Saturday, July 14, 2007

July 15 - Still Pushing the Envelope, Desert Scene

I took a long look at yesterday's work and said, "I can do better" and opened up those pill boxes and went to work again. I pushed the values a bit further, deepening those in the foreground and lightening areas on the mountains. Seeing the Bierstadt painting in the San Diego Museum of Art helped! In addition, I added clouds to the sky--since we are seeing the tail edge of a rainy "monsoon" season that hasn't given us any moisture. I can hope with my brushes!

Yesterday's work is shown to the left, in smaller format, and today's painting is below. So you get two for one again, sort of!

I thoroughly enjoyed Balboa Park, took my plein air acrylic set up with me for that beautiful scene near the botanical gardens that has asked me to paint it for several years. I saw a Joaquin Sorolla that almost had me weeping... it is the image on the cover of the museum book I have of his work. To see it in front of me was just breathtaking. I firmly believe everyone needs to go to museums and see the art therein. So much to see and learn!

The BEST news is that I will hand over the master DVDs of the Acrylic Painting - Fast and Loose to the duplication service on Monday! I will be shipping orders on Thursday at the latest, and thank you to the many who have ordered their copy. It is JAM PACKED--I delicately edited out to the most essential messages, and there is just a ton of work in it--FOUR paintings and a slide show!

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July 14 - My studio and the Dog Commission

This is the way my studio space (the main studio) looks when I'm working on "ordinary" work--the Hughes easel is in place, the taboret is to the right with whichever side facing me depending upon the medium (it wass set for acrylics), and there's my constant companion "Q" in her bed on the left. I share this with you to compare with the next image, which is my studio for the next days and perhaps weeks as I work on this overside (38x50 inch) commission of three dogs.

Below is the setup and canvas mounted on the wall for the beginnings of the dog painting. I do have to share with you something ingenious--along the bottom of the canvas are hung "D" cell batteries, taped and then clipped to the linen canvas. This weight holds the canvas taut, as linen (the best canvas) is notorious for stretching and bagging while it is worked on. This setup gives me the spring and bounce of a stretched canvas without the labor of stretching it. Stretching will be done by the recipient's framer down the road a way. Oh, the camera on the left? I'm doing a sped-up version of the entire painting process for YouTube. Fun!

Note the SimpleHuman trash bag holder on the taboret. Stinky solvent towels go in there and are covered by the lid. Using plastic groceryLink bags means quick turnover.
Tomorrow the beginnings of the dog commission!

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Friday, July 13, 2007

July 12 and 13 - Twofer! Lesson Painting Revised.

Two for One! The night slipped away from me and I missed a post, so today you have two images in one to play catch up. The painting is an acrylic, 20 x 20 inches on 2" gallery wrap bars (no frame) and what you see on the left is the original that I painted on location some time ago. It has always lacked that "spark" that catches a viewer's eye, and so tonight I decided to work it over and bring a newer, more contrasted image to you.

One of the most powerful strengths of the Renaissance art world was the use of value as a design element--taking the range of values through their paces in works such as Nicolas Poussin's "Holy Family on the Steps". By taking the balance of value from a master work like this and applying it to one of my own works, I end up with the changes below:

I only changed the painting by the addition of a few layers of glazes, using acrylics' incredible versatility to accomplish the value changes necessary to help this painting come to life.

Although I did not follow Proussin's "diagonal of light/dark", I was brought to the thinking point of making these changes because of viewing his work.

Tomorrow, I head to San Diego and Balboa Park to lead a field trip with my Art Appreciation summer students! A day in museums! Wowza!

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Tuesday, July 10, 2007

July 10 - Cowboy Jubilee in Two Weeks

On July 21, I will be enjoying some premier country music under the oak trees at Liberty Oaks Ranch up in Tenaja, along with many others who are interested in supporting the education program for the Santa Rosa Ecological Preserve. The Foundation brings hundreds of third graders each school year for field trips to learn about the habitat of early California, and the pressures on current wildlife. For many of these 8-year-olds, it is the first time they've been outside a city park! I support it avidly, and will be set up to present my western work the sales of which will benefit this program. One night only--magic music and poetry!

Here is a 12 x 9 acrylic painted specifically for the event, and hopefully it will sell that night. Called "Trail Time" I present it hoping for a good percentage of sales benefiting those kids. I have good hopes.

On another note, the Acrylic DVD is finished, but I have too much footage!! I want to share so much, and have about 6.5 gigabytes to fit on a 4.7 gigabyte master. So now instead of editing for content, I'm cutting clips and resizing the lessons to fit into that 4.7 gig format. Three, no four, complete paintings done in lessons, a slide show, outtakes, supplies for both beginning and advanced... whew! There's just SO much on it. But it WILL be out!

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July 9 - The Dark Side, Black Cat 7 x 5 Collage

The other side of the family! Here's the acylic collage of the darker side of things--loosely based upon our own Bats cat, but a domestic longhair instead! This one, as yesterday's, is full of additives that make it sparkle and shine.
I hope you enjoy it!

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Sunday, July 08, 2007

July 8 - The Light Side (Cat Collage) 7 x 5 Acrylic

Re-showing the Fabricritters from the past few days has brought out some fun expressive paintings today! I did two cat paintings fresh off the easel, and share with you this first one, called "The Light Side". It is a sweet domestic shorthair kitty, like my Pesto in one of her playful moods when she holds onto somethimg with her paws.

But take a closer look! There is more than paint here, and it is such FUN to do this with art--stepping out of the box a bit and adding fun things like glitter and sequin-type things to the image. I've attached an enlargement of the left-side eye for you to see the glitter embedded in the acrylics! Ha!

On a more serious note, when I sit and ponder the vast variety of people who have kindly let me into their "in" boxes with my daily journeys into and through paintings, I am overwhelmed with the kindness people have shown to my work. Art is a journey, and this one is so much richer for your company!

"The Light Side" will be followed by "The Dark Side" tomorrow. This one is immediately available through my ebay store.

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