opportunity, that is, the available
light quickly changes or disappears and can leave you the
painter standing there wondering "now what?"

My confidence with the brush over the past many years has
grown greatly, each stroke of paint intuitively found as
essential and necessary. I have evolved and grown as a

I thought my wildlife art and sporting portrait days of
old were behind me...but I can credit taking in a Carl
Rungius exhibition at the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum
in Wausau, Wisconsin for breathing new life into me.

Rungius was the first professional career American wildlife
artist we have, also a hunter who traveled on horseback into
mountains to hunt bear, elk, muleys...and painted from life
studies of skins he caped out. He also painted on location
to develop a good sense of the area, of the outdoors and
how color and the subject appear in their natural setting

What inspired me was that Rungius style outdoors with his
spontaneous brushwork did not deviate when he painted his
larger in-studio wildlife paintings...using his outdoor
studies as his reference. I saw that indeed wildife and
sporting outdoor subjects could be treated with this very
aesthetic flair and expression.

Of late...I've been painting some portraits again, and my
favorite of such portraits are my hunting and fishing peers
at the moment of elation, joy experiencing their moment of
encountering their intended game. For me, in this critical
time politically where the move toward globalization is
pitting the outdoorsman more and more as a relic of the
past to be done away with, controls on guns...you name it,
and this very errant idea that man is an unwelcome
intrusion to nature is cause for me once more to wield the
brush in hand to reinforce that idea that it is natural
for mankind to embrace moments outdoors and experience the
joy of what has long been our heritage and right.

If you have some great photographs of hunts, fishing and
might have an interest in having a sporting portrait done,
feel free to contact me and inquire about prices and so
forth. My preference is working with digital images as
they allow me a much closer zooming in study to get things
just right.

I hope you'll enjoy my paintings where my passion for the
outdoors and my joy with paint come together. Please take
a moment to check out my links to my other blogs, my main
artist's website!