Thursday, May 18, 2017

Botanic Garden Urn

Early morning at the Fort Worth Botanic Garden.

"Morning Light"   20" x 14"   Oil

Monday, May 15, 2017


Thank you to my son-in-law for stopping by the studio to pose.

"Brian"   14" x 11"   Oil

Monday, May 8, 2017

Carmel Mission Window

In the courtyard of Mission San Carlos, Carmel-by-the-Sea, California.

"Carmel Mission Window"   18" x 24"   Oil

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Spanish Walk

Andalusian stallion El Apagon performing the Spanish Walk.  

"Spanish Walk"   24" x 30"   Oil

Thank you to Chon Macedo for posing his magnificent animal while in town for the International Andalusian and Lusitano Horse Association's National Competition.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Coals to Newcastle

A Texas artist sending a West Coast seascape to an art show in California feels a bit like sending coals to Newcastle. Nevertheless, the California Art Club has accepted this painting into this year's Gold Medal Exhibition -- and for that I am grateful.  You can see all of the paintings in the show here.

Indian Beach, near the town of Cannon Beach, Oregon.

Video by Justin Tennison

"Indian Beach - North View"   14" x 21"   Watercolor

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Portrait of Clyde Tuggle

Mr. Clyde Tuggle -- Collector of antique books, Chair of the Board of Trustees of Agnes Scott College in Atlanta (for whom this portrait was painted) and Senior Vice President of Coca Cola.

"Clyde Tuggle"   44" x 32"   Oil

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Painting The Wenatchee River

Sunrise on the Wenatchee River -- near the town of Leavenworth, Washington.

"Sunrise On The Wenatchee River"   18" x 24"   Oil

My son was in the area shooting some wedding videos and joined me one morning as I painted a watercolor of this river scene. When you vacation with your videographer son, you get a cool video like this!

James Tennison - Painting on the Wenatchee River from Tennison Visuals on Vimeo.

"The Wenatchee River"   8" x 10"   Watercolor

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Time-Lapse Video - "Coquille River Lighthouse"

The Coquille River Lighthouse in the town of Bandon, Oregon.

Video by Justin Tennison

"Coquille River Lighthouse"   20" x 24"   Oil

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Portrait Demonstration

I've been working on a portrait for an instructional video.  This time-lapse will include narration of my thought process as I'm painting the portrait.  Here are a few steps along the way.

Some careful measurements at the beginning are essential for me.  (Well begun is half done.)

After completing the drawing, I begin with my darkest dark.  This helps me to compare and judge other values against it.

I start blocking in the larger masses, sometimes with a paper towel.

Now it's a matter of adjustments and refinements (and a lot of concentrated effort) to achieve a likeness.

I often use my palette knife to remove areas that need correction.  (In this case I had the corner of the mouth too high.)

The finished painting demo.

"Portrait of Tiana"   14" x 11"   Oil

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Groundhog Day

The Texas Longhorn saw his shadow today. (I'm pretty sure that doesn't mean anything.)

"Longhorn"   24" x 24"   Oil

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Tiana on Horseback

Tiana is a skilled horsewoman and the CEO at Classical Baroque Horse.  I met Tiana when she rode into town for the National Andalusian and Lusitano Horse Show here in Fort Worth, Texas.  She was kind to take time to pose for me and maybe someday I'll also paint her horse.

"Tiana on Horseback"   24" x 18"   Oil

Thursday, January 12, 2017

San Juan Island Mist

While vacationing on San Juan Island, Washington, I set off early one morning in search of painting subject matter.  My destination was a lighthouse, but my GPS sent me on a wild goose chase and I ended up on a road that led through fields and pastures.  I never found the lighthouse but I enjoyed this view nonetheless.

Mist envelopes the fields at sunrise on San Juan Island, Washington.

"San Juan Island Mist"   18" x 24"   Oil

Detail of "San Juan Island Mist"

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Coneflowers and Lantana

Coneflowers and lantana from the garden.

"Coneflowers and Lantana"   10" x 8"   Watercolor

Monday, December 26, 2016


A commissioned portrait for a surprise Christmas gift.

"Hazel"   14" x 11"   Oil

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Jenna and JuliAnna

"Jenna and JuliAnna"   48" x 36"

I first painted a small study for the portrait to show my client the composition, color and feeling I envisioned for the painting.

"Study for Jenna and JuliAnna"   12" x 9"   Oil

This composition was transferred to a large canvas, making drawing adjustments as I scaled up the study.

Painting begins.

Detail of the finished portrait.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Blue Jay

A visitor just outside my studio window.

"Backyard Blue Jay"   8" x 10"   Watercolor

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

"Sunrise on Coquille River Light"

Early morning light on the Coquille River Lighthouse in the town of Bandon, Oregon.

"Sunrise on Coquille River Light"   20" x 20"   Oil

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Time-Lapse Video -- "Bandon Beach Sculpture"

Driftwood on the beach of Bandon, Oregon.

Video by Justin Tennison

"Bandon Beach Sculpture"   14" x 21"   Watercolor

Monday, November 14, 2016

Beefmaster Bull

Lit by a sliver of sunlight coming through the barn window, this bull waits his turn to be shown at the Fort Worth Stock Show.

"Beafmaster"   18" x 24"   Oil

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Portrait of Michael Marsicano

A commissioned portrait of Michael Marsicano, President and CEO of Foundation For The Carolinas  --  and Chairman of the Board of Queens University, for whom this was painted.

"Michael Marsicano"   40" x 30"   Oil

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Cannon Beach

Oregon has some of the most spectacular coastal scenery I've ever had the pleasure to experience.  This is Cannon Beach viewed from a lookout point at Ecola State Park.

"Cannon Beach"   24" x 36"   Oil

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Portrait of Jack Peltason

I've been working on a series of portraits of former Chancellors for the University of California at Irvine.  The most recent subject is Jack Peltason, who served from 1984 to 1992.  He was a constitutional scholar and a renowned leader in higher education -- with a modest manner and a homespun sense of humor.

"Jack Peltason"  30" x 24"  Oil

Wednesday, September 7, 2016


The annual Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo has been attended by generations of cowboys and their families since 1896.  I saw this little cowboy, dressed just like his father, at last year's show.  But the scene could just as well have been from a hundred years ago.

"Heritage"  24" x 30"  Oil

Thursday, August 25, 2016


A Georgia bulldog painted for a friend.

"Lucius"   9" x 12"   Oil

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Tillamook Rock Light

Oregon's Ecola State Park offers this view to visitors who are fortunate enough to be there at sunset.  In the distance stands Tillamook Rock Lighthouse,  built one mile offshore and first used in 1881.

Here's how the painting progressed.

"Tillamook Rock Light"   20" x 30"   Oil