Tuesday, July 31, 2007

tomato jar #2 6x6

The straight forward arrangement that I typically use to present the objects in my paintings has often made me think about laboratory specimens. Putting this lone tomato in a sealed jar heightens that impression. I like it. It makes the tomato seem very important, maybe even dangerous.


Monday, July 30, 2007

green grapes 6x6

For some reason, whenever I think about painting grapes, I think about red ones but whenever buy grapes to eat, I get green ones. Tonight I decided to shake up that paradigm.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

perfume #2 6x6

I think I had something else in mind to paint this morning but this little perfume bottle near my wife's bathroom sink caught my eye. I was attracted to the simple shape and the way the small amount of perfume seemed to glow.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

creamer 5.5x7

Sometimes it's fun to paint things that are not very colorful. The subtle warm and cool areas of grey can be a real challenge.

Friday, July 27, 2007

banana #2 4x8

In this warm weather bananas get brown very quickly. Putting them under a light to paint only speeds up the process. I had to work pretty fast on this one. It kept me from beating it to death. I'm pretty happy with it.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

tomato jar 5.5x7

These are grape tomatoes. I like them better than cherry tomatoes. They are a bit smaller so they fit in this jar a little better. I also think they taste better.


Wednesday, July 25, 2007

jar 6x6

Painting glass is always interesting. I like the idea of painting the reflective parts of it's surface along with the background that you can see through it.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

cantaloupe #2 7x5.5

I really liked the ordered structure of the seeds in this. I usually just scoop them out and then eat the mellon. This is the first time that I really looked at the seeds.

Monday, July 23, 2007

magnolia pod #2 5.75x5.75

There's a big magnolia tree ouside my sister's apartment and she saves these pods for me whenever one catches her eye. She liked the different shades of green in this one. I did too.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

oreos and milk 5.5x7

I don't eat things like this any more. I bought these cookies just to paint them. I wanted to do an arrangement of black, white and grey. It was interesting and fun to paint. I ended up eating the cookies and milk afterward and that was fun too. I have found, however, that, against all reason, I prefer to eat my cookies "prison style", that is with water instead of milk.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

city 7x5.5

This painting is a complete departure from what I normally do on this blog. It's a made up cityscape that I painted from a variety of references. I'm painting a very large mural for a friend's restaurant and I needed to do a color study to help me figure out how to handle it. Doing a small piece like this really helps me make sense of what's going on in a larger piece even though it will probably change as I paint the mural. It was fun to sort of make things up as I went along for a change. I am too often held captive by what is sitting in front of me.

Friday, July 20, 2007

cut pluot 7x5.5

I had some paint from yesterday's painting left over and I didn't want it to go to waste. The pluot was waiting to be eaten so I cut it, painted it and then ate it. The wet insides of fruit are a real challenge for me. There are a lot of subtle color variations and reflections going on. Some painters seem to pull this kind of thing off effortlessly. It's hard for me and I'm seldom completely satisfied.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Pluot 5.75x5.75

I've never had a pluot before. They're quite good. It turns out they're not a simple cross of a plum and an apricot. They are three quarters plum and one quarter apricot.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

feather 6x6

I was up visiting my mother a couple of weeks ago with my family. We were all outside enjoying a summer barbeque when all of the dogs (my mom has two, my sister has one and we have one) charged the barn. They were all barking like maniacs and my mom's chickens were appropriately panicked. All the humans gave chase hoping to avert a catastrophe. My mom's two dogs and my sister's were dissuaded with relative ease. Sassy, our Jack Russell terrier ignored us all. She cornered a hen between the barn and a fence. I was the closest to the scene but on the wrong side of said fence. Feathers were flying everywhere. I was sure my little mutt was about to commit murder. I yelled at her and kicked the fence in a panic. Amazingly, she dropped the chicken and ran back down to the house. I looked at the pile of feathers Sassy had pulled from the poor hen and thought nothing could survive that trauma but when we found the chicken in question she was just fine. It was even hard to see where the feathers were missing. I grabbed a few intending to paint them later. This is one of them.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Clint 5.5x7

My fourteen year old son had some free time in his busy schedule and posed for me today. He managed to be very patient. We are both happy with this painting. I went ahead and gave it to him.

Monday, July 16, 2007

star thistles 5.5x7

The life cycle of a star thistle is interesting to me. They start life as soft, sort of pale plants. When they mature they are all points and angles with a lovely but dangerous looking blossom. It's just awful to have to walk through a field of them on a hot summer day. When their season ends and they all die, they become grey and brittle. I've said before that they remind me of bones. Centaurea solstitialis is the name of the species that grows around here. They're an invasive species originally from the Mediterranean region. Acording to Wikipedia they currently dominate over 18 million acres in the United States alone, and it's toxic to horses.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

head study #3 5.5x7

I like painting portraits. They are a real challenge. So far, I'm the most patient and available model that I have access to. My son has agreed to sit for me but it's been hard to catch him in the mood.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

cut tomato #2 6x6

Cut tomatoes look different depending on how you cut them. Their wetness is a fun challenge to paint.

Friday, July 13, 2007

apple and glass 7x5.5

It's fun for me to see the difference in distortion caused by an empty glass versus a full glass. When a glass is full it becomes like a lens and it creates all kinds of interesting changes to the objects behind it.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

garlic clove 5.5x5.75

This painting is available for $80.00. plus $8.00 shipping anywhere in the continental U.S.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

eggplant #3 5.5x7

I had somr trouble with my camera on this one so I ended up posting it pretty late. I've got to make sure the battery is charged in the future.
This eggplant is also from the farmer's market. I like the long stem and the widow's peak.

Monday, July 09, 2007

oyster 5.75x5.5

I picked up some oysters at the farmer's market yesterday as well as a passel of produce.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

peach 5.75x5.75

We went to the farmer's market in Sacramento today. It's underneath the freeway out of the sun. There is an amazing variety of localy grown produce there. I bought some peaches as well as some other interesting items to paint and eat.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

golden beet #2 7x5.5

Golden beets are are rare in our local markets. When I find them, I feel compeled to paint them because I don't know when I'll see them again. Their deep orange color is wonderful to paint.

Friday, July 06, 2007

three sunflowers 5.5x7

I drove by a bunch of these sunflowers growing along the side of the road so I grabbed a few. The stems are really tough. They were hard to pick. Next time I'll bring some scissors.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

red bell #2 5.75x5.75

I always like it when I can find a bell pepper with a nice prominent stem. In these red bell peppers the stems are always much brighter than I anticipate. They contrast very nicely with the pepper itself.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

cherries #4 5.5x7

I like eating these and I like painting them. They're about $3.50 a pound and worth every penny. The dull green background that's been showing up lately is a faded tee shirt of mine. I really like the color. It works well with a lot of different subjects.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

iris #2 5.5x7

It's hot here. Over 100 today and around105 for the next couple of days. At least my paintings are drying faster.

Monday, July 02, 2007

candle #2 5.75x5.75

I did this painting up at my mom's house. Today was my birthday and I spent it playing ping pong and frolicking at the American River. I did this painting after we got back from the river. We got home at about 11:30. It was a great day.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

grapefruit #2 5.75x5.75

This is a nice time of year for produce. Pretty much everything I see looks paintable. This half grapefruit is no exception.
I was thinking about this painting routine that I've developed and I realized a couple of things. I wasn't really painting before I started doing this. I might demo something in my classroom or do some lettering (sign painting) on a weekend but that was pretty much it. I kept thinking that these little paintings would lead to something more ambitious but it turns out I'm quite content to do them as an end in themselves. It's very satisfying to finish a piece and having a deadline each day serves as a sort of fail-safe that usually keeps me from overworking things. It's fun.