Friday, December 28, 2007

small work

Quiet Evening, 2007. oil on panel, 4 3/4 x 4 3/4. sold
This is a miniature painting that I did for the small works show at First Street Gallery this past October. I have been trying to play with yellowish clouds for several months and this painting is a result of my recent attempts. It is very tonal painting and heavily influenced by a show I saw at the Oakaland Musuem this past spring showcasing the work of Arthur Mathews. He was a wonderful early 20th century California Artist who worked in San Francisco.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

that's a lot a trees

The Home Place, 2007. oil on canvas, 60 x 60. sold.

This a large commission I did for a couple here in California. While this painting obviously fits within the kind work I do of the valley, it is unusual in several ways. First, I have not attempted to do this many orchards in years. I'll tell you why and I'll be blunt: it is stinking hard to try and get EVERY TREE in the right place so they both line up and lay flat and this painting has over 700 trees! I must have painted the large orchard in the foreground six or seven times before I got it right. Second, this is a specific piece of land the family owns. While most of my work is about particular places I often change things around to make the painting work so it may not in the end resemble the original place. But in this work it was important that work looked like the home place. That meant looking at the land over and over again (remember I rarely ever use photographs in my work), so I was driving out to their place numerous times to see the land and try and get the "look" and feel of their land. I would have not attempted this painting in years past because I wouldn't have felt I could pull it off. While the painting was a struggle at times to complete I was happy with the results and more importantly the couple was very pleased with the finished work. All's well that ends well.
Soon after I finished this painting another family member inquired if I would be willing to do another larger painting of this property but from fifty years ago. But that's for another post.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Something a Little Different

Somewhere on the Floor, 2007. pastel on paper, 20 x 16

Here is something that is new for me. I recently invested in several sets of pastels. I've wanted to do some pastels for quite some time but I have not been able to swing it until now. The last time I did any was when I was in graduate school and I loved them then, so I could hardly wait to use them again. Its such a great media, I love its immediacy. I'll post more as I get more done. This painting was done for a Yosemite show at the Vault in November.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

The Other Three

Warm Twilight, 2007. oil on panel, 16 x 16

Warm Twilight and Orchard Ranch were the first two paintings that I brought to The Vault. They were not a orginally painted with any thought that they would go together, they just happened to to be the same size and I didn't really think anything about it at the time. But shortly after talking them to the gallery, I get a call from the owner asking if I was planning to do any more paintings that size. A collector was interested in four paintings in the same format and liked the first two that were already at the gallery. I had no immediate plans to make any

The Orchard Ranch, 2007. oil on panel, 16 x 16

other paintings that were going to the same size, but I did have two other panels o fthat size that were laying around the studio, so I started thinking about what I could do with last two...It was strange the first two were not suppose to go together and now I was making two more to go with the other two. It was Kris at The Vault who sort of suggested that I make the four seasons out of the four I just when with it. Cold Weather came first and then Around from the last post was the last to be finished. I think the four pieces work

Cold Weather, 2007. oil on panel, 16 x 16

together, even if they were not originally meant to work together.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Recent Work

Around, 2007. oil on panel, 16 x 16

This is a painting that was the last in a series of four paintings that I did for The Vault. I am quite pleased with the sky since it was one that has been bumping around in my head for some time and could never make it work in my previous attempts. I couldn't figure out what color the blue had to be to make the yellowish/orangeish color work. It turned out that the blue wasn't really a true blue at all, but more of a green blue. Once that color relationship was established it then made putting the rest of the painting together much easier and it fell into place rapidly. It only took me four or five false starts to get to this painting, which is fairly typical for me when I am trying something new. That process goes like this: I see a color relationship outside and I think to myself, "Hmmm, that could make an interesting painting...I wonder what color I will have to use in order make a painting feel like this?" I go back to my studio and give it a go. At times I hit it right off the bat (but I can count those experiences on two hands)-others, like with this painting, I struggle to find the right colors that will work with what I have in mind. It's a funny process and not predicable at all.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

More Work - Less Talk

Summer Afternoon, 2007. oil on panel, 10 x 12

I have another confession to make. I really don't like to write that much. Now I know that may seem strange since I do have a blog. So let me explain. I'm not a very talented writer (please try and keep the laughing to yourself). It's just a struggle every time I try and write. I have to work and work to get anything to make any sense. Yet, I do enjoy the process of writing, getting the words down, thinking my thoughts through and trying to get them to make sense somewhere besides in my own head (which is not as easy as it sounds). But, lately I have not had the time to do any writing I've had too much on my plate and frankly writing is a ways down on my to do list. So that got me to thinking-I started this journal to show my work and maybe write a little about it. It became quite quickly to be more about the writing than the art (at least for me) and as I have previously stated I'm not a good enough of a writer to do that on semi-regular basis. I am after all an artist and not a writer. So while I may do some longer bits of writing from time to time, I'm mostly going to show you what I've been up to in my studio. Let's get started....