Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Douglas, Wa, digitally re-mastered oil
Digitally reworking oil paintings is like polishing a stone in a rock tumbler.

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Painting with Light

Finally getting handy with the ol Wacom tablet.  Have finally crashed through the old painting paradigm of canvas and oil. I look forward to joining the new generation of art. Learning new tools is a challenge for these old synapses although it's fun and exciting to paint with light.

Sunday, December 08, 2013

Aerial Steptoe

Aerial Steptoe, digital print available on

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Magic of the Columbia
Back in my warm Sanpoil Studio, looking out on the cold windy grey winter world painting colorful, warm, happy, beautiful paintings of the wonderful summer I had chasing steelhead around the Pacific Northwest. 
This is a digital version of a 3'x4' oil painting currently in progress.  I think I like the digital version better than the analog version which encourages me to explore this medium. 
Susie Engelstad, owner of the Artworks Gallery in Olympia, where I show my work, has been doing some very creative stuff with digital art.  It's a growing medium for fine art so I best throw my hat in the ring and try to integrate the computer as more of a tool than I have been.
I mostly use it to work with landscape photos that I use for paintings but it is evident that there are vast possibilities that digital work opens.
 As the camera turned the art world on it's head for the impressionists so to the computer is to our world today.  The only detraction I have with digital art is that it isn't archival in the sense that good art lasts for hundreds if not thousands of years.

Sunday, October 06, 2013

Two Weeks Steelhead fishing tributaries of the Skeena B.C. Canada

Just spent two weeks fishing a tributary of the Skeena River in British Columbia, Canada with old friend and horselogger Rod Gould from Greenwood B.C.
We figure we floated more than 100 miles over 10 days of fishing for a fish a day.  They say "steelhead are the fish of a thousand casts" but I know I had a few fish that took 3000 casts. 
We used our old beefed up 9' single hand rods.  I'm going to be looking seriouisly at some of thjose fancy 13' poles to cover more water.  Most steelheaders use a 'spey' rod or "switch" rod that not only can shoot 100+ feet and cover more water but doesn't have a back cast and you can stand with your back against a wall and still make a fabulous cast.  There will be a learning curve for both technique and equipment but it seems very appealing.
Glad I got to see the north country before it's all used up.
It was the finest fishing adventure I've ever had.  Caught my first steelhead on a wet fly and graduated to getting one to take a dry fly.  Skating dry flies to steelhead is AMAZING!  Both Rod and I landed 8 steelhead and lost as many in the 8 days of fishing.  These were aggressive wild steelhead.  Not one hatchery fish in the system.  We did pretty good for what the authorities say was a skinny year for steelhead.  There is great concern that this fishery is in jeopardy of dying from over fishing in the ocean and the river itself.  B.C Fisheries have elevated the classification of many of the tributaries of the Skeena as Class I and II which require non-residents to obtain a $40 a day permit above the annual license and steelhead tag.  Currently only locals can fish on the weekends in most of the system.  We did meet fishermen from all over the world as this is regarded as a world  class steelhead fisheries that the steelies will rise to the dry fly. The place attracts the most serious and arcane fishermen and women in the world.  The world record steelhead caught on a fly was taken on the Kispiox, something around 37#'s although that may have broke by now.  Each tributary seems to have it's own re-known strain of traits i.e. aggressive,  large, summer, winter.  Our stream averaged 6# to 15# fish with an occasional 20#er stuck to the bottom of the river.  The hens are dime bright and wonderful fighters.
 I was blessed with a fine hen on my last cast of the last day.  Her cheeks were as rosy as the sunset that fell over the river as a shouted "Halleluyah!" to the fishing Gods that I could hear chuckling to each other in the clouds.  Yeah, Baby!!!
Oh and by the way don't forget the Blue Horselogger Spercial that I made that caught all the fishies. 

Saturday, September 14, 2013

thoughts on art;
as a first year university art student (failure) I carried around a little book by Hans Hoffman called "Search for the Real".  It lit my brain on fire which, 40 years later, I realize I have internalized and yet is not reflected in my art as much as in my thinking. 
I have found after "miles of canvas and buckets of paint" as a plein air painter that I am dissatisfied with my work and need to push myself beyond the 19th century traditions of painting that plein air art seems to be stuck in.  To do so I think the answer is to spend more time in the studio, exploring painting and subject matter.  If painting is like making music then I have been playing a sort of folk music when I wish to explore jazz and perhaps the divine music of the spheres.  It is my job as an artist to produce yet it is imperative to me to express the substance of truth that arises from observing the world around me. 
If it is the artist's job to effect change through his expression/work then I shall do so both intellectually and physically through the product of my work.
emotionally I am despondent at the effect of the human population overwhelming the planet.  The cancer physically, emotionally and spiritually of humanity is the problem, the solution is difficult.  we will hit the wall of mortality and the world will go on without us.  our work will only be a monument of our having been here on which nature's creatures will dwell without wonder.
an artist is compelled by his anonymity to create, in the hopes that his existence will endure and have meaning beyond the ordinary conventions of his contemporary world.
there is great need to confront the problems of our times with the truth of our effect upon the planet. confronting consequences and face the hard solutions.
don't get me wrong, there are many good people and many good things but it is evident that what is wrong outweighs what is right.  we are building a wall that will crash down upon us.  it may be too late to change.
to return to Hoffman's intellectual vocabulary with my personal visual vocabulary and thoughts I have acquired over 50 years of creative effort.
what words and images are there to express such thoughts?  I shall find them and express them without regard of what others think.

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Monday, April 01, 2013

Artist Reception; New Work at the "Art House Gallery", Olympia, WA

The painter formerly known as "Gregg" has new work appearing on the walls of the "Art House Gallery", Olympia, WA.  April 27.....June (or so)
Having spent the winter off the farm, Gregg has discovered "Urban Light", urbanscapes.  The clock doesn't begin and end with the sun coming up and going down.  Street lights, porch lights, neon lights, the moon the stars, cold light, warm light, reflected lights and more makes painting at night a new adventure for a plein air painter.
Much of the body of this new work are of the Capitol which towers over the landscape.  Having been elected to public office myself and a wife that works the legislature during session, I find the landscape of the capitol to be an endless subject both for landscapes and studio work.  Whether it's the cheery blossoms or 'dark suits' in the galleries of the legislature, I find endless novel perspectives to share in my work.
Luv to see you.  Come enjoy the refreshments, art and music.

Sunday, February 03, 2013

Steelhead Fishing The Olympic Penninsula

Exploring Steelhead Fishing on the rivers of the Olympic Penninsula has been awesome. Your best investment is rain gear although the weather has been inordinately good according to the locals. Good, meaning 'not raining'. This weekend was even better, 55 degrees and sunny but makes for poor fishing, atleast that's what the locals say.

Steelhead evidently prefer cloudier water before they will enter the river from the ocean and these rivers have been unusually clear. Atleast that's what the locals say.

So far I've fished the Solduc, checked out the Bogachiel and Calawah, fished the Hoh, Clearwater, Salmon and Queets and still have a dozen more to check out.

I haven't had ANY luck catching steelhead although I had a big one on but I'll save that story for the campfire. I seem to only be able to catch (and release) bull trout. One 23". I have yet to catch (and release) any sea run cut-throat.
I'm starting to decipher the ubiquitous greens of west/wet side forests and will be doing some paintings that explore fishing the Penn although I'm currently working on urban landscapes It's great to have such world class landscapes such as the Olympic Penninsula close and accessible from Olympia, WA.

Saturday, December 08, 2012

The Sonorran Desert, OUCH!

Boy howdy!  Cactus, dry washes and horny toads!  Betts finally drug me down to Arizona.  Now that we've been we will have to go back.  Thought I was on Mars.  Never saw such a hostile land.  Don't wanna walk around the desert at night.  Everything has stickers! and I mean serious stickers.  Even the critters have stickers!
But I gotta say that the sunsets were stunning, the sugauros (suharros) were cool.  They look like people.  old too.  you can tell the age of a suguaro by counting the arms, multiplying by 5 and adding 75.  many of them over 100 yrs old.
Weren't many birds for Bett's to watch as they are all down south.  Rivers go underground and lawns are made out of rock.  Needless to say, not much for fishin'.  Didn't even see a deer, antelope or elk.  Not even any road kill.
Phoenix is the land of freeways but they're probably the most artistic in the nation.  wonderful mosaic abutments.  the aesthetics are cool but gotta watch out for the drivers. no one uses turn signals and they all drive fast.  even the boulevards are 4 lane and speed limit is 40 although the school zones are 15mph.  I guess it's such a new town that they could lay it out for the automobile. 
Sedona was way cool.  built under a red rock mountain and surrounded by more.  We stayed at the Orchard Inn and I painted red rock mesa's from the balcony. 
Checked out the Cowboy Museum in Wickenberg and the Phippen in Prescot.  Learned that Phippen was a cowboy artist and he and Joe Beeler and a couple others started the Cowboy Artists Assc.,  He was the first president but died the next year.  Also met Maureen (Moe) Husberg at the Biltmore Galleries in Scottsdale.  Moe grew up in Sedona and knew all the 'greats' that painted there.  Her father was a painter and owned a gallery way before the place got discovered.  The Biltmore collection is a must. All the great painters and more.  They had some great russian pieces as well as painters like Maynard Dixon.  The Scottsdale art walk on Thursdays, is big.  Hard to see it all in a day. 
We look forward to going back.  I hope to get into the Sonoma Plein Air Festival in the fall and have fun painting the red rocks around their. 
Also, a shout out to Eric Bowman.  Found a wonderful piece "Order Up" in the Bonner David Gallery in Scottsdale.  Way to go Eric!  He has a one man show there in April if you are in the area.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

'scuse me Depak Chopra

Life is Practice

Stuck in mortality on Earth,

spinning their tires, craving entertainment,

gotta put a battery in everything while regretting what we have done to the planet,

knowing better, but can't help it,

our brief stay has managed to kill our own prospects,

we sing as we sink,

we worship science ( only invented soon enough ago)

put faith in numbers,

we have enshrined the moment,

never to escape,
even death is held at bey,

insulating each victim, conscripting birth to oblivion - the self is never born, only the flesh,

the self is never born.

Life is practice, get it right.