Saturday, April 14, 2007

April 14 - Washingtonian Palms of the Desert

An evening out, with a strawberry margarita, some espresso/vodka and wonderful Italian cuisine, finished up with spumoni ice cream and I'm not bent for making masterpieces, I can tell you. But this 7 x 5 acrylic of the Washingtonian palm trees of the low desert came off the brushes in spite of the funny pleasure of good company and good food earlier in the evening! Discipline. Definitely. And certainty of knowing which color to use, and where.
Acrylics are wonderful, fast and flexible. Now that I have my new tripod for plein air, I think I'll switch back to oils. Betty Billups is back from the on-location work for the mural, and the painting--all 16 feet of it--is now in my outer studio. It will be fun to have her here working on it again!
Complete blog here.
G'night all!

Friday, April 13, 2007

April 13 - No bad luck here! Painting update and the Muse

When is a painting finished? Last night when this painting came to you, it was signed, and yet there was that itty-bitty bit of doubt that something was missing. Then an email from Cincinnati from a friend in illustration pointed the way. She acknowledged that the horse's stride would make those splashes, but that their repetition and cadence were eye-grabbing, even moreso than the horse itself. So, the solution was to bring the painting up for one more go-pass, and the addition of a large tree shading the water, and those splashes going down in contrast and becoming less repetitive. I also needed to lighten the distant trees making more value changes in them to create more form. Out came the plastic wrap, and up went the leaves (daub, daub, daub!). Once dry, glazes of other colors made those daubs much more interesting.

The lighting on this one tonight, for photography, isn't the best--tomorrow I'll cart it out doors and get an accurate one. Too much glare affecting the curve of values. I can assure you it looks much better in person!

So when is a painting finished? When you can figure out what to do, and when the muse stops poking you in the nether regions with his pencil. My muse is now snoring off a couple beers back in his corner.

Congratulations to Linda McFadden of Murietta, California, on her purchase of "Santa Rosa Plateau, Sylvan Meadows, April" from my big web site's page of paintings from the Santa Rosa Ecological Preserve. Thank you!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

April 12 - Finished Rolex Competitor

I finished up the 12 x 16 acrylic of the Rolex Three Day Event rider, putting many glazes of gel medium and veils of color on the distant trees, the water and the rest of the composition to unify and create visual interest. It sure was fun to paint the water! Not at all like the photo, which showed a muddy, murky splash. I like the greens much better! I think I'm going to hold this one for a show coming up later this year. I think it might do well.

And congratulations to Charlotte McDavid of Birmingham, Alabama, on her acquisition of my painting of Vincent Van Goat. The purchase was made through my ebay store. That's a fast, easy way to make a purchase because of all the different ways of making payment. I like that it is up there 24/7 so many people can view the works.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

April 11 - Celebrating 543 daily paintings today.

Now take a look at how this acrylic painting is developing! Such fun to add layers on top of what was there yesterday, and start to build the contrast and movement! Although my source material (Rolex, equestrian three-day-event) was much larger, I want the horse and rider to fit into the scenery, so as they head pell-mell through the water (yes, that will be water, just not tonight!), the surrounding scenery will play like the backdrop of a huge stage, with the spotlight on the rider and horse. Do you see how all that mish-mash of brushwork under this focal point now works like the myriad instruments of a symphony? All the players are important when brought together, yet each has its individual "loudness".
Couple other things. One, ebay hiccupped my store into oblivion, so I had to rebuild it with the listings for my paintings today. The link is here, and this'll allow you to revisit some of your favorites. I'll add more paintings in the next couple of days.

And I accidently deleted some forty emails from the google group that receives these messages. If you're wondering what happened, it was me. I do hope you'll email if you've missed a few days so I can put you back on.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

April 10 - The Muse is Back, Acrylic Lesson

Now take a look at this canvas surface, and compare it to yesterday's underpainting. An idea of a painting has come to me, and it will be fun to pull it out of this sketchy-skritchy brushworked background! I have set up the major values and color scheme, without any focal point yet, as I want this background to play a subordinate part in this 12 x 16 acrylic. Yes, it will be horse-related! Even though you can see the underlying abstract structure of the painting-to-be, I doubt very much that you can tell how the finished work is going to look! That's the fun of being an artist--sometimes the path I take to the destination of a finished canvas goes through some mighty interesting territory!
The lighting on this will be overcast, and diffuse. There will be a bit of backlighting on this one though! (Oh, I do love backlit subjects...)
The entire blog is here.

Monday, April 09, 2007

April 9 - When the Subject Won't Come

Sometimes the muse that sparks one's creativity takes a serious hike. What do you do when the muse is on vacation, and you have to create? I find that if I'm IN the workspace, and start noodling around with a canvas, an idea will come. Thus it is tonight. After a LONG ride (again six hours in the saddle, pre-riding the trails on the mountain behind the studio for a ride scheduled two weeks from now), I have a mind of mush and the creative energy of a snail. So into the studio I go (the discipline of doing 540+ paintings in the past 18 months helps), and I get out a 12 x 16 board, and start "funnin' around" with some acrylic color and gel medium, alcohol (not for me) spray and daub a bit here and there.... and an idea starts. This painting is going to be a really textured pastoral scene, lots of blades of grass, bushes, and horses. Haven't figured out the lighting yet, but misty sounds good, as does low evening light across pastures.
I can see these paintings finished almost, once the idea is there. My muse is back home again, chuckling and chortling in the corner. I gave him a beer. Let's see where this one goes tomorrow, OK?
Complete archives of all those paintings here.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

April 8 - Nearer My God to Thee

After thinking for many hours what I could possibly do that would convey my feelings, my thoughts, and share my heart with all of you, the following painting came into my head, and I could see it finished even before I chose the 12" round, beveled edge canvas. I found the material I needed, but wanted to place the lilies above the horizon, as if lifted themselves to the light. I turned the one to face that direction to make the connection. I have an inner feeling of great peace with the completion of this work, and am just humbled by the gift of art that I can share on a daily basis with you.

May you each have a peace-filled, loving celebration in the comfort of your places, based upon your own religious beliefs. The song "Nearer My God to Thee" came to mind as I put the final strokes on the lily. It's one I play on the piano almost every session.

This painting is for sale through my ebay store.