oil 8x8 inches magnify/purchase Today is about as wintery as it gets in Southern California...cold and gray and a "winter storm warning". I don't even know what that means! Anyway, here's a warm and cheerful assortment of stuff. Hope you like it. Special thanks to our friends, Audrey and Ken for sharing their lemons and tangerines.
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Here's a bold arrangement of color. Usually I know whether I'm satisfied with a painting or not. This one has me baffled. I'm going to tuck it back my studio for a long while and take a fresh look at it in a few weeks. If you have any constructive comments about it, I welcome them! Here's a black and white. I do like the values!
Our Christmas celebration was wonderful, and now I'm anxious to get back to my easel. Happy New Year!
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I approached this piece with some specific considerations: reduce the number of objects compared to my last few paintings, and allow more breathing room within the picture space. And as far as my progress in painting roses, the lower rose is my favorite so far. It has the freshness I'm after. Below are a few progress shots. The bottom shot is closer to the actual colors in the painting.
oil 16x12 inches magnify/purchase Quotes and expressions stick in my head. "A Little Romance" was a piece of music for piano that I played a long time ago. It seemed to suit this painting. Another quote that stuck: "Never knowingly leave something wrong in your painting." I avoid going back into a painting, but the cast shadow on the pitcher was the wrong value and temperature. Funny how you see these kinds of things the next morning. I tried to ignore it, but it just kept gnawing at me along with the quote. So below see a few progress shots and how it looked before I fixed it. Still learning how to paint roses, but these are acceptable. They have some nice impasto you can see if you click on "magnify" and roll your mouse over the image.
oil 6x6 inches magnify/purchase The perfect degree of ripeness, yummy and paintable. I have craved bananas lately. I painted this on a re-used canvas panel to which I had applied a coat of oil ground. The underlying brush marks give the painting a nice texture.
oil 12x12 inches magnify/purchase Maybe I'm weird. I like my silver tarnished and my wine with pretty labels. And I love it when red, pink and orange come together.
ADDITIONALLY, I'm really happy to be part of this show!!! (But that's not weird at all!) Opening soon!
oil 12x12 inches magnify/purchase My friend Audrey gave me these very paintable and delicious lemons from her tree. I had a great time with this painting. Like 99% of my work, this was painted alla prima (all at once, or at least while the paint is still wet.) I'll share a couple of tricks I've learned from other painters for keeping your paint wet a bit longer. Before you begin, apply a VERY thin coat of linseed oil to your canvas. Just enough to make it a tiny bit slick. You can do this with a brush, then spread with paper towel. Facilitates the application of paint too. To keep the paint blobs on your pallette wet a bit longer, add a drop of pure clove oil and mix with palette knife. Waste less paint this way, and your painting dries slower. Caution! Bees will love you if you use clove oil in your paint outdoors! HAPPY THANKSGIVING EVERYONE!
IN OTHER NEWS: I'm pleased to announce that Flower Happy (above,8x8 inches) will be included in HOLIDAY TREASURES at the Debra Huse Gallery on Balboa Island. This "Small Gems" Salon includes 100 works from artists across the country. The show runs from Dec. 4- Jan 4. For more info, click here.
oil 12x16 inches magnify/purchase I went to visit my friend Jo, who months ago had a nasty fall and resulting fracture. I took her some Chicken Tortilla Soup and fresh apples from Oak Glen. She asked me to cut some roses from her front yard and take them home. They needed to be cut, she insisted. So we shared. She has the best attitude and is healing nicely. I would try to paint them, I said, but had generally been avoiding roses because they're so difficult to paint well. No more avoidance. These were too pretty to pass up. The green mutsu apple on the left seemed the perfect foil to the reds and pinks. The iPhone shot on the bottom is actually most accurate of the painting.
oil 8x8 inches magnify/purchase Sometimes figuring out what to paint is more perplexing than the painting the painting. In this case, I just painted what I paint with. What color is grunge? Kind of a yellowy-greenish tan-like pale ochre gray. I like it.
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I used several photo references for this commissioned piece. The design required quite a bit of invention, which made it one of the more difficult paintings I've done. The client is happy, so I'm happy!
watercolor 7x10 inches magnify/purchase More fun with eggs in a nest. To see the previous and an explanation of the process, click on "bird nest" in "labels" below.
EVENT NEWS: Tomorrow night ART UNCORKED is at Brinderson Hall, Chino Jr. Fairgrounds from 6-9. Wine, artisan beers, food and eight great artists showing their work. The event helps support the arts in Chino Valley. Tickets sold at the door and online HERE. I hope to see you if you live in the area!
oil 12x12 SOLDmagnify This is a commissioned piece, and the fifth and largest American Flag painting I have done. I love my country and I love our flag, so it is always an honor to paint it. The collector requested "lots of stars and stripes" so it was much more involved than my previous 8x8's. It took some time! To see some of my previous flag paintings, click on "American Flag" in "labels" below. Tuesday is Veteran's Day. If you are a veteran reading this, I sincerely thank you for your service. My father, son and a close friend of ours served in the Marine Corps, so I'm somewhat familiar with the kind of sacrifices you have made in service to our country. Thank you, and God bless you.
watercolor 7x10 inches magnify/purchase For once I've painted something from nothing. Without a photo reference and no bird's nest on hand, I made it up. I used alternating layers of watercolor and masking fluid. Then I removed the masking and painted the shadows. The splatters and drips were necessary and very exciting! Bird nests make me think of families with children. This one should go to a family with three children, don't you think?
Open Window, oil 14x11 and Hobbit Door, 8x10 SOLD These are the other two paintings commissioned by my brother for his friend. All three have the pink canvas tone I mentioned in my last post. I haven't gotten to visit this house yet, but I sure would like to go inside that little hobbit door!
EVENT NEWS: Thursday night, November 13th there's an art event right here in Chino! The Chino Community Center Corporation, a non-profit organization is sponsoring "ART UNCORKED": Food, wine tasting, artisan beers, music and eight artists displaying their work for sale. The proceeds will be used to promote visual and performing arts in the Chino Valley. Location: Brinderson Hall, Chino Jr. Fairgrounds. Hours: 6:00-9:00pm. Tickets available online HERE at Eventbrite.com It's going to be a great evening! If you're local I hope you'll consider attending. Join the fun and support the arts in our community!
oil 8x10 inches sold magnify I've been working on several commissions since mid September. This is the first, commissioned by my brother. He commissioned three pieces depicting the home and gardens of a good friend. Now my brother is busy building custom frames for them. Knowing they would be a special Christmas gift made painting these extra fun. Painting tip: Sometimes I tone my canvas with transparent pink; a mix of Thalo Red Rose and Indian yellow. I learned this from Jennifer McChristian, who paints fabulous urban scenes, and anything else fabulously also! I have used it for urban scenes, but I think it also works well for overwhelmingly green scenes such as this. The little bits of pink showing through here and there (and underneath too) help temper the greens.
oil 10x8 inches magnify/purchase The Pumpkin Patch in Yucaipa is a big, big place with a huge variety of pumpkins. Pumpkins there come in white, gray, dark green, yellow green and of course various oranges. I liked this clean beautiful orange against the dark corner of the wagon. Then there was the backlighting!!! I love a backlit scene. It can be a bit tricky, but I think I got the feel of the light. This one took me about three hours. Left by five, got stuck in traffic so I nibbled on an apple. What a great day, and well worth the drive.
I like this iPhone pic the best.
oil 9x12 inches magnify/purchase All the apples are in and the cider mill is cranking away. I could smell the juice as I painted this at Snowline Orchard yesterday. Then I bought some Pink Lady apples and hot mini donuts. Yum. after a break I headed down to The Pumpkin Patch on Live Oak Canyon road to paint pumpkins.
Here's my subject and my easel. You can see my subject is not directly beyond my easel. I'll share this very practical tip I learned from Kim English: To get your panel in the shade, hold your hand up in front of you vertically. Turn your hand until it is in shade. That's the way to place your easel. Why didn't I think of that? Duh. Sometimes it means your subject is way off to one side from you, which it was in this case. At first I thought that might feel awkward, turning my head so much, but really once I start painting I don't even notice. Easier on the eyes, and better for getting values right.
oil 10x8 inches magnify/purchase Artwork was coming down from the walls as I furiously tried to finish this piece. I got the objects in and finished the rest at home the next day. Turquoise is such a great color. Might have to paint this little pitcher again sometime.
oil 12x9 inches magnify/purchase Painters need friends who have fruit trees. Thanks, Chris Sayers for bringing fruit with stems and leaves. Makes for much more interesting paintings. You might have noticed the drapery shown in my last post was gray. I've found that by using gray drapery I can lean the color in my painting toward warm or cool, blue or violet, etc. depending on what will complement my subject. So here I leaned toward violet which I like with both the yellows and greens. If you love painting sunflowers, here's a tip I've learned about getting that deep transparent center color. I use transparent red oxide adding ultramarine blue for the really dark parts. Gives you a rich, warm and transparent dark. Then use some of that TRO in the shadow areas of petals, and maybe mixed into the greens a bit here and there for unity. There's one more sunflower painting coming up. I paint them 'till they hang down their heads and die. Reminds me of Tom Dooley. Anybody else remember that song?
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On this trip to Balboa in August we hung out around Marine Ave. Coming out of the Debra Huse gallery this little red gate just next door caught my eye. The dappled light, bright color and can you see the wreath? The second painting is my afternoon effort. Can you believe this is part of the firehouse? Everything is quaint on the island, even the fire station.
oil 6x6 inches magnify/purchase This one is from August when Amy's Farm harvested their amazing tomatoes. I have a small backlog of paintings to post from August and September, plus some commissions to share, so I've got some catching up to do. Art In The Park Newport Beach last Saturday was a great day! A perfect venue and friendly crowd. Thank you to all who visited my booth and also to those who purchased my work.
On days three and four we went out to two different very old ranches nearby. The owners were very gracious and welcoming. I felt relieved knowing our "models" would not move in ten minutes! Kim did a couple of demonstrations then we had lots of time and lots of possible subjects. Still, the goal was to get the subject in quickly and simply.
Above, Kim's pre-mixed palette. He uses some bold color.
Above, Pam painting and my attempt to paint Pam painting! The light went in and with the clouds all morning, changing about every five minutes.
I can't resist a truck. I really enjoyed painting this scene. May be a larger studio painting in the future.
Above, Day 4. Thanks to Shar for this photo of me painting yet another truck. While I was out there, a rainstorm came over. Everybody packed up and headed inside a barn. The previous day I had packed up quick (and wiped off my painting) for a downpour that only lasted a few minutes. So I decided to ride this one out. If i'm warm enough the rain doesn't bother me, but the paint does get a little pasty with water mixed in. Feels like painting with frosting. Sure enough, I think the rain was done in about 20 minutes.
Above, my last painting. Charlie, the ranch owner had taken me on a little tour inside his house to see his collection of folk art from around the world. He sat at his kitchen table listening to classical music, reading the newspaper and watching us through the windows. He showed me a long add-on room he called the greenhouse, where we were invited to paint inside. I noticed the red high chair, wood stove and window above with the light coming in. It was his great-granddaughter's high chair that he intends to fix up for her. I moved a few things around with his permission, and painted the scene. The clouds came over so I lost the light pattern, but I have a good photo for a studio painting later. As I finished, I decided I couldn't take a painting of Charlie's granddaughter's highchair home to California with me. He should have it. So I left it on his windowsill to dry, and told him it's a thank-you gift for welcoming us to his ranch. That felt like a really good way to end a workshop!
I completed three studies that day, one of which is not worthy of posting. Kim challenged me to paint four, so I got close to the goal.
SUMMARY AND ADVICE: I loved the workshop. Key word: WORK. Kim is great at individualized instruction. His sense of humor kept things from getting too intense. We painted from 9-4 every day with an hour break for lunch. If you are considering a workshop with Kim, here's my advice: Give yourself a lot of experience with your plein air equipment and your paints before you go. You'll get more out of it if those two things are very familiar to you. For oils, bring smooth painting surfaces to work on: smooth acrylic primed panels like Raymar, or Gessobord, or oil primed linen. If you bring "scratchy" canvas, you'll be fighting to get the paint on the surface, and fighting to wipe it off. There's no time for fighting with five minute poses. If the workshop includes figures, practice drawing small figures so you're familiar with basic proportions before you go. Kim's workshop was just what I needed. I recommend it!
I hope this review has been helpful.