Tuesday, December 30, 2008

"Clementine with Reflection"

Oil on Board. Approx 3.875"x6" SOLD

I tried pulling a Carol Marine today. What does that mean you ask? It means you crank out a painting while your child is napping. I really didn't have much time because I knew it would be a short nap. But I still managed to complete this small study of a clementine.

2008 has been a great year for me. I sold my old house, bought a new (better) house, had my first baby, and did 171 daily paintings. Not too shabby. I have some big goals for the new year to come and when I'm back from holiday break I will get started on those goals. Happy New Year to everyone who's reading this.

Saturday, December 27, 2008


Oil on Board. Approx 10"x4" SOLD

I've said in the past that I'm not much of a floral painter but I think this painting could be my all time favorites. It was one of the quickest too, which is always a good thing.

Friday, December 26, 2008

"Holiday Drink No.3"

Oil on Board. Approx 8"x6" SOLD

I hope every had a great Christmas. I know we did. Here is the third and final painting of this drink series.

Monday, December 22, 2008

"Holiday Drink No.2"

Oil on Board. Approx 6"x6" SOLD

Here is the second version. I do have a third version in the works but may not get that one done before the Holiday. I thought I was doing good on time and now al of a sudden I'm in a panic. Shopping, wrapping, etc.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

"Holiday Drink No.1"

Oil on Board. Approx 6"x6" SOLD

I actually painted this one on Thursday but haven't had a chance to post it until now. Busy, busy. The no.2 version of this is coming tomorrow. Stay tuned...

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

"Holiday Spirits"

Oil on Board. Approx 9"x12"

I noodled over a title for this piece with my wife. A few suggestions were "The Happy Couple", "Holiday Spirits", "BFF's". Anyway this is the last Christmas commission for the year. I'd like to say that I am done for the year but i will be posting at least 5 more paintings this month. Going into the new year, I have three or four larger paintings I am planning out. I really can't wait to get those in the works. Soon it will be time to recap 2008 and collect my thoughts on the year to come. It should be an exciting year.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Another New Portrait

Graphite on Bristol Board. Approx 8"x11"

Last portrait before Christmas. I still have one painting commission left then it's back to a normal schedule. I kinda can't wait. I have a few ideas waiting to go and I'm getting anxious to do them. Anyway the next painting is a 9x12 and it's detailed. Stay tuned...

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

New Portrait

Graphite on Bristol Board. Approx 8"x11"

Another portrait. This is the second to last one for the holiday season. I can't wait. I count them down every year. The truth is I don't enjoy doing them. I used to years ago, but now I'm only interested in painting. The process is so much quicker and more satisfying. At the same time these are jobs and I appreciate having them so I should stop complaining.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

"Spoon Study"

Oil on Board. Approx 6"x4" SOLD

I did this little spoon study in my typical gray palette. I have received a few emails lately asking about how I achieve the grays that I do. Well, first I mix burnt sienna and ultramarine blue to get as close to black as I will go. Then I can add titanium white to get the grays. If I want a warmer gray I'll add more burnt sienna or maybe yellow ochre and if I want cooler grays, I'll add more ultramarine or maybe cerulean blue.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

"Taffy Apple"

Oil on Board. Approx 6"x8" SOLD

This is the first time I've painted a taffy apple. My favorite part is the reflective nature of the caramel. The color almost goes to a deep purple in the shadow on the caramel. Truly a fun one to paint.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

New Portrait and Book News

Graphite on Bristol Board. Approx 8"x11"

When I think of artistic challenges this portrait would probably be number one. It was borderline torture at certain times but absolutely satisfying when I completed it today. It is actually a gift for my Aunt and I can't wait to show it to her.

In other news, I put up an auction for my book of my Daily Paintings. It's a 56-page full color book that features the first 300 of my daily paintings. A great holiday gift idea. If you're interested you can click here.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


Oil on Board. Approx 6"x6" SOLD

I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw a group of beautiful Calalilies. I had to buy them. I've said this before, I'm not much of a floral painter, but I wanted to capture the luminosity of this flower. Not too bad I think.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

"Complementary Pears"

Oil on Board. Approx 6"x6" SOLD

You may recognize these two pears from the recent paintings. I love how the red and green colors make such great contrast. My favorite part is how the red pear is reflecting it's color on the green pear. That's what drew me to this composition.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

"Lonely Red Pear"

Oil on Board. Approx 6"x6" SOLD

I used a couple of old stiff bristled brushes for this one. I haven't used these brushes in well over a year. I typically use a soft flat #5 brush. It allows me to keep things loose yet still smear paint in a smooth fashion.

Here is an updated pic of Lucy, me, and my wife. They came to visit me at work on Halloween. She is a whopping 5 months now (Lucy that is) and is at a fun age...a real fun age.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

"Resting Pear"

Oil on Board. Approx 6"x6" SOLD

You may know that I love painting pears. The way the light wraps around their unique shape. I love it. I thought this one especially interested on its side.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

"Two Lemons"

Oil on Board. Approx 6"x6" SOLD

Here's a quick lemon study. I focused mainly on contrast of value and capturing the direct light coming from the right.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

"Reclining Leaf"

Oil on Board. Approx 8"x4 SOLD

I painted this leaf a few months ago. It was such a cool leaf to me that I kept it on my still live shelves. When on it's side, it looks like it's reclining.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

"Mary Janes"

Oil on Board. Approx 6"x6" SOLD

When I saw this pair of shoes at the store, I had to get them. Lucy looks so cute in them. They have such a classic look to them.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

"Fly Away"

Oil on Board. Approx 6"x6" SOLD

Last weekend my wife and a couple friends went apple picking. She came home with a bag of the best apples I've eaten in while. This particular apple had some great leaves still attached. I love that part.

Saturday, October 18, 2008


Graphite on Bristol Board. Approx 8"x11"

This is my wife's father, Wayne. I did this portrait for her Mom. It is a bit overdue, but then again, I have a number of portraits in my 'to do' pile that have been sitting a while. This is a great photo of him. It really conveys that glimmer he had. Stay tuned this week, as I will have a number of small paintings coming up.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

"PB and J No.11"

Oil on 2" thick cradled hardboard. Approx 12"x12" SOLD

This painting is not huge but it's significantly bigger then my usual Daily Paintings. It's painted on a 2" thick cradled hardboard with the edges painted black. This way it is ready to hang without framing. Much more convenient then spending the extra $ on a frame. I will get a few small paintings posted soon and plan on completing another large piece this month.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

"Split Avocado #2" (the large version)

Oil on Gallery Wrapped Canvas. Approx 24"x24" SOLD

This is the reason there has been such a gap in between postings. I've put some time into this one. I usually paint small daily paintings but want to get into larger works. This painting will soon be on it's way to Kelietza Boutique and Gallery in Sarasota, FL.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

"Avocado Half Part 2"

Oil on Board. Approx 4"x8" SOLD

Here is part 2. It was interesting capturing the convex properties of this one versus the concave properties of yesterday's. And how can I forget that trademark lime color of the avocado. This is one of the most amazing fruits in my opinion.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

"Avocado Half Part 1"

Oil on Board. Approx 4"x8" SOLD

This is part 1 of a 2 part painting. maybe you can guess what the second part is...but maybe you can't. You will just have to sty tuned until tomorrow. I have a larger avocado painting in the works that will go to the Kelietza Boutique Gallery in Sarasota when complete. Stay tuned for that as well.

Monday, September 15, 2008

"Corra Cork"

Oil on Board. Approx 6"x6" SOLD

Here is the second of the 2 commissions. I will have some new auction paintings coming up this week...and some larger pieces that are in the works right now.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

"Hollywood & Vine"

Oil on Board. Approx 6"x6" SOLD

Here is the first of 2 commission from a recent repeat collector. I believe he owns a winery or something. I will say that I love the Hollywood & Vine logo. It was a nice challenge to paint.

Friday, September 05, 2008


Oil on Board. Approx 4"x8" SOLD

Back to the indoors. Pop the top on the ol' bubbly.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

"Cloud Study Over Trees"

Oil on Board. Approx 6"x6" For purchase info, email michael@mnaples.com

It's like an outdoor theme lately. A nice change of pace but I'll get back to some interior still life setups. Coming right up...

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

"Dual Steeples"

Oil on Board. Approx 4"x8" For purchase info, email michael@mnaples.com

I took this snap shot from the highway doing 65mph. I was going through milwaukee last month. They have a number of great looking churches in that area.

On another note, Dan from EmptyEasel.com wrote a very nice article about me. You can read it here.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

"Chicago Sunset"

Oil on Board. Approx 4"x8" SOLD

I grew up in the suburbs of Chicago but was never really a city person. I even commuted to school downtown for 4 years. It was nice and fun but still would not want to live there. I'm a burbs guy for life. With that said, I don't paint many cityscapes but i really liked how the sun was setting and peaking through the buildings.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

"High Heel"

Oil on Board. Approx 6"x6" SOLD

Here is a tighter, more technical painting today. It was my goal to capture that interesting shape of the shoe.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

"Paper Bag with Tomatoes"

Oil on Board. Approx 8"x4" SOLD

Today is Tomato Tuesday for some of the Daily Paintworks members. This would be my contribution to that theme. My wife bought these from a veggie stand down the block from us. It's really just a table out front of a guy's house but he has the best (and most fresh) produce around.

Monday, August 25, 2008

My Book "THE FIRST 300"

Click to purchase.

So here is my surprise. I am proud to present my book called "The First 300". It's a 56 page, full color book that features 300 of my Daily Paintings. I put in a lot of work paintings each one of these paintings as well as the layout of this book so i am happy to offer it for sale to the public.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

"Birthday Commission"

Oil on Board. Approx 6"x6" SOLD

When I read the email listing all the items to be featured in this still life, my jaw dropped. I was actually worried about fitting it all in a pleasing composition. So these are specific items requested to represent the client's girlfriend. The snickers bar (with a bite taken out of it), purple book, small bottle of water (representing rain), Diet Mountain Dew can, and a baseball. Yikes! I feel like I need to wipe the sweat from my brow. Anyway, happy birthday!

On another note, I spoke of a surprise I hoped to reveal this week but it turns out it will be next week. As early as Monday. Stay tuned...

Sunday, August 17, 2008

"PB and J with Milk" (2 of 2)

Oil on Board. Approx 6"x6" SOLD

Here's the milk. This is one of a few commissions I have in the studio. You'll see the others shortly. Also, I have a little surprise coming up this week (hopefully). Definitely stay tuned for that news. Below is a composite of how the two paintings work together...or individually if chosen.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

"PB and J with Milk" (1 of 2)

Oil on Board. Approx 6"x6" SOLD

Where's the milk, you say. Good question. That painting will come tomorrow. It's a diptych and was a customer's request.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

"Figurative Leaf"

Oil on Board. Approx 4"x8" SOLD

I found this leaf outside of my work and it stood out to me. I thought it looked figurative when it sits on end like this. I like it a lot. Well, I'm off to northern Wisconsin to go white water rafting with a bunch of friends. Can't wait to sit in all the construction traffic...but it'll be worth it.

Monday, August 04, 2008

"Antique Milk Bottles"

Oil on Board. Approx 6"x6" SOLD

I found these two old milk bottles at the resale shop I patron frequently. I have seen the clear one for months but couldn't justify buying it until I found the cream colored one. They were meant for each other and I love how they look against the gray background.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

"Baseball with Book"

Oil on Board. Approx 6"x6" SOLD

I haven't used a baseball as a still life since I was doing daily drawing (as opposed to daily paintings) back in August of 2006. I am quickly approaching my 2 year anniversary of this blog.

In other news I would like to officially launch my new website. It's a few months late but better late then never. The site is www.mnaples.com. I also have a new email connected to that site which is michael@mnaples.com.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

"Blue Moon with Blue Moon"

Oil on Board. Approx 11"x14" SOLD

The Blue Moon Art Show was last Thursday and it was a great event. It really felt like a real gallery show. It was held at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Downtown Chicago and had gourmet food and Blue Moon beer flowing all night long. Unfortunately I didn't receive any further awards that evening but there was still a lot of great support from friends and family that came out. I think the judges were very contemporary and, of course, I am all about traditional realism. Here are a few photos from the show.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

"Wild Flowers No.2"

Oil on Board. Approx 6"x6" SOLD

If you look back on my blog, you'll notice I don't paint many flowers. Truthfully, I have a hard time with 'em. I feel I can paint fruit 'til the cows come home but flowers give me quite a challenge. Although lately I have enjoyed painting flowers. I'm developing a technique, I think. I have one more flower painting (at least) so stay tuned...

btw, I noticed my last blog post didn't go out to my subscribers. My apologizes.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

"Simple Pear" (revisited)

Oil on Board. Approx 4.5"x6.5" SOLD

I first did this rendering back in December (along with the wine cork rendering). I felt it needed some more attention. Graphite is truly my roots...and you can't forget your roots.