Thursday, January 24, 2008

Daily Painting Practice- I'll be back posting February 2

Sorry folks, no post today. I'll be away from the computer for the next week. I'll be back posting February 2.

IN the mean time, I have a favor to ask all of you artists that ship paintings to galleries. Could you do a blog post with photos explaining your method?
Leave a comment that you have done this and when I get back I'll do a post linking your blog.

I need to figure out how to ship paintings that are framed, and how can this be done without spending all the money I would make if the painting sold.

Also, how does the gallery re-pack and send it back?

Thanks,hopefully we all can learn from your comments. I'll be back on in about a week.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Daily Painting Practice- The Cat

I am feeling much better today. Thanks to all those who sent in the cure.

I only needed to do a little work on this to finish it. That face just needed a little more life and sparkle. I also played with the door and shadows, sharpened some edges and worked on some detail in the rug.
Detail of ....the Tail
click on the image to enlarge the painting

The Cat
22" x 28"
oil on canvas

I am calling this one finished. A few weeks ago I posted the this as "Thinking About It" work in progress. It has been a long time getting to it but I can call it complete...except for the title. I need some help with that. Usually my wife/title maker picks the name but since she is not here while I type this. I'll ask all of you out in blogland. What should the name of this painting be?

Monday, January 21, 2008

Daily Painting Practice- Out with a cold



Sorry but there is little painting going on. I have one of those mid-winter colds. You know the kind where your head feels like a watermelon about to burst open....Hopefully things will be better tomorrow and I'll get to some daily practice. Now, where is my hot tea?

Friday, January 18, 2008

Daily Painting Practice- The Grocery List

Every once in a while I like to do a kitchen still life. So many things happen in a kitchen on a daily basis. There are so many stories that can be painted just from the kitchen.
I almost called this afternoon tea. On a typical day, I take an afternoon tea break. Usually, and just as I sit down, my wife/psychic multi-tasker extraordinare will call from work. "Do you have a pencil? I thought I would pick up a few things at the grocery store on my way home....call me back when you have the list..."
I then check our cabinets and make a list of what we need. After 30 years we are so in sync.....I have the pencil ready.
I thought for a while Van Gogh would enjoy this composition. That must be why I changed the color of the background...
...and added the plant.
If I were really bold, I would have piled on the paint. Two inches thick! But I was too much of a wimpy painter. My inner Van Gogh will have to wait for another day.
click on the image to enlarge the painting

The Grocery List
12" x 12"
oil on canvas

Maybe I should have named it ...Before She Calls?

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Daily Painting Practice- Hidden Horizon

click on the image to enlarge the painting

Hidden Horizon
20" x 24"
oil on masonite

I think I have the best job in the world. Tonight while everyone was driving home from work in a snow storm, I was able to stay nice and warm in my basement studio and paint a lovely summer landscape.
Some may recognize this one. I started it late last summer as a plein air painting and never finished it. You can see how I left it (here).

This is one of my 25 challenge paintings. I am not quite sure if it is completed or not. I am at that stage where I could keep pushing paint for no reason other than I think I should, or I can put it aside and look at it fresh in a week or so.... Or I could ask all of you who read this blog. I welcome any and all critiques. What do you think? Am I finished?

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Daily Painting Practice- Three Pears

I haven't used my shadow box in a while so I took it out and dusted it off for this composition. I know I have never done 3 pears before so this is a first.
I started painting on a cool green pre-toned board and applied a thin transparent mix of Burnt Sienna and a purple I forgot the name of. I used plenty of Liquin with a little turps to keep it wet and transparent. Then I started wiping off the paint to pick up the lights. I needed to smooth the background so I used a really wide brush.
I went back to wiping and cleaned up the lights again then added some darks. I think the wiping off technique always has a beautiful feel to it.
Thought the background need to be much darker so I painted the darks the same way as before...big brush. wipe out lights then, I put in the opaque color, trying to leave the shadow areas and darks transparent. I didn't have the greatest success... but I tried.
click on the image to enlarge the painting

Three Pears
8"x10"
oil on canvas board
SOLD

Not a bad little practice piece. Those pears are nearly over ripe and need to be eaten or I'll be painting a picture with rotten pears. This was so much fun, I may do a few more compositions with them before they get digested.

Friday, January 11, 2008

daily Painting Practice- Late Summer Road

I have been working on my 25 studio paintings (remember I pledged to complete 25 by my birthday in March) so my little daily painting practice pieces have been suffering. This is one of the larger pieces(24"x30") in the beginning stages. I am working on about 12 of the 25 at the same time. It keeps me interested and moving forward if I paint more than one piece at a time.
click on the image to enlarge the painting

Late Summer Road
14"x18"
oil on canvas

Here's the first one I completed. This road will be paved and the land will be developed into suburban lots by the summer as Omaha continues to expand towards the west.

Some may remember the plein air sketch I posted back in (September). I cooled down the studio version a bit from the sketch. I am very pleased with the loose brush work I left in the sky. The loose brush work seems to add a life to the atmosphere. What do you think?

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Daily Painting Practice- Pink flowers in a blue vase

My painting productivity on Monday is mostly determined on the length of my grandson's naps. Yesterday he decided they would be short. This is as far as I got during morning naptime yesterday.
Over the weekend, I cleaned off the studio shelves and returned two boxes of used and reused still life props to Goodwill. Then proceeded to buy a new batch for this year's work. Here are three, that my wife/prop advisor picked out.
I set this up on a shelf in the studio late in the afternoon. The small basement window made a great highlight.
click on the image to enlarge the painting

Pink Flowers in a Blue Vase
8"x10"
oil on canvas board
SOLD

I am pleased with the result. The glass vase was the most interesting to paint. For the most part, I only needed to paint the highlights and the reflections in the glass on top of the background and shadow color. I can't wait to show you more of my new Thrift store treasures.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

daily Painting Practice- Cyclamen

I have painted my wife's cyclamen flowers previously but I don't think I did them justice. Since that time the blooms disappeared for a while but now they are back giving me another shot at them.
I like how loose I started. Trouble was I got tighter and tighter the longer I painted.
Capturing those pinks were the hardest thing I have ever tried to paint. Of course I say that about oranges ... and lemons... and green apples. Just ignore me.
click on the image to enlarge the picture

Pink Cyclamen
6"x8"
oil on canvas board

This is a step closer than my first attempt, though I still haven't nailed that color yet. The purple flowers of the African Violet in the background under the pinks of the Cyclamen is my favorite part. Every now and then I find enjoyment in a very small part of a painting. It may only be a splotch of color or a combination of a few brush strokes or even just the highlight in the painting that does it. Sometimes it is the simple surprises that keep us going.

PS. I just noticed a stem that isn't finished on the flower on the right. I 'll need to add that in. There is nothing worse than floating flowers.

Friday, January 04, 2008

daily Painting Practice- Grapes in a Gold Bowl

I thought I had finished this painting. I signed it and even started writing the blog post but the picture kept making noise every time I looked at it. It was speaking to me....no, it was more like yelling at me. " I'm not finished yet....Don't leave me like this!" I often have paintings yelling at me..is that a normal thing? Do you ever hear those voices too? Or should I seek professional help?
Since I was at the computer I decided to play with the background using the computer's photo editing program. I have never tried this approach of before for working on painting problems. I tried darkening the background and it looked a little better so back to the studio I went.
click on the image to enlarge the painting

Grapes in a Gold Bowl
8"x10"
oil on canvas board
SOLD


I used a large flat brush and some Indian Yellow to start on the background. I doodled with some other areas and in five minutes I had the painting yelling at me again...." Enough , Enough. I'm finished already!"

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

daily Painting Practice- Pot and Pans

click on the image to enlarge the painting

Pot and Pans
6"x6"
oil on canvas board
SOLD
I think it is time that I cleaned out my old thrift store still life props. I may start a new tradition in the studio. On the first week of the new year I should return my old pots, pans, vases and other props that I have painted in the past and trade them in for some new junk... I mean composition material.

One of the results, I think may happen because of my new year's goal of painting 25 new studio pieces by March, will be that my daily painting may become much looser and not as detailed. Hopefully I will keep it fresh and fun. It should be interesting to see how the style of the daily painting pieces may change.....or not.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Daily Painting Practice - Early Snow in Benson

click on the image to enlarge the painting

Early Snow in Benson
8"x10"
oil on canvas board

A new year begins. I have done my soul searching, completed my lists, and now it is time to get back to work. As you may have noticed, I took a little time at the end of December to think and set my goals for 2008. I don't like to look back at last year's goals. (I never lose the weight or begin the exercise I planned). That never stops me from dreaming forward.

My first goal is to have 25 studio pieces complete by my birthday (March 16). Why not set the bar high? That is a tough goal to meet but I do my best work when I put myself under pressure. I have already sketched out about 15 of these. They range in size from 9"x12" to 30"x42" and that includes finishing the cat painting I posted last week. I also have ideas for the other 10, I just need to work on the compositions . So I am on my way.

It is not just the number of paintings I am interested in this year. I really want my art to express more feeling and be the highest quality I am capable of. I had a thought that I will write down and hang on the easel.

Every painting should be considered a gift from the heart. Even if the painting is to be purchased, it should still be planned and painted with all of the emotion and care that any gift to a dear friend deserves. That may sound full of mush but it struck a chord with me.

Oh , and I still want to lose weight and exercise more.

Happy New Year!