Saturday, January 31, 2009

What month is it?

Summer's Last, 2008. oil on panel 7 x 8. sold

I have no idea where January went, but now it's gone. I have been prepping panels so I have gotten something done, but it's been mostly busy work around the studio. I thought that I would have gotten more paintings done by this point. Well, you know what they say about the best laid plans....

My family has been hit by this horrible cold that has been going around, and that has slowed everybody in my tribe down for the past week and half, but we are on the mend. February will be more productive.

I can only hope.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Drawing again

Strong Clouds, 2009. charcoal on paper 38 x 42. nfs

This is a drawing that I just finished last week. I have not done any large drawings in a number of years. I had almost forgotten how much I revel the immediateness and spontaneity afforded in drawing.

Maybe I should do some more drawings.


Thursday, January 15, 2009

Studio help

Elizabeth's Morning, 2008. oil on panel, 7 x 8

My sister and her family visited for a short time over the holidays. We always have a great time together. We eat all of our meals as a family at my folks house and visit just as much as we can together. I usually don't get much work done when they are here, but this year I was on a it was work, work, work. One morning after breakfast I was getting ready to head out to my studio and my two oldest nieces (they are both in their teens) asked if they could come out to the studio also, and I said, "Do you want to help?" They looked at me like I was half crazy (well, they actually think that I am completely crazy, but that's another post!) They agreed, and we headed out to the studio.

I set up a couple of field easels for them to work on. At this point they were looking a little confused, and asked "Are we actually going to paint?" I drew a horizon line on each painting. Satisfied with its placement, I asked the girls, "What's your favorite color?" I mixed each color to their satisfaction (and mine) and then handed them the brush. They painted skies their favorite color and then the ground their second favorite color. Since I was mixing the colors I could control the color interaction (I believe this is the most important thing about painting) and therefore control what was happening in the painting. As the paintings went on I made sure that each additional color worked with what was aready there and told them where to put each color I mixed, but the paintings were based on their orignial color ideas. In the end I did paint the trees and any other final touch ups that needed to be done.

They really turned out looking like my work. To be fair, I really controlled all the decisions, they just put the paint on the panel. It got me to thinking what makes my work look like my work. I have always known it was not my paint handling skills and that morning proved that, at least in the beginning stages, but it was my color sense that made the paintings feel like mine.

It was an interesting exercise.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

You gotta feel it

A Certain Light, 2008. oil on panel, 8 x 10. sold.

"Genuine art grows outward from the heart. Art inspired primarily by the intellect may induce awe, excitement , or even laughter, but never tears. There is no great art without tears."

- Russell Chatham (b. 1939)

Friday, January 2, 2009

Are you ready?

Defiant Sky, 2008. oil on panel 8 x 7

It really doesn't feel like the new year. I signed a painting today 2008...oops. I pretty much worked through the holidays, except for the three days around Christmas when I had a really horrible head cold. I'm not complaining because I'd rather be busy than not in this business. I had a deadline that I was trying to make and didn't make it, I couldn't get my paintings to dry fast enough to ship them out. I felt like crap because of the head cold and not getting the painting done on time. It's times like these that make me feel like I'm being a bad professioanl artist.

That being said, I'm working a batch of small paintings to start off the year so expect new works soon.
Happy New Year everybody!

I'll get around to signing my paintings 2009 soon and then I'll feel better about everything.