Friday, September 16, 2016

New Sketch Prints Available at

After 3 seasons of teaching with Sketch Seattle, I have filled many sketchbooks with some interesting images. Some sketch pages are about discovering and recording information for later works, and some pages I consider more finished works themselves.

Some of these I have begun printing on a nice heavy watercolor paper, showing the entire sketchbook and the wire binding. Here are 6 that are currently on my website available for purchase at 

The images size is either 9x9 or 9x12 depending on the sketchbook and are printed at actual size. They are matted to either 16x16 or 16x20 respectively.

Coupeville Wharf, Whidbey Island, WA $30

Along the River, Astoria, OR, $30

Astoria Riverwalk Trolley, Astoria, OR, $30

Pioneer Square Pergola, Seattle, WA, $30

Useless in Seattle, $30 

Sound View, Pike Place Market, Seattle, WA, $30

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Don't Wait For Inspiration. Do It Now!

Are you in an artistic rut? Having trouble finding inspiration? You are not alone. Many artists have this problem. Few of them actually break through.

Many of you may be saying to yourself "I'm not feeling it right now", "I don't have enough time", or "I need a break, I'll paint tomorrow."

This is human nature. It is also the poison that will keep you from creating anything.
The times when we hit home runs in terms of our artwork are few and far between, so we must be producing all the time, even if the work is below our standards...

Sometimes when I have no ideas, no good compositions, nowhere to begin, I simply go into the studio and begin prepping for it. I prime canvases and boards with white paint, tape down watercolor paper to gator board, clean and organize a little bit, and go over my sketches from the last few weeks.

We have brilliant sparks along the way, but the truth is we forget them very easily. Sketchbooks can be one way of recording inspiration as it happens. It can bring back memories that may be a starting point for a new painting.

The point is do something....put paint or pencil to paper, and do it right now. Don't aim for a masterpiece, just aim for doing it. Things can happen in the process of creativity that can not be planned for analytically in the human brain....

....and contrary to what you are telling yourself, YOU DO HAVE TIME. Perhaps you've got your priorities mixed up a bit. Maybe you don't get much inspiration while you're watching The Voice, The Walking Dead, or America's Got Talent. 

Have a great weekend. DO IT NOW.

~Derek Gundy

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Custom Art for Gifts or a Present For Yourself!

This has been a busy couple years for commissioned work. I chat with a lot of artists, and I notice that very enjoy commissioned work or even accept them. Not me, I love it. Perhaps it's because I grew up in the "custom" industry of picture framing and art supplies...I just love helping people get what they want, and if that is with artwork, then that is right up my alley.

Last summer I worked on a special painting of Zarzuela Tapas Restaurant in San Francisco. My client had the most amazing memories of a dinner there, and it is always interesting to me how one memory of a certain place or event can leave a lasting impression, in this case a constant yearning fro San Francisco all the way from coastal Massachusetts.

I create sketches for every client so they can see the ideas visually, and so they get a taste of what is possible. Here is one of my favorite sketches done on location and then the finished watercolor which was done in the studio back in Washington State.

The initial watercolor sketch 9x9

The finished watercolor 16x20

One of the next projects was creating this watercolor painting of a house in Union, Maine, where a high school classmate grew up. The painting was to be gifted to her mother, who was at that time in the process of moving out into a smaller place. I always loved this great Victorian home on the hill, so it was great fun to recreate it from photographs. Like all other commissions, this starts with a sketch.

Sketching from photos 9x9 & 9x12

The finished watercolor 18x22

A very recent commission was this ancient home in Dunmore, Scotland. The client's mother was born in this house, and I had great photos taken by her, as well as old post cards of the house to work from. She also requested to work Urquhart Castle into the painting somehow, and since that castle exists on Loch Ness quite far from the actual house, I decided to work the castle into the clouds using gouache. This made it possible to work both subjects into one painting without sacrificing attention from the main house.

Dunmore House with Urquhart Castle

My most recent commissioned work is a small watercolor of the quaint and beautiful St. Peter's Church in Suquamish, WA. The church is just steps from Chief Seattle's grave which is visited by many from around the world. This is a very simple church, but the painting helps preserve the childhood memories for this client, and brings it into her home everyday.

St. Peter's Church in Suquamish, WA

I'm having a blast and I can't wait for the next project. If you have an idea for artwork you would like to discuss, let chat and see what's possible. What can I paint for you?

Email me at 

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Bainbridge Bakers Art Show featuring 22 paintings by Derek Gundy

This year Fall is the season for displaying many paintings around the community.

My first show is at Bainbridge Bakers on beautiful Bainbridge Island. Mike and his wonderful bakery and local meeting place host 22 paintings during the month of September.

Here is a glance of the display at the bakery, warmly lit on the brick wall, with plenty of comfy tables to gather at and eat tasty morsels and refuel with the best coffee on the island.

Bainbridge Bakers is located at 140 Winslow Way West, right next to Winslow Green.

Big Tuna is part of the display, 16x20 in a white frame for $600

And below, Journey to the Other Side, 36x36 for $1500, the classic tale of the turtle and the scorpion.

Opposites Attract (below) is one of a few wine themed pieces at the bakery. This original acrylic painting is offered in a black beaded frame for $500.

See more of my work at 

For more about the bakery visit: Bainbridge Bakers!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Dreaming Of Lake Como

"Morning Ferry, Varenna" Watercolor by Derek Gundy

It really has been five long years since we've been to Italy. Too long... I find I have been indulging in flavors that transport me back to this magical country if only in my imagination.

One of my favorite places is Lake Como. Here there a stunningly beautiful small towns at different points of the lake, with many of the major towns accessible by ferry. Three central towns form "ferry triangle", so easy to hop on a boat and go from town to town. The towns are Mennagio, Varenna, and Bellagio.

All three are gorgeous places to be, but I have to say my hands down favorite has to be Varenna. A quiet town on the east side of the lake, it is a 15-20minute ferry ride from popular and bustling Bellagio. Varenna stretches out along the edge of the lake, with winding pathways guiding you along just feet above the surface of the water.

Here on our first trip in 2002, we met Giorgio, owner of Il Pozzo, a gem & jewelry shop right in the heart on Varenna, just step from the Lake. Giorgio's shop is in the orange building right in the center of this painting. This is one of many watercolors in a series on Varenna I'm working on right now in the studio. His shop is on the 1st floor, and he lives on the third.
"Varenna, Lake Como, Italy" Watercolor by Derek Gundy

It was on Lake Como in 2002 that we got engaged, and Il Pozzo was one of the first places we started looking for a ring for my bride. While we didn't find the engagement ring there, we did purchase several beautiful handmade pieces made by Parrini, a small jewelry maker from Florence. When Giorgio learned we were to be married, he immediately went to work making a special necklace for my fiance, when he told us in English what he was doing it translated as "fertility necklace" funny, so sweet, so generous...we had known the man for 10 minutes and he was creating a gift for us.

It was this friendship which kept bringing us back to Lake Como year after year for the next 4 years... in our more recent trips we have had wine and meals with our friend Giorgio. Each year we purchase new pieces from him and he always remembers us. The whole experience has made Varenna most special in our hearts beyond the jaw dropping beauty of the town.

 It is always nice to have a friend in Italy.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

New Wine Art

Lately I've been producing new work in my Artistic Wine can see all my wine paintings at Here are the latest. For some of these I have had naming contests on Facebook, where the person with the winning title gets a free print of that painting sent to them, and a naming credit on my website.
Amy's Wine House, contest winner Gregory Wren
original watercolor $400, prints for $15 & 30
Designated Dreamer, contest winner Jeannie Dail
original watercolor $400, prints for $15 & 30
Tidepool, original watercolor $400
prints for $15 & 30
Untitled, naming contest ends Friday July 27th
original watercolor $400, prints for $15 & 30

Thursday, March 15, 2012

A burst of new work!

This winter I was able to produce some new paintings. The first piece is PDA, or "Public Display of Affection" a 24x36 Acrylic on Canvas for $1200. It fits with my wine art series and features another Octopus (as in 20,000 Liters Under The Sea)...and the second is a departure from my "normal" work, titled "Journey to the Other Side", a 36x36 Acrylic on Canvas for $1500. It features the turtle and the scorpion fable, with all kinds of other issues mixed in.

This has been a winter full of lots of challenges, and the work definitely reflects the nature of that. As we turn the corner into spring, I have a busy teaching schedule...and very much looking forward to it.

I hope you all enjoy the paintings.