Archive for the ‘Friar’s Artwork’ category

Monday Night Art Class: No Improvement.

December 9, 2014

Here are two versions of the same painting.

I did this first one back in 2001. I overdid the foreground…it was getting too dark and the watercolors were on the verge of becoming mud. I wasn’t happy with it and one day I figured I’d do it again.

Yukon Cabin 2001

Fast forward 13 years. I finished the painting below this week. And once again, I overdid the foreground, and the watercolors were on the verge of becoming mud. .

Yukon Cabin

It’s okay…adequate.

But I don’t feel the love.    Over a decade of painting later, I’m still not not happy with it.

But this time I’m not doing it again.

I”m DONE with this one.

Some paintings are just…meh…..not meant to be. .

Monday Night Art Class: The Winter of my Discontent

May 3, 2014

For some reason, I find my art is better, when I have some angst in my life.

And this past winter, I had a bit of angst.

Not that I wanted it.   It just turned out this way.

But at least it helped my productivity.

0 Discontent 3


0 Discontent 1


0 Discontent 2


0 Discontent 4


Two different pens. One combined doodle.

March 6, 2014

2014-03-05 Doodle

Can you find (?) :

A Beatnik Bandit (google it) .   A shitting unicorn.   A squid.    A femur.   A bearded clam.   A brick.     A brick shithouse.   DNA.   A mug of crud.  A dancing pickle.  A type-T thermocouple.  A nuke.    Many stars.    A tennis ball.   A dumbass retriever-dawg.   “e” twice.   And also pi.     A speckled trout.  A Big Mac.  The letter F.   And U.   And C.   And K.  Grapefruit.   A saguaro cactus.  A curious dog.  A donut with icing. Another (non bearded) clam.   Nil.    A log.  Bacon (of course).  An annoyed rattlesnake.   A dangerous horse.   Saturn.    A Swagelok male connector. Pacman and one ghost.  An atom.  A conical section.  A tesseract.   A rude monkey.  Planck’s Constant.  Bananas.  A wise owl.  A snarky Etch-a-Sketch.    A Mercury-Redstone Rocket.  A coat hanger.  Dairy Queen.     A small sword to stab with.   Pyramid Power.   A barrel of monkeys, sans monkeys.   A grumpy Viking.   The Grapes of Wrath.  And a blender.

Monday Night Art Class: Something Different

January 9, 2014

I wanted to so something different.   So I though I’d paint this close-up photo of a dandelion, which I took last summer.

Flower IMG_2494


And then I decided to add geckos.

With Viking helmets.

Gecko Dandelion-S

Monday Night Art Class: A Miserable Day

November 21, 2013

This was Lake Ontario last month, near Sandbanks.


It was a really miserable day.   There were 5-6 foot waves crashing on shore.   I can only imagine what it must have been like out in the middle of the lake.

Thought I’d paint this and use depressing dark colors to capture the mood.

But I just couldn’t bring myself to do it.    The more I tried to mix dark grey,   the more I wanted color.  So I deliberately added some warm yellows to back-light the sky.

October Storm Lake Ontario


Artistic license, I guess.

It’s a different painting from the photo.     Not necessarily better or worse.

But just different.

Monday Night Art Class: Mess O’ Leaves

November 15, 2013

I took a a close-up photo of my tree in my back yard this fall:

Red Leaves IMG_4708a

And I decided to paint it.


Leaves 1 IMG_5618a

Leaves 2 IMG_5621a

Leaves 3 IMG_5636a

Leaves 4 Mess O Leaves

Took a while, but I finally finished it.

And that’s it.

I’m done painting leaves.

Until next year. 


I Finally Finished the #$*%! Thing…!

October 10, 2013

Sometimes when I take a photo, I know it’s going to be a painting.  I just don’t know when I’ll get around to actually painting it.

It can be days.  Or years.

I took this one a year ago.


I started painting it last May.

Painting 1 IMG_1875

And then put it away, and started it again.

Painting 1IMG_2240


And then put it away and started it again.

And then it was summer, and fishing started,.  So even though it was 95%  done, I  put it away again  for 4 months.

Now, it’s FINALLY finished.

Painting Final

And I am DONE with it.

(Phew!   This was painful).


Monday Night Art Class: Repeating Apsens

April 22, 2013

I did this painting of some Colorado aspen a while back.

Colorado Aspen-S

Normally, when I finish a painting, I look at it for a while, and then it goes into a box with all the others.

But I liked this one enough to frame and hang in my living room.

Last year, I was asked to display some paintings in a local gallery and  I needed enough fresh material.

So I decided to put this one up up for sale.

Though I kind of liked my aspens, so I deliberately jacked up the price, in the hopes that it wouldn’t sell.

But sure enough, it DID sell, and I always kind of regretted it.


But my house is running out of room, and I can’t afford to keep framing everything I paint.

Sooner or later, I’ve got to let stuff go.

If a painting is unique, and if it’s something that I’ll never do again in a million years, there’s no way I’d sell it, not for any money.

But if a painting is something I know I can do again,  then I’m more likely to part with it.

And I suspected I could do this one again.


Which I did tonight.   Six years later.

Colorado Aspen Part II Sketch

t’s smaller:   a 6″ x 4″ sketch with a $5.00 Walmart frame.

For 90 minutes of effort,  I’m happy with how it turned out.   It’s reasonably close to the original.


So now I have my aspens again.

Which I can hold onto for a while.

Or maybe sell again.

I haven’t decided yet.

But at least I know I can always make more whenever I want.




Monday Night Art Class: Something’s Fishy

January 21, 2013

I love to paint landscapes, but every now and then I get bored and need to do something different.

So today I did something I never did before:  I painted a fish.

This was a 27 inch pike I caught last summer.


I could have painted the entire fish, but I chose to focus on  just on the head, because that’s the most interesting part.

I love pike.   They’re awesome.

They look like gators.   They have razor sharp teeth.  And they don’t give a rats’ ass…they’re not afraid to attack anything.

They put up a great fight when you hook them, and they’re quite tasty (despite what the walleye snobs might tell you).

They’re also beautiful fish and fun subjects to paint.

I was surprised at the pallete I used to capture this image:   red, purple, yellow ochre, sap green, greys, browns, and yellows.

Northern Predator

It turned out okay.   I’m not displeased.

I think I’ll do more fish.

Next time, it will be speckled trout.




Monday Night Art Class: WHAT…are you DOING?

January 14, 2013

A few months ago, I was babysitting my neighbors’ dog.

One evening, while I was at my computer, I found things were quiet…TOO quiet.

So I went into the next room and found guess who lying on the couch?

I pretended to be mad, and demanded:   “WHAT….are you DOING? ”

Poor dog!  He looked so sheepish and pathetic, I just had to snap this photo.

What IMG_9260

It cracks me up every time I see it.  Especially the tail, which is out of focus, on account of his wagging it.

Tonight, I decided to do a quick portrait.


Watercolor is so unforgiving when it comes to animals and people.   A few wrong strokes, and you can ruin the whole thing.

A tricky part was the dog’s shape in the photo is was mostly a black blob.   But I couldn’t paint it that way, or it would look two-dimensional.

So I lifted out some of the areas and lightened them with the brown, to hint at the dog’s muscles and shoulders.

I used a knife blade to scrape the shape of the dog chain around his neck, as well as make the white dots of the reflected light in his eyes.  And I opted for a monochrome background (there was no way I was going to paint every stripe on that blanket!)

I”m reasonably please how it turned out.

Though I think I made the dog look happier in the painting than he was in the photo.

PS.  In case you’re worried about the poor critter being traumatized, not to worry.

Uncle Friar is a BIG sucker when it comes to dogs.

So of course I let him stay on the couch.