So unfortunately my Mother had an accident at home this week. She broke the femur in one leg & the tibia in the other. Thankfully, surgery went well & she is now in rehab.  To my social media friends, thanks for your thoughts, prayers, and healing vibes.

I made a painting for her, so she can keep it in her rehab room. It was a landscape theme with lush palm trees and water reflecting from a pond. 

Her healing painting inspired me to paint another similar painting that I can share with you. 

I kept the palette limited, once again, keeping with my current trend of a minimal color selection. Mostly black & white with shades of green, and some browns. I'm really enjoying this style of limiting one's color selection. I can't emphasize enough how it's teaching me discipline in painting, as well as another form of a painting technique.


Happy painting everyone.


Your Uncle Alfresco


Happy Holidays.  Hope everyone out there is having a great Winter.  I'm slowly getting back into my painting groove.  I started by making a couple of frames for some pieces to wet my whistle.

Then, I did some random sketching while out at bars/coffee shops.  I find that sketching gets my desire to paint going again.

Third and most importantly, I did some painting exercises to get my mechanics and techniques back. In my opinion, painting exercises provide a way to "paint" without any expectations. It's great to splatter some paint on a canvas and just let the brushes go nuts.  When you don't set out to paint your greatest masterpiece, how can you go wrong?  

It really is amazing what a frame does to your artwork.  I bought some 1 1/4" pine trim at Home Depot and stained it with different stain combos.  The one on the right has a purple dye, tint job.  It's actually a concentrated "bordeaux" tint, and the company is called TransTint.  They are out of Cleveland, Ohio. They have many colors of tints.  It's not cheap though.  The upside is you will have some awesome and uniquely colored frames, that practically no one for hundreds of miles will have.

It's a really cool dye to work with, you just add a few drops of water and you are good to go.  

Purple Flower Abstract in custom strained frame.

Tres Palmas Y Tormenta (Hollywood Beach, Florida) in custom strained frame.

An experiment in Black, White, and Red.  This next piece started off as a painting exercise, using a limited palette. When it started to turn into a painting, I listened to that inner voice and kept going.  That's the same voice we have to learn to listen to when it says STOP, or TAKE A BREAK...GO CHANGE YOUR WATER BUCKET & STEP AWAY...

I did paint this piece on a practice canvas.  If you look closely, you can see some green on the right side edge, in the middle.

I used the knife technique for the water lines/edges as well as the rocks.  I really enjoy using the knife.  It gives the painting a 3d layer of texture that almost brings it to "life".  I find that practicing with a limited palette is a great way to put you into a super creative state.  It kind of forces you to find as many different values as you can with the limited color palette.  It's kind of a discipline exercise as well.  You will find yourself wanting to use more colors...Don't do it... stick with the exercise.

An experiment/exercise with different values of ONLY RED, BLACK & WHITE.

My intention with this next sunset piece was to learn how to manipulate acrylic paints to appear more like oil paints.  I used a retarder medium from Liquitex, as well as Bob Ross's Liquid Clear to slow down the drying time.  The Liquid Clear was my missing ingredient.  Liquid Clear slows the drying time significantly and allows for maximum blending opportunities.

***The LQ will have an adverse effect on the acrylic. It will "crack" the acrylic and give your painting a "frescoed" look, very aged look. I didn't expect this, so I had mixed emotions about it at first. I used it to my advantage & went with it. ***

Once you work with it a few times you can start to see how the acrylic paints start to behave more like oil. You only have to use thin coat of the Clear to prime the canvas. The key word is "thin" coat of the Clear.  A little Liquid Clear goes a long way.  All joking aside, it never hurts to peep some of the Bob Ross videos on You Tube.

SIDENOTE: Your painting will take A LOT longer to dry than normal.  I suggest the hair dryer technique or just be patient.  Give it at least 48 hours.  You can always hold your masterpiece at an angle to look for glistening areas that would indicate it is still wet.  I waited five days before I added a coat of clear gloss medium to "finish" this piece.

This next painting is an experiment with a very limited palette.  Black & White ONLY, on a black canvas. The idea is to let this "BASE" painting completely dry, and then come back over it with colors.  It is probably a good idea to let it dry for at least 24 hours.  Then come back over the entire painting with a thin coat of the Liquid Clear, and start adding the colors you want to use. I will give it 48 hours to dry, due to the fact that I used the paint knife technique on most of the trees. There is alot of texture on the trees.  

I am conflicted as to whether or not to add the color scheme.  I may leave the piece as is, and make another piece similar to this one. Adding the colors to the latter piece.  TO BE CONTINUED.


GOOD LUCK from your Uncle ALFRESCO!!


I've been sick for three & a half days. I'm finally feeling better, so I decided to do some touch up work today. 

First I touched up "Medieval Doors" by adding some gold highlights on the doors.

SIDEBAR: This painting has a simple "Caesar Cipher" code embedded below the door handles. Drop me a line if you decipher it.  The doors are from the "Church of the Holy City" in Washington D.C.  I visited this church several times while living in Annapolis.  I also painted the church in "Diesel's Journey Home/Leap of Faith".  I dreamed about these doors by themselves one night and this is what it looked like...sort of:)

Next I re-applied another coat of gloss finish. This time brushing it on, as opposed to spraying it on. The spray gloss is very tricky to apply. I find it easier to apply it onto small pieces.  Generally 8 X 10 & smaller. It's scary good on those sizes.

After that, I decided that I needed to add "something" to "Pink Skies & Sunflowers".  I decided to add a tree to give the painting more depth.  I used a paint knife technique for this tree. I re-applied a coat of gloss afterwards.


FINALLY...I took the honeycombs out of this latest piece (KEY TO MY DREAMS) I've been working on, changed the pink clouds to black/white, and added the eye of ra where the honeycombs were.



BELIEVE IT OR NOT: There was a cloud where the Eye of Ra is.  It looked like a giant gator chomping it's way through the painting...Although I'm a Florida Gators fan...HE HAD TO GO!



T.G.I.F. YA'LL. Recently I was prepping (priming) a canvas for a new piece. I took a pic of the canvas because I wanted to remember how I started the piece (memento moment😜). After finishing the piece, I realized I really liked what I did in the initial prep stages, and decided that "idea" could work as the basis for a future painting. This was what the "prep" looked like.

Idea for "Awareness" Series. 

Idea for "Awareness" Series. 


HAPPY SUNDAY FUNDAY! I've been wanting to paint a "Hibiscus" for a while now... Last time I tried, the flower turned itself into a Nautilus Shell ("Duplicitous Nautilus" in Canvas Gallery).

Todays's attempt manifested one flower into six...I realized at the very end of the painting, that the orientation of the painting "looked" better when I turned it 180°.  I had been painting it "upside down" the whole time...I added the stems & tips and viola....FINISHED!  What shall I title it...comments are welcome...PEACE!