Saturday, December 27, 2008

Farm Buildings

I think the photo I used for this sketch was taken along I-81 in Southeastern Pennsylvania. This quick work suggests my recent inclination to give skies a larger role.

Watercolor, 5x7", Fabriano Paper

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Old Barber Shop

This tiny building in the Collierville Town Square, used to be a Barber Shop. It has since been converted to a Bank office. Thankfully, the structure has been preserved retaining much of its original character.

Watercolor 5 x 7 in, Canson Paper

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Rum Boogie Cafe

Here in the heart of Beale Street in Memphis, you Eat, Drink, Boogie, and Repeat.

Watercolor, 12 x 18", Fabriano paper

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Strange Cargo

It is an intriguing name for a gift store, but there it is on Beale Street in never know what you're gonna find.

Watercolor, 12"x18", Fabriano Paper

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Southern Railroad

These rail cars are not rolling anymore but they add to the charm of the Collierville Town Square which was looking great yesterday when I took the picture that inspired this painting.
Watercolor, 5x7", Fabriano Paper

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Country Church

This was a practice sketch for this painting. It helped me plan out the value pattern. I learned from one of my favorite watercolorists, the late great John Pike, that it is always a good idea to have a plan for the value pattern (lights vs. darks). He always completed a pencil value sketch before starting on his gorgeous watercolors. This is especially important with watercolor because the transparent paint makes changes relatively difficult.
Having said that, I only do it once in a while because I am kind of lazy and I am always anxious to get the painting finished.
Watercolor 5 x 7, Fabriano paper

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

I said I would be back in October...Happy Halloween!
I have enjoyed two glorious weeks in my native country of Portugal. I got to see a lot of dear family members and old friends; I got to sample a lot of the local food and wine - trust me - the best seafood in the world. If you would like to see some paintings from Portugal, check out my other blog Aguarelas Portuguesas (Portuguese Watercolors) here.
This old painting (circa 1990) was done from a photo I took in the beautiful Bushkill Falls area in Eastern Pennsylvania.
Watercolor, 11 x 14", probably Arches paper

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Change of Pace

This duckie suggests a change of pace. That's because this blog will be taking a little vacation so I can finally return to my birthplace, Beautiful Portugal, after four long years of absence. Back in October!

Watercolor, 5x7", Fabriano paper

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Farm House, Ohio

Once in a while I take a (quick) break from watercolor and dabble in Pen and Ink. This was done for a friend of mine, showing her childhood home in Ohio.
Pen & Ink (don't remember the size!)

Monday, September 01, 2008

Dauphin Island

Latest news - read all about it - The painting shown in my previous post "Looking out" won a Honorable Mention in the Fur, Fin, and Feather Festival in Middleton, Tennessee. And my painting "Princeton University" won Second Place in the Amateur category. This was my first foray in a juried show and my head is so big today, it can't fit thru the door.
Still staying in the Gulf Shores area, this quick sketch, just painted today, is from a photo I took in Dauphin Island, Alabama.

Watercolor 5x7", Fabriano paper

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Looking Out, Fort Morgan

During our trip to Gulf Shores in 2004, we took a drive to Dauphin Island which required hopping on the Ferry. This scene is near the dock in Fort Morgan, Alabama. The bird ignored us while searching for his next meal.

Watercolor, 11x14", Arches 300 Lb cold pressed paper

Friday, August 15, 2008

Church of St. Mark

This small church caught my eye because of the two castle-like towers and also its interesting design. It is located near Highway 72 in South Collierville, TN.
Watercolor 8x12", Fabriano Paper Rough

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Central Station, Memphis

Built in 1914, Central Station, now renovated, hosts the "City of New Orleans" train on its way from Chicago to the Big Easy - and back. It is located in South Main Street. Some of the old-time electric trolleys roaming though Downtown came from my native country of Portugal. Maybe I even rode on one of them in my old college days...they do feel like old friends.
Watercolor 5x7", Fabriano Paper

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Road to Jersey III

This is another work based on roadside photos taken during one of our long drives to New Jersey. My best guess is this place is probably in Virginia.
Watercolor, 9x12", Fabriano Paper

Monday, July 28, 2008

Fort Morgan, Alabama

I almost threw this picture out in the garbage. I tried to rush and the perspective lines were out of whack, the colors were too garish and the trees were too even in shape. Then I did my best to salvage it with a little pen and ink and used a sponge to tone the colors down a little.
I still don't like the trees, but I think I am gonna keep it.
When I think of tropical colors, Alabama is not the first place that comes to mind. Nevertheless, Alabama does have a small slice of the Gulf of Mexico and you will definitely find a tropical atmosphere here. I can't wait to go back. There is an old stone fort here along with a lot of beautiful homes on stilts. This is close to the Gulf Shores resort area.
Watercolor, 5x7", Fabriano paper

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Christmas in New Jersey

We visited some friends and relatives for Christmas in New Jersey a few years ago and we ran into a big snowstorm. I rummaged through some pictures over the weekend, and then completed this sketch. This house, where we stayed, overlooks a lake and the beautiful rolling hills of Northwestern New Jersey, near the Delaware River and the Delaware Water Gap.
Watercolor, 5x7" Fabriano Paper

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Elfreth's Alley

It is said that this is the oldest residential street in the United States and it is located in old -of course - Philadelphia. The black dohickeys in the windows are mirrors used by old-time residents to survey activity in the street without having to stick their heads out the window. This work is based on photos from my visit to Philadelphia last month.
Watercolor 5x7", Fabriano cold-pressed paper

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Dauphin Island, Alabama

After taking the Ferry from Fort Morgan, we landed on this relaxing small island off Mobile Bay in Alabama. I highly recommend a visit (from a family trip to Gulf Shores, 2004).

Watercolor, 9 x 12", Fabriano paper, rough.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

St. Mary's Cathedral

Memphis has many beautiful churches and this is just one example. I chose fall colors for some of the trees to try to balance the cool tones of the walls and roof. This church is located on Poplar Avenue near Downtown.

Watercolor, 12 x 16", Arches Paper

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Red Mill

I used to live not too far from the picturesque small town of Cinton, New Jersey where this well preserved mill is located.
Watercolor, 5x7", Arches Paper

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Earnestine and Hazel's

The South Main area, in downtown Memphis has become a lively neighborhood with many shops and galleries, and is served by the Mainstreet Trolley line. This corner caught my eye...I think it was the bright colors of the sign and store front.
Later on, I found that there is a lot of interesting history about this building where Otis Redding... and even Elvis... hung out in the sixties. You can read all about it here.
Watercolor, 5x7", Fabriano paper

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Yosemite Valley, California

It is hard to describe Yosemite Valley in words or images...I strongly suggest you see it with your own eyes. Half Dome is seen here in the background.
Watercolor, 7 x 5", Strathmore paper

Monday, June 09, 2008

Palacio de Gobierno

This painting does not fully depict the beauty of this building...there, I said it (City of Monterrey, Northern Mexico).
Watercolor, 12x9", Arches Paper

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Port Lucaya, Bahamas

This small building caught my eye in Count Basie Square, Port Lucaya, Grand Bahama Island.
Watercolor, 15x11", Arches Paper

Saturday, May 24, 2008

The Courthouse

Elizabeth, New Jersey is my original American hometown. I was born and raised in Portugal, but it was very easy to settle in this town in 1978 because that is where my family already resided on the day of my first arrival. This building dominates downtown and it is a big local landmark for very good reasons.
Watercolor, 7x5", Fabriano Paper

Friday, May 16, 2008

Lighthouse, Santa Cruz

I absolutely love lighthouses in all respects, but especially as painting subjects. I find them irresistible and this one, in Monterey Bay, California was no exception. I visited this beautiful place in 1994.
Watercolor, 16x20", Arches paper

Monday, May 12, 2008

Parthenon, Athens

This is another rare work done from photos that I did not take myself. A good friend of mine, born in Greece asked me to paint this for him. Hopefully, I will get to take my own pictures of this great place one day.
Watercolor, 30x20", Arches Paper

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Handy's Park, Memphis

Now that the Memphis in May Beale Street Music Festival is in full swing, it may be a good time to post this vision of Handy's Park. W.C. Handy is considered by many to be the "Father of the Blues".
Watercolor, 16x12", Arches Paper

Monday, April 28, 2008


This bush refused to stay within the confines of the fence.
Watercolor, 7x5", Fabriano paper

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Tennesse Farm

While on the subject of farms, here is another scene born from photos taken along one of our long car trips to New Jersey. I believe this is somewhere in Eastern Tennessee.
Watercolor, 12x6", Strathmore paper

Sunday, April 20, 2008

The Farm House

I drove through this scene about a dozen times and my wife -at my request- did her best to get a picture on the fly. But the trees always seemed to get in the way. Then it hit me...maybe if I stopped the car... yeah, it worked!
Watercolor 12 x 9", Fabriano paper, rough

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Blues Hall, Memphis

I like night scenes, especially -of course- when depicted in watercolor. For me at least, they are a little bit more challenging to paint than daylight scenes. Once in a while I overcome my fear and go for it. I know...the trumpet player looks like he only has one arm, but that's the way he looked...he had his right hand in his pocket...don't blame me.
Watercolor, 20 x 16"

Friday, April 11, 2008


Rusty is our little two year old Lhasa-Poo. He is very friendly and sweet except when he becomes ferocious to protect his owners. He also becomes terrified during thunderstorms and shakes like a leaf for about an hour after it's over. And, he likes to eat anything except dog food.
Pen and Ink, 4 x 6"

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Friendship Churches

Village Church, by William Renzulli
Friendship Church, by Julio Rodrigues

Dr. William Renzulli is the best friend that I have not yet met personally. He has been a regular visitor to this humble blog and he has been very generous with his comments and encouragement. His artistic talent and versatility are in plain sight here at
We recently completed an interesting project: We both like old architecture as painting subjects. So Bill sent me some photos for me to pick one and paint. And I sent him photos for him to paint. We both gave each other complete artistic license and no deadlines. Today we are displaying the results of that friendly challenge. I have to say…I was unusually nervous painting my picture…but in the end I was happy with the result.
And Bill painted the church in my original hometown in Portugal in a way that I never would have thought, evoking an elevation/architectural drawing. I loved the concept and I think I came out on the winning end of this trade!
So Bill…a big THANKS.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

The Silver Caboose

If you are hungry, you can’t go wrong here, on the north side of the Collierville Town Square. The lingering snow that fell a few weeks ago made this place look even more inviting.
Watercolor, 12x9", Fabriano Paper

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Easter

With this beautiful Easter image, painted by my dear wife Maria, we wish everyone a Happy and Healthy Easter.

Freeport, Bahamas

This is the second piece from my trip there a few years ago. This outdoor market teemed with people looking for bargains.

Watercolor 14x11", Strathmore cold pressed paper.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Late Snow, Collierville

Last week we had a winter storm that left about six inches of snow on the ground. Here, this happens maybe once every ten years, especially this late in the season. I knew it would not last long, so I got up Saturday morning and promptly drove to our old Town Square with my camera.
The snow covered several blooming trees, one of which helped frame this view of the old Train Depot.

Watercolor, 12x9", on Fabriano Paper, rough.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Firenze, Italia

Back in 1989, I had to complete a work assignment in Florence, Italy. Yes, I's a tough job.
Well, I courageously volunteered for the task.
This is Pallazzo Vecchio, one of countless architectural wonders in this fantastic city.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Princeton University, Nassau Hall

This is the second piece from my visit to the campus of Princeton University last Fall.
Watercolor, 12 x 9", Fabriano Paper

Saturday, March 01, 2008


Ok, just to mix it up a little bit, there is no arquitecture here.
Just a very quick study of a humble Clematis flower in my
Watercolor, 2.5 x 3.5 ", Fabriano Paper

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Lambertville Station

Lambertville, New Jersey is a wonderland of victorian architecture, quaint shops, galleries and other visual delights. It is located on the left side of the Delaware River across from another beautiful small town, New Hope, Pennsylvania. The old Train Station is of course, no more. On the other hand, the building is well maintained and it is now a popular restaurant.

Watercolor, 12x9", Fabriano Paper

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Bahamas Market

This was one in a row of souvenir stalls near our hotel in the Island of Grand Bahama back in 2001.
The gentleman on the chair was putting the last touches on a wood carving.
I sprinkled a little table salt on the wet paint to try to get a mottled effect on the tin roof.


Watercolor, 12 x 12", Arches paper

Friday, February 15, 2008

Memphis, South Third

Downtown Memphis has changed quite a bit -for the better-since I arrived here 16 years ago. A lot of old decrepit buildings have been transformed into modern apartments overlooking the Mississippi River sunset. The area exudes new life and my wife and I enjoy frequent visits there on weekends.
I recommend the extraordinary Peabody Place Museum where incredible treasures of Chinese Art are displayed . I was in awe at the intricate - and very large - oriental carvings in semi-precious stone and ivory. This is one of my favorite places to visit here and I don't think it gets the recognition it deserves.
This view is from the skywalk to the venerable Peabody Hotel, the Grand Hotel of the South. We went there to check out their Sunday Brunch. And, we were definitely not disappointed.
Watercolor, 7x5", Fabriano Paper

Friday, February 08, 2008

Old Train Depot, Elizabeth, New Jersey

Train Depots are slowly disappearing, and whenever I run into one, I make sure I put my camera to work. Later, the camera delegates to the brush for the next step.
Watercolor, 12x9", Fabriano Paper

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Church, Asheville

This sketch resulted from a trip to Asheville, last year. It is a very picturesque town in the beautiful Great Smoky Mountains in Western North Carolina.
Watercolor, 7x5", Fabriano Paper

Friday, February 01, 2008

Pennsylvania Farm House

Rural Pennsylvania is a treasure trove for those of us who like farms, barns and country scenes. As I was driving by I noticed the bright sun against the storm clouds and that always gets my attention.
Watercolor, 16x12", Arches cold pressed paper

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Church, Collierville

Churches are always favorites for me to paint, especially the white steeples that almost always stand out from their surroundings.

Watercolor, 12 x 9", Fabriano Paper, cold pressed.