Sunday, December 27, 2009
Saturday, December 26, 2009
Monday, December 14, 2009
Many of these small oils are sketches for larger pastels--how's that for an ironic twist?
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This was painted in oil on stretched canvas. It was fun to paint the shadows and reflections on the apples. Looking at this now, I don't remember if the red apple was lopsided or not but I think I'll repaint left side to give it a more pleasing shape.
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Tuesday, December 01, 2009
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Wednesday, November 04, 2009
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Friday, October 02, 2009
Thursday, October 01, 2009
Friday, September 11, 2009
You may ask, "Was it worth it?" and I'd reply, "Yes, it was." I learned so much about this palette. Not only did I learn how the colors interact when mixed and how to consistently tint the colors. In addition, I learned that each color is different in its opacity where some colors are more transparent than others.
The true test of my efforts will come when I set out to put the pigments to use and how easily I'll be able to anticipate the mixture.
Friday, September 04, 2009
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Friday, August 21, 2009
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Friday, August 14, 2009
A week or so ago, I learned that one of my paintings was juried into the American Impressionists Society annual exhibition that will take place in Denver, Colorado–my former home. It will be strange to go back after all these years and even more strange to be exhibiting there. All the same, I'm very excited for this opportunity and very much looking forward to spending a week in Colorado.
Sunday, August 02, 2009
This is one of the images that I sent to the client for review. I think the painting is about 90% complete. I'll put it on the rail for a while and wait for feedback from my client. Before I sign it, I may—or may not—make some adjustments and call it resolved.
Monday, July 27, 2009
This is one of the photos that I was give as reference. There are several photos taken in various seasons and times of day. I like this one because I can see much of the structure and was able to work our the proportions of the house using this and the other photos.
The thumbnail with the proportions from which I made my larger drawing. When breaking the building down to a grid I figured the house is two squares high by 13 squares wide. When dividing each square into thirds, I learn that size and placement of windows/doors fall in those thirds.
This is the drawing done from the thumbnail. From here I'll begin applying pastel. This gives me an accurate rendering of the structure before I begin painting. This seems a little tight but I'm sure it will loosen up as begin the painting.
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Monday, July 13, 2009
A view of my new studio.
Here's my green chair and my office. Notice the giant paintbrush in the corner.
The Door of Fame and my office. Sorry about the garbage on the floor. I haven't taken it out yet.
A wall of paintings. I think you need one on your wall. Don't you?
My easel with the beginnings of a new piece.
Saturday, June 13, 2009
At this point, I think I know more about lighting than I ever thought I would or cared to know. However, it is all very interesting. The way I understand it is: the color temperature of light is measured in kelvins (K). The thing to remember is a lower number equals warmer (yellow) light and a higher number equals cooler (blue) light. Sunlight at noon on a clear day is approximately 6500K and a standard incandescent bulbs measures around 3000K. Full spectrum lighting measures at 5000K and higher. So if that isn't enough to think about, we need to talk about the color rendering index (CRI), which a rating that measures the rendering ability of light on a scale of 1 to 100. Sunlight at noon measures 100.
The lighting I plan to use in my studio measure in at 5900K and 94 CRI. These are the closest to natural light that I can find. They're not cheap to purchase but the savings for switching to CFLs should be reflected on my electric bills. According to an online CFL savings calculator my electricity costs will be reduced by more than $20 per month saving more more than $2,000 over the life of the bulbs. Check it out, http://www.e3living.com/cfl-savings-calculator.
Sunday, June 07, 2009
Here's looking forward to a great day with lots of collectors.
Mobile Blogging from here.
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
The past weeks have been quite busy with preparations for shows, festivals and the move of my studio. Luckily, the move is just down the hall. As of July 1, I'll be in a larger studio that will allow me to do so much more in my studio. For those of you who have seen my studio know that it's quite cozy and when preparing for a show or festival I spread out into the hallway. That should be a thing of the past.
This painting is a new piece that I did for a show titled Washington, DC en Plein Air. It opens next week at American Painting in the District. The painting is of the Tidal Basin and bridge (Ohio Ave, I think) while the cherry blossoms are in full bloom. While the blossoms are prominent in the piece, they are not the focal point. I wanted to include them but my goal was to make them secondary to the bridge... more specifically the light on the bridge.
Thursday, May 07, 2009
Monday, April 27, 2009
Sunday, April 26, 2009
For our monthly paint out, the Washington Society of Landscape Painters painted at the US National Arboretum in Washington, DC. This was my first visit to the Arboretum and I don't know what took me so long getting there. This is my fourth spring living in the DC area and I never discovered the place. Everywhere you turn there is a painting begging to be painted and it’s FREE.
I'm not a floral painter but as a landscape painter flowers are often element in my compositions; yet, today a flowering azalea bush became my muse. On a search for a suitable subject, I was hiking along the path in the azalea garden when I rounded the path and came upon an azalea bush that was glowing fuchsia in morning light—it stopped me in my tracks. The path before me was dappled sun puddles and the shadows were long. Going any further was pointless.
Knowing that the morning light changes quickly, I set up my kit choosing a smaller board (9x12). I began blocking in the piece and bypassed my usual underpainting because I didn't what to loose the light while the underpainting dried. The light was changing rapidly which spurred me on to paint faster.
Aside from the rapidly changing light, I was faced with the problem of not having the right value of pink for the highlights in the azalea bush. Instead, I chose a warm orange color in a similar value. Overall, I think it worked. How abut you?
If you've never been to see the azaleas in bloom, you must go and it's not too late to see them this spring.
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Admittedly, winters in the DC area are nothing compared to those of some of the other places I’ve lived, Chicago, Denver, and Milwaukee, but there’s the same sense of lethargic hibernation that occurs for me regardless of my domicile. Mostly, I don’t like to be cold.
So far this spring temperatures have been cooler and it seems to me that we’ve had a lot of rain. That hasn’t stopped the seasonal rebirth from occurring. The colors are spectacular as the budding trees glow their golden green in the sun and the recently barren earth bursts with a dappled array of color.
As I’m painting this spring, I reminded that my plein air kit needs an adjustment from a winter to a spring palette; swapping out the grayed hues for brighter greens and a larger variety of pinks, purples, and blues. It’s just another reminder of rebirth and growth. A time to venture into new landscapes and embrace the experiences that will shape who we are as people and artists tomorrow.
"All children are artists. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up." —Pablo Picasso
Monday, April 20, 2009
As an artist and former gallery owner, I’ve maintained a mantra, “always buy original art.” Art is my livelihood and I worry that doing reproductions of my work may diminish my reputation and the value of my originals. However, as a small business owner—yes, artists are small business owners—trying to make ends meet in this economic climate, I understand the importance in meeting the wants and needs of my existing clientele as well as the need to branch out to other markets. Moreover, I understand the need to produce works in varying sizes so that I am hitting a variety of price points.
In doing reproductions, I will be reaching out to different markets. There is a market for fine art reproductions. In fact, I know a couple who are financially able to purchase original art but claim that by collecting reproductions their collection is extensive and diverse allowing them to rotate pieces and not feel too bad about getting rid of something if it no longer holds their interest. Included in this group of collectors are those art lovers with limited discretionary income. Buying fine art reproductions allows them to live with works with which they relate that fits within their budget.
So, now that I’ve justified why I should have some reproductions done, can I overcome my negativity and reach out to a broader market? I think so.
There is an interesting article by artist Mamata B. Herland titled, The Impact of Giclée: A shift towards digital print in future art on Lux Art & Design's website.
Sunday, April 19, 2009
This photo shows my value-based
under painting for "Tidal Basin"
a 16x22 pastel painting on
Wallis sanded paper.
And, the same piece
This painting will rest
on a spare easel, which
allows me to study the
painting. Doing this gives
me the opportunity to
step away from the piece
and study it. It may set
there for a couple hours
or days. This gives me
to critique the piece before
going back into it.
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
This is a little (9x12) painting that I recently did where I was focusing on the light and shadow. No matter how much I paint or how often I study, I feel as if I will never “get it.” I suppose that is the nature growth. I will never stop learning.
The further I go, the sorrier I am about how little I know: it is this that bothers me the most. —Claude Monet
Thursday, April 09, 2009
Wednesday, April 08, 2009
"The sky is the soul of all scenery. It makes the earth lovely at sunrise and splended at sunset. In the one it breathes over the earth a crystal-like ether, in the other a liquid gold." --Thomas Cole
Monday, April 06, 2009
"The biggest adventure you can take is to live the life of your dreams." —Oprah Winfrey
Friday, April 03, 2009
My first thought on both counts is, that's not enough. It's a shame that artists (all diciplines) must work second jobs to pay the rent. Second, that artists work at their craft less than three hours a day. That's practice time!
When in full swing, I'm clocking 40 hours a week painting. Granted, I don't have much of a life outside of the studio and my FT job, but I feel it is necessary for me to paint everyday to meet my goals. As I've said many times, all I want to do is paint.
So, let's get busy. Let's turn off these computers and paint.
Friday, March 27, 2009
So, what is fear? Is it a lack of self-confidence? From where does it come? Why is that I question my abilities and myself? Of what am I afraid: I'm not good enough; of success; of failure; that someone won't like my work; of rejection? Why do I allow it to prevent me from taking those steps forward to achieve my goals and dreams? Like you, the answers to these questions must come from within.
Being an artist is not easy. We put our heart and soul out there for others to judge. Heck, as artists there's very little we do that doesn't come with a jury or someone deciding if our work is good enough or the right fit. The only way I've found to deal with this irrational—but very real—emotion is to keep moving forward. To be true to my art and myself. To focus on the work and not on the "projected" opinions of others. In other words... just keep painting.
Easier said than done, right? When the grip of fear begins to overtake us maybe, we should ask ourselves; what's worse, working through the fear at the risk of destroying something in which we have invested so much energy; or, give in to the fear and never give our work and ourselves the opportunity to flourish. After all, isn't it through trial and error that we learn and grow?
The great soprano, Beverly Sills said, "I'm not happy, I'm Cheerful. There's a difference. A happy woman has no cares at all. A cheerful woman has cares but has learned how to deal with them." I think being fearless and fearful are very similar to Beverly's happiness and cheerfulness... I have fears but I'm learning how to deal with them.
Thursday, March 26, 2009
To begin, I use Amersand's Gessobord™. I use the surface rather than a hardboard that can be purchased at your hardware store because Gessobord is sealed and the surface is pH neutral and acid free. I trust the manufacturer has done it's reseach to assure it's product is everything they claim. Next, I apply three more coats of Gesso brushing it on with short cross-hatch stroke. I do not sand between coats. When the gesso is dry I apply several (3 or 4) coats of Golden Acrylic Grounds for Pastels to which I've added additional grit. The grit I use varies depending on how coarse I want my surface. Some of the substances I use are marble dust, pumice, and grog.
Since this takes some time to do, I usually prepare several panels at one time. I've also used this technique on 300# watercolor paper with good results. The surface accepts many layers of color and allows me to achieve a painterly quality.
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
The Art League's annual "Paint" Alexandria, a two-day, all media, plein air event. Participants will be guided in the fine art of sketching, painting, and photography.
Monday, March 23, 2009
Sunday, March 22, 2009
Saturday, March 21, 2009
Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or requests.