It’s a winner

OK, we’re calling this one Carroll Cottage #1

Short reason for it being number 1–my client did indeed love this painting. In her original plan she was thinking about having four of them, one for each of her adult children. Of course, I couldn’t expect a commitment until she had actually seen the work in person. It does look about 1000 times better in person. So now I’m busy looking for one more summer version, then we’ll wait until the trees start turning and see what kind of neat color that will bring. I’m also considering, way in the back of my head, a winter scene. That will be more difficult since it’s hard to get out on the lake once winter sets in. But I think a dark night shot with a lot of snow and bright light reflecting out of the windows onto the snow might be quite inviting.

Posted in art, landscape, light, oil paintings | Tagged , , | 7 Comments

Chez Carroll

Fastest growing trees on the ‘net!

C’est fini! At least it is unless my client finds something that needs fixing. This painting is quite shiny due to copious use of gloss medium. It looks rich and deep in person, but the shine makes for a dicey photo session. This photo was take outdoors in the shade, but adjusting for the shiny quality of it makes it look a little soft. If I had it completely in focus it would have somewhat of a moiré pattern to it. This is common in photography and video where the “Moiré effect is a visual perception that occurs when viewing a set of lines or dots that is superimposed on another set of lines or dots, where the sets differ in relative size, angle, or spacing. The moiré effect can be seen when looking through ordinary window screens at another screen or background”. What causes it in this photo is the crosshatch depth of the canvas surface itself exacerbated by the sharp light changes in the gloss reflection. You really needed to know this, right?

Anyhow, when it gets dark tonight I’ll set up my photo lights in a dark room where I can get a consistent level of strong bright light across the entire canvas and minimize the factors causing the moiré. Polarizing filter on the camera will also help.

Meanwhile, I’ll be fiddling around with frame corner samples to see what works best with this piece.

Posted in art, landscape, light, oil paintings, photography challenges | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

Getting very close

This gallery contains 3 photos.

Gallery | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

We have a house

Several days’ work later than the previous version

Well, the architect got the carpenter crew moving, and we now have a house. However, it appears that the landscaper managed only to plant some tree trunks…and one tiny tree behind the flagpole.

The 4 days lost to long hours booth sitting at Richland Park last week did not help the landscaper keep to schedule. Now, the snarky reader of Monday’s post asks: if you could get three watercolor paintings done in your booth, why couldn’t you work on this oil painting?

Simple answer: table space. My little booth painting table is only about a quarter of the size of my studio table, upon which I need to fit the canvas, the palette which is almost as big as the canvas, a big bucket of brushes, paper towels. painting medium, solvent, ginormous tubes of paint (I buy 200ml tubes because, well, in the end they’re cheaper and I’m one frugal tightwad), and maybe a Pepperidge Farm cookie or two. Never mind that you aren’t supposed to be eating while using oil paints.

So I will get after the landscaper the rest of this week and since foliage doesn’t have nearly as much precise detail as an architectural subject I expect the project to move along rather quickly. We’ll see if I’m right.


Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments

Last week at Richland Park

I missed last year’s CCI*** (that’s the second-highest level of world class 3-day eventing) but the impressive entrance to Richland Park’s seemingly endless grounds looks about the same as this pic on my last vendor visit in 2015. Just substitute soybeans for the corn lining the entrance drive. You can barely see the two huge complexes of stall tents over the tops of the corn. A much clearer view this time around, although the sky reprised its gray color this year too.

The good news is that I got my tent, along with those wonderful mesh panels I won a couple of months ago, all up and assembled and chock full of paintings on display in only (cough) 4 hours. That may seem like a lot, but it’s a world record for me as a one-person setup crew to get it done in that amount of time. Fortunately we had a setup day on Wednesday, with the show taking place Thursday through Sunday. That really takes the edge off of the stress of setting up in a hurry.

So here’s the lovely booth!


And here’s how it looks as you walk by–the ability to get that right side covered in Aquabords really helped visitors get an idea of everything available without having to paw through a box on the table. They stuck around browsing a lot more than they used to!

My little painting table is in the corner behind the reddish basket of note cards.

Right next to the food booth–best place to be! Everybody ends up there eventually.


I had plenty of time to do some watercolor painting over the 4-day show. Here’s my product quota to add to that Aquabord™ wall on the next show–

Anybody from my barn know that dog??

My horse Charm stars as a body model in all these paintings.

Charm went from chestnut to white to “double” bay…


And now for the fun part! This particular jump on the cross-country is called a table, and it’s actually a triangle if you’re looking at it from the top down. The closer the rider jumps to the white flag, the narrower it is. These are all top riders and they seem to have chosen different approaches based on how they navigated from the jump in the background, through the water, and over the table.

How close can we shave that white flag?

Right through the middle

Got over the table, easy-peasy…

And a gray for my WordPress friend Elinor…


There were approximately 500 horses entered in this event, and here’s where they lived for 4 days.

There was another long row of tents behind this one.


The landscape of trucks and trailers went on way, way farther than the stall tents…

When all was said and done, on Sunday it only took me and hour and 45 minutes to pack everything up, take down the tent, fold and stow it, and head for home. This was another new record. I have had the dubious honor in the past of always being the last vendor to leave the site. Even the mobile tack shops with their tons of shelves of stuff always managed to pack up and leave ahead of me. Nope. This time there were three I left behind!

Posted in art, eventing, exhibit booth, horse portrait, horses, oil paintings, Richland Park, watercolor | Tagged , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Building from the ground (water?) up

Well, we don’t have a cottage yet, but the architect says we will soon. 😊 When the second half of the painting is close to done I will probably stop to see how well it melds with the first half. Maybe some adjustments necessary, maybe not.

In the meantime, here’s the answer to the question posed in my first post about this project–which was, can anyone guess what thing in common in both of these paintings gave me the most grief when drawing them?

Answer: the dock. Both original photos had objects (in the case of Willow Pond, it was a person) on the dock, making it a chore to see the angles clearly and to guess what the shape and surface really looked like.

Posted in art, coincidences, drawing, oil paintings | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

The long-awaited…2017 Rockin’ Riders Quadrille video

No, I wasn’t lazy. Even though this performance was in early July (after our rather dismal performance in June) and I promised video of it “soon”, I didn’t get the complete set of two video camera angles until a couple of days ago. But it was worth the wait to showcase a score of 90.385, wouldn’t you think?

Now I have to ask your indulgence for all the dust…but it was worth it for the score…just imagine it’s sort of like one of those theater performances where the fog machine goes wild and half obscures the stage. I cut between the two cameras to try to minimize the dust. And I know some smarty-pants is going to comment that we got that great score because the judge couldn’t really see us. Well, who knows? All I know is, I’ll take it! You know you’ve got something good going when the judge steps down from the booth at the end of your performance and enters the ring to tell you that except for maybe performances at Dressage at Devon, this is the best amateur musical freestyle quadrille she has ever seen.

(PS: If you haven’t seen video of our previous quadrille performances, my horse Charm is the only chestnut in the group. Makes it kind of hard to hide the mistakes, especially in this performance where she tried to jump the canter cue twice!)

Closing credits photo courtesy of Elizabeth Grainger

Posted in dressage, horses, quadrille, Willow Tree | Tagged , , , | 9 Comments