Last Day! Hat Shop Musicians

While life can be filled with its ups and downs, every once in a while some days are simply magical. Such was an early May morning in Boulder recently. Started the morning off with friends and colleagues, and concluded with a walk down Pearl Street Mall with my lovely wife. Being a fan of hats, we ducked into a local hat shop and it was like we stepped into a time warp. Filled from floor to ceiling with hats from all eras, we could not help but be inspired. This was made even more so when suddenly local musicians began playing jazz and chocolate espresso samples were being passed around. This painting was inspired by that day.


Size: 12″ x 16″. Acrylic on board. First in a series of studies regarding musicians in hats. Sold in an optional birchwood frame.

$99 for today only!

Day Nine: Studio Cat

I will not lie, my cat loves to be a part of the action, always within arm’s reach of where I am painting, designing or drawing. Sometimes, when looking for a way to warm up in the morning, I’ll grab my sketch book, as she lazies about, looking back up at me with curiosity.

One day, I decided to see what would happen if I painted her in caricature. I drew her a few times, each time pushing the exaggeration until I arrived at a point I was satisfied. Then I painted her in, using my traditional “Mod Narrative” style. For day nine, I present to you: Studio Cat.¬†Acrylic on board.


Day Eight: Clear Creek Plein Air

Excited to report we have already sold two paintings during this 10 day sale! Our next piece was painted on location, on the Washington Street Bridge, looking at Clear Creek, in Golden, Colorado. Barely a stone’s throw away from this spot sits Coors Brewery. Day Eight’s offering is titled Clear Creek Plein Air, oil on canvas.

Size of art: 9″ x 12″. Sold with optional frame as shown. Size of frame: approx. 12″ x 16″.

When I endeavored to paint this original on location, I did not anticipate working in 95 degree heat. Needless to say, the summer’s sun hitting down on me and glaring off of the wet paints made creating this painting one of the more enduring pieces I’ve done to date.

Complain, I shall not, as the great masters Winslow Homer and Claude Monet were known for dragging their easels into the most brutal of elements, as the only way to truly depict nature on canvas was to observe it in person.

Painting was made sitting on the Washington Street bridge looking west. Lookout Mountain is in the background.

$99 for today only!


Day Seven: St. Mary’s Glacier

“St. Mary’s Alice” oil on board. Framed as seen in picture. Size of art: 10″ x 16.” Size of framed art: approx. 13″ x 21″ Comes with a certificate of originality.

Above Idaho Springs sits St. Mary’s Alice, formally St. Mary’s Glacier, where an ice field straddles between two mountain ridges. The bottom layer of the ice field has existed in its present state for thousands of years, as the snow and ice never completely melts during the summer months. What does melt pools into a beautiful and pristine lake at the bottom of the glacier, which then drains into a creek, surrounded by lush vegetation. This is where I chose to paint this image.

Day Six, Like Counting Down to Christmas!

Day six, and this is almost as exciting as counting down to Christmas! And speaking of Christmas, today’s piece is another Christmas themed piece. Titled “Mele Kalikimaka,” this is the result of what happens when you combine Christmas with Hawaii. This 20″ x 16″ painting will embolden any room with its presence, and get the festive holiday Aloha spirit going!

And if a painting is too much, we still have these available as cards. Order a ten pack today. Use promo code “surfsup” to save an extra 25% on this item.

“Iris of Hope” framed oil on canvas

Are you ready for day four? Here it is. This piece is titled “Iris of Hope.” Framed oil on canvas. Size of art: 16″ x 20″. Size of frame: approx. 18″ x 22″.

Inspired after the devastating 2011 tornadoes of Joplin, Missouri. Irises symbolize hope, rebirth, growth, strength through trial.

Day Three: “Along the Road to Cape Cod, 2”

“Along the Road to Cape Cod 2″ $99 for today only as a part of the 10 day, 10 paintings, cyber week special.

Oil on board. Optional frame as seen in picture. Size of art: 11″ x 14.” Size of framed art: approx. 17″ x 21″ Comes with a certificate of originality.

Being a Colorado native, what amazes me about the East Coast is how much water can be found in the area. On our way to Cape Cod, along the New England coast, we were greeted by several bogs, lakes and eventually the ocean. These dreamy landscapes are not exact locations, but inspired by our drive.

Made to coordinate with “Along the Road to Cape Cod 1”.

“Lake George” Cyber Monday deal

“Lake George” oil on canvas. Sold unframed. Size of art: 12″ x 9″.

Just west of Lake George, Colorado is an open space area that is a strong demonstration on why Colorado scenery makes for some of the greatest landscape paintings. If you are looking for a landscape to paint, come visit any of the beautiful mountain vistas, gaping valleys or open plains this state has to offer.

Special $99 Holiday Celebration


Starting on Cyber Monday, in order to clear room in our studio for all of the wonderful new art we will be creating next year, we will be having a special $99 sale on some of our original paintings. Each piece will only be $99 for the day it is featured only. Pay attention both here and on our PaintingForLife.comblog to see the featured painting of the day. Ten days, ten paintings, $99. If you need to start thinking about Christmas gift ideas, be sure to check every day.

The Music Box

The Music Box 3D Chalk Art Piece, Denver Chalk Art Festival, 2014. This piece is a personal piece. The Denver Chalk Art Festival is a great place for me to have a chance to explore the creative boundaries of my art. While we are sponsored graciously by Sola Salons at this event, they have always been very good at letting us loose artistically. Most events have a theme and we enjoy working with clients in coming up with a design that coordinates with that theme. But because this event is open and because we have three days to work on it, it is at the Denver Chalk Art Festival where I try out my craziest ideas.

I came up with the music box piece a long time ago. It actually had been sitting in sketch form for about three years, waiting for just the right opportunity. There were several new challenges with this piece that I had never attempted on a previous chalk art piece. The first is that the piece is extremely geometric. Creating irregular broken holes in the earth in 3D is pretty easy. For the most part you can kind of fudge it, after all, it’s organic, right? But when you have something that is architecturally geometric, there’s no hiding perspective errors. You have to make sure you have the vanishing point, measuring point, shadow vanishing point, all in the precise location based upon standing position, or else the whole thing gets distorted.

That was my first challenge. The second was the figures on top. I wanted to create porcelain figures, fairly realistically, in the illusion, as if they are standing upright. This is not easy. You can’t just draw a figure and then flair it in perspective. I mean, you could, I suppose, but it wouldn’t look exactly correct. I constructed the figure out of boxes first, boxes in proper perspective based upon vanishing and viewing points. Then WITHIN the boxes, I drew the figures, distorting them as the boxes distorted toward the vanishing point. I had to remember that the figures were only going to appear to be three feet high, that meant having to draw the figures as if the viewer was looking DOWN at them. I had to do all of this, WHILE remembering to render the figures as if they were porcelain.

DCF-working on faces At the festival, I worked on the figures on the second day. At the end of the second day, the figures look absolutely amazing. Unfortunately, the next morning, the figures were blurred and smeared as the chalk had become the victim of cyclists and the wind. I’ll redo them after I finish the box, I told myself. By the time I finished the box, the festival was nearing a close. I had to leave the figures dulled down, but it still turned out to be one of my most favorite pieces.