Monday, June 29, 2009

Plein air painting of my birdbath

The sweet hour just before sunset when the sun is low in the sky and everything is bathed in an orange light. My favorite time to paint. The little bird stopped for a drink even though three dogs watched from the patio.

Nicole portrait from life

Nicole, a model for our portrait group last Saturday. 16 x 20 oil on canvas.

Steffan, a Posthumous portrait, oil on linen

This 15 yr old boy died suddenly last year of an aneurysm. I was asked to paint a portrait using a few photographs that had been taken at his mother's wedding. I combined two of the pictures and came up with this. A very difficult painting to do as I was saddened to know that the beautiful young boy is no longer with us. It is so much harder to paint a portrait of someone who died at a young age because you know they never lived their potential. God has a plan and that's all we can realize when something like this happens. We may never fully understand the plan but it's there.
They told me it was scary how much like him it looked.

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Sunday, June 21, 2009

Dana -- 6 yr old subject

She posed for our portrait group and was such a little angel. Four weeks of sitting in one position watching a video while 15 strangers stared at her! Wow-- what composure!

I did another smaller painting from a photo taken by Tim Taylor and her grandmother purchased it.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

An artist paints a painting of an artist painting

This is a painting of Graham, who very kindly allowed me to use his photograph. I was intrigued by the composition and of course, his hat. He told me he wore it because it resembled hats worn in the days of Toulouse Lautrec, whose painting he is copying in this painting. It gets a bot confusing doesn't it? An artist painting a painting of an artist painting.... !@ :)

But I am hopelessy intrigued by stuff like that.

Plein air of my back yard

A small 5" x 7" plein air painting of my back yard and the neighbor's pond. I love the way our yard looks in the hour just before sunset.

6" x 12" oil painting of dairy barns

These are some beautiful dairy barns that I can see from my front porch, so I sat out there last month and painted them.

Cocoa the Cat

This is my cat watching a painting video on my computer. Sold pretty quickly to another cat lover. :)

I have painted this cat several times and usually it is a painting of her watching something, because basically she does a lot of sitting around.

The First Boy Scout in America

This is a portrait of W.F. Milne, the first American Boy Scout leader. I used an old black and white image and added a background that complemented his uniform.

The Fourth Painting in the series

This is Communion 4 -- I borrowed the cup from my boss, set up the still life and started painting.

Golden and Delicious!

Golden and Delicious! 6" x 6" oil painting of a golden delicious apple.

6" x 6" Toll House Cookies

These chocolate chip cookies are painted life-size. That's a teapot in the corner, put there for the express purpose of bouncing the eye back into the center of the painting.

Just for Fun

William Merritt Chase was an American painter who lived and worked a hundred years ago. This painting is based on a composition of his but I have totally changed the girl's features and made her 5-6 years younger. I experimented with a limited palette consisting of titanium white, terra rosa, cadmium yellow medium, alizarin crimson and ultramarine blue. It is amazing the number of colors you can mix from just a few primaries and white.

Portrat commission

This is a recent commission completed from a small church directory photo taken several years ago. The client commissioned it for an anniversary gift and will present it to them in September. I wish I could be there to see it. From all accounts they are absolutely great people.

Portrait from Life

This woman posed for our life drawing/painting group in March. It must have been difficult for her to hold the pose like that with her head turned downward as if in prayer, but she did it.

Painting for Dollars

Wow - that title sounds like it would make a good game show! Unfortunately, it's the state of the economy for this painter right now. I haven't sold anything in a couple weeks and my prices continue to be very affordable, so I am almost certain it's the economy. I think this recession (is it a depression?) is gong to last awhile, and while it's a good time to buy art because it has never been this low priced, you could say that about a lot of things. Houses are going for much less than they were a year ago. Car dealers are running sales because the cars are piling up! So it only makes sense that if people aren't working they aren't going to have money to buy art. I am just driven to paint though so I'll keep producing and store them in my basement if they don't sell. I also have work hanging in a couple gift shops (one in Archbold and one in Waterville) now so that's another venue. Sports oriented prints continue to sell pretty well at the Jobst Tower (three this past week!)

I have been lax in the month of May about posting, although I have been really productive with my painting! So here are a few to catch up. These two models posed for my weekly portrait group; Tim the Samurai guy in April/May and the little girl, Dana, in June.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Mark's Successful Alla Prima

Mark Garrow has been attending my classes at Main Street Art & Glass in Delta, Ohio for a couple of years now. He has shown steady growth as a painter because he challenges himself to complete a painting in one session! Mark is a generous soul- he gives each and every painting he completes away. His lucky friends and family have received many beautiful pieces. Here is Mark with a painting he completed in about an hour last night.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Italian Still Life

This small painting sold very quickly. It was painted from life using thick impressionistic strokes in one session. Once again, the lighting is what makes the painting. If the lighting is flat the painting will appear flat too.

Commissioned portrait of a couple

This is a 9" x 12" portrait I am working on using a tiny reference from a church directory. The man needs a bot of work yet but the lady is close to finished.

Amy Chang from Life

Amy Chang works for the Toledo Symphony as a cellist. She posed for our portrait group in March and I completed this painting over the course of two 2 hour sessions.

Small 6" x 6" Square Oil Painitngs

In the spirit of completing a Painting a Day, I have started a new series of square paintings featuring food. These are fun pieces that can usually be completed in a couple hours. The key is to light them well and make the shadow patterns interesting.

My Acrylic and Oil Painting Class

I have been meaning to post some pictures from this class for awhile. We meet at Main Street Art & Glass, Delta, Ohio on Tuesday evenings from 6-8:30 pm through the first week of May. Here they are hard at work. I am proud of my students. The ones who stick with it have become really good painters.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

James Dean Lincoln

A sexier more approachable Lincoln, painted for a Commemorative Lincoln Show sponsored by the Imagine Foundation in Jacksonville, IL.

Symphony in Cobalt Blue

5" x 7" oil on masonite. Another Painting a Day piece....
A really fun little painting with lots of texture and complimentary color. The circular composition and reflective metal is eye-catching.

Tropical Notes

A small 6" x 6" oil painting on gessoed masonite, completed from life.

Chinese Tea and Lemons

16" x 12" oil on linen. Painted from life in my home studio. Sold quickly.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Today's painting in the "painting a day" series

What is a "Painting a Day"? It started a few years ago when a few artists began blogging their alla prima creations. The paintings are usually small, attractive still life subjects featuring ordinary objects executed in a direct expressive manner. I do not create one painting per day-- I work and am a little too busy to paint every day although it would be nice. I also like to work on some paintings for longer periods, over the course of a week or two. But this painting was completed in a couple hours, it is small at 6" x 7" and it is comprised of everyday objects.
Lemon, Oranges and Chinese Tea oil on canvas over wooden panel ... $100 if you are interested-- Paypal or money order only. Thanks!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Another Portrait of the Preacher in the Farming Outfit

I am calling this one "Friend of God" and I don't think I'll sell it. It's life size, 16" x 20" and looks exactly like him, although I would be hard pressed to explain how I did that in 2 hours. Maybe it helped to have painted him once the first time. This is a different angle and I have included the pitchfork this time,. he looks as if he is ready to fight off some evil-doers! What I like best is the textured mustache. Gives it that 3D quality I am always trying to achieve in my alla prima work. It is 16" x 20" oil on canvas-- I have to glue to a board because I used a loose piece of canvas.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Just Back from Texas

I returned from visiting my son in San Antonio early this week. It was a great trip- I met his girlfriend, Natalie and we went to a couple great Mexican restaurants and to the Stock Show and Rodeo, a huge event that attracts lots of stars and performers. I was lucky enough to see Alan Jackson's show! I completed a few paintings after I got home.

This is a larger version of James, a kid who posed for our portrait group in Toledo last year. I was going for a "Lost Soul" look. The lady is another model from 2007 I think, whose photo and sketch I kept on hand for reference until I had a chance to paint. I think it's interesting to note the way you can change your palette and how it affects the whole feel of the piece. Somber verses bright and sunny. Of course a lot of it has to do with intent and lighting but most of it is up to the artist. Color is individual, but value must be correct. The images would lose something if we made them black and white but I hope I've gotten enough of the subjects' personalities that they woudl still be interesting.

Monday, February 09, 2009

11 x 14 painting of The Vegetable Seller 2

Here is an image of the completed painting, "Mandalay Merchant".

Large self-portrait

Here is a recent paint-over, meaning I recycled the canvas. It's me, of course, in my studio. I have a buyer for it already or I would be tempted to complete it some more. It is just under life size.

I have reworked a few areas of this painting

I m happier with the background and her skin tones are a bit richer now. And I added a bubble of course.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Pastor Chuck from Life

A 78 year old retired Pastor named Chuck was our model this morning at the Portrait Group. He's a farmer and he posed with a pitchfork and a straw hat. Unfortunately the pitchfork kept changing position as he grew tired so I painted it out. Nice prop but not needed as I was able to get the character of the gentleman down in about 90 minutes.

12" x 16" oil on linen

Friday, January 23, 2009

Duchess, a Siberian Blue Maltese Tabby Cat

11" x 14" oil on gallery wrap canvas

Siberian cats are beautiful, with long soft and silky fur similar to my cat Nikki's fur and big fluffy tails. Perhaps the most distinctive feature is their long whiskers.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Claire and Sebastion 11x14 oil on linen

This painting has been inspirational to me and given me an idea for a new series! Plus it has been so much fun. Here is my idea--the girls and the cats will all look alike. As I looked around fo something to add to what was becoming yet another dreary painting of an insipid young thing I saw a CAT! Subconsciously I chose a picture of a cat that resembled my BW portrait. The key to this may be deciding on the palette first and what color I want the light to be-- or I could use the same light key throughout for consistency ( Blue-violet / orange-yellow .) I have been thinking about doing another series for awhile now. So Claire and Sebastian may be the very first pair of many more. My next girl will be blonde or dark-haired and I'll find a kitty to match and arrange it in a complimentary composition. This composition was all about triangles. I did a demo for an on-line art group to show them how to compose using repetitive shapes and once you point out the triangles they are hard to miss- but it's a design that only an artist would really look for and identify. To remain consistent I will paint them all on premium linen board as I have this one. What a dream to paint on if you are looking to paint in detail.

The Tiffin River

Near my home in Ohio, this scenic river is named for Indians who once resided in Northwest Ohio. I had taken this photo many years ago and had always wanted to paint it. With temps dropping into the negatives digits these past few days I have had no urge to paint outside but I wanted to paint a landscape so I pulled this reference out and emphasized some color.