Buster Quin Paintings


For my friends...here is some new stuff. Actually, some of it is older but I wanted you to see it. Most of this art is in the category of "memos to self". It's not intended for sale. The attempt was to catch a point in time that was memorable. I try to capture the mood...some essence of what intrigued me. All of these have stretched me in some way.


This painting of a sunset lake scene has been underway for a while. I finally completed it. Parts of it have been very difficult for me. I was there at this incredible sunset on Greer's Ferry Lake in north Arkansas while Linda, her mother Jenny, Aunt Nita and Aunt Frances had a dip. This is a common thing they do in the summer....a late evening dip in the lake. They float around on noodles and yap...very peaceful, civilized and Southern. We should all be so fortunate to experience these peaceful moments in the present. Concerning the challenges in this painting - there are multiple points of interest. Instructors of composition will tell you to pick one...or no more than two. This one has at least three - the sunset, the light on the water, and the people in the water (each of which is a miniature portrait). So be it. I have chosen to emphasize the women in the water - attempted to tease out their expressions. One of the hard things I have wrestled with is how much effort and detail to put into the foreground sky reflections. They were so spectacular...but would compete strongly with the figures for attention. I was there with my Nikon CoolPIX 4300 digital camera (now ancient) and tried to capture the scene for reference. I waded into the water and held my camera about a foot above the water. There were incredible, psychedelic whorls of orange/pink/red on the fairly calm water. They were vivid and flickered in and out of existence in fractions of a second. Because I was shooting into the sunset, the shot was overexposed on the bright background. The ladies in the foreground came out very dark. I hauled the image into Photoshop and used the Levels control to lighten their faces a bit. I got enough to work from but a lot of the details you would want for a portrait reference were not there. Artful Color in Apex digitized the painting in very high resolution on canvas, printed it at 12X24 inches. This were given to the ladies as gifts. The original is oil on canvas mounted to MDF, 24X49 inches.

Ritual Floating at Sunset


Here is the reference shot I started with:

Here is a short video clip that will give you a sense of how the water was moving:

Click Here to view video


This painting is also from a scene at Sandy Beach, Greer's Ferry Lake. I waded into the water early in the morning to shoot the reference shot. These trees are all over the beach area, providing shade to swimmers. Linda's Aunt Nita (87)and Aunt Frances (84) had invited me to their art class later that day. I decided to paint this scene in one sitting as if "en plein air". I took the digital image to Walmart and had an 8X10 print made that I could use as a reference. Oil on toned canvas panel, 11x14 inches.

Morning, Sandy Beach

Sandy Beach


Near Wrightsville Beach, NC is Airlie Gardens. A former family estate garden, Airlie's 67 acres hosts many azaleas, trees, walking trails and water features. This painting was done "en plein air"...on site, at one session of about 2 hours. The challenge here is to pick a subject, set up your gear, frame the scene on the canvas, block in, paint the darkest darks and lightest lights, then details. Make a decision to be "done"...usually the feet you've been standing on will tell you you're done. Then clean the palette and brushes, pack up and go home.

Airlie Gardens



This painting is based on a scene I happened upon on Lake Jordan. The guy was sitting on a 5 gallon bucket, his beer was by his foot, his pole was lying down, his little old rat dog was splashing in the water. The water on the lake was still, with great reflections. The sky was making this great transition between oranges and blues. It was very peaceful...that is what I have tried to capture. The photo I took was very overexposed on the sky...so the figure was almost black. I brought the image into Photoshop, isolated the points of interest and manipulated light/dark Levels until I could tease enough detail out to go by. This was also an exercise in using glazes to paint the sky and water. I used my dog, Toby, as a model because I didn't have a good shot of his dog. This cove is near the intersection of Martha's Chapel Road and Farrington Road, in Chatham County south of Chapel Hill. Oil on canvas, 18X24 inches.

Sunset at Martha's Chapel Cove

Fishing Buddies medium


This is based on a photo from my son Daniel's wedding reception. It was late in the afternoon. I thought this was a very peaceful, contemplative scene. This was an exercise in painting reflections and ripples. I went out to Horton Pond near Lake Jordan one day and pitched rocks in the water to get reference photos of ripples. I had some challenges deciding what to do with the ground. They were actually standing on non-descript grass and sand. Oil on canvas, 18X24 inches.

Ripples on Montague Pond



Within two miles of home, there is a farm right across from Green Level Baptist Church. I used to drive by there every day. One morning about 7:30 in October I saw this scene. The sun was not high. There was this low ground fog in the distance and the sun made it glow from the inside. The horses were moving toward the barn. I took a digital picture which overexposed on the daylight. I was able to manipulate the image to remove extraneous detail and get a good illumination level. Oil on canvas mounted to MDF, 18X36 inches.

Mills' Farm, Green Level

GreenLevel Horses


This scene is based on a flooded woodland area near Green Level...also shot in October. It had an abstract quality to it. The fall leaves were golden, the sky reflected in the still water was intense blue. This is the loosest painting I've done. Oil on canvas, 18X24 inches.

White Oak Creek, Fall



We were at the Carrboro Farmer's Market in June. These peaches, although fuzzy, were almost iridescent. They demanded to be painted. This was my first still life. I did an underpainting with raw umber first. Oil on canvas, 12X16 inches.

Carrboro Peaches

Carrboro Peaches


This is a picture I did for my niece, Lisa. It is based on a photograph from 1966...taken in Audobon Park, New Orleans, Louisiana on Easter Sunday. I had to get my son, Daniel, to pose for me so I could model the shirt. Billy (my older brother) was wearing black shoes...so I painted them. They didn't wear Nikes back then. I took artistic liberties with the water and foreground...to punch it up. The day was so bright that a lot of detail was washed out. The ducks were fun to do. The single Louisiana Iris was a favorite of...and is a tribute to...my nephew Brandon Jones. Oil on canvas mounted to MDF, 24X24 inches.

Billy and Lisa's Sunday in Audobon Park, New Orleans



Here is the original photo. It is 3 1/8 inches square.





In June 2002, we had the opportunity to go to Switzerland for 10 days. I had technical business there..but when that was done we went sightseeing. We were in Solothurn, north of Bern about 25 miles. You've probably never heard of it as it is off the beaten tourist path. It is a medieval walled town that was the seat of the Solothurn Canton. It controlled river traffic on the Aare river which makes it way to the Rhine. The stone structure of the hotel we were in was built in the 11th century. Adjacent to it is the 11th century Clock Tower. That was my wake up clock. Many Solothurn residents live within the old walled city. In front of the hotel was a plaza where a market was held on Tuesday and Saturday. The scene I painted is a composite of several images I shot. You can't see her very well but that is Linda waving from the window on the fourth floor. This was a challenging, learning piece for me....it was the second one I did after commiting to pick up painting. There were many challenges in perspective...some handled better than others. Oil on Gessoed masonite, 16X24 inches.

Solothurn Market Day, 2002



We drove south of Bern to the alpine region west of Interlaken to Lauterbrunnen. This glacial valley is surely one of the most beautiful in the world. It sits at the feet of several of the tallest peaks in Europe - Eiger, Monch and Jungfraujoch. There is a train that will take you up ...first to Wengen and then to KleineScheidegg at the base of the Eiger.At KleineScheidegg, you can catch another train that will take you up the northeast face of the Eiger to the top. It burrows right through the mountain near the top...only the Swiss, perhaps, could engineer this and make it work. Jungfraujoch is the highest peak in Europe. In the middle of June, we walked out on a glacier and had a magnificent 360 degree viewpoint. When we got back down to KleineScheidegg, we had some lunch and then decided to walk about 3 miles downhill to Wengen. There are walking paths all over the mountains and hills. About halfway down, we had this great view of Wengen to the east. Oil on canvas, 24X16 inches.

Wengen, from the path to KleineShidegg, 2002


The last Sunday we were there, we took a long looping drive southwest through Bern, Friborg, Bulle,..to Chateaux D'Oex, then to Gstaad, then back east along the foot of the Alps. We drove through parts of the city of Thun which sits at the outlet of Lake Thun. The river Thun begins here. We passed a small park area where teenagers were swimming in the river. Linda wanted to get in but it felt too cold. She mentioned several times in the last few years that she wish she had gotten in. I painted this scene from a reference photo and put her in the water with her favorite noodles from the lake in Arkansas. Oil on canvas board, 11X14 inches.

Thun Swim Fantasy, 2002

Linda in the Thun


In October 2004, we had the opportunity to go to Sweden for 10 days. I had technical work for most of the time. We were in the western port city of Goteborg (Gothenburg). Rich in history, it is an easy city to get around due to the excellent public transportation system. Trains work on a coordinated schedule with buses and ferries. The coast is dotted with many scenic, rocky islands...many connected by ferries. For about a dollar we took a tram to a dock and caught a ferry to several of the larger, inhabited islands. About 4 miles south was Donso. Walking paths are all over the island and a narrow bridge connects it to the adjacent island of Styrso. The large geometrical forms and bold colors of these boats in various stages of storage or repair were intriguing to me. The drapery of the blue tarp contrasted with the shredded grey tarp...both were challenging to paint. Oil on canvas, 16X20 inches.

Donso Boats, 2004


Walking toward the bridge to Styrso, I came upon this cove with a small dock and an assortment of small, colorful boats tied up. The reflections in the water were great. We continued on...walked about a mile across the heart of Styrso looking at houses and gardens. On the north side of the island we caught a ferry back to Gotheburg. (If you want to get a better sense of the geography, go to Google Maps...find Goteborg and then zoom in. Just to the southwest is a clutch of islands. When you zoom in further you will see Donso and Styrso and the connecting foot bridge.) Oil on canvas, 16X20 inches.

Donso Harbor, 2004