Muddy Trails

We got rain the other day and between showers I sloshed over to the salt mash trailhead to paint some puddles. I was followed by a very brave preschool teacher and a wild gang of little explorers. Instinctively the children ran straight towards the slippery mess like bits of iron pulled to a magnet. I could see a calmness in the teachers eye as the boys and girls begged him forward. Like Daniel walking into the lions den, he stepped forward with grace. This is when the clouds parted and the miracle occurred.

I watched those kids run up and down through the mud, splashing doing all the stuff that toddlers do, and then he called them back and to my amazement no one was soaking wet. No one was muddy, no one fell, slipped, splattered their cloths, splashed another, nothing. It was a true miracle. I would have put money on one of them putting their hands in the mud at the very least. I was shocked and a little disappointed.

Instead of a dove a wild California Vole popped up three feet from my easel as the kids were passing. I called the teacher over and the kids gathered round to watch the vole play in the grass. Then it started to rain and the brave teacher and his troupe giggled their way back to the school. I tipped my hat to the vole, and started to pack up. I didn’t want to get stuck in the storm without my umbrella. I was on my own now. There’s a grace period between miracles, you got to wait at least three day before you can ask for a second one.

9x11in oil on linen panel
field trip

Fall Vineyards

After two weeks of Covid isolation I was finally out of the house with a very long to do list. Yesterday I built a set for the school play and this morning the boys and I got a Christmas tree. I had to drive up to the ranch to find all of our lights and ornaments. The fall colors there were really nice so took a long overdue painting break and set up just south of my Uncle Jim’s, Looking towards my cousin Steve’s place. Bob Johnson, stopped by to say hello while I was painting and we had a very nice chat about the state of the arts. Then I was back on the road south to Marin.

9x12in oil on linen panel
Artist view

A Brush with a bushtit

It was an interesting morning on the ranch. A wild bushtit landed on my paint brush while I was working on this oil sketch. Then my mom brought over a bucket with a large false tarantula in it and last but not least a small flock of mangy looking runaway goats showed up on our property and I had to try and round them up on the four-wheeler.

I haven’t painted in while. I feel pretty rusty. Forgot to bring turp for the clean up.

looking down the hill towards my bothers

For Ralph

Today I lost one of my closest friends to a long battle with cancer. I was introduced to Ralph Egglesston during the pandemic through a video chat by a friend and we instantly hit it off. We would call each other a couple times a week and just have the best conversations, trading story’s for hours about our lives and art. He was one of the few people I have ever known who I ever really felt in sync with. In a very short amount of time he grew to being one of my best and my closest friends. His parting leaves a massive hole in my life.

I last spoke to Ralph a few days ago. It was really hard. He was in a lot of pain and it was clear that he didn’t have much time left. We said our goodbyes and I told him how much I loved him and how I was going to miss him. And now he’s gone.

After the news of his passing I spent most of the day in a fog. Through tears I grabbed my painting kit and headed out the door to catch the sunset. Ralph would have wanted me to paint. This one was for him.

oil painting
9x12in Oil on linen panel

Dusk Behind the Woodshed

Post fathers day taco dinner painting. It’s amazing how long the light lasts in the summer. Also amazing how predictably windy it gets around sunset.

oil painting
9x12in Oil on linen panel


I walk across this little bridge all the time to paint. It looked nice as the sun was going down so i decided to stop and just paint it this time.

oil painting
8x10in oil on wood panel

Creekside Thicket

I set up just as the sun disappeared behind Kentfield and painted through golden hour until I lost all my light and couldn’t see the colors anymore. On the walk back I was graced by an owl hunting on the salt marsh. Not a bad way to end the day.

oil painting
12x15in Oil on Linen Panel
Artist’s View


Between the deadlines at work, all the end of the school year events and friends getting hurt or sick. I’ve found it difficult to find time or motivation to paint. I force myself to paint today just to break the trend. I feel really rusty, like I haven’t painted in years. Got to get that momentum back.

oil painting
9x12in Oil on linen panel

Swim Practice

Hanging out at by the pool at Ann Curtis school of swimming in Terra Linda San Rafael.

oil painting
9x12in Oil on linen panel

Terra Linda Sunset

There are a lot of drawings, paintings and films I’ve made over the years which I find hard to enjoy because they remind me of whatever was going on at the time I made them. I guess I’ll file this one in that category.

I was just leaning into this painting when I got a call from my girlfriend who was en route to the emergency room. She broke a finger in a cycling accident. That was the end of the painting . Cleaned up as fast as I could, took a quick picture and then was on the road north. I cleaned the painting up a little after we got her all bandaged up and on the road to recovery.

oil painting
9x12in Oil on linen panel