Wednesday, April 27, 2016

“Is there is a buyer for every painting?”

      It has been my experience that some paintings that are especially fun to create, or not necessarily the easiest to sell in gallery, or show situations.  I suspect that the average collector is collecting paintings based on subject.  Most collectors are not willing to go out on the limb, and purchase that gritty or edgy painting…and prefer to stay safely in a comfort zone that is more traditional in nature.  In my opinion, the collectors who do purchase these works are possibly a bit more sophisticated, or have the confidence/courage to pick subjects they really like for whatever reason……even though it might not have a universal appeal.  These are the collectors I personally applaud, and tip my hat to…….I tip my hat to all collectors of course….anyone who believes in art enough to put down hard earned money to own something that at best is a luxury item to most folks…. but,  could enrich their lives!  That collector commitment is a validation to the artist, who creates images that could possibly end up in storage forever. 

     I really believe there is a buyer for every painting…..if you can get them in front of it!  I recently sold a couple of paintings that I thought for sure the subject would be very difficult to move......but, it did not discourage me from spending the time to paint them.  As much as we would like to think that it does not matter who likes or dislikes paintings we paint, it is important to be able to make a living as an artist by first and foremost…..doing the best paintings one can do… matter the subject.   Below are some of the paintings recently sold, that I think fit that category of fun…..but, not easy to sell!  My thanks go to the collector and the galleries that made it happen.  Thanks for listening to my ramblings!

 "Daydreams and Smoked Mullet", 22x28 oil on linen

 "The Working Lady", 16x20 oil on linen

"Three in a Row", 11x14 oil on linen panel

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Happy New Year…..Looking forward to 2016….and a new series of dance paintings!

Years ago, I did a series of ballet subject paintings.  It started with an illustration assignment for a book cover for one of the publishing companies I worked for in New York.  After completing the assignment, I got models, and shot a ton of reference for several ideas I had at the time....for personal paintings.  I eventually painted and sold all of those ballet paintings.

 "The Little Red Ballerinas", 8x10 oil on Panel

"Conceptual Study", Charcoal

9x12 Conceptual Study, oil on linen panel

 I haven’t painted one in some time until recently, during the Holidays.  This has rekindled my interest in the dance theme.  I think it would be fun to do a handful, or a dozen dance related subject paintings…..not only ballet, but other dance forms as well….might be interesting!  I have some ideas….just need to find the right models…..or dancers.  These are the first small things that are the catalyst for wanting to do more.  Stay tuned in 2016…..I will post them as I paint them.  Happy New Year! ....and, thanks for listening to my Cajun Ramblings!

Hodges Soileau  OPA

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

“Experimental Studies on Canson Paper”


I apologize for being delinquent in blogging lately….one thing and another…..eye surgeries, etc.  A very busy time of year….I will try to do better in future….but, I kept my brushes wet this past Sunday testing some paper samples I received with my art supply purchase last week.  I never paint on anything but linen anymore, when doing paintings that might end up in the retail gallery situation…..but, I am certainly not opposed to experimenting on other surfaces, particularly when doing studies and sketches that might be preliminary work for larger pieces!
These small 5x8 paper samples were surprisingly easy and fun to apply oil to……particularly the textured paper that is suggested for acrylics.  It has a texture that mimics a fine Linen or canvas surface.  These samples are made by Canson.  Some of the samples are drawing/sketching paper….one is a watercolor paper, one is a plate surface, etc.  Below are a three small studies I did on these papers.  I’m sure the rules of archival life of paper is broken here without sizing with a gesso product.....when painting with oil….but, they are just studies/demos, and have little value.....except for the practice and learning gained by doing these little studies.  Enjoy!.....and, thanks for listening to my ramblings.
Hodges Soileau OPA  
 2.  Only two steps here, because it happened rather quickly.....didn't really have time to get to many in between steps....I guess that's not a bad thing!
3.  Mostly palette knife scrapings....much can be learned about what paint is capable of by just letting it go....not staying in one's comfort zone.  Palette knife paintings can be interesting surfaces, as long as they don't look like plastered my opinion, it generally should be used judiciously.
4.  Not a drop dead likeness, but a quick little self study on that linen textured Canson paper.   
5.  This one below was not painted on paper.....but, it was painted at the same time! 

Friday, September 18, 2015

”Original book cover art from 1980’s & 1990’s….out of storage and into the classroom”

 It’s that time of year again!  Each year during my fall semester Figure painting classes, I always bring in some old illustrations from my time as an illustrator.  I don’t know how relevant these are today, but the students seem to enjoy seeing some of the things I did during my illustration career.  Most of these images are from two series I was involved in over a period that covered the eighties and early nineties!  This is only a portion of the images created during that period!  They were for the most part, images created for book covers.  I always feel a bit of fatigue when I see them spread out once a year, and think of all the hours spent creating these images…..but, I remember it as a fun blur! 
During the breaks from painting the live model, students paw through these and some have questions about time schedules/deadlines, technique, sizes, etc.  The reason these are useful, in my opinion, is because of what this class is really about…..depicting the human form in a representational manner, and interpreting the live model on a daily basis from observation.  It’s not so much about learning how to paint, as it is learning how to see….and raising one’s observation skills, as they relate to shape, value, edges, and temperature of color.

Below are a few shots of the paintings I brought in and put up.  My camera was on the blink that day…, thanks to Robin Cody for taking and sending these to me.  Robin is a wonderful, highly thought of teacher at Ringling College of Art and Design!

Again, thanks for listening to my Cajun ramblings!

Hodges Soileau   OPA 

Friday, September 11, 2015

Rediscovered drawings, painted illustrations, and sketches from the 1980’s and early 90’s

This summer, I was reunited with some of my old artwork in the form of drawings, sketches and painted illustrations that have been in storage for the past twenty years.  I was pleasantly surprised at how after all this time some of the paintings still held up, and were surprisingly still satisfying to me personally.  The subject is obviously different from what I presently paint, but the application of the paint is very similar (still) to what I do today….and principals were, and are still the same.   Of course, this leads to the question …..What am I going to do with all of this stuff?  Is there possibly a market for some of these? 

When we left Ct. to move south in the mid nineties, I filled a one and a half Ton dump truck with old illustrations and paintings that filled the loft over my garage/barn and part of our attic.  I kept quite a few things from a couple of series….and yes the storage problem is still large.  I have a couple of ideas that I will eventually try, but in the mean time, I bring them to my painting classes for the illustration students to poke through every year in the spring semester.  This is just a sampling of that collection….I hope you enjoy looking at some of these old images…..and, until next time, thanks for tuning in to my Cajun ramblings!
Hodges Soileau  OPA