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   

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

"The Humble Farmer's Cow", Step by step demo!

Step 1

Step 2

Step 3

Step 4

Step 5

Step 6

Step 7- Finished painting
"The Humble Farmer's Cow", 16x20 oil on linen panel

This painting is a result of a visit to a unique farm in Maine near Port Clyde called "The Humble Farmer".  A few of us stopped by for what was for me, basically a photo shoot.  I got some pretty good reference of these white face cattle and decided to do one immediately while it was fresh in my memory!  I hope you enjoy the seven stage demonstration.  Until the next post, thanks for listening to my ramblings!
Hodges Soileau   OPA

Monday, August 3, 2015

2015 Summer trip to Maine!

We just returned last week from another great summer trip to Maine.  This year we spent three weeks relaxing and doing a little painting.  I didn’t paint as many days this year as I did last year, or previous years….more hanging out, and enjoying the cool weather.  We stayed at Nanatuck house in Port Clyde for two weeks, and the rest of the time in the Portland area.  It was great hanging out with great artists friends….old and new! 

As much fun as it is to get away for a while, and in spite of returning to this awful heat….it’s always good to get home, and routine.  I basically don’t like the road, and living out of a suitcase.  I can only do that for short periods of time.  Some folks stay on the road, and travel from one thing/event to the next….just not my favorite thing!  The dislike for this type of living probably started when I was a teenager working in the summer on a couple of suitcase jobs (away jobs) in the oil fields of Louisiana….yes, that’ll do it! 

These shots below were taken by Marilyn of me painting a few of the locations around Port Clyde!  Until my next post, thanks for listening to my ramblings!

Hodges Soileau  OPA

Painting on Co Op Rd in Port Clyde

My 12x16 Field Study

Painting the Marshall Pt. Lighthouse 

Painting a foggy morning painting

Anchor at the Lighthouse

One of several Lobster dinners we enjoyed

Painting a tug in for repairs in Rockland

Tide going out in Tennants Harbor