The Human Landscape

One Summer, when I was about 9 years old, I set out to paint portraits of houses around the neighborhood.  I gathered up all of the leftover paints from several paint-by-numbers sets, flipped over the canvas boards and painted portraits of three nearby houses on the back sides.  When completed, I took each painting up to the house and offered it to the resident for $1.00.  It was a sellout: 3 for3.

I have always felt that the environment we create to live in has a curious beauty.   In my small town of Roseburg, all of the artists I knew painted the usual barns, trees and mountain stuff.  I really had no use for that kind of thing.  I can only imagine what this sounds like to someone who grew up in a city.  In my world most painters were church ladies.  There was no such thing as a successful painter, or anything like an art community back then.  So, in short order, U.S.Navy, University of Oregon, graphic job for a bit, and now I just paint.  Abstraction came and went.  I generally enjoy non-representation, but I have always felt that it is for other painters.   It seems logical that I am the sum total of every art class that I ever attended or art exhibition that I have experienced.  And if I was seeking true, thick description, nothing else. 

The Art Cart

 After college I had a heavy duty bike trailer made as a mobile studio.  This enabled me to haul large canvases around.  I could carry paintings as big as 4 ft. by 6 ft. back and forth every day and complete them entirely on site.  I still have that cart after 40 years.  All of the residential landscapes shown here were painted using that bike trailer.  Most of them are 4 ft. wide and painted entirely on site. 

The vessell "Victory"

 My wife Dorothy picked me up while I was out painting, and after a few years on land we took up life as Willamette River live-aboards on a 40 Ft. converted Navy launch named Victory.  We lived and traveled on the river for 16 years.  We had our son, and named him Sailor.  I used the upper boat deck as a studio.  We could drop anchor anywhere near the river\\\'s banks, or drop in downtown Portland, which we did, often during festivals.  I tied the cart to the boat deck railing, and it served as my palette table.  That is how I was able to paint river scenes entirely on site.   The final painting from Victory was the epic "Willamette River Pirates".  Completed in about 4 months, it was the last painting from the boat deck, as she sank in a storm shortly afterward while anchored there, ending our live-aboard time.

Little windows

Eventually we ended up in Rainier.  I still break out the cart, but as winter has set in this year, I have embarked on a studio project that is a little out of my usual.  I am examining what happens when little house landscapes are painted using little paper houses and tiny trees and keeping it real by displaying them with the model houses underneath, nicely cased.  A highly circumstantial project that I will describe on the project pages.