Intimate Landscapes

These are smaller, more intimate landscapes. In oils, from life. Please use the cursor keys to scroll right and see more images.



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Mumford River, Douglas 2018 Emma's 2017 Rumford River at Draper's Woods 2017 Mendon 2017 Duckweed, Neponset River, Foxboro 2017 Dighton 2017 Early Summer Garden 2017 Claudine's Garden 2016 Dandelions 2016 Nickerson Wood 2016 Abandoned Clothesline 2015 Back Steps, Early Spring 2015 Peach Tree and Chair 2015 Purple Fountain Grass 2015 Rose of Sharon 2015 Roses 2015 Strawberries in Bloom 2015 Strawberries 2015 Succulents 2015    
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In Norton, MA.


True confession time: While I was painting this a van stopped and a set of grandparents stepped out. Was it all right if their grandkids watched me paint? Sure, no problem. The kids came out to watch and I offered, as I sometimes do, to let them try their hand at oil painting. I'm now very careful about this, since every child's immediate impulse is to pick the biggest brush available and swirl it around in my medium. So I gave my standard shtick ("OK, just touch the tip of the brush to the medium. Now pick up some paint off the palette and smear it around until it feels right. Paint anywhere you see white.") Afterwards the grandparents thanked me and I went on to part 2 of my schtick: let me see your hands. The girl didn't have any paint on her hands but the boy did, so I gave him a baby wipe to clean it off (baby wipes are the plein air painter's friend; thank God for baby wipes). He still had a smear when the grandparents led them away, and here's where the confession comes in.

I didn't tell them the paint contained lead.

Honestly, it didn't occur to me until after they'd left that I should have mentioned it, but when? "Before we begin, full disclosure: the pigments your grandchildren are about to use contain lead, cyanide, cobalt, and other heavy metals." It would cast a certain pall over the proceedings. Likewise, "Let's make sure we get all that paint off your grandson's hand, because it contains lead" after the fact probably would have led to some sort of scene involving hazmat suits and a trip to jail. The child was in absolutely no danger, short of actually licking his hand clean and even then, but I feel a slight amount of guilt that I didn't give them due warning before or after the fact. Should I not offer to give children the experience of painting in oils? Should I make a full disclosure statement about the contents of the materials they're using? Do I have to make their parents sign a release? Inquiring minds want to know.


It was a gorgeous day so I finished up some drafting and then headed out to paint. I decided to go to Dighton, and ultimately stopped and asked a passerby where I should go paint. She sent me to the most beautiful spot imaginable, just over the river on the Berkley line. Someday I want to do an entire painting trip based on asking the locals where I should paint.

Got there, grabbed my stuff, and realized I'd forgotten my palette! However, I had a canvas pad which happened to be the exact size of the paper palette I use, so I tore the canvas sheets out of it, taped it inside out, and it worked just fine.