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Painting Diary

A Diary of Paintings by James Abbott. All images copyrighted 2006 - 2012.

Last Build Date: Mon, 31 Jul 2017 18:01:09 +0000


With a Beard

Mon, 17 Feb 2014 23:14:00 +0000

11 x 14

I think I will go shave now.(image)

A Special Night

Tue, 11 Feb 2014 07:13:00 +0000

Andrew commissioned this painting for his wife. I painted from his photo of them at the Empire State Building.

14" x 11" Oil on Linen

Here is the sketch:

I set out a full palette for this painting:

And started with an transparent iron oxide underpainting that I like to have show through near the edges. It also avoids any glaring white showing through from the canvas.


Will you marry me Sarah?

Tue, 28 May 2013 01:38:00 +0000

Will you...

11" x 14" Oil on linen.
Not For Sale

This has been on my easel for a very long time. Life and
programming has been cosuming my painting time. At
any rate, I think it may be done.

Ed in the Hat

Sun, 01 Jul 2012 21:05:00 +0000

11" x 14" Oil on Linen
Not for sale.

A great photo from what must have been a fantastic trip to Spain was the source for this painting. Thanks to Bob for the use of the image. I painted Ed with a bit of exaggeration that is not quite caricature. 


Five Stages

Thu, 21 Jun 2012 21:28:00 +0000

8" x 10" Oil on Linen.

Peter Sagan collected a literal hand full of stage wins at the Tour of California this year. It will be interesting to see him head to head with all the other top sprinters at the Tour de France. I can see him giving Cavendish a run for his money since he continued this dominance in Switzerland. I cropped my composition to put his hand at the upper left sweet spot. The shoulder to his left is Boonen.


Christmas Catus Bloom at Easter

Tue, 03 Apr 2012 04:23:00 +0000

10" x 8" Oil on Linen.

Our Christmas Easter Cactus is blooming. It is an amazing plant that we have failed to kill and it blooms twice a year. The flowers are very interesting a real challenge to capture.


Crumpled Paper Airplane

Fri, 30 Mar 2012 20:27:00 +0000

10" x 8" Oil on Linen.

This is a painting for the Crumpled Paper Challenge at DailyPaintworks. It was a fun study to make it read correctly from across the room, while keeping it loosely executed. Crash and Burn?


Eggbeater Drill

Mon, 26 Mar 2012 03:17:00 +0000

12" x 12" Oil on Gallery Wrap Canvas.

Grandpa's old "eggbeater" drill is still running very smooth. This is my take on the You Know the Drill Challenge at DailyPaintworks. I set the tool in the composition with a cool to warm background in the upper portion of the square. 

Old Faithful #2

Sat, 24 Mar 2012 02:07:00 +0000

Approx 7" x 5" Oil on Linen.

My painting of Old Faithful can make me stop and look after 2 years. I liked how the pink underpainting gave the sky some liveliness. So I decided to revisit it today and let a little more undertone show through. I still like the effect. It is a little unusual to come back and execute a smaller study after the big painting, but maybe this is just another in a series. 

Here is a peek at what it actually looks like on my easel. 

Note that I plan to cut and mount this at 7" x 5" so not much of the pink border will show.

From across the room I really like how the image pops with the surrounding color, so I am thinking about going further and visiting it again with am extreme vignette.


Spring Snow

Fri, 23 Mar 2012 00:35:00 +0000

10" x 8" Oil on Linen.

Our second full day of Spring came with another blanket of snow. It soon melted off of the trees, but for the morning they sported an appealing flocking against a shocking blue sky. This is the top of one of the towering specimens behind our house.


Cycling Photogs

Wed, 21 Mar 2012 00:04:00 +0000

11" x 14" Oil on Linen.
In a Private collection.

Leon Z allowed me to paint from his photo reference. He said, "This shot just says something..........I'm not sure what, it just speaks to me!" I agree.

 I really liked the contrast between Jono and Beth as they wait for the approaching racers at the US Pro Cycling Challenge in Colorado. I thought at first this was Liz  since she is always wearing some pink. Beth Schneider confirms it is her in the comments. She is about 4 ' 10" and Jono is well over 6ft. 


Mt Index Through the Clouds

Mon, 19 Mar 2012 23:48:00 +0000

14" x 11" Oil on Linen.

Mt Index was playing hide and seek while wearing a brand new coat of snow on Sunday. Of course, the view was changing minute by minute, but it produced a dramatic effect as it went in and out of the clouds. Mt Index is my favorite and it's on the way in and out of Seattle.


Mountains Leader

Sat, 17 Mar 2012 05:23:00 +0000

11" x 14" Oil on Linen.

Here is a closer composition of the Polka Dot Jersey. The lost edges and exaggeration are pushed a little farther. I wanted this one to more closely match the Green Jersey painting.


Polka Dot Jersey

Wed, 14 Mar 2012 02:37:00 +0000

11" x 14" Oil on Linen.

The Polka Dot Jersey in the Tour de France and several other stage races is worn by the leader in the climber's classification. I expect that we might see Andy Schleck  in that jersey as the attacks to take time out of Cadel Evans. It might look like this.


Cavendish Winning

Fri, 09 Mar 2012 23:41:00 +0000

10" x 8" Oil and Linen.

I think we will be seeing the rainbow jersey in this pose a lot this year. Mark is not succumbing to any World Champion Jersey curse. Mark won the sprinter friendly World Championship Road Race last year, so this year he gets to has to wear the rainbow stripes in road races. He might be wearing a classification jersey (like the Tour de France Green Jersey.)

For this painting, I used photo reference from 2010 (that I have permission to use) and dressed him in the rainbow stripes. 


Tea with Cream and Sugar

Thu, 08 Mar 2012 17:34:00 +0000

14" x 11" Oil on Linen.

I still like this china pattern after many years. I wanted to keep this painting loose with the silver cream an sugar set pushed back in the composition. I am still working on the lost edges here, but I like the "shine" effect on the cup.


Two Gala Apples

Wed, 07 Mar 2012 01:36:00 +0000

8" x 6" Oil on linen.

A little still life setup concentrating on lost edges, shadows, and the wonderful color of these Gala's.


Grand Prismatic Spring

Sat, 03 Mar 2012 04:18:00 +0000

14" x 11" Oil on Linen.

Grand Prismatic Sprint is amazing when you see those National Geographic aerial shots, but in person it is even more stunning. The colors are an amazing rainbow made by different bacteria living at the various temperatures out from the center of the spring. My most memorable view was this one from the hill to the south east (as I remember) that has an unofficial trail. Along the top of this painting you see the grey boardwalk that gives visitors a closer look at the spring.

I am considering whether this or some other composition would make a good larger painting.


The Green Jersey

Fri, 24 Feb 2012 04:21:00 +0000

11" x 14" Oil on mounted Linen.
In a Private collection.

Is this how Mark Cavendish is going to look this summer? He captured the green jersey last year with HTC, but this year will be more of a challenge with Sky and the fact that they have a contender for the overall victory. He has already won with these shoes this year, but he doesn't have the dominant leadout train.


Ruger and Tye

Thu, 23 Feb 2012 03:57:00 +0000

11" x 14" Oil on mounted Linen.

Ruger is the big black soft pushover and Tye is more feisty. They love to come visit since it is great fun to tear around in the forest. 


Trappist Apple

Sat, 18 Feb 2012 02:13:00 +0000

11" x 14" Oil on Mounted Linen.

This painting features a souvenir from Belgium. The Westmalle Trappist Ale glass is trapping a Gala apple. I like painting shiny glass and fruit, but I don't think I have combined them like this before. I really like the shiny bits here.


White on White Coffee Cup

Fri, 17 Feb 2012 01:09:00 +0000

10" x 10" Oil on Gallery Wrap Canvas.

This coffee cup painting is in response to the White on White Daily Paintworks Challenge.

I wanted to go with a more graphic painting so I picked a square format with a lot of cropping on the subject. I did manage to get my favorite heart shaped handle reflection. I decided between this oblique angle and looking down from the top. That may be coming up.

The challenge was interesting, but I think I would sneak in a little more color with some warm/cool lighting if I started again. Still, it makes me think it is time to fill the cup with a latte...



Wed, 15 Feb 2012 22:51:00 +0000

11" x 14" Oil on Linen.

Mike Gladu shared a nice photo of  his niece Madeline dancing. The frozen moment of time made a great painting subject. 


Cold Morning Sun at the River

Tue, 14 Feb 2012 03:05:00 +0000

14" x 11" Oil on Linen.

This is a cold look into the blazing sun at the Wenatchee River in Leavenworth, Washington.


Stovetop Espresso Maker

Fri, 03 Feb 2012 18:18:00 +0000

10" x 8" Oil on linen.

This painting stars our new stainless stovetop espresso maker. In our household it makes sense to use this since we heat with a wood burning stove. It makes okay coffee and saves our off-grid battery power.  The new pot has an interesting shape that is quite different from the typical Moka octagon style pot.

I enjoyed the shiny reflections including the wood and the edge of the cup that peeks out from behind the pot. The fuzzy, lost, glowing edges also worked out well.