Sunday, March 22, 2015

Frames Arrived

The Fun, and Worry, Of New Frames
Finally, my new frames arrived. I needed these for submitting work to a new gallery in South Carolina. I'm hoping that the new gallery works out well and I'm still connected to it this time next year. I'm very interested to see how working with a gallery over such a long distance will work out. I'm not crazy about shipping artwork back east but that's where the gallery is so no getting around that. Once all is up and running back there I'll post the info on the gallery.
    Anyway, I was glad my frames arrived and that there was no damage from having them shipped here from San Diego. It's not a great distance from San Diego to here. I have had frames arrive from the same supplier before and there was plenty of damage. I know first hand what people who load and unload trucks can do to boxes they could care less about. Its a pity some people have absolutely no pride in their work or enough integrity to do a good job no matter what job that it. I've driven trucks and I've worked on docks so I have seen plenty of these guys...and gals. Each time I order frames I'm always on edge until they are here...undamaged. If they are I will take them to my garage and fix them. I've so far always been able to do this.
    The cool thing when all is fine is to swap paintings in the new frames to see how paintings look framed up. I paint way more than I have frames for. Frames are expensive so I tend to only order what I need for a show or gallery. I live for the day when I can just call up and order a few different sizes and colors just to see what certain paintings would look like. When is that Lotto going to hit.

"Morning At The Wilcox Property"
18"x24", Oil,
This painting above looked great...even when it was drying. After varnish and putting it into this frame it looks absolutely gorgeous. This size always looks great on any wall because it's .
"Valley Evening"
12"x16", Oil
The upper painting is on stretched canvas and the lower is on canvas covered panel. I like the panels because they are a nice size to work with and don't flex like stretched canvas. Some stretching is good at times and a pain in the butt at other times. I also like the panels eas of being framed...just shoot brads into the frame behind the panel and your done...no drilling pilot holes or screwing in brackets to lock to stretched canvas in. Mega fast framing!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Nocturne....Night Trail

"Night Trail"
12"x16"
 Oil on canvas covered panel

I painted this scene about 5 or 6 years ago on a smaller canvas and decided to do a larger version. I didn't want to do a copy of my other painting becasue there were things I wanted to try out differently on this one. The nice thing about painting is over the years you get better at it so there were changes I made the included these. I really liked the original but when you look back at paintings you see things you wish you could change....so why not do another painting huh !? I'm glad I did this one. I like the larger size and I like my changes. One of these days when I get much better at nocturnes I'll do a really large one. Years ago I saw a nocturne show up in Los Olivos, CA and they had some very large pieces that were just awesome. Many, many years ago, Charles Rollo Peters painted a nocturne of our local mission here in Santa Ynez....maybe I'll give it a try on large scale....we'll see.      

Friday, March 13, 2015

Photo of a barn in Wisconsin
 
Back Again....
Well, I had to take some time off from my life of art and go back to work for a while. I decided to do this at the start of last summer and it has lasted up until 2 weeks ago. There was a chance to go to work for a period of time that would take me all over the US and I could use the money so I took it. The job had nothing to do with art at all. In fact the whole deal would have been a culture shock had I not done this type of work before. So, I bit the bullet and proceeded.
There is one hook about it all though, I was able to use my time out there taking a gazillion reference photos which I did. Honestly, I think I took about 15,000 photos. I was able to photograph the desert, the plains, the rockys, the warmth and gloom of Washington State, stand and snap photos along a pier in Massachussets of the Atlantic ocean, snowstorms in MO, WI, KS, MN, IL, WY, NE, UT, NV, OH, PA, NY, NH, CT, SD and OK. There was a lot of weather out there and of course I have a new found appreciation for just how large our country is. 
 
I did one commission while I came home for a few days, a restored airplane for a woman and her husband who live in Los Olivos. I also sold two paintings and a print while I was gone too so a little bit of art snuck in during that time. I was also contacted by a gallery back East so I'm in the middle of dealing with them, I'm hoping that works out well....sort of a new fresh start again as I am sorting things out here and readying for paint to start flying.
The experience was just that...more experience. I'm happy that art was always on my mind and I've been able to add to my never ending supply of reference photos, yahoo! I'm more than glad to be back and soon will be painting away.     

Friday, June 06, 2014

Elverhoj Show

Art From The Groves
I have a couple of paintings that were juried into the Elverhoj Museum of History & Art here in Solvang, CA. I feel pretty good about that because getting into any show is good. I know many of the artists in the show so it will be nice to be together and talk shop. One of my paintings is a studio piece and the other is a plein air piece done last Winter along the olive groves below the mission.
Sales have been practically non existant for me in this economy, and yes, the economy still sucks, so the occasional show is something to look forward to. I like shows...it's fun to see your peers and meet new painters....see the talent out there. Shows are good for inspiration. As a person it is great to see really fantastic art but as an artist it really inspires you to do better work. I've always been honest about my work and when I see something else painted better it makes me want to paint better so shows are a good way to push your(my)self.

Teaching yourself to paint....I hate that term because nobody really teaches themselves to paint. Books, the internet, art teachers, seeing other painters works....it all effects us even if some of us want people to think they were some naturally gifted miracle that discovered painting all alone. Baloney. If you want to learn to paint you turn into a sponge and soak everydrop of inspiration in no matter where it comes from. Thanks to nature what you take in will become your own vision and have your own look unless you're trying to go after some other artists style and you don't want to do that. Be who you are....even in art.

Anyway, if you are around Solvang on June 14 between 4-6 pm come by the show reception. The rest of the show runs June 14 - September 28, 2014. The Elverhoj is located at 1624 Elverhoy Way in beautiful down town Solvang, the land of Danish bakeries and wine tasting rooms !    

Thursday, May 15, 2014

The Arroyo Seco, Pasadena

"San Gabriels Over the Arroyo"
18" X 24" Oil on canvas

      I think this is my 3rd attempt at painting the Colorado bridge spanning the Arroyo Seco in Pasadena. The first attempt was too close casuing me to get hung up in details so I just completely scrapped that one, haha. Somewhere around here is a nice landscape covering my feeble attempt. I like this view only because you can see more of the San Gabriel mountains in the background and the nice vegetation in the arroyo. The fact that it also causes the bridge to be in the distance is a not overlooked by me bonus.
      Many, many painters have painted in, near or above the arroyo over the years so I feel honored to be able to paint it along with them and with decent results. If you want a foliage workout the arroyo can give it to you. I took more time to work on these treees and plants wanting not only to get better at them but to experiment and also to just enjoy myself painting them....it's funny because at first there is so much canvas to cover and it can be almost overwhelming. Enjoyment wasn't even in the picture then but it soon became that. Everyone had gone to bed, it was quiet and so I just relaxed and took my time.
      When I look at this painting I think of  my Dad. He's gone now but I spent so much time as a kid being taken to these mountains to camp by my Dad...and besides, on the otherside of this bridge, about 1/4 mile, is the Rose Bowl. I played football in it in high school and also graduated there. Right next to it is Brookside Park golf course...my Dad was the golf starter there for years. My Dad also worked at another golf course, Carmilita, which is long gone but over it was built the Norton Simon museum. My Dad, Pasadena and I share a lot of things in common.  

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Refugio Road Alfalfa Field

"Alfalfa Field"
12" X 16" Oil on Panel

There is something about farm fields that just draw the eye in. I guess it's just the immense size and geometric patterns they can have...linear draws to the eye. This field is about 10 minutes drive over in Santa Ynez enjoying late afternoon sun...the cut alfalfa just drying away. In case you're not a farmer, they cut the alfalfa when it's ready but freshly cut alfalfa is too rich with water in it so it has to dry laying in the field in rows like this...then it's turned over to dry the other side. After that it will be scooped up by the baling machine and then stacked to further dry and store until it's sold or eaten.
I'd just like the drive the machines they use to do all of this because they look so cool. I'm sure it's hot weather doing all of this too. In Oklahoma in 1976 they payed you a nickel a bale to lift the bales onto flatbed trucks....it's all done by machine now.

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Summer Light

My reference photo

If I had about 10 sets of arms I could paint all day long paintings inspired by the area I live at, the Santa Ynez valley. Late afternoon light is the best I think and many of my paintings have come from that time of day. Seeing the bluish/purple mountains with their pink highlights from the setting sun was enough inspiration for me to paint this scene. I was driving down the road and had my camera so I took some reference photos. I didn't want the entire image, but maybe one like that will happen, so I located a nice spot in the photo and away I painted.
I am out of larger canvases at the moment so I did this one smaller at 12"x16"...should have gone larger though. Maybe I'll use this later as the study for a larger painting.
"Summer Light"
12"x16" Oil on canvas covered panel
....and a detail image from the painting: