Fort Bragg Beach Scene

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3X5′ oil on canvas

I’ve decided to finally come back to this one and finish it.  It’s a big one for me at 3X5 feet.  I worked on this beach scene last summer after our trip to Northern California for spring break.  We like to get together with family and stay at a beach house on the coast where all the cousins can hang out and play together on the beach.  We usually stay at the beach for  a few days and the kids make trips down to the ocean back and forth all day long.  I took this picture in the evening when the sun was setting.  Here 3 of them were pulling a long piece of seaweed out of the ocean, 2 were digging a hole, and one was walking around in the water looking for things.  They were all doing what all kids do on the beach.  The light that night was casting a beautiful light on the kids and rocks.




I love it when I see a really cool signature on a painting.  I just haven’t figured out how to do it!  How to make Millward cool…???

I’m nearly finished with a new piece and yesterday I signed it.  I’ll show the new painting next week when it’s all done.  I’m still fighting with one little part.

How do you sign your work?  First name, last name, both, initials, big, small, bold, light…?



Jeni’s Peaches


I wish I had a better picture of this one!  it’s one of my favorites.  I painted this for my sister and her husband for Christmas and surprised them with it.  I was in such a rush to get it framed and in the mail that I didn’t take any good photos.  I had it framed by a wonderful local artist, Randy Van Dyke.  He took it while it was still wet in places and framed it within 24 hours and then off to CA it went.  I surprised my sister with it, normally I share way too many pictures with my sisters as paintings are in progress, but with this one I kept it a secret.  These 2 cute little kids are now teenagers.  Here they were 9 and 11 years old.  Now they are 15 and 17.  So, when my sister opened this gift both she and her husband started crying.  I hope they were happy tears over the sweet memory of their beautiful kids.  Maybe there was some feeling of the loss we all feel as life changes and time marches forward and our kids grow up, etc.  She loved it and told me it was the best gift she had ever received.  Of course that made me feel good.

I grabbed this picture off my sisters Facebook account.  My brother in law is a great photographer and takes and posts a lot of photos.  I saw this one and something about it really caught the spirit and personalities of these two.  Here’s the original.  I call this one “Jeni’s Peaches” because they looked liked soft rosy beautiful peaches as kids with peaches and cream cheeks.  This one was easy for me because I knew when it looked like them.

Boys at the Fair


Last summer I took a million pictures at the county fair and then decided to paint this one.  These two had just bought homemade ice cream and were sitting outside the small animal petting zoo area.  I like their expressions in the picture with one blankly staring and brother pulling a face.  I love the colors of the fair.  I especially enjoyed painting Ethan’s hand.  Normally I don’t love hands but with these I wasn’t trying very hard and just blocked in the values and thought I’d come back to them and finish.  But when I revisited them I decided they were perfect the way they were.


Painting hands is hard.  Much harder than faces for me.  Hands move and change in so many ways and have so many angles.  I find painting them tedious.  Faces are challenging but they turn out beautiful, hands are always just hands, neither here nor there.  Unless you are painting a beautiful ballet dancer, then they become a thing of beauty.  But in general, meh.  Today I was laughing with Geoff about wishing people would always keep their hands in their pockets.  This is Sammy’s hand.  I think it turned out alright.  He was holding his fingers like that which is a little odd, but people do odd things with their hands.