Obscura Fenestra

Obscura Fenestra

15 x 19
This painting is nearly done. I have been asked about its composition or why I chose to paint this subject. While visiting the Dickens Fair in San Francisco I came upon a shop window that was very intriguing. This painting composition is based on a photograph taken of the shop window.

Most importantly in this composition is the various planes and lines. The window frame is one plane and the boxes and contents move in the opposite direction. It gives the image depth. The cross lines are also not centered in the image so the eye moves about the image following all the different lines and surfaces.

The color choices here are all warm colors, a golden glow of candle light yet the skull remains mostly white. The paper with image brings the eye or focus to that point because it is the greatest contrast point in the painting.

The composition is also aided by the various head images. Take note of the skull and then the diving mask in the upper right corner. Many say that the viewers eye is pulled up in that direction.

I hope you enjoy the painting. An image of its final form will be posted on my http://www.fineartsamerica.com site.

Winter Redwood Development Updated

Redwood, Winter - Jan 2013
Redwood, Winter – Jan 2013

Update 4/25/13: Growing season has begun and I have already had to pinch back 3/4 of the length of each new leaf set. Trees are growing fast. I will be updating pictures very soon.

Update 1/2013

Today we look at the winter condition of this redwood. It has been under development now for 3 years.  It was a submerged root that has been allowed now to develop branches above ground. In order to develop the branches on this tree, careful and constant leaf pinching was done throughout the growing season. Every time a new, light green, leaf would develop, the center is pinched back. It must be done before the leaf hardens. Once a leaf hardens no new buds will form halfway along the new stem. So redwood trees require constant work to create the fine branching that looks so natural.

This tree was pinched back in preparation for winter. Now that temperatures have fallen below 40 degrees it is not growing aggressively. Care efforts change to keeping it from freezing, keeping moss under control and monitoring water.

This Spring the tree will fill out again and I will be writing about the pruning process more in depth.


Here we will explore the development of  Bonsai through the years of styling.

We will also see watercolor paintings develop and view some creative photography from my many travels.

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