All posts by gherryt

12 JULY, 2017

I’ve been working with water color for the past few weeks to determine if it is a viable plein air replacement for acrylic I normally use.  My problem with acrylic is the cleanup which must always be done thoroughly on-site. If left to dry on brushes they become chisels instead.

Water color, however, is tricky.  I am slowly learning how to manipulate it and use its best features.  The photos below are a few of my test pieces.  These are based based on work done at a friend’s place overlooking Holmes Harbor, Washington.  The weather was beautiful and I hope to go back for more.

2569-005 2569-0062569-007

As these were painted, a number of Eagles and Red Tail Hawks passed over. Unusual, I think, for the hawks to hang around in eagle country but there they were.

4 July, 2017 – Independence Day

A lot of noise out there tonight. Here’s hoping everyone wakes up tomorrow morning with a full complement of fingers and eyes.

Freeland, our local village, puts on a display on the night of the 3rd. They do this to avoid conflict with the numerous other displays on the 4th. Donna and I were fortunate to have been invited to a fireworks party by our friend Julia, who happens to live on the bluff above Holmes Harbor. The fireworks barge was anchored in Holmes Harbor just be low her property giving us front row seat. Thank you so much Julia. It was great.

Well, so far we’re still independent and the home of the free and brave. Happy Independence Day!!!


15 June, 2017 Thursday

Due to high winds and some rain, our Plein Air group met inside today at the Freeland Hall here on Whidbey Island.  I worked on a number of color sketches including the one shown here.


Earlier this week, I also completed the sketch below.  This one is based on a pencil sketch I made (again in the rain) at Fort Casey which overlooks the inlet channel to Puget Sound.  I absolutely love those trees.


These are both 8 x 10 inches painted in Acrylic on 140 pound watercolor paper.  They will be available for purchase on my web-site in the next few days.

The wind is still blowing here and rain continues to be a threat.  It is actually beautiful Pacific Northwest weather.

Until next time.  Thank you for reading my blog.


10 June, 2017 – Saturday

Gorgeous cloud formations over the shipping channel today.  Of course, my NIkon camera purchased especially for such occasions was sitting on my studio shelf.

Here’s a rule to live by: If you have a camera, you should carry it with you at all times.

You never know what you might want to capture for future use.

Also carry your sketchbook, some pencils, a sharpener and be ready.  The world is full of beautiful and exciting things and you don’t want to pass up any opportunities.

Reference photo

29 May, 2017 – Memorial Day

Memorial Day – A day on which we honor those who have given their lives to protect our country.

So many lives destroyed by war or the threat of war.  Contrary to General Patton, war is not something, to love or romanticize.  War has taken away generations of men, women, and children along with all their potential achievements:  It has maimed and crippled millions more.  So let us not glorify our wars.  For in them is not the success of victory over our enemies but our failure to have made those enemies our friends.

I mourn and honor all of you who have been lost or maimed and on this day, I beg your forgiveness for our failure to keep you from harm’s way.

God bless America; God bless the world.

28 May, 2017

I continue my work on a series of small color sketches.  Most of these remain just that: A color sketch exercise; but every so often one appeals to me enough to commit it to canvas on a larger scale. This one, which I’ve named “The Two Brothers,” is one I believe will make a great painting.

I first noticed this sea stack formation during my trip to La Push, Washington.  It can be seen from 1st Beach across from the marina entrance channel.  I sketched it in pencil and color washes  as well as photographing it for future reference material.  This is 10 x 8 inches done in acrylic on 140# watercolor paper.

I was struck by how the formation looks like two monks looking out to sea guarding the coast.  This is a recurring theme in my work and as I have mentioned before it evokes a certain mood which I’ve tried to capture with color and form.  I hope you feel it.

This can be seen on my web-site:  Gherry Taylor’s web site


Tuesday 23 May, 2017

After a long warm sunny day, a strong gusty wind has arrived ahead of a forecasted rain storm.   Beautiful cloud formations at sunset.  The Darth Vader figure at the right is one of our deck umbrellas but may the force be with you any way.

Sunset 23 May 2017 (7)

I worked in the studio most of the day and finished a color sketch on Water Color paper I started last Wednesday in Deon Matzen’s painting workshop.  I also completed

two pieces painted on canvas panels. All three are 8 x 10 inches painted with acrylic. I prefer paper to the panels for these small pieces. There is something about paper’s relationship to acrylic paint that works better for me. It gives me a feeling of freedom when working on paper and acrylic is a perfect medium for paper. Medium to large (16 x 20 inches and up) I prefer stretched canvas.

Check my web-site

Saturday 20 May, 2017

Great weather here on Whidbey Island:  Sunny and warm.  Well, warm for Whidbey Island: 70+.  Of course I am taking advantage by working in the studio all day.  I’ll get back out when it starts raining again.

I am still working my Sea Stack series.  I promised myself to do at least 12 and I am working on number 8 today.  These are becoming more abstract for me.  The forms are recognizable but the colors are pushing the envelope.  I am trying to get jewel tones in the color scheme and seem to be successful so far.  Looking forward to #9 and what it will bring.

Below is #8 in an almost finished state.

2564 Sea Stack #8

Thursday 18 May, 2017

I worked with the Whidbey Island Plein Air group at Keystone next to the ferry terminal. I completed two small (8 x10 inches) pieces using acrylic paint on paper.  When painting on paper, I often work acrylic much like water color as you can see in the attached pictures.  I like working in a tonal manner as I have with these two pieces.  Working this way, these in gray tones, often allows me to depict the emotional context of the scene.  The channel marker at the end of the jetty seems to be watching for incoming boats and ferries to guide them safely home and I have painted it many times from many different angles.

This location is one of my favorites for it’s memories of vacation trips with our children back in the 70’s.  A ferry ride was a great adventure for us and, if I am truthful, it still is.  For me there is something both melancholy and exciting about riding the ferries.  Perhaps it is about leaving something behind and also the anticipation of the destination.  My first ferry ride was in 1971, Mukilteo to Clinton, in the dead of night.  I rode the M.V. Rhododendron which had an open deck outside the passenger cabin.  I stood at the rail throughout the trip and as we headed toward the blackness of Whidbey Island I could see only a single light there.   It was an adventure into the unknown.

I will matte and frame these and post them on my web site: