Wednesday, December 28, 2011


     One thing I've always enjoyed about Plein Air Painting is the "Search". I had to drive down many miles of old roads in rural Kansas to find this place. The road up to the farm was just a couple of ruts. There were some old antique farm equipment around the property and a broken down kids swing. The day I was standing there doing the painting, I started hearing kids playing while dad was out on the tractor planting the crops and mom doing laundry on a wash board. It was like the past was speaking to me.

Saturday, December 24, 2011


     I am kinda missing my Kansas family this year because I haven't been back there to visit in many years. This is an old barn that I see when I go to visit my sister Liona Sue in Geuda. I think it has a population of 80 maybe. I grew up back there and it seems when I go back to visit, my feet always seem to be more connected to the ground. That must be why they say "Getting back to your roots", or not?

Friday, December 23, 2011


     I was intrigued by the atmosphere created by those last rays of sun disappearing behind the hill and everyone on their way home.

Monday, December 5, 2011


     This is a very enchanting place I found when I was painting over on the California Coast. I drove into an old hamburger stand overlooking these sort of beach shacks down along the ocean. I was painting the scene on top of a picnic table when someone drove up in a little car filled with their belongings. I overheard the person talking to someone about having to move out of this little beach colony. I went ahead and drove down to the beach and was totally blown out by the character of the place. I hiked and painted there many times during the Laguna Plein Air events in subsequent years. There was a movement to keep the area from being demolished and instead turned into a historic sight. I donated a painting to that cause for the "Crystal Cove Alliance"

Thursday, November 24, 2011


This is my entry to the Daily Paint Works weekly challenge  .
This toaster came from the Gold King Mine. Carol and I were painting trucks there and I saw it laying out on the ground. Don let me have it. It had been outside for a long time, but the chrome was still good. I took it home and cleaned it up, it still works!

Monday, November 14, 2011


           I really like this city, so much charm, charactor, romance and history!
Framed w/gold liner

Friday, October 21, 2011


     I did an 8x10 field study of this scene on location and then working from that field study and my photo references did this painting in my studio. I took this painting back out on location to put on the finishing touches. I had to hike one half mile carrying this large painting and my equipment to do that. It was done at Sedona, Arizona.

Thursday, October 6, 2011


     This painting was done at Cathedral Rock in Sedona Arizona at sunset. The sun was down when I was putting on the finishing touches. This is a very spiritual place where many people come from all over the world to see. It is the most photographed spot of anywhere in the world. (That's what I was told anyway). I only painted a small portion of the rock formation. Most of the time you see the rocks from a distance with water in front, etc. I just spotted the muted colors against what was really starting to glow and knew I only had about 30 minutes to do it. The sky becomes darker than some of the light parts of the rocks. These are the times that I love Plein Air, the unexpected is always happening. It is an 8x10.

Sunday, October 2, 2011


     This was painted in the morning from the regular viewing platform. It wasn't very crowded that day. Probably because it was around 29 degrees and the wind was at 20-30 mph. This is an 8x10.

Friday, September 30, 2011


     I liked the unusual composition on this one. It is another painting done at the LaJolla Plein Air Invitational. It is 12x16.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

LaJolla Hills

     This was painted at the LaJolla Plein Air Invitational in California. I loved the colors in the mountain. It is a 12x16.

Monday, September 19, 2011


     It cooled off a little here in Arizona (90s) so I walked down in the River Bed and found a shade tree where I painted this little scene.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


     This is a great spot just north of Sedona down along Oak Creek Canyon. There is a whole family of these giant Sycamores with their falling autumn leaves and the enchanment they create when the sunshine bounces around and through their golden and green colors.

Sunday, September 4, 2011


     Before I became a full time painter I used go out to paint and at some point would feel like I wanted to get back home. I really didn't know why, it was just a strong urge. Then I sold all my belongings and became a full time RVer with no phone, computer, mail, or TV. My home was with me all the time, so I didn't have those urges anymore. I just got up and painted outdoors everyday, all day. I have had my new studio/home for about 5 years now and it has already filled up with "stuff". I have a computer, a phone, and mail with a whole bunch of "routines".
     I noticed while on this trip that I was starting to get those urges to get back "home". I realized that I had become attached to my "things" and my "routines". It seems that I lose some of my "freedom" when I get too attached to this "stuff". I have to maintain a balance of my travel, painting, and spiritual things with my material life. It's a hard feeling to describe. Everyone has different "priorities" in their life, and those change with time. My top priority in life is to stay as "free" as I can from all the worldly stuff and all the negative goings on in the world. My job is to turn lead into gold, if you know what I mean?

Saturday, September 3, 2011


     I had to hike around a little to the side of this popular Grand Canyon point to get this unusual view.

     There was a family from Russia sitting together having lunch there under the Pinon Pines. I saw many people from other countries at the Canyon as usual. More and more of them are flying in and renting those "Cruise America" and other brands of Recreational Vehicles to travel around in. I spoke to some of the people and they like them much more than staying in hotels and they are less expensive. To stay at the Grand Canyon camp grounds it is only $18 a day. That is with no hook ups.

Friday, September 2, 2011


     I was sitting right off the rim walk on a ledge behind some junipers while painting this one. Everything started out fine and then the clouds started moving in from the south. They put the closer ledge I was painting in shadow. I noticed that there were some holes in the clouds so I continued to paint the areas that wound be in shadow when the sun can back out. Finally the sun lite up the ledge again, just long enough for me to finish the painting. I barely got my stuff packed up before it started sprinkling.

Thursday, September 1, 2011


     I used to paint at this outlook often a couple years ago before they built a huge parking lot in front of it. It was always too crowded in the past, but this time it was fairly empty so I decided to try it. They have really fixed the whole area overlooking the Canyon very nice. It had a little amphitheatre for the Ranger lectures and a nice walkway all around with plenty of seating, etc. I saw this spot and set my easel up with my new umbrella which I was very pleased with. (Best Brella). It was easy to attach to my tripod and re-acted well to a little breeze that came up while I was painting. It wasn't really hot, but the umbrella gave me just a little extra protection from the sun.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011


     I found out on the first morning that I had better get my painting done promptly in the morning, because the monsoon was coming in that afternoon. I painted this one sitting out on a ledge. A guy from New Zealand came riding out there on a mountain bike. He said he travels around the world with his bike. He had ridden in many locations in the states, as well as Europe and Africa.

Monday, August 29, 2011


    It got up to around 115 where I live, so I took off again for cooler country to paint. I ended up at the Grand Canyon again. A funny thing happened when I went to put my first finished field study in my wet panel box; There was a painting from my trip to Telluride that just showed up?
   I had a good time at the Canyon and will be posting some of those paintings next.

Saturday, July 30, 2011


12 X 16
     The next couple days it rained off and on. I took a hike part way down the Bright Angel Trail, which was a pretty good workout. The rest of the time I hung out with the dogs and we took some short hikes down a dirt road by the campground. It was really wonderful compared to the 100+ temperatures back at our house. Finally the sun came out on the last day. I climbed over a fence at this outlook to paint this scene. I had painted many of the views from the outlooks on past trips and wanted to do something just a bit different. I was lucky enough to sell this one on location.
Bright Angel Trail
Me with Jack and Lexi at campsite.
     When we arrived at this campsite there were three male elk with huge racks laying in the forest about 50 feet away.
Contemplating the finish.
     I didn't get a lot of production done on this trip, but had a wonderful time and was very spiritually up lifting!
     Oh by the way, I had time to check out the paintings for the DPW Challenge I issued and I'm very impressed with the paintings and proud of everyone for getting outside!

Friday, July 29, 2011


8 x 6
     I made it out of the heat and up to the Grand Canyon. When I arrived I found that my favorite campground "Mather" was full and was told I would have to drive outside of the Grand Canyon Park to search for another. I decided to wait awhile there in the parking lot and luckily someone cancelled so I got a camp site that night and every night for 5 days. Only thing was I had to change sites every day. So if you decide to go there in the summer, try to make reservations before. Mather campground is the most convenient.
     The second day I hung out around the Bright Angel Lodge. There is a few museums, the Tovar Lodge, and many other attractions besides the great view. It was a little warm with the sun, so I found a shady spot along the rim and spotted this great "Rock Design".

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


       My last painting of the oranges reminded me of this one I did in a little different style.

Sunday, July 17, 2011


      I just wanted to take the opportunity to say thanks for the comments on my blog. I don't get a chance to answer all of them, but I look forward to reading them and appreciate all the things you have to say.

Saturday, July 16, 2011


     This is the kind of alley that draws me into it, but somehow says "Danger" is lurking.

Thursday, July 14, 2011


     I have a few of these Prickly Pear cactus growing in my front yard. This particular species turns purple at certain times. I caught it about a half hour before the sun went down.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


     Well I went from 10,000 feet and 70 degree days to 118 back here in Arizona. I'm still in the "plein air" mood so I set up in the shade as the sun was going down in my backyard. I live on a cliff overlooking a river valley with mountains (called "hills" in Colorado and other places where they have real mountains) on the other side. My dogs and I hike down there everyday. There is also a horse ranch on the other side.

Thursday, July 7, 2011


     Well I finally made it over to Trout Lake which is one of the most beautiful places I have found in my travels. The colors are quite different when the sun starts going down.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011


     This is another morning relaxing underneath the Aspens. There was a slight breeze playing soft tunes with the Aspen leaves as I sat and contemplated the universe while painting this little slice of a heavenly piece of earth.

Monday, July 4, 2011


     One morning while hiking with the dogs down Lizard Head Trail, I noticed this large sunlight meadow. Jack took off running through the soft green grass, so as I followed him I noticed the mountain in the distance. The next morning, I threw on my backpack and we went back to this meadow to paint. It was an enchanting morning sitting there painting this glorious view of the mountains in the distance around Trout Lake.

Sunday, July 3, 2011


     This was another little one looking across the dandelion meadow at the distant mountains. I was still doing some recovery from the altitude illness, so was not hiking as much as usual. I'm glad in a way, it was forcing me to find great things to design and paint right there in my intimate camp backyard. I would do a few small paintings and then rest or take a short nap and then get up and do another.

Saturday, July 2, 2011


     Early in my painting career I made a decision that i didn't ever want to get stuck painting the same thing over and over, like an assembly line. Years later I began my plein air work with mostly a foreground, middle ground, and something in the distance (preferably purple mountains). They sold very well. After awhile I felt like I was going "to work" every time I would go out to paint. I suddenly realized that I had fallen into the trap. I made a choice that day to switch my operating basis and just find something that moved me and had nothing to do with sales or who might like it. I painted a big black airplane that day. It felt wonderful, I really felt the joy of painting again. It is tough for artist trying to make a living and at the same time keep their work fresh and innovative.
     I would have never imagined that I would be sitting outdoors in the land of Colorado mountains lookin down at the ground two foot in front of me, painting a few little dandelions. It was a challenge to paint something new and not "set up" in a studio with controlled lighting, etc.; But it was exciting and I loved it.

Friday, July 1, 2011


Click Here To Bid
  This was an exercise in simplification. A zillion Dandelions out there in this sunny meadow, but if I paint each one...well you get the idea. Sort of like painting the ocean waves, just pick out what looks like a good area and make it the focus..then make everything else support that area.

Thursday, June 30, 2011


     After taking the dogs out for a short hike down a little mountain trail through the Aspens, I came back and sat down to sip on some coffee. I found myself staring out at this little spot of flowers to a evergreen there in my "backyard". It was just so intimate and poetic.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


     I had the most wonderful camp site up there in the mountains. It was shaded on both sides by small aspens and the meadow in front was covered with these cheerful yellow Dandelions. There were mountains in the distance. I couldn't call myself a "Flower Painter", but I ended up doing a few of these because they just seemed so happy. I found out that they all close up at night and then open back up in the morning when I was having my coffee, to welcome me into a new day.

Monday, June 27, 2011


      I'm back from my painting trip. This is a view from my camp site where I spent most of the week because of altitude sickness. I went from 2,000 feet to 10,000 and although it had never effected me before...maybe age? Anyway I still had a great time.
     Plein Air painting has given me so much joy in my life for so many years. The process of jumping in my truck with the dogs and traveling across the country following my inspiration only. Throwing on my back pack full of my painting equipment and hiking to the perfect spot somewhere in the mountains, on the coast, by a river, under a tree, or even on a main street of a big city. Where ever it is, I am there at that moment interacting with the environment, the lighting, the weather , the sounds. I see colors out there that I have never seen in a photo, period. It takes far more time and effort, but to me it is so well worth it. That feeling of intimacy with nature is something very, very special.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Characters In Truck

   This was a field study I did on my trip last year with my good friends Carol and Penny.
   I'm gone on another paining trip to Colorado until June 27th. I like to get away from AZ as much as possible in the summer. It gets a little warm for plein air painting.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


    This truck made a stricking first impression on me when I came across it. I seemed to be saying I'm "ready for anything", bring it on!

Monday, June 13, 2011

'29 FORD AA C Cab

   I painted this truck twice, this is the 6x8 version done a little looser than the 6x6 done later. This is when trucks had a whole bunch of character. They weren't muscle, or sleek, or fast, but they got the job done and you could fix them with a pair of pliers and some bailing wire.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Tuesday, June 7, 2011


   When Carol and I was walking into the Gold King Mine, one of the guys who works there told us that they had a couple new trucks on the lot. This Orange 4x4 tow truck was one of them. I couldn't resist the design elements of the front grill, the huge tires, and of course the color.
This is Carol setting up to paint the yellow bed dump truck.
     Carol recently downsized her back pack. She also switched from the Compact size Plein Air System to the MINI size. So now Carol and Jennifer McChristian are both using the Mini Plein Air System. (Art Box and Panel)

Monday, June 6, 2011

Slide Rock

     I have been very busy with my "Coulter Plein Air System" business this past month. I think that it started warming up back East and everyone came out to paint, and play golf, etc. I was able to get away for a few days to meet with my friend Carol Marine and her friends to paint for a couple days up in Sedona/Jerome area. I've been trying out some new materials with my outside painting and this one came out with an almost abstract quality.
This is a photo of Carol Marine and I at Slide Rock in Sedona, AZ.



   This sort of immaculate white baby really stood out in a truck lot of hundreds of old rusted beat up relics. It was also make differently; It was skinny and tall with a couple of wide fenders and a huge black bumper.

Saturday, June 4, 2011


   This was the last truck in the row of "Snub Nose Dodge" and "Long Nose International". It had a funny look to it because of the huge crane in the bed of a somewhat small truck (in relationship to the crane). It looked like the crane had been used for many years though.