Saturday, November 17, 2007

Artist Studio Tour Part 2

10:45 PM Saturday Night.....
All of the hard work paid off. Contrary to what I was told we had visitors after another they came in and I was on my feet from 7 AM till 8 PM. Some were fellow artists and a lot were people wanting to see art. I had some really good conversations and received plenty of compliments. Sold 4 paintings and a print. People were grabbing plenty of brochures and business cards so maybe they will remember the art down the line and come to future shows.
I had planned on taking pics during the day if anyone showed up but was so busy talking and being a good host I really forgot to take any. Sorry...I'll take some tomorrow or hand the camera to someone if it gets busy.

Between 4-7 there was a show reception at the museum and lots of people showed up. An elderly man walked up to me there mentioning that he ran out of time to get to my place but promised he'd be there tomorrow so that was really cool. I talked with some of the other artists involved and they all had good days, lots of visitors and sales. Very cool! We are all in the same Guild so we have become pretty good friends who really respect each others talents and goals and support each other. That's one of the very cool aspects of being in a Guild.

Highlights of the day.....Some of my fellow Guild artists not involved in this showed up to add their support which was very cool. It was great to see retired people and 20 somethings all showing up with one thing in common...a love of art. Shows that art will always be appreciated as time goes by, even in a bad economy. Aspiring artists of various ages showed up and asked for my 2 cents which I gladly shared and we tossed ideas back and forth.

It was a good day today! Hope tomorrow goes well. Even if I don't sell a thing tomorrow, today has already made up for it.

Artist Studio Tour Part 1

I'm one of 18 artists participating in a Studio Tour put on by the Wildling Art Museum in Los Olivos, California. I have spent the last week in a frenzy to frame dried paintings, reorganize the studio, make coffee, hang work in the studio as well as the house, paint our deck, mow the lawn, vacuum everywhere, drink coffee, run errands to pick up stuff needed for everything, finish 2 paintings, do more framing, re-hang paintings, drink more cofffee and shampoo a couple of rugs...and make more coffee.
It was late Friday night but is now 1:30 AM Saturday morning,...the studio tour starts at 10 AM this morning. I wanted to get this posted before it starts. Never been in one of these so I'm going to post whatever happens Saturday and Sunday. I'm almost all set for the tour to start. I've been told not to expect a ton of visitors since I am on the outer fringe of the tour area...the next city in fact.

One artist I know last year sold 3 paintings...but she lives right next to the museum where the visitors all start out from on the tour. I heard another artist was complaining no one came to her place and she lived pretty far out there...farther than me. So, I'll see what happens but I'm not expecting a hugh turnout. The "iffy" world of art.
Here is the beginning of hanging in the studio...these are mainly pieces of mixed frames and odd sizes.
And this is when it was all set up ready to roll later that night. I'm a happy clam...tired, but happy.

A Cool Alla Prima

"Fading Light"

8"x16" Oil on Canvas Covered Masonite Panel

I'm really beginning to love alla prima painting. You sit down, slam on paint and walk away. Sounds easy but it took me a while to get to this point of being able to pull that off....and they don't all come out as you had hoped. Still, in a way the surprise of your results is part of why you should try it. Studio work is so calculated and not much is an accident there. It's all planned out and methodical at times so doing plein air or alla prima work is a breath of fresh air. I'm still very much working at getting better at alla prima, as well as plein air, so I'm no expert at either.
This piece came out nicely and so far it is my favorite alla prima piece. About 2 1/2 hours of work. My learned secret to painting alla prima is to paint in my darks first very thin...I mix the paint and then dip my brush in tupentine, mix that into the paint mix and then apply almost as a wash. Then, in 5 minutes or so you can paint right over your darks with your mids. Leave room for your highlights and it is a breeze. If you want headaches with either your plein air painting or your alla prima painting then paint in heavy will either wait or end up with mud. This painting has a dark rich look to it but my darks here are very thin and I painted my mids over them and even blended some of the darks/mids together in spots where needed.
Look at the darks here under the greens....very dark mix of brownish/ green applied thin with turpentine. Let it get tacky and then lightly place your mids over it. Saves you lots of time.

More Gallery Wrap

Once you start making your own canvas it becomes addicting. I have always liked working with wood and this is for art which I also love so it is a good marriage and I enjoy it about as much as I enjoy painting or drawing. After doing the real big ones I decided to get creative and do a wide format one which worked great when it came to painting it and I'll make more. I also made some 18"x18", 24"X24" and the large 20"x40" which when painted is the painting I'm sitting next to below. Here are some scenes from the frame making process......

Monday, November 12, 2007


Well, in preperation for an upcoming show I have been doing these larger pieces. I've just finished up with this 20"X40" gallery wrapped piece and jumped in the photo to give it some scale. I think it looks bigger sitting on my easel than it looks here with me next to it.

I really like this one for a few reasons. I decided when doing the background to really push atmospheric perspective and keep the transition of sky to distant mountains as subtle and diffused as would work well. The sky blends into the mountains in areas and the loose brushwork really made that work well. I dragged some of the sky colors down into the mountains which gives it a really nice distant feel, and look, to it I think.

I also moved away from my usual tree colors to add some brighter highlights. This slight push in color has added a bit of excitement to the trees I think. I did this because the trees were so dominant in this piece and if they were going to get a good look by the viewer then why not add something more to look at while they're eyes are there. I think it worked and adds a new dimension to my trees.

I'm really wanting to try new variations on my eucalyptus trees too so I have some small panels I'll be messing with soon just on trees.