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Naturally I'm talking about the year 2020. To yammer on too much about it would make me sound just like someone's uncle, and that's not quite my style juuust yet, so I'd rather just say I'd be happy to wrap this year up and move on to better times. But hey, it's not up to me, so instead I'm praying for a good 2021.

Abandoned Shack in the Mojave Desert.
Shotgun Shack - Oil on Canvas 12x24 - Available

Last time I said I've been painting roadside monuments and abandoned places at night. I've explained how nocturnes have made an impression on me, are you drawn to the way the world looks by the light of the moon as well? Shotgun Shack, the piece above is from a spot on the way out to a place called Lake Los Angeles, which is neither a lake, nor a Los Angeles. All kinds of ways a place gets a name I guess.

The Garlock Range from the Ghost Town of Randsburg.

Poking around in the California Desert can be a lot of fun. An afternoon in Randsburg, a ghost town perched in the hills south of Death Valley turned out a decent plein air sketch. The town had been taken over by bikers that afternoon but nothing crazy happened. Sometimes people just let you down I guess.

The barren moonscape of the Trona Pinnacles.

The next leg of that trip sent me racing to catch the Trona Pinnacles before I ran out of light. I'll be coming back to the pinnacles on Thanksgiving weekend, so by the time you read this I'll have been there and back again, shooting and sketching, taking names etc etc. I'm also hoping to take a detour to the town of Ballarat, a lonely spot with a population of 1. There's a guy there who they call "the Mayor of Ballarat" and there's a really cool documentary short about him.

Hopefully you had a good Thanksgiving, and I pray you'll have a great Christmas with family and friends surrounding.

I'll be out painting.


"For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given, and the government will be upon His shoulders. And He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace." Isaiah 9:6 - That's what Christmas is all about Charlie Brown.

Like any other year, Fall has brought a nice relief from the stifling heat of our greater Los Angeles area. Cooler temperatures in the evenings have made painting outdoors a little more brisk, but beautiful for sure. I have a ratty old sweater that I refer to as Charles Grodin (long story) and he keeps me snug in the Autumn air most of the time. I'm not the fastest painter outdoors (in actual fact I'm a dreadfully slow one) but there's still enough light that I can at least get a good jump on a new plein air piece. Word has it that the next full moon is on Halloween, so I guess it will be me and Linus out in the Pumpkin Patch this year.

Charcoal drawings serve as a way to prep for oil paintings I have planned. I've decided to make them for sale on the site from time to time, they're a nice option for the collector who may find an oil painting a financial stretch, and are sometimes a little more detailed than the final oil.

I've been traveling around a lot lately from the coast to the inland desert, taking photos and coming up with some ideas for short series of smaller watercolor and gouache paintings. We'll see how they turn out. I will let on that at this point I'm taking a lot of source of roadside memorials and also abandoned home ruins.

Depicting a roadside memorial is something that I want to approach with a great deal of respect. The High Desert of California is full of these markers, so full in some areas that you could see 4 or 5 in the span of a mile. So far I've only seen one such marker that seemed to have been visited with frequency. Often, people speed past with little regard to what they signify. They are both beautiful and sorrowful, significant and easy to miss. Despite the sadness there's beauty there.

I'll be out painting, have a great All Saints Day and save me a little candy corn (don't you judge me).


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