A Blog About Oil Painting

Recent Work

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A new feature for the blog: the latest paintings and portraits available to preview as soon as they come off the easel. These are some of my new paintings from January and February 2018.


Oil portrait of a black cat by artist Simon Bland

Macho (some dust on the camera sensor just above his head). 15x11, oil on linen. 2018.

This was done from a cell phone photo taken at night. That, together with the dark fur, made this an extraordinarily difficult portrait to paint.


Pastel portrait of two Shelties by artist Simon Bland

Hershey and Cinnamon. 21x18, pastel on sanded paper. 2018

My first pastel painting in 7 years.

 An oil painting of sea gulls on the beach at Ballard, WA by artist Simon Bland

Ballard Beach. 8x10, oil on linen panel. 2018

A continuation of my efforts to explore the beach and shoreline in a more abstract style. I started this on the beach (it was freezing, my color choices were awful) then came home, scraped everything off and started it again from scratch.


A painting of fading light at sunset by artist Simon Bland 

Fading Light. 12x12, oil on linen. 2018

Exploring the way the light disappears after sunset. I built this around a series of studies I did after a plein air painting outing.


 Yorkshire fields and dry stone walls in an oil painting by artist Simon Bland.

 Holme Valley. 8x10, oil on linen panel. 2018

There's a band of countryside in the west and south farmland areas of West Yorkshire that forms a sweeping L-shape through the county. The dry stone walls are darker than their limestone cousins in North Yorkshire, but the soil is richer and the greens are more verdant.

My goal was to reduce everything to a set of abstract, ordered shapes


 A small landscape oil painting with a soft color palette by artist Simon Bland

Field Study 5. 5x7, oil on linen panel. 2018

I'm not a miniaturist, but I love working on small sketches like this one. It took most of a day to finish as I kept reworking parts to get the right balance.

It was done from a combination of two plein air sketches.

The foreground was especially tricky. I added several layers of paint wet-on-wet, experimenting with the colors as I went. It's just on the cusp of turning into mud.

An oil painting of open fields with an earth color palette by artist Simon Bland

Open Range. 5x10, oil on linen panel. 2018

A re-work of a previous study. I tried to find out how much was just enough to make it work.

The sliver of cool light, the dark trees, and earth-color palette of the land combine to give it a barren feeling.


Fresh Snow. 6x9, oil on linen panel. 2018

After a rare snowfall in Seattle I went out to take some photos at the local park. It was great to see these familiar sights with a fresh perspective.

Untitled snow scene, a landscape painting by artist Simon Bland

Untitled. 9x12, oil on linen panel. 2018

Another snow scene, currently untitled—a sure sign that I don't think it's finished yet.

 An abstract landscape oil painting by artist Simon Bland

Elevation. 14x20, oil on linen. 2018

One final painting, an experimental piece. Yet again, I'm trying to figure out what's just enough to make it work. At this stage it looks like the large tree might be overkill.


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