Friday, April 28, 2006

Ballet Painting

I completed a color study and one detail of two girls's faces for this painting and I think I'm ready to begin next week. I am hoping if I have everything worked out ahead of time that it will go fairly quickly and I may be done in 30-40 hours. I'll stick to larger brushes and probably do a fairly detailed underpainting with accurate halftones. I stretched my canvas yesterday and I think 24" x 30" will work well. I do need to order some larger stretcher bars soon.

Latest News

Too many weeks have passed since I updated this blog. I am going to try to update it every other day beginning in May. Today I started work on a mural for Joan Laidlaw. It's a copy of some Italian landscape she found a picture of in an magazine. "Tuscany Poppies" or something like that. I am just supposed to make it up as I go, she wants a villa, some vineyards and lots of poppies of course. I did a small study to work out colors which I will gift her with when I'm done. I added a cat because she told me she had to get rid of her two cats when she moved to the condo.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Biker Baby

Sometimes I am so drawn to a picture that I think about it for a long time before I paint it and I try to think about WHY I am drawn to it. I may be at a crossroads of some sort here. I don't know the man I have painted here, but I know several guys just like him. I think that all artists eventually arrive at a time in their life where they know exactly what they want to paint. For some it takes years; others know as soon as they pick up their brushes. It's taken me a few years to discover that what I really care about illustrating is relationships. I've always loved Norman Rockwell paintings because he was so good at painting real people in everyday settings. Maybe he idealized the people he painted a bit, but his paintings always held a message if you looked beyond the surface. This is what I've decided I want to do with my art: paint real people, in ordinary situations, doing ordinary things. Each painting will have an underlying message-but not preachy. Sometimes the message inside the painting might be a little obscure, but I guarantee it's there. If the painting raises more questions than answers that's alright too.
Does the man below care for the baby? Could he be the child's father? The grandfather? Why does he have all those tattoos? Was he in prison? Where are they? A swap meet? Is the man drinking beer while he holds the baby? Or does the beer belong to someone else at the table? Where is the baby's mother and why would she leave him here with this biker guy?
Paintings can mean different things to different people. We're all tempted to judge people as soon as we meet them, and we often do this with preconceived notions about what they should look like and how they should act. The man in the painting might be a pretty nice guy, but we're going to judge him based on what we know about leather clad, tattooed folk, aren't we?

Newer Paintings

I painted the one with the soldier a couple weeks ago. Then I did the landscape the following day. Have listed them both on eBay but so far no bids. I opened an eBay store last week just to see how that works. It's a convenient place to store your auction listings that don't sell and get them viewed. But eBay does take quite a large chunk of change if you sell something from the store- even more than if you sell at auction. Seems as if it would be better to sell directly from my website. eBay comes up with a more ways of nickle and diming a person than I have ever thought of. List an auction, pay for that. If it sells, pay them commission. If the buyer wants to use Paypal, you then pay Paypal a fee (Paypal is also owned by eBay). Now they have started somnething called "key words" which they are pushing hard in the emails they send to me. Sellers can purchase key words which will supposedly drive traffic to their auctions. Hmmm, I thought that is what I was paying an additional 50 cents for each time I list when you add the second line of "searchable" words as a subtitle. They have even tset this up so sellers bid against each other for the right to "own" certain key words. How nice... I mean... lucrative... for them. This may have a lot to do with why people are reporting page views are way down for the months of February and March.