I love my woodsy walks. I enjoy walking here in any season. And I always have my Sony with me. Seriously, I have had this camera for over a year now and it has become the only camera I carry. It is a full frame 42 megapixel compact mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. You get a large sensor, a very large pixel count, and very low noise even at higher ISOs. It is even a great performer in lower light situations.

When I put the Sony up to my eye there is really little disconnect from the reality in front of me. It has a great viewfinder, the advantage being able to see the exposure accurately.

The incredibly high resolution is amazing. It allows me plenty of pixels to play with in processing. The ability to crop using the sharp lenses is another plus for me. The lenses perform sharper at longer distances and wider apertures.

This camera focuses quickly and accurately, not only with the Sony lenses but with lenses designed for other systems. There are many third party manufacturers making glass for the E Mount now. Options are practically endless.

Since day one with this camera I have never taken it off manual. I found this Sony camera to be very intuitive for me to use. And I really like the lighter weight, smaller size of the camera body. I can create a lighter kit when traveling and still get all the bells and whistles I need. I’ve never been disappointed with this purchase.

Battery life could be a bit longer, but I know I just need to tuck extra batteries in, so it isn’t that big of a deal to me.

And as soon as I feel better I hope to head back out there for those woodsy walks. Until then, I’ll be using the Sony A7RII for some still life work here at home. And I’ll be using some of my favorite lenses. . .




I have always loved botanical images and my enjoyment of painting in Corel Painter has led me to create a new series. This artwork began after picking a few Ginko leaves in the garden. It evolved while sketching in Corel Painter over the weekend. And since this is sort of an updated twist on botanicals, I did not feel the need to keep all the leaves green. Adding some Fall color, picking and choosing from my own palette, just felt right.

And when sketching poppy seed heads it was only logical to make them purple.

While the Lupines are more traditionally painted I did go crazy with watercolor clipping masks.

I will be adding more to the series this month. This is not something that is painted quickly, it does involve some precision. The detail work appeals to me right now.


After spending the month of June on still life works I’ve switched to landscapes for the month of July. It is sort of nice sticking to a plan and maintaining a focus while learning more. In the process, new digital brushes have been created to help obtain the results you see here. And, of course, this went through some “ugly stages” along the way.

I really planned to show more of the stages, but after saving the first two I was totally caught up in the painting. The first stage is my very basic sketch on a separate layer above the underpainting. This is the part where you just get some color on the canvas:

The streaks you see are from the chosen paper texture, one of my own called Burlap. The next stage is still an “ugly” stage, but the underpainting is blended, smoothing out some of the paper texture:

Now the fun begins, painting on layers between the underpainting and the sketch, turning the basic sketch off and on as needed and building up layers for each area. Sky first, horizon, the meadow, the fence row, the foreground, but often jumping back to other layers for touch ups, additions, and corrections. For me, there is always a bit more work in Photoshop, but all the brushwork you see here was done in Corel Painter 2018. After a slight crop at the bottom, this is my final painting:

Thanks for stopping by.


The early morning state park walk turned into an impromptu Wildflower Walk the other day. We walk about 4 miles per day and paddle the kayaks about 3 miles per day finishing before noon. A nice respite from the 100*+ heat at home with lake breezes to cool things down. Just a few shots here with my new Sony lens, FE 2.8/100 STF GM OSS, which is fast becoming a favorite.

Hope your summer is kicking off to a great beginning. Stay cool. Shoot your camera. Make some art. Save some time to sit on the dock with a glass of wine. . .


Rambling Thoughts on Changing Direction (Things you probably already know)

To coin a phrase used by a friend in her recent blog, “that invisible tap on the shoulder” comes along once in a while. You just need to be open to it. You have probably felt it. It may be what got you to where you are now. I find that when creating becomes stale and my enthusiasm takes a vacation, I listen for that tap on the shoulder. It might set me in a new direction or lead me down a different path. I can’t ignore it so I continue to explore. These departures along the way often give me new insight, a better outlook, new inspiration, and hopefully some new skills.

I suppose it is what we must do to keep things fresh and continue evolving in our art. I know it helps keep me motivated. It has to come from within not from any outside source. I’ve found that I learn best by finding my own path.

These ramblings were prompted by others asking me why I’m not creating digital art or teaching Corel Painter anymore. Big Questions!!  As co-founder of PhotoPaintWorks along with Marie Otero we have taught many students the ins and outs of Corel Painter and Photoshop. We have produced video tutorials, on-line classes, created digital brushes for Corel Painter’s own shop as well as ours, created paper textures, nozzles, paper libraries, flow map libraries, Photoshop tutorials, Photoshop brushes, design templates, free “how to” videos, held workshops throughout the United States and in Europe, and much more. In some regards I feel that I have “mastered” what I set out to do in Corel Painter.

So when that little tap on the shoulder came I felt it was time to (once again) mix things up a bit. It does not mean that I will not evolve back around to teaching in Corel Painter. Because, if I do, all the diversions taken will surely be an asset no matter the medium. Traditional paint? Digital paint? Does it matter?

For now I’m just on Creative Sabbatical. . .

Please share your thoughts.


Digital landscape at the top. Tradition oil landscape at the bottom.