Sunday, April 6, 2014

"2014 Casselberry House Demo for the Florida Four Exhibition"


     This past Tuesday night was my “Florida Four” demo night.  Each of us took one night of the week long exhibition to do demos.  The audience consisted of artist, art enthusiast and was well attended.  Morgan Samuelson Price, a dear friend and exhibition participant introduced me and off we went.  Below are a few photos from that evening.  As often happens in two hour demos, I did a lot talking, and less painting than I should have…..but, it worked out alright and hopefully everyone got the essence of one of many approaches to starting a painting of the figure from photo reference.   The subject was a vintage looking man seated playing an old Cajun accordion.  As I explained that night, this is only one of many ways to begin…..there is no one way to do anything.  Had this been a different night, I might have started with an entirely different approach.   I stressed this as a means to avoid formulas, or a style because of its easy repeatability!  Anyway, it was an enjoyable evening and I thank all of those who made the effort to attend.  Thanks for listening to my Cajun ramblings! 

  


2014 Casselberry House demonstration painting, oil on linen....two hours or less.

 Detail

2013 Demo...this is last years demonstration piece, 16x12, oil on linen, two hours or less....at the same venue, Casselberry Art House, in Casselbery Florida.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

"Revisiting a conceptual sketch"



"Untitled", 12x16 sketch, oil on linen
I am revisiting this conceptual sketch.   I painted it a while back and always thought it might make a nice larger composition.  This was done pretty much off the top of my head, particularly the background figures and environment.  I like the energy in the sketch.  My plan would be to tone down some of the sloppy looseness, while trying to keep the energetic painterly brushwork!  The foreground figure is from a session with a model in my studio.  I will find models that will hopefully somehow fit the feeling of characters that I have indicated, and use a classical guitar that I own as a prop…..that might work.   Even though this is not a sketch that I just completed, it still feels fresh in my mind and interesting enough to me, to motivate me to take it further.  I find that sometimes I do so much stuff, that I must step back, or put it away for a while.  Sometimes it helps, and sometimes I never look at them again…or, regret that I even bothered to look at them again.  But, the beat goes on!  It's all fun!  Thanks again for listening to my Cajun ramblings.

 "Untitled" Detail

Monday, February 3, 2014

"Fresh Off The Easel"



"Curious Calf", 16x20 oil on linen
This is my first posting of 2014.  I have been a little delinquent in keeping up with my blog.  Holidays hampered my routine and momentum……but, we’re off and running again.  Routine, for me, means productive time.

This painting was inspired by my last trip to the hill country.  We drove around exploring the area around Old Mason Road, near Fredericksburg Texas, and this was one of the reference shots that I took of Calf standing in the dappled light with what seemed to be an inquisitive look at something that had caught it’s attention.  I moved a few things around to improve a somewhat disorganized composition. 

  "Encounter", 18x24 oil on linen

This is a totally fabricated idea that I had based on a shot I took of a stallion showing off at a horse farm in Georgia a few years ago.  I always liked the power and movement of the horse and wanted to create some kind of narrative that would seem believable.  The snake and environment are totally out of context, but I think it works for this situation.  I’m not even sure which one would come out the winner of this “Encounter”


"Regal Hunter", 24x18 oil on linen
I have painted many of these magnificent birds here in Florida.  I always go back and revisit this subject…. it seems.  They are extremely graceful and are definitely tenacious hunters….hence the title of this piece.  As one can see the subject matter is eclectic and I like it that way….keeps it interesting.  Thanks again for listening to my ramblings. 


Tuesday, December 17, 2013

“Thinking of an Old Friend today”



George Jones and I in the late eighties
 Today I was going through my flat files in the studio looking for needed storage space, and I pulled out an old illustration painted by my old friend George Jones, who passed away in the early nineties.  George was in my opinion one of the really fine illustrators of that period.  When I knew George, he was working mainly for Pocket Books, and Harlequin Romance out of Canada.  I also painted many Romance covers for Harlequin and George was very generous with his knowledge and expertise…..particularly when it came to painting beautiful women.  He had the ability to take what was already a beautiful model and enhance that beauty like very few artists could.  George loved to talk about painting, art in general, and the Illustration business.  He taught me a lot about painting romance covers in the late eighties and early nineties…..of course, my covers never rose to the level of his, but I did learn much from my old friend…..and certainly got a lot of laughs. 
 
When George and his wife Cynthia decided to leave the New York area and relocate to North Carolina, he gave me a historical romance cover of his as a token of our friendship. 


 "The Naked Huntress" by George Jones
 His intention was to go down south and paint his first love, the old steamships.  He had several of his steamboat paintings displayed in their home.  They were all beautifully painted, framed and each had its own special lighting.  Sadly, he never really got to do much more of that due to illness.  He became ill shortly after moving…..and within a year, I had to serve as pallbearer at his funeral.  I think of George as I’m sure many of his old friends do and when his name comes up…..its always with admiration for his talent and his fun nature.

I was fortunate to be attending a liquidation auction in Ct., and was able to purchase one of George’s steamboat paintings.   This painting and the Harlequin Romance painting shown above have been some of the favorites of our modest collection of art.  I always intended to frame the romance piece and display it.  Now, I think it is time after all these years.  Thanks old friend!

"The Long Branch", 19x32 oil, by George Jones
And, thanks for listening to my Ramblings!                                                                                                                          

Monday, November 18, 2013

A little Sunday morning painting,"Across the Way" 9x12 oil on linen panel.

  
Step 1


 
Step 2



 
Step 3
 


 Step 4

There are only four steps to this little demo, because it was painted rather quickly, and I barely remembered to take any shots of the process!  Anyway, I managed to get four steps.  I am doing some small things for small works holiday shows.  This is one I might use.  The process might be of interest to someone.  Thanks for listening to my ramblings!   

Sunday, November 10, 2013

2013 Plein Air Painters of the Southeast, PAPSE, returns to Charleston!





I just returned yesterday from a fun week in Charleston with the PAPSE painters.  It was great seeing everyone again and painting with friends.  The week long get together culminated in a Friday night opening at three galleries on Broad St. in Charleston SC.....the Coco Vivo Fine Art, 25 Broad St., where my paintings are exhibited until the 16th of Nov., Edward Dare Gallery, 31 Broad St., and Galerie on Broad, 29 Broad St.  If anyone is around the Charleston area, this definitely something worth seeing.....some great on location paintings from some very accomplished artists.  I very proud to be associated with these talented group of really nice people.
This is Dee Beard Dean, Katie Dobson Cundiff and myself painting a guy we talked into posing for us at Cherry point.  Fun morning! 



This is the finished framed painting still wet, and one of the three paintings I chose to exhibit opening night at Coco Vivo.
My second painting at Cherry Point that day!  
This is a little 9x12 painted on Queen St. in Charleston. 
Framed wet and ready for Coco Vivo Fine Art!


This was the most windy day of the week for me, trying to paint a wave painting.  This one was not one of the three exhibited opening night, but is available at Coco Vivo!



This was another fun day at Shem Creek.  I had never painted there before, and it offered nice boat subjects to paint for everyone!
This was one of my three that I chose to exhibit opening night.  It was great week, and I look forward to future events with this fun group of painters!  Until next time, thanks for listening to my Cajun Ramblings!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

"Five New Small Works for Annual Small Paintings Exhibit".

"Waiting on a Fare", 8x6 oil on linen

These five new paintings are headed to Travis Gallery for their "Annual Small Paintings Exhibit", Nov, 30th thru Dec, 22nd, 2013, travisgallery@comcast.net  215-794-3903. I usually do these small paintings as studies for larger pieces, but sometimes I feel they hold up as finished pieces....although small and usually only appropriate for small works shows, like this one. 

The interesting thing about doing paintings this small is the need to simplify.  It forces me to get the essence of what is there with economy of brush work, and encourages suggestion and indication of the subject....rather than using elaborate rendering.  I have been doing this for a long time, but I am always trying to learn how to improve my methods of expressing myself with paint. This is how I prefer to describe the subjects in my  paintings.  The challenge and trick for me, is to get the same simplification in larger works without going to far.  I feel there is magic line where one can over simplify to the point that it is no longer interesting for me.  I personally want to see more suggested detail.....indication of the tactile quality of a surface, etc.  Sometimes over simplification does not satisfy that.  It is not an easy thing to do....in my opinion, but certainly a worthwhile pursuit, and not necessarily something all artists might be interested in....or concerned with.
  
"The Green Tractor", 6x8 oil on linen

"Autumn Gold", 9x12 oil on linen

"Mary's Place", 9x12 oil on linen

"Nice Toss", 6x8 oil on linen

Another possible issue with working small, as it relates to Galleries, is the pricing aspect.  Gallery wall space is very expensive...as we all know...and Galleries might prefer larger, more substantially priced paintings in general for display on their walls.  I'm sure that is not a universal attitude, but I certainly understand galleries that might feel that way.....so, thankfully some galleries still have these annual small works shows,holiday events with small works, etc.  There are always outlets for these size works.  These are my opinions and do not necessarily reflect any universal attitudes on this subject.  Until next time, thanks for listening to my Cajun ramblings!