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.