Saturday, December 15, 2018

Painting Blocks

Whaaaaa say?

I became fascinated with the techniques of the Virtual Art Academy, as laid out by a terrific German artist named Thomas Ruckstuhl who managed to move from science to art with the instruction of the above mentioned art program.

He suggests doing 150 of these studies.  I've done 9.  What I learned is that I can mix better colors with acrylics than oils. 

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Meeting Julie Ford Oliver

On July 13th, I had an opportunity to meet Julie, whose blog I've followed for years.  She's always impressed me as warm and kind, and extremely generous with her knowledge of painting.  So when I left a comment in June on her blog: Art Talk and she responded that she was coming to Cannon Beach, OR - a mere 30 miles from where I live - and asked if I'd like to meet.

Yes, yes! Oh my yes!   Sometimes you just know in your gut you would enjoy making the acquaintance of someone you've met online.  You. Just. Know.

Julie is as down to earth, warm and friendly as she seems on her blog, but she also has a wonderfully droll sense of humor.  She was in the company of her friend Jan, who had kindly driven her to Cannon Beach from Portland.  I sat down at their table in a cozy little place we met for breakfast, and we all three fell into easy conversation immediately!

Julie had cataract surgery 5 days before flying to Oregon and I'd had some minor hand surgery so we compared notes on what a non-event some procedures have become.  We talked about favorite pets, Julie's studio in Albuquerque, discussed a bit of personal history, and took a tour of a local art gallery.

Julie suggested we wander the gallery separately, pick a favorite piece of
artwork (we couldn't limit ourselves to just one) and tell each other why we were drawn to it when we joined back up.  That was fun and provided additional insight into these two women I'd just had the pleasure of meeting!  Do it the next time you go through a gallery with a friend.

Julie posted a photo Jan took of the two of us on her blog, but I didn't have the sense to get a picture of all three of us. (What are passersby for anyway?)

There you go....vicarious thrill for the day.  If you ever have the opportunity to meet someone you enjoy online - go for it!

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Local Shows for Artists

12 x 16 oil on wood panel

10x10 oil on masonite panel

The theme for a show in Nehalem at the Recreation Center was 'Seeing Red' and that's not terribly limiting, so I sat down and painted a couple pieces with red stuff in it. I consider red almost a neutral because it looks good with everything.  
The shows at the Rec Center are well attended because they foster local artists and events.  Plus they only charge a 10% commission  

We love it/them!  

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

A Foray Back into Acrylics

8 x 10  on Canson Acrylic paper.

I love the blending ability and oily luxury of oils, but acrylics are wonderful for dry brush effects.  And they dry so rapidly, painting over an area is easy-peasy.

I used Canson's Acrylic painting paper, which wouldn't stay taped down once wet, and I'll have to press this piece under my gargantuan dictionary in order to flatten it so I can glue it to a backing board.  Thumbs down for me.  Fredrix Canvas pads don't curl and feel better to work on.

Canson products get glowing reviews on Dick Blick, and I always wonder if they've tried any other brands.  I've tried several of Canson's products and the only one I find really good is their Arches watercolor paper.  Anyone out there have a Canson product they love?

Friday, February 2, 2018

Another flight study...

8 x 10 oil on Centurion linen panel - SOLD

I'm tempted to join Leslie Saeta's 30 day challenge. Hmmm.  Already 2 days behind.  Can I do it?  Naahhhhh!  Know thyself is what I say.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Marco Bucci's Easy to Understand Terrific Videos

Ever look at a painting by a local artist (or your own) and not know quite how to explain what's wrong - but you know there is something wrong?  The following videos explain what those problems are, and provide a checklist for your own work.

Mr. Bucci is a professional illustrator who manages to distill what every artist needs to know into five "Better Painting in 10 Minutes" videos, and does it with a pleasant speaking voice, obvious skill, and no confusing terms.  Probably best for those who have a little practice under our belts, and he does much of his explaining via digital art, but these are relevant for anyone who seeks to avoid common pitfalls.

You will have to use the 'Skip Ad' button after 5 seconds of an ad, but worth it.

10 Minutes to Better Painting - Episode 1 - Merging Shapes

Episode 2 - Visual Language

Episode 3 - Digital Brushwork

Episode 4 - Good Shapes

Episode 5 - Color Harmony

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Painting Neon Signs

12 x 12 oil on wood panel - SOLD

I had to go in search of tutorials on YouTube to help me figure out how to paint a neon sign.  The trick is painting the letters in a solid background color and using white on top.  I'm sure I'll give it a go another time. 

  A coat of Kamar retouch varnish makes colors pop.  Varnish is a dilemma for me.  Can't wait 6 months for final varnish, and the brush on Gamvar varnish which claims it can be used after 3 weeks of drying time doesn't leave as nice a finish as their MSA spray OR the Kamar retouch varnish. 

What do you use on your work before you show or send off to a buyer?

Monday, September 11, 2017

Reworked Wave

12 x 12 Oil on stretched Canvas - SOLD

This is a painting I started in 2013 and abandoned for what reason I do not know.  Picked it up out of a closet and had another go at it, and I was gratified to find I could handle some painting methods that weren't available to me when I started.  Nice feeling!

Saturday, August 12, 2017

What I learned from this exercise....

12 x 12 oil on panel 'Not Idaho' - SOLD

Was it hard to try and paint in the style of Millan?  Yes!  But in an all encompassing and joyful way, and I intend to do it again and again.  Those old masters were onto something.  When you copy another's work you are forced to 'look' in ways that can't help but open your mind to new methods and ideas.  It also reinforces the importance of value....even over color.  Any artist's ability to manage value is what imbues a painting with emotion.  Color may be attractive, but what brings a viewer back to look again and again is how well they manage value.  

Friday, August 4, 2017

The DPW Challenge -Copy of Carlos San Millan

Oil on wood panel 12 x 16

Carol Marine and her husband have created a wildly successful website called Daily PaintWorks and each month a new challenge is posted.

July 22nd's Challenge was to copy a painting of an artist you admire, then use what you learned to do a second piece using what you learned.  I copied from a fine Spanish contemporary artist whose work you can see at this link:  Carlos San Millan .  The painting I copied is 4 rows down and on the far right.  There are two versions of this painting out there in cyberland, but I wasn't aware of that so I chose what was probably a study for the more precisely rendered version.

Hard, yes, but really enjoyable.

The main thing I learned is unless you have the skill of a master forger, doing a copy that looks much like the original is virtually impossible because each artist's style is a result of specific brushes, knives and paints and the way his/her arm and hand work to apply the paint.

Should you decide to do copies I suggest copying from a long-dead artist.  You can call it a copy and sell it, but contemporary artists will have copyrights and your copy can't be sold - even identified as a copy.

Lookee Lamb

Oil on linen canvas 12 x 16 - SOLD

This was painted for an entry into a local group show themed 'All Things Farm'.
The only painting that sold in the show was a peaceful seascape I titled 'Fish Farm'.  There were barns, and chickens and freshly harvested vegetable paintings, but none of those sold.  Fickle fickle public!

Know how to tell the difference between a long haired goat and a sheep?  Sheep have drop ears, and goats ears stand up.  

Friday, April 7, 2017

Marvin Meerkat

12" x 16" oil on canvas board

I've been wanting to paint this guy from the moment I saw him.  Meerkats inhabit the Kalahari desert at the southern tip of Africa, and travel in 'gangs' or 'mobs'.

Friday, March 31, 2017

Grey in Flight

12 x 16 oil on canvas panel-SOLD

I pulled some stills from a couple of videos of a handsome African Grey named Gandalf, sent by a new bird friend.  Unfortunately, the stills were very small and when enlarged to do a study, they pixelate into a blur.  But the wing formations are so fascinating when birds fly - and in this case come in to land, I gave it a try.   

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Evening Bedroom

12x12 oil on wood panel - SOLD

This is where I lay my head at night to read until I fall asleep.  No my walls aren't lime green, but this is what appeared in the photo - and I liked it!  Fun to paint.  I'll do more.

Local View of Garibaldi OR

6 x 14 Oil on wood panel

I'm having a horrid time with photos.  Am I just fooling myself or does the camera lens have a mind of it's own?  None of the several photos I took...with natural light, LED soft light, from slightly above, slightly below look to me like the actual painting.  I dunno.  I think maybe a whole new approach is called for.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Young Blue Heron

Oil on wood panel 6 x 10 - SOLD

These gorgeous creatures are visible in many of the landlocked bodies of water here at the coast.  I still stop and stare when I see one and if I'm lucky I get a decent photo.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Roufous Hummingbird

 8 x 10  on linen panel

A little female who visited my home many times last year.  I was lucky she sat so still for me to get a nice close up photo.  I misidentified her as an Anna's.  I'll give this subject another go.  Good example of a painting that just doesn't work.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Mickey Sue Needed Painting!

                                              Oil on stretched canvas 18 x 24

So I did!  This is from the busy fishing village of Garibaldi 5 miles south of me.  Way too much material to choose from, but I lean toward the old guys. 

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Four Square

      12 x 16  Oil on canvas panel - SOLD

I am thrilled to have been one of 12 artists and 12 writers accepted into a local event called 'Word and Image'.  I submitted this piece, Mona Lisa Livestock, and Cloud Cover.

The event brings artists and writers together in a random pairing, who choose one of 3 submissions of each other's work and create one completely new piece from the work chosen.

At the close of the process, we gather to see the results.  Last year it provided the best evening of entertainment I've experienced in a long, long time.  The artwork is on a screen onstage, and the writers read their work.  Fantastic!

Friday, March 11, 2016

Copying an artist you admire.....

There is much to learn from these little exercises.  I discovered how hard it can be to see the minor variations in values and how pushing from cool to warm can make a huge difference in the perception of those values. I was captivated by the incandescant light in this still life by Cook. 

8 x 10 copy of John Cook's 'The Jug'

I hadn't fully appreciated what a delicious color Viridian can be until I copied this little painting from Lipking.  Prior to this I mostly used it for mixing, but it makes wonderful sea greens and grayed aquas.

I also figured out tilting the camera slightly downward when taking a photo of a finished painting helps to avoid catching the glare from every brushstroke.

8 x 10 copy of Jeremy Lipking's 'Hotel Room'

Saturday, March 5, 2016

The Chinese Crested Dog - Powderpuff Variety

Doorknob 12x12 oil on wood panel

You've seen them on commercials, and they always win the ugliest dog contest because the breed is notorious for losing most of their teeth by the time they reach old age.  I'm talking about the most well known naked dog, bred to keep Chinese sailors feet warm - or so I read on the interweb.  Often a litter will produce a couple of puppies with a full coat and those are called Powderpuff Cresteds.  That's what this guy is.  I vote for giving back hair to all of them!

Thursday, November 26, 2015

The Lovely African Grey Parrot

12x12 Oil on stretched canvas - SOLD

Mona Lisa Livestock

12 x 16 Oil on wood panel - SOLD

I go back and forth with wood panels and stretched canvas.  I don't care for the boing of the canvas, but the smooth surface of the wood panels shows every hair and glob of paint on the surface. What I think I like best is cutting the panels and preparing them for paint.

Think I'll go ponder that for a bit.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Do you know the Kakapo?

12x16 Oil on 1/4" wood panel -SOLD

The Kakapo is a large (think small penguin) flightless bird native to New Zealand.  They are endangered and there are only about 125 left in the wild. They are long lived and can live 60 to 90 years. Such a peaceful looking creature.  I'd love to meet one.