Tuesday, October 31, 2006

daily painting practice - Red Wine Green Apple

The block in got me excited.
But, you can see I started to get very chalky colors and went very opaque much too soon. I only made it worse after I took this photo. So, what can I do? Spend hours trying to fix it?....Nope
Starting over always makes me a little uncomfortable. I begin to doubt myself and worry. However it is the best decision to make. Just like when a child falls off a bike, the first thing we grown-ups say is " get right back on". We artists need to take our own medicine every now and then.

Painting on a masonite panel has benefits and challenges. The paint goes on but the smooth panel makes the brush slide across the surface. One advantage is being able to pick out hightlights or remove paint. That is how I went after the details. I used a charcoal blending stub to remove the paint.

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Red Wine Green Apple
oil on masonite panel
I set this up to try painting the design in the cloth. It was a challenge to find a way to paint it but in the end I am happy with it. I know there are many ways to paint an object but how we decide to do it and what we feel comfortable with is what makes our art unique.

Monday, October 30, 2006

daily painting practice - salt & pepper

A very tonal beginning. I really liked the spots of white in this composition and the bend of the napkins.
Sorry, this photo came out a little blurry. I used the spot light for this one because I wanted to control the light and aim it down from the top.
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Salt and Pepper
8" x 10"
oil on masonite

This past weekend I reached a milestone in my journey as a full time artist. I now have gallery representation. Yeah! The (So-Oh Gallery in Lincoln, Nebraska) was kind enough to bring me on. My thanks to a wonderful California artist and friend (Belinda Del Pesco) for the inspiration and encouragement to meet with Rene Johnson the owner of the So-Oh Gallery. I went to see some of Belinda's beautiful work at the gallery on Thursday. I'm a fan of etchings and block prints and Belinda does a fantastic mix of vibrant watercolor and mono-prints. Here are two of my(
and this

This past weekend was a whirlwind of framing and of delivering the work. On the first Friday of each month Lincoln galleries have an ART WALK in the evening. All the galleries open their doors as people stroll through the old market section of the city. I have not been to one yet but I am excited to hear how it will turn out.

Friday, October 27, 2006

daily painting practice- cowboys- work in progress

I have always admired Tromp L'Oeil painters. I thought I would try one for fun.
I started by masking off the drawing with masking tape too keep the pages clean and the edges crisp.
I'm putting in some viridian green shadows and grain. Hopefully it will show through the background just enough.

I painted on the background with the largest brush I could find. A 4" house painting brush. I also made the color more intense and warmer than the final version will be. I intend to glaze over the background later. The taped mask worked great.
I'd say I am about 30% complete. This is where the fun begins.
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Detail - Lucky Cowboy
Work in Progress
oil on masonite

Trompe L'Oeil is a rather unique style of painting and very few can pull it off. (Anthony Waichulis) is one of my current favorites and a master at this art form. I haven't got a clue what I am doing here. But it is a fun painting and will be interesting to see if I can get close to the visual game of Trompe L'Oeil.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Daily Painting Practice- Painting Lemons

I usually have more progress photos than this. However this time I just sat down and painted so I only have the set up picture and the final.
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Lemon Light
oil on canvas board
This was a great practice piece. I used a spot light this time because the light outside was so weak. I think it helped make the painting more dramatic. Three things that often lead to bad paintings, and all of them have to do with weakness.
1. weak center of attention - no story is being told in the painting.
2. weak lighting - no drama
3. weak paint application- lack of boldness or confidence by the artist.

Remember, the meek shall inherit the earth. The weak get zip.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Daily Painting Practice - Stack of dishes

Here is my, roam around the house painting kit. I was lucky this time because I was able to set it on the kitchen table.
All blocked in and ready for a few highlights and details. I find high key or very light paintings much harder to do than the low key darker paintings.
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Morning Dishes
oil on masonite

I have been eyeing this corner for a while now. I like the spontaneous look and the form the stack of cleaned dishes make. I also liked the spots of color from the two teacups. Just a touch of home. This may be a vanishing scene in American kitchens since most people use dishwashers now.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

daily painting practice - orange peel

I roughly peeled the first orange and set it down without fussing over it. Sometimes the best arrangements come from what occurs naturally.
I think all that needs to be done is to touch up the background color. I use a little cobalt blue to add a little atmosphere.
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Orange Blossom Special
oil on canvas board

The peeled orange is a great object to paint. The texture and color is a real treat for the eyes. I thought this partly peeled orange looked like a flower opening its petals.

One of the hazards of daily painting is you start to enjoy food shopping. I now catch myself buying food for its potential in a still life. I may end up with 15 apples because they all look good for a painting even if I already have apples at home. I wonder if I can deduct my food bill as a business expense?

Monday, October 23, 2006

Triptych Painting - Garlic and Green Onions

(Triptych) is a painting done on three panels.

I increased the space between the garlic to help compose the individual panels.

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Garlic and Green Onions
Triptych (3) 5"x7"
oil on canvas panels

This painting was three times the fun to do. One thing to keep in your mind when planning to do a triptych is the composition must not only work as one painting, but each panel must stand on its own. Also having some part of the composition cross into the space of all three panels helps unify the paintings.

The classic Hear No Evil, See No Evil, Speak No Evil would be a great Triptych theme. Add the garlic and you have smell no evil.

Friday, October 20, 2006

A day in the life of a Studio Painter

It's 7:30 and I walk in to a dark studio. I switch on the lights and open the shades. Teacup in hand I look down...AHHH, It's time to clean. Thanks to Carol Gillot and her mouth watering blog(Paris Breakfasts) I don't feel to bad. Check out her post with a picture of (Francis Bacon's sloppiest studio in the world award).
Welcome to my studio. This is the after clean up picture. Look at those sad empty walls. I hope to fill them up with paintings traded with daily painters. That is my north window and there is one on the west side (left).
Some art historian should do a study: How many un-touched brushes does the average artist leave behind when they die?
One of the things people don't talk about when you start doing Daily Paintings. Where do you put everything?
Space the final frontier!
How do you store your paintings?
My art manager/ studio decorator/wife gets all the credit for one of the best ideas for managing space, displaying and drying art work. She is, of course, increasing her commission again.
So, what does a studio painter do after he cleans the studio?
He gets in his truck, drives downtown and paints outside.
View from my truck
6"x8" oil on masonite

Just another day in the life. Enjoy the weekend everyone!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Daily Painting Practice - What's in the Pantry

This is my new method of painting around the house. I simply use an old paint box and clip the panel to a canvas that slides in the groves in the top of the box. I sit with the box on my lap. Simple and comfortable.
Even at this very rough stage, I like this painting. I think painting things that are personal to us, or things that are in our lifes always make better paintings.
This is so much fun. Just sitting in my kitchen painting my pantry. Ah, it is the simple things that make my life wonderful.
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Blue Apron
oil on masonite

My wife says by the time I am done painting everything in our house, everyone in the world will feel like they know us. That's a lot of neighbors. I just thought the pantry was such a neat idea for a painting. To me just the word pantry tells a story that says something about home and family. The blue apron hangs in it's place, ready to help when it's time to make homemade bread or better yet homemade pizza. This type of subject is perfect for daily painting practice.
I can't wait to open another door!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Daily painting practice - book and candle

Another workout for my trusty shadow box.

I'm getting closer to thinking about the detail. But the darks need to be a little more crisp or sharper.
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Unfinished 9"x12" oil on canvas panel

Did you ever have a piece where you just sit back and say to yourself. WHY? Why go on. That is exactly what happened to me with this piece. I lost interest. Don't get me wrong, I'm not feeling bad about my efforts here. It is just that this painting was like sitting through a movie that makes no sense. I could sit and analyze it but that is not what I really wanted to do. I just wanted to paint something else.
So the lesson of the day:
There is no art law that punishes you for not finishing...as long as you get back to work and start on another piece. Don't look back. I had to remind myself that not every piece needs to go to Ebay and sell. (a good lesson in itself) EBAY is not why I paint. The most important thing KEEP PAINTING....and while I am at it, be grateful.
My real lesson of the day: Gratitude moves all things forward.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

daily painting practice - painting gourds

north light, gourds and burnt umber. All you need to capture an Autumn day.
Here is a good close up of the progress so far. Being a gourd farmer must be like being an abstract artist. It doesn't matter what it looks like, you can't tell good ones from bad ones. How does an abstract artist know if they are getting better? I can enjoy gourds and abstract art for the design, texture or color, but don't ask me to listen to a critique.
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Autumn Light
5"x7" oil on canvas board

I love the light and color of autumn. I really enjoyed painting this autumn theme piece. The gourd is such an individual fruit. Other than displaying them and making bird houses out of the larger ones: Does anyone know if you actually can eat gourds? If not the Ebay police might get me for illegally placing them in the food category.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Daily Painting Practice - Pumpkin

I started with burnt umber and a little ultra marine blue. I kept it dry like shoe polish. Have you ever noticed how Andrew Wyeth's sketches always have such a punch to them. I think it is because he was fearless in using deep darks and strong contrasts for his under painting.
Using the wipe off method again. I just love those half-tones it produces.
The most difficult part for me was the corn, the highlights kept coming out too sharp or the wrong color or not painterly. I think I reached a new world record for wiping off and re-painting. click on picture to enlarge the image
Autumn Harvest
oil on masonite panel

October is by far the month for color. It is also the month for strange vegetables and plants that no one really eats. Every artist paints the plentiful harvest of Autumn (then probably goes out to McDonald's for a Big Mac and fries). Which is a shame, cooked squash is delicious and so is cooked pumpkin. The colorful corn, unless you pound it into flour, I must admit is purely for decoration.