Palouse Landscape

Hey guys, sorry for the hiatus. I actually have a couple of paintings to show, but haven't had the chance to take pictures and upload them properly. Some of it due to busyness at work, and some of it due to laziness at home :).

Palouse Landscape
A few weeks ago, I went on a long drive to Palouse Falls State Park. The landscape in Eastern Washington is really amazing, and so different from the western part of the state. After painting so many trees this summer, it was strange having to paint a landscape without them.

Feathered Boa and Chocolate

"Feathered Boa" is the flavor of the left donut.

Feathered Boa and Chocolate

It's not my first time painting donuts. I dug this out from a couple years ago:

Donuts and coffee

I feel like I've come far in the intervening time, but that I've got a lot further to go. Or as Jim Lamb likes to say, it's always a journey, but there's no destination. 


I enjoyed painting this one, and eating the chips afterward :). I have been doing a lot of plein air lately, and I caught myself thinking "get the shapes down quick, or the light will change". Then I realized my light source is a bulb that is gonna stay put and not move across the sky. I've been thinking about doing a painting with this composition for a few weeks now, and finally found the time and energy to sit down and paint it.


Although I've been enjoying myself immensely painting landscapes outdoors this summer, I must admit that I am a lot more comfortable painting still lifes. Plus, you can eat them!

Summer Errand

This was painted at the Anacortes Arts Festival, by the Plein Air Washington booth. It was both fun and somewhat nerve wracking to have so many people come and look at what you are painting. But what I am finding is that most people are impressed at seeing someone standing outside painting on an easel, no matter what is actually on the easel.

summer errand

Personally I always second guess myself when painting anything with flowers. But I'm glad to have painted this, it reminds me of many summer days riding a bike around town. It also tells me that I better do some more bicycling this summer, before the rain comes back!

Behind the Seminary

Saint Edwards State Park used to be a Catholic seminary. The seminary is on sort of a hill, and there is a 1/2 mile trail down to the Lake Washington shore. I trudged down there with all my gear only to decide that the building was the best thing to paint. So I hiked back up; getting some exercise as well as painting done -- it's a productive weekend.

Morning at Larrabee II

This is the bigger painting that I mentioned in my last post. It's on a 16x20 piece of watercolor paper.  I've worked on it more yesterday, to the point where I think it's about as good as it's gonna get.

Morning at Larrabee II

Morning at Larrabee State Park

Still from the Bellingham area paint out, this is from Larrabee state park. I really like this 9x12 painting so I'm attempting to do a bigger version at home using this and photographs as a reference. That's not going so well, haha.

morning at larrabee state park

Along Birch Bay

This is from the same weekend outing as the last one. After going to the Peace Arch, the troop went to Birch Bay State park. I had fun painting this, and it's certainly better than the last time I tried to paint a road! I feel like I have a much better understanding of how to handle foliage, too.

Peace Gazebo

This weekend I went to Bellingham area state parks in another of the Plein Air Washington events. This little gazebo is at the Peace Arch state park, which is on the US-Canada border. I tried painting the peace arch itself, but I wasn't too happy with how that came out. I did this "peace gazebo" afterward, which turned out much better.

I am really glad to have found the PAWA guys, it is really fun to join with some really accomplished artists. Speaking of accomplished artists, one of the guys I met there is David Ridgway. He has a style that employs flat color. It is quite direct and striking. I really like it a lot.

Plein air weekend: Lake Sammamish State Park

Work continues to make it tough for me to paint in the evenings. I did get to go out and paint over the weekend though, at Lake Sammamish State park. I tried to apply what I learned from the previous week's workshop to these acrylic paintings. I really love the process of painting outdoors, which is probably to my benefit, since I really need more practice.

Lake Sammamish state park

Lake Samamish State Park

Lake Sammamish state park

Slices and Cup

I've been quite busy at work, and it's cutting into my painting time. So I'm glad to have done a little painting this week. I like how the tip of the orange slice emerges from the shadow.

slices and cup

Workshop with Jim Lamb day 2

Here's my output for day 2 of the workshop with Jim Lamb last weekend. I feel like I've learned a lot. My favorite one is the second one with the telephone pole. The last one has some nice logs, but Jim painted most of it, not me.

Saratoga Passage

I'm taller than you
Double Bluff Park

Workshop with Jim Lamb: Day 1

I had some success with the workshop I attended last time, so I took another one last weekend. This time it was on plein air painting with Jim Lamb. Day 1 started with a demo, and I think the idea of massing started to click. Here's my output for the first day. I think the white balance on the photos are a little off to the red side.

Emmert's Trees South

Emmert's Trees West

At the show

Work has been quite hectic this week, so no painting for the week. Instead let me share a photo of me in front of my work at the Microsoft Employee Art Exhibit!

I am going on another workshop this weekend, this time for plein air painting.

At the show, originally uploaded by flyingroc.

One got away

When I took these out of my fridge, I noticed I was missing one tomato.

If you've noticed, I updated the look of the blog. I was having a difficult time with the old hand-written template, and decided to just use one of the built-in ones. Of course that turned out to be a few hours of wrangling the html and css to customize it correctly anyway! Hopefully this new template will last for a bit.

Bottles and Vase

This is a little bit bigger for me at 12x16. I'm pretty happy about how the transparency of the glass shows up here.

bottles and vase
I rarely paint bigger paintings because I really only have a couple of hours at night where I can paint. Larger paintings take more time, but when I start painting I really want to see them get done in one sitting, so I end up staying up too late!

Anyway, I'm entering this into a local art show. Wish me luck.

Bowl of Cherries

I've been a fan of Carol Marine for a while now. What I noticed about her paintings is that they contain a strong geometric element to them. I decided to try out a painting with more geometry and a more top down view, and this is what I came up with.

bowl of cherries
When I painted this, was just a tad too early for cherries around here, actually. These cherries are imported from California.

Plein Air weekend: Dosewallips State Park

A group of Plein Air Washinton folks went camping at Dosewallips State Park in the Olympic Peninsula. I'm not much of a camper so I just went there for a day trip. I got there so late that most people have packed up and left! Basically only Robin Weiss, and one other artist was painting when I got there.

The sun sets so late these days though, since we are approaching the solstice. So I actually managed to get a couple paintings done. Both are 8x10 acrylics on board.



I personally feel like my landscapes have something lacking in them. I don't know if it's accuracy of drawing, or values, or color, or composition. Probably all or them! Painting in the great outdoors, especially with other people is so much fun though, that I'm not about to give up plein air painting.

Oranges and cherries

Inspired by the Faye Castle painting that I bought, I thought I would make my own painting of oranges and cherries. Browsing through the daily paintworks site the other day, it seems that this subject is very popular among still life painters. And I can see why.


I've been painting a lot of apples lately. I think this will be the last, at least for a little bit. I have some other fruit I want to paint!


I bought a Faye Castle painting

This painting is not mine,  I bought it. When I was at the workshop last week, it coincided with Langley's first Saturday art walk. I visited Studio 106, which is the working studio of 3 wonderful artists: Faye Castle, Phyllis Ray, and Barbara Barry. While in the studio, I was so attracted to this 6x6 painting by Faye Castle that I bought it!

Faye Castle painting

The color and light in the painting is so good. 

Into the light

I feel like I have made much progress in my paintings in the last few months. Enough progress that I have decided to put them up for sale.

into the light

I signed up to the daily paintworks website and my goal is to post at least painting a week and put it up for auction. I'm not really sure if people will buy my work or not, but I am hoping to run this experiment for a few months.


When painting, we should paint the light, instead of objects. Easier said than done!

Illumination, originally uploaded by flyingroc.

Snack Time

I'm trying to apply what I learned from the workshop into my acrylic paintings. I added an orange, and naples yellow (hue) to my palette; and also started using pthalo blue again.

But I think what's most useful to me from the workshop was Qiang's lighting system. Switching to halogen lights makes a huge difference. Also, frankly, I thought Qiang's "north light filter" was a gimmick, but it actually works really well.

Snack Time, originally uploaded by flyingroc.

Workshop Day 3

Last day of the workshop. We painted in the morning, and in the afternoon Qiang talked about the business aspects of painting. I am not selling my paintings yet, but it was an interesting talk. As I said goodbye to him he said "I hope to see your work in galleries one day." I'm sure he was just being polite but I was so flattered I was nervously laughing like a moron.

Time for Coffee, originally uploaded by flyingroc.

Community Gathering

Its been a great second day of the painting workshop. I feel like I am getting a lot out of this class. Qiang is a very good teacher. He is honest and direct with his critique, something I appreciate very much.

I entitled this community gathering because I imagine all the objects clustering around to chitchat. In the same way as this community of artists gathered around in the workshop. I really feel like I've benefited so much from this, and there's still one day to go!

Community Gathering

Tea and apple

I'm in Whidbey Island, taking a 3-day still life painting workshop with Qiang Huang, one of my favorite still life painters. It's just the first day,but I've learned so much already. I think this painting is already probably one of the strongest ones I've done.

(he helped me a little bit with the bottle, and a lot with the composition)

Apple and Teapot

View from the cabin, Cooper's Landing

Went on a fun trip to Alaska with my friends Rob and August. The area we went to, the Kenai Fjords peninsula is really stunning.

I didn't want to lug around a bunch of painting gear, so I brought a couple of sketchbooks and some watercolor. I must admit, watercolor is not my favorite painting medium. I still like the way this one came out though.

View from the cabin, Cooper's Landing, originally uploaded by flyingroc.

Iron Horse state Park

Iron Horse State Park is in Cle Elum, WA. It's on the site of an old railroad station, with a hiking trail that replaced the railroad tracks. It has a really nice view of the local peak called Peoh Point.

Peoh Point

Earlier in the day, it was pretty cloudy, and I set out to paint the typical Pacific Northwest scene. A lot of clouds, and a lot of green.

Northwest Landscape

Accepted to the Microsoft Employee Art Exhibit

I'm happy to report that this painting got accepted to the Microsoft Employee Art Exhibit! It will be exhibited along with about 40 other work by other Microsoft employees at the Microsoft Commons area.

Three pears, originally uploaded by flyingroc.


This was the last of my paintings for my oil painting class. I really enjoyed the class; technically, I still have one class left this Wednesday, but I'm going to go on a trip to Alaska with a couple friends! I don't think I'll bring my painting gear, but I hope to get a sketch or two in.

Clowns, originally uploaded by flyingroc.

Florida Shore

I painted this for my colleague who misses warm sunny Florida.

Florida Shore, originally uploaded by flyingroc.

By the Columbia River

I went to the Plein Air Washington event this weekend, the paint out was in Washington State Parks around the Columbia River Gorge. I did 3 paintings yesterday, and one today. The little one I did today is my favorite of the lot:

By the Columbia river
It was an exhausting (4.5 hours drive to get there) but fun time. There's a lot of really good artists in the Plein Air Washington group. I'm glad I was able to paint with them. 

Painting #100

According to flickr, this is the 100th painting I've added to my "paintings" set. I think I've gotten better at this painting thing.

It's been a little bit over 2 years ago that I took my first painting class. I've been obsessed ever since. Hopefully I can keep improving.

In a Bowl, originally uploaded by flyingroc.


It is cold and rainy this weekend, so I did this from a photo reference. At 16x20, this is a big one for me.

Seascape, originally uploaded by flyingroc.

Ebey's Landing

I joined Plein Air Washington and went to their first paint out today, at Ebey's Landing in Whidbey island. It was super fun, and I'm looking forward to doing more of these events.
Ebey's Landing
House near Ebey's Landing