Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Painting 42

Still a vegetable theme. Trying to paint from life. Seems like a pale pepper, but I'm guessing I didn't get the colors quite right. Overall an ugly little painting. 

Not feeling very artistic lately. Perhaps after the holidays I'll become inspired. I'll paint tonight and perhaps it'll get my juices flowing, but forget about seeing bell peppers again.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Painting 41

I think I write too much on my blog. Sometimes there's not much to say about a painting, but then I stretch it out and I end up with paragraphs of text when the focus of the blog is merely to show my painting progress. From 1 to 100 and what happens in between. I really don't like to write and I'm not remotely good at it, but I do like to reflect on my paintings. Since I'm months, if not a year behind in my blog, the paintings I show now are old to me, and the amount of time in between allows me to see things differently. The gift of time allows me to be a bit more detached and therefore I can be critical and see  more than if I were writing about something that was just completed. So I continue on, already more wordy than I intended. Philosophizing and psycho-babbling, throw in an art critic and that sums up my blog.

So let’s talk about the tomatoes, another Alla Prima, finished in one sitting. They were purchased from the convenient Farmer's market, or they were found in the refrigerator, I don't recall. Trite composition, still a little too flat with the shadow too vibrant a hue, I believe there's glare on the photo which is causing some of my concern with the tones, but Carol Marine said this in her work shop I attended after painting this, she said "beginning artist always make the highlights too big" or something to that affect. I certainly agree with her here. I like the visible brushwork and there's no mistaking them for tomatoes. That's the positive. I didn't like the background, so I did repaint it a turquoise-ish blue a few months later, but it didn't seem to help much. In the end, not something I would attach a buy now button to.

I don't paint that great a lot of times, just like I don't write that great. Perhaps you may think I'm too hard on myself, but I find comfort in being critical because I feel I've learned something when I spot the errors now. My wish is to be able to see even more things wrong when I view this again. So being critical makes me happy because I am present to the fact that I’m learning and I growing which is, to quote Martha Stewart, a very good thing. Unfortunately for the 2 people who follow this blog, writing is also a part of that process.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Painting 40

Daily paintings—great concept, people make good money, great warm up, and you learn quickly. So why not paint everyday? I'm sure many artists ask themselves that same question. I would say it's because I have a full-time job, but then there's Qiang Huang who is a master at it and he works as an engineer and he doesn’t let that stop him. I admire him greatly. Another Daily Painter is Carol Marine. She doesn't have to work another job and she has a studio at her home, so she has it made. Both artists live in Austin, my birthplace, and I think that's just cool. When I discovered Carol on the Internet, I was so excited to share her with my studio mates, who were only too quick to remind me that they had been talking about her for years—so much for listening while painting. We discussed hosting a workshop for her, but we were going to have to wait a year to do so and then a workshop in Salado Texas came open and we all signed up. No excuses now, daily paintings are in my future.

 I purchased some melamine cups on Ebay because my grandparent used these at their lake house when I was a tot and I'm a nostalgic guy. I fondly remember being with my grandparent, especially my grandmother who was so sweet, even if she said I was messy behind my back. I was, and still am. The dishes were just a way to hang onto those memories a little longer. Anyway, cups, impending workshop, daily painting. That's how this little 5x7 painting came to be. Painted it from life, and the results were okay, as my quick paintings usually have been, but good practice. (I always say that when a painting doesn’t turn out well. It was good practice!) I never have liked the background color and another issue is the rendering of the inside of the top cup. I just didn't achieve a good result with getting the nice round interior, but it’s never been worth my time to make corrections. I guess because it would no longer be a daily painting. The point is to learn to get it right the first time. 

So begins the daily painting for a while; although, for me, it painting Alla Prima. I’ll never do them daily, but they are finished in one sitting, and I can live up to that expectation. I'll let these other artist pick up my slack.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Painting 39

Not sure why I stopped blogging because I was doing good for awhile. Must keep going! This painting was another painting I donated to a cause. Why do I keep donating paintings? The setting in Roaton, Honduras, circa 1990 or somewhere around that time. I was visiting my friend in the Peace Corp and we took a little getaway to the most beautiful island. That trip inspired Painting 20, and it inspired this painting as well. This little church along the beach was so charming and quaint, much like the entire island. The place was just paradise at that time and it was a lazy wonderful few days that have remained clear in my mind as though I just returned a few days ago. As I look at this painting, I'm pleased overall. I had a lesson from Donna in shadows, with cast shadow, and the difference with things in shadows, and warms and cools and I can't even begin to explain it. I tried my best with what I learned, but it's difficult when you paint from an old photo and not real life. Those subtle color differences just aren't apparent. The color differences in the shadows do add nice dimension and interest, and as I look at the palm trees, I wish I had added some variety to those as well. Perhaps the ones in the background should have been lighter and less vibrant. It's too much the same across the horizon and doesn't offer much for the perspective and depth. I would love to step inside the painting and enter that church and say a little prayer and maybe meditate as I gaze across the water. Then stumbling a few feet to the bar and down a few Margaritas. Ahhh! I wish every day was a day in paradise!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Painting 38

I love the Hibiscus flower and the one I had for years died one winter when I was too lazy to drag it into the house. Served it right for getting so big. I hated losing that plant, but I have another one growing and the blossoms are yellow, which I like better than the red. This particular flower was growing in Port Aransas in a park at the marina. I was vacationing in a travel trailer with mom and dad. It was cozy, but we had a great time as we always do. The bush was huge and full of blooms and the sky was a wonderful shade of blue. It was a hot, bright day and these flowers were spectacular. The painting was done for a fundraiser, so I gave it away. I promised I'd give something and I had to paint it fast. I went to the fundraiser and was surprised and dismayed to see it hanging sideways. It just seemed obvious how it should be hung, but I guess it's my fault since I didn't place a hanger on it nor did I sign it. I don't have any clue as to how much it sold for and I doubt I want to know. They tend to practically give these things away at these silent auctions, so it's best not to ask. It's for a good cause, so I have to check my ego at the door. This was a gesso board, not a canvas and once again I loved the feel of the brush on the surface. It had a nice deep wooden edge to it, so no need for framing. Notice that it's another close-up detail of the subject matter. Seems that's my running theme, at least until the next painting. I wonder who purchased this and what they did with it. I hope it wasn't kindling!

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Painting 37

Another Painting from my trip to Merida. Markets in Mexico are always fun and full of interesting sights and smells. You can't think of Mexico without thinking about spicy foods, and the market is where it all happens. 
I liked the repetitive nature of the painting and, of course, the lettering. This time the signs were handwritten, so I didn't have to be very exact. The palette is somewhat limited which I like about this painting and the colors somewhat muted. Perhaps the peppers could have spots of brigher colors. I tried to be loose with the colors and not be so exact. The painting is 16" x 20" so it's not very big. I think this type of painting would look better on a larger scale, or maybe that's just me liking large paintings. Or tiny, that works for me too. 16" x 20" is so standard, even 18" x 20" is better to me. I rarely go for the standard size anymore. Squares are great and seem modern. 
I enjoyed Merida immensely for it's traditional architecture and the laid back atmosphere of the town. I have a ton of photos for paintings. With this trip and my trip to Alaska, I could paint for years without running out of subject matter. I keep thinking about this one old car I photographed. One day you may see it. Maybe  my 100th painting. I bet I hit my 100th on my 50th year. That would be interesting, but since I'm 46, I hope it doesn't take that long. 
I have a new rating feature, so feel free to rate this or any of the others. As an Art Director, I'm used to people dogging my work, but the harshest you can grade me is undecided. I suppose if that's not severe enough for your taste, you can always rip it apart in a comment. 

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Painting 36

Nun of Your Business. That's what I named the painting, and it actually helped sell it which is a good little marketing lesson. These nuns were a sight to behold. I was in Merida, Mexico searching for photo opportunities and these nuns appeared on the street. My traveling companion, Bob, and I were drawn to them and couldn't help but follow, trying to get a good photo. Not sure if the were late, or just trying to loose us, but these little women were fast! We were running to catch up with them, and it was well worth the effort. I never saw any faces, but the traditional attire next to the rustic Mexican architecture was too great not to capture on canvas. Bob ended up with the photo I used as my reference. He's much better at the camera than I am, so even though I had my own photos of the nuns, his was the one I needed to paint. I enjoyed painting the white of the outfits and the rustic areas on the wall and door, attempting to capture the wonderful textures and the flow of the fabric. I'm very pleased with the painting, I would love to see it in a rustic ornate frame, but I donated the painting to The Children's Advocacy Center of Dallas for their annual fundraiser. I'm not sure what it sold for, but I was informed that a well-known society columnist purchased it, and my studio mates were so thrilled for me. I'd never heard of the guy, but I wrote to thank him for taking an interest and he let me know that while he doesn't normally collect traditional type paintings, he and his wife were drawn to the subject matter for personal reasons and his wife decided they needed it when she read the title and laughed out loud. I hated giving away the painting because you never know if these charities are just going to slash the prices just to get rid of it, treating the art like it's a tag sale item in the suburbs. However, when I heard from the buyer and his story, I was pleased that I had touched them with my work, and it was for a good cause. Since he said his house is full of contemporary art, I seriously doubt my painting is hung in their home, but I hope they at least gave it a proper home somewhere. BTW, this is my sister's favorite painting! The only one she's wanted of mine. I guess the one I painted for her (painting 22) isn't that swell, but that's all she's getting from me now, thank you very much! I'm going to start charging her like I did my mother. No more freebies for you! Artist are so sensitive!!!

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Painting 35

This is a small painting I did on board. I love the surface—the feel of the paint on the smooth board. Love the graphic element, the nostalgia of bubble gum. Who doesn't remember cramming a ton of gum in your mouth and attempting to blow the biggest bubble, or a bubble inside a bubble. I loved to pop the gum—quite irritating, but fun nonetheless. 
Do people use misspelled words when naming things anymore? I'll have to start looking for it. Perhaps it could be a whole series of paintings. 
This is another example of examining things up close. Looking at the world through a magnifying glass. My second attempt at lettering for anyone that cares. Never liked the blue end wrapper too much, but I do like the loose play of color, especially in the yellow area. The painting sold and I was very thrilled because it was the first time someone other than a family member, or studio mate purchased my painting. I'm excluding the paintings I donated to charity because I didn't get the cash.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Painting 34

Flowers, fun to paint and a little more forgiving. You add an extra side to a building, or extra finger to a hand (sorry Mark) and people notice, but with flowers, you can be a little loose and if you add another petal or 2, who's going to notice, unless maybe its a Marijuana plant or something. I enjoyed painting the Zennia and during a trip to the hill country to visit Gail's amazing lake house, we were lucky to find the cacti in bloom. We jumped from the car and ran from bloom to bloom for about 30 minutes snapping photos. There were orange flowers and yellow ones. I was drawn to this particular image because of the composition. I learned from the water lilies the importance of getting a good composition and I felt this was one of the best. I edited the details a bit to place the focus on the blooms. I thought it worked well. I think I'm starting to see the values better and did get some good play on the darks and lights. I think my blooms are a little over saturated in some areas and I need to plan my use of color intensity better in order to get a good balance and focal point. Perhaps some lost edges and less harsh lines would also help soften the feel of the flowers, especially with the blossom in the background.

I had the nerve to sell the painting to my mother. It's nice that my family wants my work on occassion, and I feel a tad bit guilty for selling it to my own mother, but she'll give me money for no reason because she's just that way, so why not take the money and give her something in return.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Painting 33

Back to the large paintings. Love painting close-ups of  subject matter on large canvases. My subject matter was taken from a photo I took during my travels in Asia. This is a detail from a relief carved into a door at a Temple in Laos. The carving was beautiful, and I love the imagery of the Buddha. Buddha represent serenity and reminds me to live for the moment, and to not fret over those things from the past that I cannot change, nor worry about the things to come that may or may not be. There are a few issues with the rendering, but overall I'm very happy with the painting, probably because it connects with me emotionally and because it reminds me of the wonderful adventure I had in Asia years ago. I did try to sell this painting, but I priced it to where it was worthwhile to sell, and that price was too high for anyone to be serious about buying. I'm broke the rule of getting too attached to one's work. I'll try to sell it again and I may or may not lower my price, but for right now it's in my bedroom, and surprisingly enough, not hanging in my closet!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Painting 32

A little abstract series I messed around with for a long period. Did the block shapes while at the Creative Arts Center and then added the circles later on. It's decorative painting and I know it's popular, but just not something I get a lot of satisfaction from doing. I like them and I've had friends actually want them. I wanted them too. I'm just like all those other suckers that want the abstracts to complement my interiors, match the colors, etc. When it comes to actually paintings something,  abstracts are not that interesting for me, but I constantly see abstracts that I would be proud to hang in my home. I do plan to dabble in abstracts a bit more, just to get a better feel for them and maybe generate some extra cash that my other paintings don't seem to do. 

Monday, August 24, 2009

Painting 31

One of my last paintings at the Creative Arts Center of Dallas. We pooled our resources and a group of dedicated artist found a wonderful space in The Cedars to call our home. No more painting on someone else's schedule. Very exciting to have a studio and more exciting to have a group of artist to hang with and be inspired by. But I digress. This is from a very bad photo I took in Chicago outside our hotel. I wanted to try my hand at an urban landscape and I also wanted to experiment in loosening my brush strokes and to push my color usage. There are things I like about this painting, such as the woman on the sidewalk in the white dress, but then there are things I hate, like the squatty woman on the street. Another instance where I couldn't bring myself to correct things that were wrong. There was a lot going on in the photo, and I didn't exactly give the painting a good focal point. The purple shadow on the building looks out of place and the red overall is a bit much. I didn't think I could do the cars, so I was surprised they even came out as well as they did. Well, a good reminder to make sure you have a good reference before you start or at least have a plan as to how you're going to fix it. Now, I would have removed the shadow on the building behind the white dress lady and let the sun flood that area and make that my focal point. Easier said than done though.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Painting 30


I had to keep posting tonight to get to this one. A small milestone because I hit my 30th painting. I worked hard on this sucker. Borrowed the bowl, planned the set up. Photographed it, etc. I love pears as subject matter. Mark has painted some beautiful pears and it inspired me to try for myself. The old saying that you have to paint a few stinkers to get to a good one applies to this one, at least in my opinion! After a few crazy daily paintings, I took my time and made something that I am very proud to display. I painted on a new surface, a board instead of canvas and I loved the feel of it. The painting measure to around a 16 x 20 if I remember correctly, so it's fairly small. I sold this one to Cindy, a former studio mate. It's in New Orleans now and I'm so pleased she wanted it. I miss Cindy, she had such a great laugh, but I know she's happy in her new home.

Painting 29

Total messing around. Just throwing paint on the canvas, not even using a reference. 12" x 16" painting. I used to struggle with what subject matter to paint. Now I have so many things I want to attempt, that I doubt I'll ever be able to tackle everything. I know it would be great to have a defining style and be known for a particular type of work, but it's so much fun to experiment. This was just one of those experiments.

Painting 28

What can I say about this? Odd subject matter, but it's just another salt and pepper shaker, like the previous painting, just a tad more exotic. Another daily painting, working wet on wet, trying to get values, highlights and of course, the actual drawing of the object. I succeeded in drawing it correctly, but because of the subject matter, not sure if I'd ever be happy with it. One thing I would do differently is to tone down the background and would have made the upper dark and the lower area the lighter color and then pop out a nice shadow to ground the object. Attempting to paint a reflective surface was a good exercise and the daily paintings are valuable, and if I painted regularly, I think I would do them a bit more. However, for the sake of this blog, I'm glad I will not be filling it with quick paintings. That's not the point of all this. Size: 5 x 7

Painting 27

After tackling a few large canvases that seem to go on forever, I decided to try my hand at a few small painting to finish in one sitting. No photo reference, just the real objects. Yikes! I started this a couple of years ago and I was just reading where Carol Marine started her daily painting around 3 years ago. I wonder where I'd be if I'd stuck with it like she did. This one was fun. First time for glass and the biggest faults with the painting are the drawing, especially with the lid of the salt being somewhat skewed. The painting is just a small 5 x 7. I think I handled the pepper nicely and the reflection of the table in the steel tops works well. I'm not really jazzed about the color of the background, but it was just an exercise. Never really expected to sell it or anything. Damn that Carol!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Painting 26

This one's a sad painting for me because it's of my friend who's no longer here. It's been 2 years since his death, but I still have his number programmed into my cell phone. Sean was a very special friend, but fought many demons throughout his life and he was gone too early. I think of him often and miss the laughter we shared and the good times we spent hanging out together. The painting was from a photograph that appeared in his hometown newspaper right before he died and I knew immediately that I would paint it as a way to have him with me and to honor him. It was challenging to paint with the reflections of the wet sidewalks, the car in the background, the folds in his clothes and the dog. I wanted to get the painting right, but the most important part was his face. I had to see him in the painting for it to be successful and in the end I did. It took a long time to paint this and I felt a lot of pressure doing so, but I'm so glad because it makes me happy to see him in this setting with his treasured dog in a moment of peace and solitude. I hope he found his peace.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Painting 25

A quarter away from my challenge! 75 more to go! My largest painting to date, 36" x 36". I like the idea of painting one object up close and flowers are perfect for this treatment. I took this photo outside my condo. My neighbor loves to plant flowers and i get to enjoy the beautiful surroundings. I love Zinnias and the color of this flower was so vibrant. The amount of canvas to cover was very intimidating and I thought I would be buying tubes of magenta by the dozen, but in the process I discovered paint can go a long way—much to my surprise and relief to my wallet. The zinnia took a long while to render, but I feel the results were worthwhile. I think a few more darks in the right place would have punched it up a bit, but other than that I was very happy with it. I donated the painting to a Lifewalk fundraiser and I did not attend the event, but it was sold at a silent auction for I believe $300.00. I don't often toot my own horn, but somebody got a good bargain if you ask me. It was for a good cause and it did sell. Anyway, I shouldn't complain because if it sold for thousands then I'd be kicking myself in the butt for giving it away! I think was the first time I was required to name a painting. Butterfly Dreams.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Painting 24

Rustic Door, 22" x 28"
The subject matter is not my own, but from a photo I purchased from istockphoto.com. I thought it was a beautiful photo and I wanted to capture the rustic details and textures with paint. So I broke my vow of only painting from my own source materials. The lesson I learned while painting this scene is about distortion of photos. My instructor had discussed this on occasion, and I've noted the issue with photos since I've started looking for this. Angles, proportion, shadows and color can all be distorted. Once I had completed the painting, I noticed the strangeness of seeing so much of the under arch at the top of the door and then so much of the top of the steps at the bottom. It just didn't seem natural to me. To me, we shouldn't see so much of the top step, but that was probably a trick of the camera lens, a little bit of a fish eyed effect, and something I wasn't aware of to correct until it was too late. Drawing correctly is so important to painting and you really must pay attention to what needs to be corrected in a photo before you begin the painting. Lesson learned, but still often ignored! : ) Besides that issue, I loved the weathered walls and brick and the rustic door, all these very successfully executed in my opinion. A nice color scheme and composition. As I finished this painting, I don't know if I decided I wanted to "make it my own" or if I thought the subject matter was too boring, but after discussing this with my class mates. I decided to add an additional element. I wanted to do a pot of flowers on the steps, but some thought that covering too much of the wall would be a shame. So we talked and I debated and finally came up with a pair of boots. Boots! What is that style, I don't know. Looks like pirate boots. Why boots, I keep asking. Why not a cat, a basket, a dead bird? Anything but those stupid boots. So in my previous posting about straying from the photo for laughable results, this is it. In the end, it was a painting that just didn't connect with me because I was just recreating a nice photo that was not my own. I can't really begin to sell it as my own work, even with the addition of the foot gear. Door are good subject matter though, and my boots off to those artist who make door paintings work!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Painting 23

I believe I reached a new level of understanding with this painting. I felt more in control and I've always have been pleased with the outcome, minus a few complaints. I forget to mention sizes with my post and I feel it is important information. This was a larger painting, perhaps 2 to 3 feet across. My mother gave me the canvas and I believe it was a linen canvas, which i have to say was not my most favorite surface to paint on. Especially for a painting with such fine details. A gessoed board would have been ideal. I continued my experimentation with using glazing techniques which were much more successful than the wine bottles. So in the darker areas of the green leaves, it's actually layers of reds and blues on top of the green, applied after the green had dried. It gives a richer, more complex color than just mixing the dark color on the pallette. I was less succesful with glazing the purple flower and I feel I could have used more brilliant coloring in the petals. My stlye of painting has moved away recently from this type of tight rendering, but I'm torn because I like some of the qualities that I achieved, but my looser style keeps my blood pressure from rising. I hate to mention more flaws as I'm prone to do because I actually sold this painting, and the buyer reads my blog. Karen purchased this painting on ebay and luckily for her there wasn't a bidding war. I accuse her of drunking bidding, but she totally denies this and professes her love for this piece. I want to believe this and if I keep pointing out whats wrong, she'll likely end up putting this in the closet. But, I must profess this painting screamed at me about composition, and how important it is to the overall success. My reference was a photo taken by my friend Amy and I was so inspired by it. I tried taking photos of lilies on my travels through Asia, but never came close to getting such a beautiful photo of one, and I had to capture it on canvas. I knew I was painting it too much like the photo with the flowers sitting on the lower half of the canvas. I've always thought I should have rearranged them so that the darkest area at the top wouldn't draw so much attention, or perhaps the addition of a dragon fly or something small in that upper area would have helped with balance. I think I read that a pleasing composition has 2 large items and one small. I don't know, but my ridged adherence to painting exactly what I see did not allow room for experimentation. I try this in a later painting and you'll see the laughable results. My many thanks to Karen for buying this and supporting me. I am forever grateful for this sweet gesture, and I hope she continues to view this painting through rose colored glasses, or through the bottom of a wine glass! : ) No refunds!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Painting 22

I get on a kick every now and then to make my Christmases a little more special, so I try to make handmade gifts. Don't do it that often, but I made an awesome clock once for my sister. This time I decided to paint her a painting of wine bottles since she's a wine lover. I wasn't very confident the painting would be well received, so I also purchased a case of wine for her and I knew she'd like that! The painting is done with layers of glazes. Mark, my classmate experimented with them to great success, so I thought I'd do the same. He painted some beautiful paintings of pears, and I thought the effect would lend itself to the glass bottles. I don't really paint this way much. The consistency of the glazes was too sticky for me. I like paint that feels like butter. I use water miscible oils and recently discovered that using water as a medium wasn't the best thing to do, and once I stopped using water as much and relied on other mediums, I found I enjoy the paint much more. The labels were very fun to recreate, but that's the graphic designer in me. I altered one of the labels to include her last name for a special touch. Speaking of wine labels, there are so many fun ones these days. That's mainly how I choose my wine. Overall, i think the painting got a little muddy and I could have been a little better with some of the bottle drawings, my usual downfall. Anyway, my sister visited my studio recently and she saw a painting and said it was the only painting that I've done that she's wanted. I am guessing now that she doesn't like this one, so I'm definitely glad I included the box of wine!

Friday, February 06, 2009

Painting 21

You may recognize this spot if you had the misfortune of listening to your traveling companions who insist walking across the bridge to the old town in Puerto Rico will be quick and easy because this is one of the views along the way. By the way, the walk is very long and very hot! There was a local man leaning against the tree and it would have made a great painting except he was too hidden by the tree, so I did what us painters do, I edited. I enjoyed playing with the colors of the sky and ocean and I especially like the trunk with the light and violet hued shadows. I had to make too much up with the leaves however, so I lost the play of light and they became too flat. It could have used a few people on the beach or something. Maybe lightened the sky at the horizon with an addition of pink. I don't know. I did try to sell this at a garage sale much to the horror of my fellow artist. I marked it 75 and someone actually snatched it up. I was thrilled until they handed me a dollar and waited for their change. I had to explain to the eager art collector that I wanted 75 dollars, not 75¢. He immediately returned the painting to the shelf, and my ego healed eventually. Everyone has their price and some people are really cheap!

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Painting 20

I discovered these long canvases and wanted to explore the size again. This painting is from a photo from a trip long ago to Roaton, an island off the coast of Honduras. It was a magical place free of tourist and long on relaxation, empty beaches and cheap seafood. I have heard of tales that coconuts from these beautiful palms have actually killed people as they fall to the ground. I became as paranoid of that as I have been of driving with my window down for fear of something flying into the car and hitting my temple, causing instant death. I'm not sure if I was actually having this thought as I rested on this picture perfect beach when a coconut happen to fall from the tree I was lounging under and landed inches from my head. I'm not making this up. Those coconuts actually are deadly! I'm lucky to be alive. Honduras could have killed me for so many reasons, the coconut was just one. But I digress. The painting is nicely composed, but where is the light source, the shadow? What makes an interested painting. Variation of color, stroke, play of light. Play of light? What light? It's sunny cause we can see the sky, but we certainly can't tell where the sun is. I do think the main palm turned out nice. The painting is sentimental to me, and not horrible, but I question why I have it on the studio website cause I don't think it represents my best. Although it does look better on that site than it does here. But it will be coming done soon. By the way, now that I have 20 paintings, this brings me back to my instructor when she said, you get about 1 good painting for every 20. Which one is the good painting?

Painting 19

I tried to be creative with this painting and stop painting exactly what was in the photo. To be a little more decorative. In search of my own style, I have to experiment, right? The house was based on one I saw on a bike-ride through P-Town. It's was right on the beach and was so charming. My plan was to be really loose with the house, but it didn't turn out that way. As a beginning painter, being loose is very difficult! I like the color scheme and the balance of the fence and the house. It has a country charm and I though someone might respond to it. Recently, I donated it to my work for a charity fundraiser. I believe I had an opening bid of $5.00. NO ONE BOUGHT IT. Not even for $5.00. The canvas was worth that much. Gesso over it for God's sake. Put it in your dying Grandmothers room at the rest home. Geeze, is it that bad? I've seen a lot of ugly art being bought, you'd think I could get a break. Whatever! When thing's like this happen, I just remind myself how many people just sit on there butts watching TV not try anything new, and I start feeling a little superior to them and that makes me happy enough to pick up my brush, brush off my pride and begin again.

Painting 18

The painting I would rather cut my own hand of than post. Count me brave. It's a bad one and I know it. I shoud really let my roommate write about this painting because he has a great deal to say about it. This is my sister and was painted from an old family photo. I don't think she's seen this, basically because I'd like to maintain my relationship with her! So go ahead and make fun of it! The mismatched arms; the light in the shadows that look like amoebas on the attack. The total lack of painting talent. I believe this is when I realized my painter friends were all a bunch of liars for there encouraging comments. I can always count on my family for the honest response — they got a good chuckle out of it. If you'd like to buy it to destroy it, sorry, you're too late! It's chopped up and sits at the bottom of some rotting pile at some waste disposal site.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Painting 17

In doing this blog, I belabor over getting my paintings in the right sequence. Unfortunately, time has made my memory as fuzzy as a peach, so these may be getting somewhat out of order. It's really close so I have to let it go. As I have gone to painting my own subject matter, I found a photo from a trip to Mass. I've never been to pleased with this painting, perhaps not enough play with values, especially in the shadows of the dock. And I've just have never been satisfied with the boat. The water and sky seem to work for me. Maybe it's the composition. I can't put my finger on it, so feel free to critique it. If I remember it was a sunny day, yet where is the drama of light. I suppose that's what makes me the most dissatisfied.. The more I paint the more I realize just how important light is to an interesting painting. With that said, my dad liked it, so I gave it to him. I tackled water and reflections and it didn't kill me, so I suppose for that reason I should count it a success.

Painting 16

It's been a year since I've last posted, which doesn't mean I stopped painting. It only means I'm lazy with my blog. However, I took a painting workshop this weekend in Salado with Carol Marine, who is a awesome daily painter that blogs daily, so I wanted to get back on track with mine. I took this as a daunting task until I realized I have not painted as many paintings as I had imagined. I'm more of a painting a month kind of artist, so as the years fly, the paints stack up slowly. I believe Carol's class has changed that. I look forward to doing more quick paint studies because they teach me so much. My count will rise quicker, so I better slam these paintings into place, so I too can blog more often than once a year.

This painting was painted for my mother and father. This theater is where they had there first blind date and that was over 50 years ago. I spent more time getting my drawing down correctly, but still the State letters go a little off. Otherwise I was very pleased with this painting. The chrome was fun to paint and looks realistic to me. It hangs in there house and I study it every time I visit and after all these years since i've painted it. I still fine things to appreciate, but when I look at the painting now, the sky seems so dark and intense. It doesn't show on the photo, but perhaps I would have done that a bit differently today. Side note, the movie playing is Written on the Wind with Lauren Bacall and Rock Hudson.