It’s funny that location seems to inspire my subject matter. When I am at the beach I seem to lean to the sea creatures. Whales are so wonderful, they have great shapes, great color, great everything.

My recent visit to the Portland Museum of Art has also inspired the whale paintings. Currently they are showing Of Whales in Paint: Rockwell Kent’s Moby-Dick inspired works–and it is well worth a visit.

Both of these pieces were a lot of fun to work on. The Sperm Whale in acrylic (which is always a struggle for me) is 16″ x 10″ on canvas. I used a toothbrush for a lot of this painting to achieve the effects and that worked well for creating marks with unexpected results! And, the Humpback whale done in the Procreate app, which is beyond fun.


Lots of joy with these pieces for me.

Recent Work


I have been drawing, just not posting. Fourth of July holiday was our week vacation time. Lots of camping and sailing…and I always have good intentions to do some sketching, but it is still difficult for me to settle down. We seem to spend a lot of time moving our gear in and out of the boat and then off to another island!


Luckily we spent two days at Little Hens so I spent a little time doing some landscape drawing (which I really never do). Once I got back home and unpacked it was back to #sktchy and faces. I am also working on some fish studies for larger paintings. The Right Whale seemed a good choice.

One and a half days left on vaca and then back to work.

Day 27


I just realized that yesterdays painting was really a departure! I added color to the main image! Today I have returned to just graphite over my background. It’s whale watching season here in Hawaii. It’s wonderful to watch them breaching from the shore. I am hopeful that we will do a boat ride and get a little closer to them.

Botanical gardens are next.

Beach Inspired

Happy Whale: oil paint stick on canvas 11 x 21

Happy Whale: oil paint stick on canvas 11 x 21

Finished up the whale painting today–tail is more proportional in the larger version. I like using the oil paint sticks on canvas…it’s a little different than working on a rigid substrate for sure. I found that I could use the edge of a plastic palette knife to make some really nice marks on the surface. And, the knife did a great job of blending the colors the way I wanted. I think that I will keep going with this technique for a couple of pieces.

I am going to try to do a similar scratching technique on paper to see if that works, but the surface may be too soft. I need to get more canvas!

Oil Paint Sticks

Playing around with oil paint sticks

Playing around with oil paint sticks

Loving the oil paint sticks! I got a starter/student set of Shiva oil paint sticks to try while on vacation. The color selection is a little primary…but that is good to learn with. I also got a set of mini iridescent oil sticks–they are very nice colors and not too metallic.

Working on paper is actually very nice with this medium and it dries pretty much overnight. Dry enough to close my journal anyway. I love the fact that the sticks are kind of chubby, so it forces me to stay loose. I have gone into little spaces with a brush as well. The Shiva product is not as buttery as the R&F that I was using at home. I like the quality of the Shiva for paper…I think that the R&F will be better for canvas.

Study 4x6 for painting. The tail is too big!

Study 4×6 for painting. The tail is too big!

Playing around with some small studies–working on a larger painting from the small study. Interesting feeling going from paper to canvas.

Beginning of larger painting with oil paint sticks on canvas.

Beginning of larger painting with oil paint sticks on canvas.