Saturday, December 29, 2012

Mark Hemleben- Arizona Plein Air Artist

Mark holding the painting I purchased

Back from Sedona!  It was beautiful, interesting, but  cold.  Didn't get much painting in due to breathing and elevation.  But I got to go look at others work!

Mark Hemleben is such a sweety and a very talented plein air painter.   His work glimmers with the colors of the southwest.  I purchased one of his paintings as I admired his handling of the colors and modeling.  Since I could only get out a few days to paint his painting will be a helpful road map for me as well as a welcome addition to our wall!   His studio is in Old High School building in Jerome Az.   The Jerome area is pretty central to all of the breath-taking scenery in the Valley and Sedona. 

In the area? Stop in and see his work (some are pictured on the wall behind us.)  I'm sure you will take one home too! 

Thanks again Mark for all the little pointers you gave me.  The advice really helped. :D

Monday, November 5, 2012

Sunset Naples Fl. Plein Air

8x12 Oil
Canvas Paper
Been doing these little diddles (8x12 canvas paper) when I don't have a lot of time.  This one took about 10 min. to complete.
The sun had just started to touch the water when I started this.  If you have ever watched an ocean sunset you know that means you have only about 10 min before its completely gone.  We had just gotten home so it was a mad dash to get the paints out mixed and on the canvas.   No time to paint with brushes so it was done entirely with a knife.  Since plein air studies are just a quick representation of the essence of a place, the idea is to get the colors and values right for the studio.
Its a big help to paint from life rather than a photo.  Photos don't tell the whole story of value and color.  For me there is still a huge learning curve going on.  Which colors to keep and what is or is not an important part of the painting.  Painting in real life outside the values and colors change from moment to moment.  With everything coming at you its hard to make decisions sometimes.  I'm learning though and becoming  more comfortable in making a selection with each quicky.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Plein Air in Naples

Florida... What a wonderful place! Finally getting a chance to show some of the plein air paintings.  This one was a quicky from our balcony.   First morning light.  I concentrated on only painting the big shapes of shadow and light.  Took about 45 mins and has no real detail than the palm.  But it does convey the essence.  I think I am beginning to understand how to leave things out.  You just have to paint what was important to you in the moments you first looked on the landscape.  Any other detail should be lost and left out.  Much harder than it looks to do.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

So.. Thats The New Chick

12x16 Canvas paper
I'm still recovering from a brief illness and I can't tell you how much of a joy it is to finally be caught up with life.  Its also nice to be able to feel like painting again and getting out of the house!  Along those lines.. My class went well today and I got a lot of input.  Sure nice to feel back to normal.

     I've talked before about my "When I'm A Better Artist Box," well this painting was from one of those ref. photos that I pulled from the box the other day.
  The challenge for me was painting in a large format with more than one or two subjects.  Its hard to keep head tilts and eyes on the same plane.  While this painting has a bit of an amateurish feel to it, just getting over doing more than one subject makes it a success.  Not to mention that I did not use a brush on these gals, strictly knife.  I was trying to see if I still remembered how to use knives.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Sea View

Sea View
8x10 Oil Canvas

  Oglebayfest was almost perfect.  Except for the weather it would have been a 10.  Thanks to all those who purchased my paintings, pottery, and cards!  I hope you enjoy as much as I did in creating them.

   I did get a chance to do a plein air while I was there.  It was the setup for the booth next store.  It was a fun scarecrow/pumpkin kind of scene.  It is more of a tole style painting and so different from my normal style, its bound for the recycle bin.  Looked really out of place in my booth.

  But this one I started from a ref. photo.  Was a tad bit cold out and figured that painting something warm would help.  Ok.. didn't help but I enjoyed painting it. 

Monday, October 1, 2012

Oglebay Plein Air Workshop With Ron Donoughe

 Attended The Paint Oglebay weekend event this past weekend..  Three days of painting plein air and wonderful weather to do it in. 

This is Ron Donoughe, founder of Plein Air Painters of Western Pennsylvania was one of the instructors and I took his workshop.  It was fun and Ron was a good teacher.  I enjoyed the workshop.  Took some good info from it.  Thanks Ron, and I hope they have you come back next year.

This painting was the first one that I did during the workshop.  Not a great picture of the painting but I was happy with it.  All total I painted 5 paintings during the weekend.  Course I never remember to get pictures.

Oh.. I almost forgot!  This weekend is the Oglebayfest weekend.  I'm a vender there and hope to see everyone there!

Monday, September 24, 2012


8 X 10 Acrylic on canvas paper
    I started this one a month ago and had to put it down, life got a bit crazy. When I went back to it I could not remember what was in my head at the time. Now I feel an internal tension when I look at it. You know.. like its not finished. Hope that doesn't sound to nuts. But I have overworked it quite a bit looking to find the 'done' painting. Can't take it anymore so its now in a frame.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Elmhurst Plein Air Event

The Elmhurst Plein Air Event was such fun!  It was held by the Elmhurst House Of Friendship, Wheeling, WV.  The mansion itself is a huge and embodies the true Victorian style.  I tripped through it here and there and was just amazed by the interior.  The outside was gorgeous too!  Google'n it will take your right there if your curious. 

You could not ask for better weather on both days and with such a pampering that the visiting artists received, I'm sure we are all going to come back next year.

On the easel above was my first painting that I finished, in the beginning stages of course.  The second day found me at the font of the mansion painting.  As you  have noticed the finished paintings are not up.  I was so excited to just get the paintings done I forgot to take a few photos.  Both paintings sold and I never did get pictures.  Ah well..  I'll remember next time.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Fall scene

8x8 oil
Pulled this from the "when I"m a better artist' box. 
 Can't say I am all that happy with the turn out.  But I post the good with the bad.  How else can I call it a journey if I just blog the stuff I am happy with.  It gives me reason explore and paint the next attempt with a do and don't list.
 Leafs and other foliage are a challenge.
Looks much better in person as the pink and mauve highlights got lost in photoing.  But I'm painting and having fun.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Here Little fishy

5x7 oil on hardboard
Another zoo photo.   Lots of fun as I loved painting the bright colors.  Never painted a fish before.  Though once an artist figures out that painting is all shapes and values its not all that hard.  I'm finally getting some of this down.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Young Herd Sire

OIl  5x7 Harboard

The trip to the zoo was so inspiring!  I couldn't help but paint this fellow!   I had to use three or four photos to get this right.  He was standing at such an odd angle to the camera that not all of him would fit so I had to move around the enclosure to get clear shots of him.  I ended fudging a bit here and there, but still a bit thrilled that it worked out.
The second photo shows the painting at the 'almost finished stage.'  Usually I work the background at the same time but this was an experiment to see just how the values and hues change when placed  next to different colors.  The idea came from a canvas that I primed with left over mix of paint that was a deep red. (Waste not want not right?)  Normally I use a magenta/orange wipe so it was kinda of odd to paint on this.  There really is difference how the eye perceives the colors isn't there?    I did add a touch of the finish background and had to deepen some of the shadow values to him so the colors would be harmonious. Though most of the elephant's coloring is untouched.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Kidding About

Oil 8x10 canvas
The reference came from a Wet Canvas Week End Challenge that I hosted last year.  I was to chicken to do this and watched as others did a mighty fine job of it.  Put it in my "Someday, when I am a better artist box."  Yesterday was someday.   :D  Wish I had a better shot of this, but paintings don't photograph well in the studio.  To much glare.    

Monday, August 20, 2012


5x7 Oil Hardboard

   Took a few days to go play in Cleveland.  Yes, Cleveland.  Who knew that Cleveland had turned into a culture orientated city? 

  What started the adventure..  We Love zoos and thought it might be worth a day trip.  Turned into two days.   Last time I was in Cleveland it was in a state of upheaval, do to the steel mills closing.  Not a pretty site.  Though with time all things change, and this city has taken a step to the better side of those sad times.
   Enjoyed 5 hours at the art museum before it closed.  Only got halfway through the basement exhibits and have two more floors left to explore.   If the basement is any indication of a time line, we will be spending a weeks worth of days just to finish going through it!  Decided since it was getting late we should stay over and spend a whole day at the zoo.   They don't have a wide variety of animals but they all have a healthy gleam in their eyes and to their coats. An enjoyable day.

   At the zoo people probably thought me a bit nutty.  With taking so many photos-of their idea of the same thing.  But, as I have found out, it is rare for a single photo to make a good painting.  To get a feel for all of what is going on and forming a road map of sorts you need to have slight variations to see shifts in values.  Cameras do lie to artists!
   Hope you enjoy this one as much as I did when I painted him.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Standing Proud

11x14 Canvas
They say to paint what you know but sometimes there are elements to what you know that create a lot of artistic tension.  In saying that, well faces of all kinds make me nervous to paint.  This one I stuck with and actually it really looks like the bull.  Had to redo the body on it though.  I was told my first version was not finished.  I didn't define the shadows of the bull.  Back-lit or not the shadows have color and depth.  So now he is finished.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Home On The Range

Acrylic  8x10 on Canvas
Back to painting landscapes.  Seemed a bit empty so added a cow.  This is just a bit of a study and I think I will redo the her head.   I have been working the cobwebs out with my acrylics.  I think I am finally getting them to behave again.  Wish I could say the same for watercolors.
Now that things have quieted down a bit I think I can start painting everyday again!

Friday, July 27, 2012

King of Roost

Ok.. So I like to do chickens.  This guy has taken forever it seems. Broke out the acrylics since I have a workshop to teach with the acrylics.  I figured I needed a little time with the media.  I had forgotten how they dry and drag.  Ugh.. But once I got them settled down and obeying it went a lot better.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Getting The Hang Of It.

   Well I haven't dropped off the face of the earth..  As someone asked.. :D    I have done painting, just been bad about posting. Chickens and other critters for the fairs have been on the agenda.  Stay tuned.  I'll get a few up this week, summer and other things going on have keep me busy.

   The pottery has had me a bit enthralled.  Ok, more like enchanted!  I was told a few weeks ago that porcelain  was not for a beginner.  Good thing I didn't hear that when I started, as porcelain was my choice of medium with the pots.  Was the same as my beginning situation with painting.  No one was teaching me that I should not stretch so far ahead of my capabilities.  The result of independent study, for me, is a more complete understanding of where I am at and where I want to be.  It is a study in progress.

Monday, July 9, 2012

YSU Festival of The Arts

 Its been very hot here so when the weather man called for temps around 100 deg.  I was so glad that I had an oak tree overhead!
The festival went well.  Sales were down a bit from last year, but that is ok, it was fun!!
Sold some painting and pots too.
The pots are my first batch.. I tried a couple of differant colors so I could maybe find something I liked.  Found out from a potter at the festival that reds don't do well when fired with greens.. SO.. that is why my reds are not red red.  ::sigh:: Don't you just love a long learning curve?

Oh.. I also had a chance to do a few plein air paintings.  One I gave to a young aspiring artist, age 6 or so.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Morning in Key Largo

Oil 11x14 Hardboard
  I did a study on site, plein air, of this scene, and now I have finally gotten a chance to paint it.  The study was a 5x7 format so making it work on a llx14 took a lot of think time.  The little ones tend to be easier for me than large.  Part of the problem lies in wanting to put in more than needs be.  The little study helped cut out all the 'noise.'  After just sticking to the study I took a peek at the photograph I took.  Good thing I signed it. ;-)

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Full Of It.

5x7 Oil on Hardboard
     There is a little box here in my studio with reference photos in it. It is loosely called the "have to wait till I get better box." Anyone else have something similar? The better half calls my box the 'Scardy Cat Box.'   Perhaps.. ;)
    Every so often, without looking into the box, I reach in and pick a photo out.  This one almost went back to the box when I saw it.  But if it went back then I would be a scardy cat, wouldn't I? Can't have that now can we?
    Here is the fuzzy little colt who was dashing about the padlock having fun testing out his little engine. Not sure the movement is portrayed in the painting, but it was sure fun to do.  Hope you enjoy looking at him as much as I did painting the little guy.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Mountain Grazing

8x10 Oil on linen hardboard
Original title,huh?  ;-)   Probably not going to be the title but for now it suits.  Thanks for looking!

Lesson for the month; lighting.  Put up chroma 50 bulbs in the studio.  Very nicely lit up, bright, and cheery.  The result was dark mid value range paintings.  Took a whole month of frustration to figure it out.  Removed half the bulbs and muted it more over my easel.  Like magic! Back to paintings that stand out pretty well in any light.  Whew.. I thought for a little bit I had lost my touch.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Rooster Doo

8x10 Oil on Hardboard
A little diddle that I did cleaning up the palette after I painted the Golden Goose.  Took about 20 min. and it too was fun to paint.

My little Art Inspiration Fairy had been on vacation for the last two months.  Its nice she finally came back! The funk came from two opposing views that caused an internal tension that I had to work through.  
'The Artist's Spirit' by Henri and Harley Browns book, 'Eternal Truths For Every Artist'  Both books are excellent reads and full of encouragement. In the case of Harley's book its chock full of techniques and processes.
The issue I had to work through was their outlook on drawing. Harvey wants an artist to be able to draw well.  Where Henri states he wants only the flimsiest of a sketch on the canvas.  You paint what your see you do not draw it first.  The later is how I paint because if I sketch it on the canvas I end up with to tight of a painting for my tastes.  I'm sure Henri insists that you must draw well just to use your brush to do so.  Guess I had to make a place in my head for both styles to meld a bit.  I have been told there is not a thing wrong with my drawing skills so I am at peace with doing it Henri's way.  You bet though that I still sketch in my book every day. Makes everything right with the world now.. So Back to painting! 

Golden Goose

4x6 Oil on Hardboard

This was FUN!  Thanks Kort for the grand reference photo and hosting the Wet Canvas Southwest June Challenge!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Minerva Art Fest- Come Join Us! Call for Artists.. !! Plein Air Event- June 2nd!!

Come one, come all!   Sure to be lots of fun for the whole family..

Artists.. If you like to plein air come one down to the Market Street Art Spot and sign up on the day of the paint out, June 2nd at 7 to 10 am.  Cash awards and a reception on June 8th.  Contact Email.


The Sax

The Sax
5x7 Oil on Hardboard

Finally found some time to get caught up a bit on the blog postings.  Nope.. I have not been slacking.. :-D  Just had a few things going on.  Like getting the studio finished and dealing with a couple of other things that cropped up.

   Sax was painted for an "All That Jazz" invitational art exhibit at the Market Street Art Spot in Minerva Ohio.  I probably would never have attempted this if not for the fact of the theme.  I found it to be a neat little painting to do and one that helped me stretch a bit in terms of doing reflective items.
   The trick is to think of the reflection as a shape, then put that shape in at the right color.  An artist gets into trouble representing when he thinks of the reflection as light or as an object.
For example, a glass is clear so what do you paint when you paint the glass?  The answer is that you simply paint the shapes of each color.   Easy answer, but its the execution which causes the mental struggle.  It is hard to get your mind to see beyond the object and put shapes to the color (squinting at it helps bring out the shapes.)  A real internal struggle goes on and quite honestly it tires me out doing these little 'thinking/squinting' projects.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Look'n At Cha!

Look'n At Cha!
5x7 Oil on Hardboard
    Been busy and with the weather bringing out all the pollen at one time, just not feeling quite up to painting finished pieces.  With the exception of this little one though, the photo called to me.  I painted it for the May Challenge in the Southwest Forum.  Kay, the host this month, always has wonderful ref. photos to work from, and this month is no different.  Thanks for hosting Kay!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012


5x7 Oil on Board
Just a little diddle that turned into a full 6 hours of painting.  More time was spent studying where I went wrong with the figure than the painting.   If you scroll down the blog you will see that there are not many if any human figures painted here.  Trying to change that.

Ah.. Yes.. someone asked where have I been painting wise since I have not posted one for about two weeks. (Gee, has it been that long?).  The answer is trying to paint still life.  Not to much success at it as real life tends to have more color and variety than photos.  I am at a loss right now on how to paint it realistically without putting everything I see in it.  That is the tough part. I hope get handle on it soon.  Right now it is taking up all my painting time just practicing.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Lil' Filly Redo

They say you should paint what you know.  In the case of the little filly, there were issues.  I asked a horse friend to look and see what was wrong with the painting.  He was kind enough to be blunt.  She looks like she has a cows nose and little baby horses are like children, their features are nothing like an adult horse.  The fact that I know cows, but not horses is evident.   
Back to the drawing board and the palette.
This one is much more representative of young filly.  It was painted over so the strokes are not as painterly as I would like.  But an improvement and another lesson, not just art but life.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Apple and Pear, a study in life

Oil 7x7 on board
     Jim's class Oil Painting In Cowboy Boots 101  has been pitching me fits, the 2nd  assignment was to paint from a still life set up as close to his photo of one he posted for us to paint (First assign. a few posts back.)
     I found that painting from photos is so much easier than painting from life.  I know the camera only sees 4000 colors..  but you would think some of the shadows would have the blues, pinks, golds, and greens that are in real life would at least show up!  Not!  The camera shows none of the dynamics in a shadow.
After setting up the still life.. And three attempts later I finally asked Jim for a bit of insight.  Trying to paint all the colors was frustratingly overwhelming!  How to put them all in?  When you try to put them all in it turns to mud.  His advice.   Squint..  and quit when it looks pretty..  :-D  So.. I did and here is the result.  Still has issues but it is really pretty.
Btw.. pears don't last to long under the light!  Even Joe won't eat them.

This is the set up.  Notice the top left of the pear is a tad bit brown. lol.. I had to paint from memory as the skin of the pear changes in hue and saturation.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Lil' Filly

Lil' Filly
11x14 Oil on hardboard
Were are finally home no more travel plans till October!   More time to paint.

While we were in Kansas I treasure shopped and picked up a lot of still life projects.  The thrift stores here don't have good selections.  The ones in Kansas sure do and a bit cleaner too

Been working on plein air studies while we were away so nothing really finished to post.  But now that I'm feeling a bit more comfortable with painting outside I'm taking a studio break.  Well ok the cold weather that moved in had a lot to do with it too.  ;)

This painting has been under consideration for almost a year.  I had this little tiny picture that I really liked and yesterday I felt that finally had the skill to do it the way envisioned.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Blue Two

Blue Two
5x7 Oil
Yup..  "Paint Mooore Chixkin"  or however that goes.  Was asked to do a mate for a painting that was recently purchased. I painted it about about 6 months ago and the challenge is to paint one that is similar.    The foremost reason I really wanted to do it is because I really like painting these birds.  Here he is.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Lil' Red Fire Truck

Lil' Red Fire Truck
5x7 Oil on Hardboard
There is something about this little truck.  ::sigh::  I have been struggling for months to do a painting, a dirt race car for a family member.  It will just not sing off of the brush!  Dozen or so attempts and its never quite right!  This little one took all of 45 mins.. and was enjoyable to paint.  Perhaps its the character the truck seems to possess.  Where I am searching for the right look and empathy for the car..  Well that must be it.. lol... could not be me could it?  ;-)

Oops.. Almost forgot!  The Ref. photo was from the Wet Canvas Weekend Drawing Event.. Thanks for hosting Kay!!

Monday, March 12, 2012


Oil  11x14 Hardboard

After this last week I needed to paint some thing just for me.  I loved the explosive action and colors in the ref. photo!  Hope I captured the movement.
Thanks everyone for the encouragement and well wishes at my reception.  It was a special night for me. Indeed.  I'm still finding my way and am glad that people enjoyed my paintings enough to display them on their own walls.
My work will be on display at the Market street Art Spot till the 2nd Monday of April.  Stop in and check out all the artists work.  Lots of fabulous art!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Running Free

Running Free
8x10 canvas
Been awhile since I did a southwest theme.. Not that I didn't want to be doing them.. Just been learning.. sometimes learning means no finished pieces just practice and studies.

Been working on Jim's (Jim57 from WC) and Mike Rooney's suggestions of value, transition, and soft edges with lost edges.

This little mare has been bouncing around in my head for two weeks now. I sketched her and kept going back to visit.. Well her stall was getting full.. If ya'll know what I mean. So she got let out today.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Studies of Key West

5x7 Oil
Studies of Key

Here are some of the studies of the Key's.  As I progress deeper into the concept of value, these paintings have been taking on a photographic quality.  The boat was one of the last ones I did in Key Largo and there is a marked difference from the earlier ones.  What Mike taught me is starting to make sense now.

Also under Mike Rooney's  tutelage I learned that color is secondary to value, and there is no substitute for being there.
I took pictures of the buildings and sky of Key West, then compared them to the color studies I did of the same subject.  Its like night and day!  No wonder paintings from photos tend to look a bit dark or to light.  When out on the street painting Mike drilled it into me that artists have to have a stored memory to paint from.  There are three reasons to have a good understanding of what your seeing stored in one's brain.  First, is for referral on how to mix color temp. and saturation. Secondly, when you take a painting home to finish you can use past information to solve issues that arise from not being there.  Last, so you can paint a photo to the best advantage and create a harmonious shift of values, color, temperature, and color saturation.

The frame is actually made of old lobster trap slats.  Kinda neat to see the barnacles and other sea damage on the frame. Also there is an official lobster trap tag on it too.  :-)  So how cool is that?

Will be posting some of the oils I did in color soon.  Check back!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Lessons With Mike Rooney

Gracie's Garden
11x14 Oil
Gee... not sure where to start this post. So I'll begin with a little chatter about  Mike Rooney. He is an awesome teacher artist and new found friend. He gave me tools to work with so I can become a better artist.   One of the first things he went over was how important it was to have a good understanding of hue, value, temperature, and saturation.  Then applied it to my plein aire instruction.  Talked me though everything from start to finish using wonderful analogies that are simple and easy to remember.  I don't chase shadows now or even worry if it clouds up and I lose the light.
Ah.. and did I mention he also got me over my fear of painting in front of people?  Saving that story for when I have more time to write. :)
Mike is easygoing and a blast to learn from and to paint with.  I highly recommend Mike's workshops and if you really want to learn spend the extra and take private lessons with him.  Its well worth it!  Check out his blog at Mike Rooney Studios

My reception at The Market Street Art Spot in Minerva Oh. is on the 9th.  Busy framing and finishing up a few paintings. So stop in and check out my paintings.  Looking forward to seeing ya all!

About the painting.. its a plein aire that I did in Key Largo.  Took a little more than two hours to finish.  I wish the picture was a bit better.  In person it really looks like you can walk into it, almost 3D.     I'll be posting more of the Key paintings when I get a chance.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Key West Monochromatic paintings

  Art and culture abound here at Key West.  Took a workshop with Mike Rooney and will be taking private lessons too. 

He suggested value studies.. So here are the first two.  5x7 oil

Will be posting others when I get the time.  Did I mention its 75 here. :)

Monday, January 30, 2012

Apple and Pear Study

Apple & Pear
Oil 16x20

This piece is the most difficult piece I have ever done.  It took 8 hours and lots of grumbling!
The post ahead of this was the start of Jim's instruction on how to paint using oils, which was the value study for this painting.
What did I learn?  So much that my head hurts.. bad..    Lets see..
1) You don't need more than three colors; Alz.Crimson, Ult. Blue, and Indian Yellow.
2)  Shadows made with a transparent colors are deeper and richer.
3) Value shifts are key and must be represented properly. Everywhere!
4) Reflections from other objects and ambient light sources are what gives the best depiction when  painting a subject it gives it the proper descriptive form.
5)  That I have a long way to go to have my paintings sing a sweeter song.. 

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Monochrome study

Oil 12x16 canvas pad
Monochrome value study from the WC Southwest Forum.  Jim started an instructional thread, its going to be a good one. I'm grateful he is taking the time to help others become better artists.

This is the first lesson. Monochrome painting to help us find the correct value relationships. The oil paints colors are ult. blue, alz. crimson, and indian yellow.  All are transparent colors that make a nice dark value. We were not to use white.. that was the hard part!  I forgot the paints we are using are dyes.  The dyes stained the canvas paper.  I am used to putting the paint on and subtracting it off of the canvas so the paper worked against me. So the value around the napkin is way to dark..Now I wished I used a panel! Live and learn!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Donkey Treats

Donkey Treats
11x14 Oil on Hardboard
  I was bumping about the house looking for stuff to paint for a still life.   I came across Eeyore and a few other stuffed critters.  Since he is my favorite I had to give him the honor.   Joe ate the apple though.. and the grapes never made it to the party.  Gotta love grapes.  ;)

Needless to say I'm thrilled how he turned out.  I've been doing more still life because the colors and values in shadow are much more defined.  It really helps because there are more choices on which way to go with hues, etc.  Much faster too!  

There are more paintings of my still lifes on my blog. I have not been posting them to Facebook as of late.  Life has been busy.   But if your interested in a look see.  Follow this link to the Home Page and scroll down.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Clucking Christmas Sewing Caddy

Oil 5x7 on hardboard
Little diddly of a little sowing caddy which has been tucked away for years in a shadowbox.  Had a phone call so when I came back to it I forgot where I was and had to re-group a bit.
   Goal here was metallic sheen.  Scissors and satin cloth.  One of these days painting is going to be like driving.  Meaning I get the hang of it with fewer mistakes.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

My Lil' Homely Tea Pot

Diddle Tea Pot 5x4 oil
  These little 15 or 20 minute diddles are my start to the day, then on to serious stuff.  Not that they don't have merit I guess.  To me they are exercises and not quite works of art.  As a visitor was picking through a few and chided me that I must post these also.  I promised to post a few as I ramble down this road.
    In reality, this tea pot has to be one of the worlds homeliest  teapots ever.  I found it at a yard sale for a dime.  It is out of kilter everywhere!  The lid nubbin is off center, and it doesn't quite fit on the rim.  The handle is not center to the body either.  It's sides are not square and the pattern is not square to the sides, really adding to the out of plumb look.   Guess that is what drew me to it. Joe, of course, said "Get out! Your taking that home!"   "Yup." and I did.  
     Bit of a side note.  It has to be one of the most uncomfortable pieces I have done to date.  I thought it would be easy to do, but no!   To put down true lines that were not square goes against the grain of what my brain/hand feels is correct.  The principle that I follow when I do these diddles is.. Draw/paint what you see, not what you think you see.  Was really hard to adhere to!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Colorful Fowl

Colorful Fowl
5x7 oil hardboard

This is just a little daily diddle I did yesterday morning.  I guess I'm stuck being a realist painter.  At least the background is impressionistic.
Eyes always throw me off so I tend to put them in last.  This one the eye was put in first, as the professionals suggest doing, I had to work around the awkward feeling I get in doing this part of the painting first.  The painting almost takes on a life of its own and looks back at you, it just gives me the willies.  Jim from the SW forum said that feeling goes away with practice.  So practice I will.  ;)

Monday, January 9, 2012

Western Waterfall

Western Waterfall
5x7 oil on Hardboard

Just a little diddle to get back in to the saddle a bit for the western forum.  We are having an exchange of art work there and was busy painting a piece to swap (can't show it till the 20th though.) Working on three larger pieces at the moment.  Big is way outside my comfort zone.

Then there is the studio issue.  Studio is now at a standstill as the lumber yard dropped the ball with ordering the bead board.  Waiting a month and we still don't have it.  Joe and I went to another place and got a close facsimile for the rec room. But it still leaves my room undone.   Guess it is well worth the wait though.  Oh.  I did pick up cabinets at a good price so there is that.. ;-)