Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Frog Outlook

I took this painting to Waverly House to be in the gallery for Meet the Artist Night. It sold before it hit the wall.  This painting started with a quick drawing of the frog and then wet -into-wet painting for the background. The bubbles were made with dropping alcohol from a tipped bottle into the wet paint. 

The challenges in this painting was establishing the top of the water and the and the water below.  I kept the colors cool on top because of the reflection of light and sky.  The waterline is not straight across here.  This seems to add interest and movement.  I had to work to make the uneven line believable.

 Several of Daniel Smith's pigments are made with minerals from the earth.  They have often have an interesting granulation.  Some of them have a natural sparkle which add more interest.  I have enjoyed playing with these new pigment.

I find this kind of painting difficult.  Much of it is controlled happy accident.  I have to push, pull, add, and subtract to fabricate the background.  There is no reference material, accept for the frog.  I have gotten good at painting from life.  Painting from ideas in my head are more challenging.  The painting has to lead me more with less planning.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Old Engine
21"x 14

I delivered this painting to the Springfield Art Museum. It will on display in the 2011 Watercolor U.S.A. I honestly thought that I would enter this show for a lifetime before I got in, and was quite surprised when I received the acceptance card.

This painting has already won best of show twice, so it is a strong piece. I have been painting a lot more, with doing shows in Florida, this winter. When I was spending so much time caring for my parents the last few years, I felt my painting was a little rusty.

A very good photo that I took in California, Was the foundation for this piece. Then I painstakingly worked on the drawing and detail. The angle of the train was difficult and had to be right. Then finally balancing the wet-into-wet areas and with the detailed areas was what makes this painting work. The strong value pattern also makes it stand out.

Wish they all could be like this one.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Dr. Sketchy's Award Winning Sketch

This is a painting sketch from a Dr. Sketchy's pose. Dr. Sketchy's is similar to a life drawing session, only the models are burlesque dancers. The model is never totally nude, but at times can have little on. I find it interesting to add the clothes. With music, drink and food this evening is party-like.

This was a 15 minute4 pose. I started with pencil on a piece of rag mat board. This is a good use for left over pieces, too small to use in framing. Then I painted, with a round brush that points really well. Then since there is not time to let things dry, I go in with a little colored pencil to add detail or firm up a line.

I then I throw the sketch on the floor. Often I see something that does not read from a distance and pick it up to add touches.

There is usually a contest in the evening, where artists put their paintings on the stage to be judged by the model, after a series of poses. I have never won before, and was surprised when my painting was picked up as first place. I won a breakfast at a local Kansas City Restaurant.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Stone Crab on Ice

This one look  fairly good in the photo, but still lacks a punch from across the room. Maybe a better shadow between the crab claws and the ice will do the trick. Now the question is, warm or cool?

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


Wind Boats
 This painting, I have attempted twice in different formats. Each time, it has been a struggle. I have discovered cerulean blue (red shade). This color should help me with the skies in Florida in the future. The boats were difficult. I thought the shapes of color would be a snap. Again, I was having trouble with the blues. A wash of red on the small sail helped push it behind the other sail.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

This is an example that a painting can be easy. The hardest part of this one was knowing when to stop. I am particularly pleased with the difference in the water in the middle and the foreground. Bodies of water often have varying kinds of movement.

I paid very close attention to detail of the birds right down to the angle of the legs. Although the birds are dark the shapes show the different stances each bird takes.

This painting can be located on the Naples beach. People in my booth this last Saturday were discussing it's location.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Tall and Cool (Key West)
14 1/2 x 11 3/4
I just put this one in a frame, getting ready for an up coming show. After looking at this photo. I hung the painting on the wall, and decided that there are a number of minor adjustments I wish to make. Out of the frame it comes. Oh well.
My family and I were in Key West last year. We had a extremely frustrating day, after adding the fourth member to our party. Crowd control in my family can be like trying to herd cats. I made a late reservation for a restaurant that we had never tried before. It had taken longer than expected to walk to it. We were seated outside, which was fine. The inside was chaos. This was our drink order. We had a great dinner. We laughed a lot. It was a good end to a trying day.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Wind boats and Shack
This painting is at The Artworks Gallery in Naples Florida. It is painted on a quarter sheet. This was a lot of detail for such a small space. I am getting close to finishing a large version of this painting minus the shack. Neither painting has been easy. Looking at this one I must open up more light in the second one.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Palm Picnic
11"x 22"

About a year ago my daughter and I visited Bahia Honda State park, driving up from Key West. I saw a picnic table with a palm tree curving over it. Seemed like a perfect subject for a painting, so I snapped the photo. The gallery owner in Naples Florida said that she wanted paintings that where narrow and tall. This fit the bill, measuring 22"x 11".

Friday, March 11, 2011

Coffee Cup Gathering
17"x 27

I was lucky. This painting had not shipped out to the new owner, when I discovered that I did not have a photo of the finished painting. It had come out of the frame for a re-do. I squared up a few of the cups and darkened the background. This was a painting of some of my favorite coffee cups. After my art show in April I think I will try a painting with my teapot collection.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

I sold a painting call "Coffee Gathering." Sadly I see only a photo of it in this blog, from 2010.
The painting had come out of the frame and was greatly improved. I could have a picture on my old card. As soon as I post this I will call Waverly house to see if the painting has shipped yet

Friday, March 4, 2011

This painting is now finished. It is in the Artworks Shop at Naples Florida. This painting took too long to finish. Don't ask why, I don't know.

I am determined to start another Koi painting this month or maybe the water lily goldfish one from a photo taken in Naples.