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Thursday, August 31, 2017

#128 "Day Sail" 9x12 oil on linen panel"Day Sail"

"Day Sail" 9x12 oil on linen panel
Just spent another weekend at Lake Wawasee in northern Indiana.  Over the years at our annual fraternity gathering, I've seen so many sail boats passing by like this one. "Day Sail" utilized only three colors, Payne's Gray, Cerulean blue and Titanium White.  Just liked the simplicity of the whole thing.

"Day Sail" now resides at Lake Wawasse where it belongs.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

#126 "Reflections" 18x14 oil on linen panel"Reflections"

"Reflections" 18x14 oil on linen panel
What a pleasure it was doing this painting.  Using a medium I first darkened the entire canvas using Galkyd Lite mixed with a combination of darker value paints. Using a palette knife, I drew the objects. After bringing the painting to stage two, I looked at it carefully for a couple of days before going in and bringing it thru stage three. I must say I had a blast doing the pitcher and the reflections both on the pitcher itself and the reflections on the table. The secret to the table having that translucent look is using light coats of of the paint mixed with the Galkyd Lite and using the mop brushes. Really love the effect! Also I used complementaries (reddish stuff and greenish stuff) for the background and the table which seem to work nicely together. This painting was done with Michael Harding paints and Cw Mundy Mops. Expensive but awesome to work with. All in all I'm very satisfied with this one!!!

Saturday, May 6, 2017

#125 "Pitcher and Red Apple" "Pitcher and Apples#126 " Pitcher and Apples" 14x11 oils on linen panels

"Red Apple and Pitcher# 14x11 oil on linen panel
Just came back from New Harmony, Indiana and the First Brush of Spring workshop given by Cw Mundy, Gary Young and Rita Spalding. The focus this years was on combining opaque, semi opaque and translucent passages within the painting using a medium to thin out the paint. This, when done correctly, gives a certain depth to those areas and a very cool effect.
The workshop was amazing as usual. It was fun seeing old friends and meeting new ones! Not only was the art  amazing, but so was the music. This year at the wine bar we were treated to some great jazz musicians! Must say the wine and the food was also top notch!!! Such a great experience!!!

"Pitcher and Apples" 11x14 oil on linen panel







Both paintings before some minor changes
Our Group!!!



























Jazz Night at the Wine Bar!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-GANWcAQDi0

Saturday, March 18, 2017

#124 "House on Nineveh Road" 5x7 oil on linen panel

"House on Nineveh Road" 5x7 oil on linen panel
This was also painted from a photograph. I went to the studio yesterday with no plan to paint. We were having the carpets cleaned so I decided I needed to get out. Looked thru a bunch of old photos and saw this one. It's an old house on Nineveh Road that I've passed so many, many times on my was to and from Sweetwater Lake in Brown County, Indiana. Somehow I envision some guys sitting on that porch pickin' banjos, fiddles and the like. 

Monday, February 6, 2017

#123 "Morning Coffee" 9x12 oil on linen panel

"Morning Coffee"  9x12 oil
I got together with my long time friend Ron Guidone last Thursday. We've painted a couple of times together. Always fun. Ron set up a still life for us. I decided to select only these three objects to paint. In addition, I also chose to paint a dark background to demonstrate a sharp contrast. Fun day and a fun painting!

Thursday, January 26, 2017

#122 "Lady of Claridge's" 24x8 oil on canvas



For my 70th birthday I was treated to high tea at the Claridge's Hotel in London. It was a spectacular day in one of the worlds finest hotels. I was blown away by the art deco interior. Behind our table was a set of doors. This lovely lady provided a most elegant backdrop. It was truly a day to remember!!!




Friday, January 6, 2017

#121 "Silver Pitcher and Fruit" 11x14 oil on linen panel


"Silver Pitcher and Fruit" 11x14 on linen panel
Well it was back to the studio after a long layoff. It was time to do another still life, as painting from life is always preferable when possible. This piece is all about the silver pitcher AND the fruit. Don't know if it follows all the "rules" but I wanted to see three very distinct objects captured with a very dark background. Conventional "art" wisdom says if you have three objects, one should be primary, one secondary and one tertiary. If I squint this painting down I suppose there are slight differences. I see the red apple first, followed by the pear and then the silver pitcher. The silver pitcher was really the most fun. Notice how it disappears into shadow on the left. The left side of the pitcher is not seen but you know the shape anyway even though it’s in shadow. The ol’ brain fills that in for ya! I used my new C.w. Mundy mop brushes I got for Christmas from my wife Linda to eliminate any edge on that side. The same was done to the shadow side of the apple and the pear but not to the same degree. Other important features of this painting are the passages. Passages are those breaks that otherwise would be edges. They're like little highways from the outside into an object. Notice the red apple. There are no passages on the light side. Your eye is drawn there for a couple of reasons. First of all, that unbroken, sharp edge. Your eye will always be drawn to an edge. Artist use that technique to do just that, draw you in. Another reason is color. You just can't resist that red against the dark background. However, the shadow side has several passages taking you from the shadow actually into the apple itself. The pear has less of a distinctive edge on the light side but contains several passages on the shadow side. The silver pot has numerous passages. For example, look at the handle. See any? As for the pitcher itself, by using a mop brush on the shadow side you are gradually led from the vessel into the darkness. That created one huge passage as there are no edges whatsoever.

*Always looking at a painting after I'm done, I see several examples of how I might improve on each of the "tricks" mentioned above. That's what keeps you in the hunt. It's all part of the process! 

Friday, December 2, 2016

#120 "Alaskan Night" 8x10 oil on linen panel

Late that night, the snow stopped. I walked out the door and was greeted by the moon shinning on the freshly fallen snow. It was a beautiful sight to see!
"Alaskan Night" 8x10 oil on linen panel

Sunday, October 23, 2016

#119 "Winter Cabin" 8x10 oil on linen panel

"Winter Cabin" 8x10 oil on linen panel

Several years ago on a trip to Alaska to visit my sister Deb Carlson, we snowshoed back to this cabin during a major spring snow storm. The cabin was owned by Jay and Rita, long time friends of my sister. Once inside we started the wood stove, fixed a bite to eat and hunkered down for the night. This cabin was built on an 80 acre partial near Homer, Alaska. I'm not sure how many friends were involved in building on the original acreage. My first trip back to this area was in the 1970s. I stayed in the original cabin (see below) that had been built on the land many, many years ago!
Rita and her son, Wilton, heading for the cabin during the snow storm.


Almost there!

Safe and warm Inside!




Once inside, started the wood stove and we cooked up a bite to eat! 




When the snow stopped, we were greeted by this!

Next morning we checked out the prior nights snowfall!










We then snowshoed to the original cabin we stayed in back in the 70s.






My wife Linda standing in the doorway of the original cabin on 
our visit a couple of summers ago.








Tuesday, September 20, 2016

#118 "Standing On the Dock" 14x11 on canvas

Added sailboats (March 2017)
Original without sailboats
I usually spend the month of August at our family cottage on Sweetwater Lake in Brown County, Indiana. This summer my time was shortened as a result of our wonderful trip to England and Ireland.  I always do a plein aire painting from our dock. This year's was rushed and was a wreck so I decided to try something a little different. This is from a photo I took from our dock on a perfect August afternoon. Just a quickie that I'll probably hang down at the lake.

This summer was special. Mom had her entire family all in one place at one time! We had a great Labor Day weekend at the lake. Mom swam and kayaked! The Aw Kum On Inn once again provided the setting for wonderful memories!

This is our family 2016. Mom sitting 3rd from left in the front row.

Labor Day Weekend 2016 at the Aw Kum On Inn

This is what our dock looks like when we all get together!

Four generations swimming in the lake. Mom, me, Darcy and Ella!
Evening from the dock.











#117 "Two Cowboys" (and a disinterested horse!) 20x16 on linen panel

This is a larger version of another painting I did several months ago. It now has a new home in El Segundo, CA.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

#116 "Leaving the Harbor" 11x14 oil on linen panel

"Leaving the Harbor" 11x16 oil on linen panel



When you're leaving the Los Angeles Harbor, you pass a long rock jetty on your way out to sea. If it's in the early morning, often the marine layer shrouds the harbor and visibility is limited. Sometimes if you're lucky, you just might see something like this beautiful, 3 masted sailing ship on it's way out to open waters!

Probably the most fun part of this painting was getting the sails to read full of wind. Using light and dark shadowing you get the sense that there is definitely wind in these sails!

Saturday, May 21, 2016

#115 "More Fruit and Brass" 16x20 on linen panel


More fruit and brass! I started this piece in New Harmony. Our goal was to paint this still life in about an hour and a half. I knew I had to get the brass done as I wouldn't have access to it after that day. I wanted to get the fruit laid in and get the values and shadowing correct. Like a big dummy, I didn't take a photo of the still life so when I got back to the studio I was kinda flying by the seat of my pants.

In addition to the overwhelming amount of great information that was passed on, the art of glazing and the use of a fan brush really rocked my world! It's truly the effect I've tried to replicate with simple brushwork and light use of paint. Now comes glazing! By simply applying glaze to your paint it allows you to somewhat color over the existing paint (after it's dry) and add this translucent effect. Using the fan brush allows you to carry thin layers over existing paint and get a gentle blending while softening the edges. The trick is, how much glaze to add to your paint! That will take some time to learn. On this painting I glazed the fruit and the table top. You can see the softness as a result. I also glazed the hotspot area of the brass pot getting it ready to palette knife the final glob.


  1. Below are the 3 stages this piece went through to get the final outcome.

Stage one. The way it looked after the first hour and a half painting from life in New Harmony



Stage 2. First day in my studio re-working the fruit and table top.
Stage 3. Utilized glazing on tabletop and fruit.



Tuesday, May 10, 2016

#114 "Brass and Flo Blue" 16x20 oil


A couple of weeks ago I attended, The First Brush of Spring in New Harmony, Indiana. I will have to say it was a game changer for me. I took my long time friend, C.w. Mundy's workshop.There was so much amazing information shared and we did a total of 10 paintings!!! Some of the paintings had to be done in 8 minutes. They were paintings of pears. The idea was to draw the pear, demonstrate the light side, core shadow shadow side and the drop shadow. There were several other components to the exercise but theses were the main ones. We worked on glazing and for me in particular, I worked on edges (or lack of) and value relationships. Getting the correct value relationships are essential for a good painting!!! In addition, I have always wanted to do a brass pot and a flo blue vase. Little did I know that I would get to do both at the same time!!! It was a great week. We worked hard by day and played around a bit at night!!!


Our amazing group of artists and instructors!


One of my 8 minute palette knife pears!
CW and I singing, "Where Were You Last Saturday Night."


C.w. Mundy doing a lecture demo.






This photo is of Quang Ho, and internationally known fine artist, playing "Stairway to Heaven,"    being sung by an opera singer, sitting next to an extremely intoxicated woman who just couldn't get enough of the blond sitting next to her. I've never laughed so hard in my life!!!
                       


Thursday, March 24, 2016

Painting Linda Update!

Clash of styles!

Update! March 24, 2016
(See post #112 for the complete story)


Not being a trained artist presents some problems! I have learned thru some study (certainly not enough) but mostly a lot of trial and error.  I recognize when things aren't right. Where I get stuck is how to, "right it." I knew the painting was unbalanced but wasn't sure what to do. Simply adding an object wouldn't work.  Also, the face and the background didn't mix. I consulted with my good friend C.w. Mundy. We discussed the painting. Just as I suggested earlier, there were two major issues. First was a clash of styles causing the painting to be fractured. The second is the balance issue. 

To solve the first issue, C.w. suggested that I take the palette knife to the face!  Well that immediately scared the heck out of me, not to mention Linda's reaction! I assured her it was only being applied to the canvas! I do like the way it's painted, BUT it can't work with that background. Using a palette knife on the face will significantly change the style to more of an impressionistic painting IFdo it successfully. I will have to duplicate the current values and shapes using the knife.  Major challenge there!!! 

Below is a closeup of the stokes to replicate 




















The second issue is balance. C.w. sent me a drawing of how I might solve it. 



The idea here is to match the dark values found in the hair (see post #112) and place them in two similar shapes such as those seen here. The first would be the shape in the upper left and the second would be the area that is formed along the left hand side of the painting. I would match the values with a series of similar  strokes from the palette knife. If successful, the painting will then become balanced thus solving that problem.

When those two issues are solved, the painting will then become unified!


Previous attempts at solving composition errors.


This is a still life painting I did a few years back. I kinda liked the painting but always knew that the lower right corner needed something. At the time I didn't have the confidence or really the knowledge to add anything. About 2 months ago I thought what the heck, so I added an apple! As you can see, it changed the painting entirely. I may go back in and darken the value of that apple a bit as I think it pops too much but it does help solve the composition issue.