Sunday, December 22, 2013

South of Wheeler



11 x 14" Oil on stretched cotton canvas

I'm starting a series of landscapes from right around my home.  The natural beauty is mind boggling so that endeavor was inevitable.  This a view of Nehalem Bay at dusk just south of the town of Wheeler on the northern Oregon Coast.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Abstracts?? No way! Well......way.



6" x 10" on Strathmore 140 lb paper

I've felt a strong pull toward abstract work of late so small and watercolor seemed like a good place to start. I've tried Strathmore and Lana papers, and I'm currently working on Cotman 140 lb cold press and I like that paper the most. I'm using a pad instead of a block so it curls a bit when working, but it doesn't have to be taped down, and the curling is easily remedied with a light spray on the back and an overnight press under a tile with a heavy something or other on top.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

North Sixth and 101



11 x 14" Oil on stretched cotton canvas

I caught this scene in the fog a year or so ago.  There's a new house on the left where the plant life formerly lived.  The family who lived in this duplex style house built the new house and has moved in.  It was fun to watch, but I'm glad I had a photo of the 'before'.  

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Those roads!



6x8 Acrylic on Canvas panel

I see a lot of paintings of roads.  I look at them all.  Is it the mystery? Possibility of escape or adventure?
 I can't resist painting them either.  

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Cheap and effective brush cleaner

Not one to spend money on an item I may have around the house, I decided to try a spring in a jar for a brush cleaner (based on that coil cleaner thingy sold by Blick).  It works great!  Any hardware store carries springs and you'll want one with thick coils about 1/8" apart. Measure the inside diameter of your jar, so you can pick one that doesn't move around much so you don't stir up the bottom sludge any more than necessary. Fit that into a jar with a nice wide mouth, and you have an easy to clean and effective brush cleaner.  I top it off to about 1/2 inch above the spring once a week.

When  the sludge builds up in the bottom, pour off the clean OMS on the top, into another wide mouth jar, use a pair of needle nose pliers to squeeze the middle of the spring (if it's snug) and slip it out onto a paper towel.  A quick wipe of the spring,  use the piece of paper towel to scrub out the sludge at the bottom, pop the spring back in, pour your OMS back in and you're good until the next cleaning is needed.


Saturday, January 12, 2013

Parrot and Apple



10 x 8 Oil on Linen Panel

This is my personal birdie, Sambuca.  She's quite photogenic, and although I'm sure these birds are as common as our pigeons, in the Congo, I think she's exceptional.  And beautiful, so of course it's been my intention to paint her.  I adopted her when she was 6, and she's been with me for 8 years, so she's a teenager going on two. Bird people will know what I mean.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

What I learned...


11 x 14 oil on canvas panel

I was fortunate to receive a very constructive critique, and I had no trouble seeing everything that was pointed out.  Perspective?  What a novel idea!  More than one center of interest?  Why sure! Too similar spaces between objects? But, but  - that's the way it looked in real life!  I could also see I had typical sky values reversed (lighter at the horizon is how nature generally does it), and several pointless blobs.

Why would I post this you ask? Because if there's just one person out there who is going through the same learning process and a light bulb goes off, then showing the warty ones (which I haven't been shy about doing before either) has a purpose.  Also, I hope to look back a year from now and shake my head in wonderment at how far I've come.

Most people would just start over, but at this beginning and experimental stage of landscape painting, I wanted to see what changes would do with the existing painting underneath, so I grabbed my paints and started painting over this and that, and adding what I thought would improve the composition.  Of course I made a mess of it.  Some areas got positively muddy, some disappeared, some that were there for 'who-knows-what-reason' held their place or got painted away, but the composition was improved!  A tidge, even though there are still two centers of interest - or maybe 3.  Onto the trash heap this goes and on to the next one.  And I'll do my thumbnails before I start painting next time.

I purchased 36 horrid sloppy rough canvas panels, and decided to use them for a learning project.  (Don't buy the Everlast Wood Panels on Closeout at Jerry's Artarama, but do check out that store, because it's a good one).