Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Mad Max

ALL HALLOWS EVE- The night before the Feast of All Souls, was confused in Medieval custom with one of the four Druid fire festivals, All Hallows.
In Ireland it was called Samhein. In Scotland all hearth fires in the land are extinguished then re-lit from the fire at the Druids’ sacred grove. Add to this the early Church's attempt to eradicate the pagan custom of giving food to departed spirits -(Greek Anthesterion in Feb., Roman Feralia and Lemuria in May) by moving the date to honor the dead to the Feast of All Souls on November 1st.
Many cultures have customs of putting food offerings on doorsteps so invisible spirits would give you good luck. So today's the last night for the devil and other ghosties to romp before the Holiday Season (Advent) begins. (

Mad Max, the meanest cat on Earth, is now living somewhere in Texas. We'll miss you..... sort of.

Acrylic on canvas board 12"x16" $225.00 + S&H

Monday, October 29, 2007

There was an old woman...

There was an old woman who lived in a shoe,

she had so many children she didn't know what to do.

She fed them all broth without any bread,

then whipped them all soundly and sent them to bed.

This nursery rhyme was supposedly written to make fun of King George II and his wife. They had eight children who were apparently driving the woman quite mad.

Another thought is that it refers to King George who began the men's fashion for wearing white powdered wigs in the 1700's. He was consequently referred to as the old woman! The children were the members of parliament and the bed was the Houses of Parliament - even today the term 'whip' is used in the English Parliament to describe a member of Parliament who is tasked to ensure that all members 'toe the party line'.

As a point of historical interest the wigs worn by women of the period were so large and unhygienic that it became necessary to include mousetraps in their construction! (

16"x20" oil on canvas Copyright Bill Reed 2007

Thursday, October 25, 2007

More Snooty Fish

Another Snooty Fish sighting off the coast of Palm Beach Florida. They seem to be popping up where you least expect, along with shopping malls, grocery stores and gas stations. When the earth gets warm enough and the oceans rise and flood the coastal cities, they'll be right at home in those condo's overlooking what was once the coast of Florida.
Oohh, the humanity. We should have listened to Al Gore and stopped breathing out that damn CO2.
Acrylic on canvas board 12"x16" $198.00
Copyright Bill Reed 2007

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Easy Rider

This is one of my favorite watercolor surf paintings. Fast and spontaneous, not spending too much time laboring over details. After I finished I sprinkled sea salt over parts of the wave to get the mottled effect. The large granules of sea salt suck up the water and paint and leave a blank area. When the paint dries the salt is wiped off and voila it's finis. Mon deu!! (?)

watercolor 5"x7" on Canson 140 lb paper NFS
Coyright Bill Reed 2007

Sunday, October 21, 2007

"My, what big ears you have, grandma."

"The better to hear you with, my dear."
There are a few versions of this tale, but the original is usually attributed to the Brothers Grimm. One version has the wolf eating the grandmother (whole)after getting into the house (pretending to be Little Red Riding hood). He then waits disguised as grandma, and eats Little Red (whole)after she arrives. A hunter in the forest hears the commotion, runs in, kills the wolf and cuts open its stomach saving grandma and Little Red. Then they fill his stomach full of stones which kills him. (Over kill?) I'd think just cutting him open would have done the job, but I guess they wanted to make sure he got his just deserts. (Arf! Arf!)
Another version has Red saved by the hunter before getting eaten.
The tale makes the assertion that it's safer in the village than in the dark forest, or "don't wander off, see what happens."
Acrylic on stretched canvas 16"x20" SOLD Copyright Bill Reed 2007
Prints available

Thursday, October 18, 2007


Painting a white flower on white paper is quite an interesting set of problems to solve. Basically it's painting only the shadows. I threw away a few before I started getting the hang of it.
This is a 9"x12" watercolor on 140 lb paper $65.00 + $5 S&H

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

North Coast

The Northern California Coast has some of the most spectacular scenery in the world.
Driving south from San Francisco along Hwy 1, the cliffs begin and continue past Pacifica, Half Moon Bay and all the way to Santa Cruz and Capitola. From there it's the Monteray Bay. It's a pretty wild coastline and you'd never know you were so close to civilization. Driving north from San Francisco the coast is even more wild.
This is a bit of the coast just a few miles north of the town of Santa Cruz.

12"x16" oil on stretched canvas $375.00 + S&H

Monday, October 15, 2007

Chili's verde

Anaheim green chili peppers

According to many accounts, chili peppers were introduced into what is now the U.S. by Capitan General Juan de OƱate, the founder of Santa Fe, New Mexico, in 1598. After the Spanish began settlement, the cultivation of chile peppers exploded, and soon they were grown all over New Mexico. One variety that adapted particularly well to New Mexico was a long green chile that turned red in the fall. The chili was called "Anaheim" because of its adaptation to the more settled California around 1900.
They were cultivated as a spice, hung on strings and dried.

In 1846, William Emory, Chief Engineer of the Army's Topographic Unit, was surveying the New Mexico landscape and its customs. He described a meal eaten by people in Bernalillo, just north of Albuquerque: "Roast chicken, stuffed with onions; then mutton, boiled with onions; then followed various other dishes, all dressed with the everlasting onion; and the whole terminated by chile, the glory of New Mexico." (fiery-
acrylic on 140 lb Arches paper 5 1/2"x 9" $115.00 Copyright Bill Reed 2007

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Marbled Godwit

The Marbled Godwit (Limosa Fidoa) is a large shorebird found along the coasts of California, Mexico, and South America.
Their breeding habitat is the northern prairies of western Canada and the north central United States near marshes or ponds. They nest on the ground, usually in short grass.

In autumn, they migrate in flocks to the coasts of , California, Gulf of Mexico, Mexico and South America. (Wikipedia)

Their long bills allow them to poke around in mud flats and sand for crustaceans. They also eat insects and some aquatic veggies.They’re fun to watch on the beach as they dart around in groups, poking in the sand for goodies.

Watercolor 9"x12" on 140 lb.Arches paper

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Snooty Fish

This is a new species of fish that has been spotted off the coast of Laguna Beach, Malibu and Santa Barbara. A local Malibu resident, Tom Betternyou, said; "These areas have been overun with those damn Rock Fish and lazy ass Flounders. It's good to see something with some class move in. We can relate to those Snooty Fish."
We'll keep you updated as the story develops.
Copyright Bill Reed 2007 12"x16"Giclee prints available $35 + $5 S&H

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

King Charles Cavalier

King Charles Cavalier has its roots in the old breed of the King Charles Spaniel which was bred during King Charles I reign 1600-1649. After his death, his son King Charles II issued a decree that these dogs could not be forbidden entrance to any public place including the House of Parliament. He dubbed his parliament "The Cavalier Parliament".
The King Charles Spaniel was later bred with the short snouted Pug and Japanese Chin resulting in the English Toy Spaniel breed .
In the 1920’s an American offered a prize for any King Charles Spaniel “of the old fashioned type” with a longer nose, flat skull and spot on the crown of the head called “the “Kissing Spot” or “the kiss of Buddha”. The result was a dog that resembled the boyhood pet of the future King Charles II of England (“Cavalier King Charles”) where the breed derives its name.
oil on canvas panel 12"x16"--- sold Pet Portraits this size $250

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Monday, October 8, 2007

Surf and Sand

Keeping it simple is not as easy as it seems. I usually have a tendency to want to keep working on a piece until it gets over worked. With this one I was able to quit just in time.
(On trying to paint a pale blue sky:)
"I cannot pretend to be impartial about the colors. I rejoice with the brilliant ones, and am genuinely sorry for the poor browns." ( Sir Winston Churchill )
Watercolor on 140lb acid free paper 8"x12"image, matted to 11"x14" $100.00 + $5 S+H Copyright Bill Reed 2007

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Wind Break

Copyright Bill Reed 2007
On my way to the ocean for a surf, I often bring my little camera to try and catch a scene or something interesting to use as inspiration for a painting. This is an old Eucalyptus windbreak along the highway that brings back memories of a simpler time. It was a quick study for a larger painting I have planned.
oil on canvas board 5"x7" $95.00 + $5.00 S+H

Friday, October 5, 2007


Copyright Bill Reed 2007
Pears have been cultivated for over four thousand years.
There are over five thousand varieties.
Pears are cousins to the apple.
Most pears are grown west of the Rockies, where disease is less of a problem.
A pear tree can produce fruit for over a hundred years, provided
it doesn't get hit by a train.
watercolor 9"x12" on 140 lb coldpress acid free paper $130.00 + $5 S&H

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Surf Tiki

Copyright Bill Reed 2007
In Maori mythology, Tane the God of forests creates the first man Tiki, then makes a wife to keep him company.
In Maori usage, Tiki is the word for large wooden carvings of roughly human form.
In English usage the word "Tiki" is usually followed by the word "Bar".

Tuesday, October 2, 2007


Macintosh my favorite apple.
8"x10" Watercolor-- matted to fit an 11"x14" frame
$75.00 + $5.00 S&H

Did you know an apple is 25% air? That's why they float.

The apple originated in an area between the Caspian and Black Sea and is in the rose family.

Charred apples were found in prehistoric cave dwellings in Switzerland. That was before the marshmallow was invented.

The Pilgrims brought the apple to the New World and planted the first apple orchard. In colonial times they were called winter banana or melt-in-the-mouth.

In 1730 the first apple nursery was opened in Flushing, New York.

Americas oldest living apple tree was planted in 1647 by Peter Stuyvesant in his Manhatten orchard and was still bearing fruit when a train derailed and ran it over in 1866. Doohh!!