Saturday, July 29, 2006

July 29 - Oak Savannah

"Oak Savannah Evening" is an 18 x 24 inch acrylic, showing a full range of color and bathed in the warmth of the evening light.  The quercus agrifolia, or Coastal Live Oak, is a common native to the grasslands of the plateaus of the coastal mountains and valleys of California.  We have one here on our acreage, possibly 400 years old.  Gnarled and with small spined leaves, deer and goats enjoy browsing the lower branches.  I painted this with layers of color, developing the deep values of the tree and shadow areas, and making passes of lighter colors to develop the sunlit areas and details.  Using acrylics this way allows the viewer's eye to travel deeply into the painting while remaining in a small visual area.  The depth of the layers creates interesting interactions of color transparency, which is one of the major reasons I enjoy using them.  Available for $350 as an 18 x 24
This painting is SOLD to Dee and Dick Staley of Lake Elsinore, California.

Friday, July 28, 2006

July 28 - Rocks, another decorator commission

This is the third and final 16 x 20 painting for the hallways of the new facility over in La Quinta who's name is a mystery to me (they said if I knew more they'd have to kill me), and now I need to begin two 30 x 20 deserts for either side of a large armoire (sp?).  I cannot conceive of how this place is going to look, so I'm certainly going to make a point to go see it, or at least have someone over in the desert take some pictures for me, after they're installed.
  When this weekend is over, I can get back to "regular" painting, focusing on some new color work, the paintings for the next DVDs, and just "relax" back into equine paintings.  Of course, August has a high school reunion (toomany years, y'know) and my birthday's coming up soon.
I really enjoyed painting this one, as I hauled out the high solid gels to texture up the brush marks, and that lent itself well to the rocks.  This painting is SOLD to Greene and Associates.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

July 27 - Ocatillo Desert

I got a bit side-tracked today, we went and looked at a house that set off all the bells and whistles for both of us, and we have been doing the scrambling to get paperwork in order to make the "offer they can't refuse".
  It's a buyer's market now, mostly, so we'll have to wait and see if everything works out.  However, I pulled back and painted a 5 x 7 acrylic today because of all the interruptions to the normal procedures.  It's a nice one, though, with the grays and softness of the Southwest desert light.  Although small, it definitely has a warm and colorful feeling. This one IS for sale.  $100.
This painting has been SOLD to the collection of Berta Strulovici of Philadelphia.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

July 26 - Another Decorator Commission

Today's painting is a 16 x 20 acrylic, destined (just received the approval) to be sited in an entry of this project in La Quinta, along with two others.  it is one of those scenes found in the Coachella Valley in the evening--sunlight and the green of the fields below the mountains. I have such a deadline to meet, that I feel some pressure (as if painting every day with a new one to show you wasn't pressure--well, it isn't.  But I digress.)
  I sense the pressure extrinsically rather than from within, as having to do work for another's expectations and with a definite timeline is always challenging.  But as artists, isn't the challenge--the puzzle--what drives us to paint?  I know that's a major factor in my work.  There's the puzzle of the design, what works, what doesn't.  The puzzle of how to make it all work together so the painting doesn't look like a couple of jig saw pieces got into the mix.  The puzzle of how to make the viewer stay within the design, and directed on the path I have to figure out while creating.  As your eyes wander over this painting, make a note of where your gaze rests, where your eyes go next.  Those are paths in design intentionally made for you.  To ignore paths is to either confuse your viewers or create disinterest.  A good book for learning about visual paths is Edgar Payne's Composition in Landscape Painting.
This painting is already SOLD to Greene and Associates.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

July 25 - Evening Palm

It is nice to sit down after a long day with a glass of White Merlot (Sutter Home) and a couple slices of smoked provolone as the evening closes in with the quiet and velvety thick dark.   I prepare to close up the studio for the night.  The weather has been so brutally hot, the only way I can get any decent work done in there is to literally go jump in the pool and come back inside soaking wet.  I completed one of the seven paintings for the commissions for the La Quinta job, and this one is the second one off the easel.  I apologize for the image quality--it is 30 x 20 inches, and I couldn't get consistent light on it tonight.  Maybe it is the wine?...but I think it's the size of it. 
SOLD to Sally Green and Associates, Interior Decorators

Monday, July 24, 2006

July 24 - A Figurative Work

Do you think an artist ever truly "arrives"?  By that I mean achieve all their creative goals?  I don't think so.  Every time I reach a new level of knowledge in my technique, a new challenge presents itself. This is good, both for me and for artists reading this.  Many of you have emailed kind words of enthusiasm about my work, and of course I am grateful.  But even an artist who seems to make it look easy has challenges.  That's part of what this art creating is all about.  One can never "arrive"!  We are all on a journey to different destinations, with the destination constantly moving!  Frustrating?  Only if you focus on the destination instead of all the beautiful points along the way.  One of the reasons I don't get intimidated by a blank canvas is because I always see it as a step on my journey, not a performance on the platform of the destination.  It's all in the attitude you bring to the easel.  Am I learning, or performing?  Yesterday's painting opened a door to new thoughts about edges and space, and now I will be following a different destination's path on controlling more of the execution of those elusive edges for better paintings.  "It never ends." When applied to things other than art, that would elicit a sigh.  I have a huge grin on my face!

Today's painting is a 6 x 6 gallery-wrap oil, and just a bit of fun.  Called "In the Park" it shows a man and his dog, both taking what we call "practice naps".  Perhaps he was at an obedience trial?  Or retired and just enjoying the day in the park.  No matter who or why, the scene is timeless, and tinged with humor.  Those of you looking for some learning, notice the gradual transition from intense foreground colors with high contract between light and shadow, versus the distant areas, made clearly so because of less contrast, and less color intensity.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

July 23 - Second Plein Air, Virgas

"Virgas" I have been told that when rain falls out of a cloud and doesn't reach the ground, that phenomenum is called a virga. Last night we had a bunch of them as the thunder and lightning moved away, and the evening light showed through the storm clouds in a glory of sunset glow that was changing as fast as I could paint it. This is the second canvas of the "Sitting Outside in the chair at the Opening" paint session while it was so hot. It is a 7 x 5 inch oil, and I feel it realy captures that light in the sky at this time of day. $100