I just completed another smaller (8″ x 16″) watercolor painting, entitled Cactaceae. I expanded on my last painting Succulents. This time, I painted a different perspective of my daughter’s garden. Cactaceae refers to the species family that includes both cacti and succulents (plants that store their water within their bodies).


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My latest watercolor painting is entitled Succulents. During the quarantine last spring, my daughter created a beautiful, mini garden of succulent plants. Working from photographs, I created this small 6.5 inch square painting. The following slide show is the story, in pictures, of my painting’s progression.

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North East Watercolor Society Show

The North East Watercolor Society (NEWS) is having it’s annual members’ show online this year. Two of my watercolors, Enchanted Woods and Sheltered Cove, are displayed in this online show, along with 175 other watercolor paintings. The show has been set to music, performed by Geoff Hamburg, and lasts about 30 minutes. Here is the link to the show:

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December Art Show

Beginning today, I have 13 paintings on display at the Saratoga Springs Public Library (13650 Saratoga Avenue). The library gallery is currently open Monday – Tuesday, 3-7 pm, and Wednesday – Saturday, 1-5 pm. The show is entitled Colors of the Seasons and is comprised of various paintings I’ve done highlighting the changing seasons in upstate New York. The show will be on display through January 4th, 2021.

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Iron versus Iron

Last winter, I designed and illustrated local author Herb Tern’s new book, Iron versus Iron. Pre-ordering for this amazing book is now available at the following link.

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Sheltered Cove

I finally finished my watercolor painting, Sheltered Cove. I began this painting back in May, but with my kids home from school and space at a premium, I got very little painting done the last several months. In a year of many changes, my family also recently moved to a home on the outskirts of the beautiful Adirondack Mountains. Our new home also includes a studio space for me. After many years painting at the kitchen table, I have a space of my own to create my artwork. I’m so grateful and excited for this opportunity. My first order of business was to finish this painting. It was based on a photograph I took from a trip down the Raquette River. After using Windsor and Newton masking fluid for years, I tried a new product called Incredible White Mask Liquid Frisket, to preserve some whites during the painting. It worked terrific and I would totally recommend it. Here’s a sample of the grasses where I used the product.

Frisket applied and initial washes
Frisket removed after final painting on surrounding area

I also used the frisket on the grasses at the foreground of the painting. Here is the finished painting Sheltered Cove.

Sheltered Cove

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2020 Summer Art Shows

The Colonie Art League is having their summer show online this year. My painting, Golden Pool, is among the 72 local artists that have works in the show. Click on the individual images to view the true dimensions of each piece. The show can be seen online at

In other news, I just dropped off my painting, Canton Bazaar, at the View, in Old Forge, NY. The 2020 Adirondacks National Exhibition of American Watercolors will be on display August 8th – September 27. For any capital region residents, the View is a wonderful art center comprising three different galleries, and a great day trip into the Adirondack Mountains. Kudos to the View for holding this amazing show. I’ve had many shows canceled and/or postponed this year, as have most artists. There is no substitute for viewing this amazing watercolor show in person!


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Enchanted Wood – Part 2

To continue with my painting’s progress…

I built up the foliage and started on the pine needles, which was the part I was most excited about painting.


The pine needles required 6-8 layers of different colored paint and markings. The following examples show how the marks in the background are tiny dots and as it comes forward, the brush marks change to dashes. This makes it look more like pine needles. I began with light tones making the colors darker with each new layer.

Example 1 (3-4 layers)


Example 2 (3-4 additional layers)


Another 2-3 layers and the path was complete. It took me several hours just to paint the pine needles.


I removed the last of the resist off the foliage and the final tree. The resist on the tree had been there for many days at this point and needed to be removed very carefully. Normally I try to remove it within 2-3 days, but I wasn’t able to do that with this painting.


Next, I painted in the foliage highlights and blended the foliage into the path.

pic13 a

Lastly, the remaining tree is painted. I went over the entire painting, adding cool shadows and warm brightening highlights. Here is my finished painting, entitled Enchanted Wood.

pic14 a

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Enchanted Wood – Part 1

My latest watercolor painting is based on a photograph I took last summer, while canoe camping on the Raquette River, in the Adirondack Mountains. I was drawn to the scene by the strong shadows, created by the early morning sun, on the tall, narrow trees and the path of pine needles.

In the next two blogs, I explain some of the thought process and steps behind the making of this multi-layered watercolor painting.

As with all my watercolor paintings, I sketched the scene onto transparent paper and then transferred it to 140 lb. cold press watercolor paper. Unlike paintings with architecture or objects with precise details, natural scenes don’t need to be as exact. I used resist to paint in the dominant trees because I wanted to preserve the white for highlights from the sun.


This painting is a perfect example of working back to front. I began with the background, painting in a wash for the sky and remote tree line. The sun is hitting the trees so they are light colored and pale, recessed far in the background. These trees have three layers of green dots created with a #00 paintbrush. I took an eraser brush and scrubbed out areas making it even softer. Most of these background trees will eventually be covered up with foreground branches and leaves.


At this point, I carefully studied the photograph and made my plan of attack. I broke the mid-ground into 5 different layers. Using much darker paint, I painted in the farthest layer of trees.


I rubbed the resist off the next layer of trees, and continued painting.


Again, I removed another layer of resist and painted more trees. I also added some resist to the foreground to save some white highlights for the bushes, as I continued to work forward.


At this point, the painting is starting to come together. The background is mostly painted in and I started working on the mid-ground. Before I painted the next four trees, I worked on the foliage. The large tree to the right will come last, as it is closest to the viewer. I also added some resist for plants among the pine needles and painted in a light wash for the path.


On each of these sections, I painted in a wash first with a #6 Round brush, then used my #1 and #00 round brushes to add tiny details for the branches, leaves and mid-ground foliage. Each section had about 3-6 layers of paint. With the painting of the four center trees finished, the mid-ground was now complete and I began working on the foreground


To be continued…

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Golden Pool

My latest watercolor painting is entitled Golden Pool. This piece is based on a photo I took last fall during a wonderful trip to the Shawangunk Mountains (a.k.a. The Gunks). The weather was bright and sunny, and the fall foliage was spectacular! This spot was at the top of a waterfall. The clear stream had pooled in several places creating transparent views of the rocks and leaves under the water. The reflection of the trees surrounding this spot created a golden tint on the pool.

Golden Pool

Golden Pool

In other news, I’m excitied to announce that my painting, Canton Bazaar, has been accepted into the 2020 Adirondacks National Exhibition of American Watercolors! This is an amazing art show that will be on display at The View, in Old Forge, NY, and I’m honored to be a part of it again this summer.

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