Monday, December 07, 2009

No Hands Bridge with snow 8x10

There was about six inches of snow in Auburn this morning. I had a feeling we might be having a snow day but I went up the hill anyhow. It's not often that you get to see the canyon with this much snow in it. I haven't painted a landscape in quite a while and I had a couple of miss starts that had to be wiped off. I'm pretty happy with how this one turned out though

Sunday, November 29, 2009

acorn squash 8x10

I did the under-painting for this a couple of days ago and I finished it up this morning. It was a nice way to divide up the labor and unlike some of the things I paint, the subject didn't change appreciably over time.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

martini #7 6x8

This one is a commission for a friend at school. She is giving it to her mother for Christmas.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Sunday, November 22, 2009

lemon with persimmon 8x10

Wow. Two paintings in two days. That's kind of rare for me lately!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

crayon goblet 10x8

This one took a couple of days.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

lemon screwdriver 8x10

I was asked by a couple of people why I decided to paint these two objects together. They thought there must be some story behind it. I just did it because they're both yellow.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Sunday, October 25, 2009

pumpkin with mirror ball 8x10

I might try this again with a different background and lighting.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

eggplant and pumpkin 8x10

Here's some autumn bounty from the school garden.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Crayolas #6 6x8

I did this one for a friend of mine. I had set everything up on my stage and was getting my palette prepped When I noticed that my crayons were liquefying. I guess they didn't like the new halogen lamp I was using! Luckily I have lots of crayons. I cleaned my glass and put a new batch in it. I had to move the light farther away and I had to turn it off periodically even then. It was worth it though. I like the warmer more intense light.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

hammer and screwdriver 8x10

Here's the finished painting. I finished the block of wood that the tools are sitting on and made a few more small adjustments to the hammer and screwdriver. You can click on the image to get a larger view. There are probably thousands of ways to approach a painting. This is just how I decided to tackle this one. Sometimes I start blocking in the background much sooner and then work back and forth between the still life and the space surrounding it.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

hammer and screwdriver 8x10

A couple of visitors to this blog have asked to see how I go about making a painting. So here it goes...
I generally start with a loose monochromatic under-painting. I typically use transparent red oxide or some other warm earth tone. In this case I've used the red oxide and some ultramarine blue because the hammer has some very dark parts to it. I did not use this combo on the screwdriver because I want the color of the handle to be a lot cleaner. I'm trying to achieve that translucent look by allowing the light to bounce off the white ground of my painting through the paint without an under-painting to muddy it up. This isn't a factor with the hammer. the dark under-painting adds weight to it and will hopefully help it feel more solid and heavy.

Once I get the basic shapes of the objects blocked in I start to work back and forth between them. I'm adjusting the values and tightening up the drawing a bit. I'm still using a pretty big brush, a #6 flat in this case. I use a bristle bright for the under-painting and sable blend flat when I start working on top of that. The softer hairs don't lift the paint off the under-painting as much as a bristle would.

Once I get the objects pretty well established I begin blocking in the background and adding the cast shadow. During this stage I continue to work on the hammer and the screwdriver. I'm trying to keep the figure-ground relationship believable. I'm also continuing to refine the drawing as I paint the background around the objects.

At this point I've pretty much got the entire background blocked in with the cast shadows and the light that's refracting through the screwdriver's plastic handle. I'm not really trying to smooth this out or make it look too finished. I'm trying for a broader, more painterly solution. I also don't want to over paint the background because I don't want obliterate the warm under-painting. I've also added some surface detail to the rubber handle of the hammer. Now all I need to do to finish up is to paint the block of wood the arrangement is sitting on. The dark under-painting will be the darkest part of the block. Most of the wood will be much lighter. I'll post the finished picture tomorrow.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

water and eggplant 10x8

I haven't had much time to paint lately. I'm trying to remedy that.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

the chips are down 12x9

Even though these recent paintings are still relatively small at 12x9, they are taking quite a bit longer to finish. I'm still painting just about every day. I'm just not able to finish one a day.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

martini olives 12x9

This painting took me a few days to complete. I as pretty busy with other things this eek so I didn't really have any large chunks of time to devote to it. I had originally planned on taking several pictures of it to document the painting process. Unfortunately, after taking the initial picture of the beginning layout I misplaced my camera so all I have are a before and after with none of the hopped for in between shots.

I typically start my paintings by blocking the composition in with a warm neutral tone. In this case it's transparent red oxide mixed ith a little bit of turps.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

two peaches with water 12x9

It's fun doing these slightly larger still-lifes. I like being able to give them a little more breathing room.

Monday, September 14, 2009

martini and five queens 8x10

I don't typically drink these but, with the right vodka, sometimes they hit the spot.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Monday, September 07, 2009

three figs #2 7x5

These are from the school garden as well. They are some of the best tasting figs I've ever had.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

eggplant and tomato 10x8

More bounty from the school garden.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

peeled tangelo 8x10

Tangelos are harder to peel than clementines.

Friday, September 04, 2009

Crayolas #5 8x10

Here's another crayon painting. I like how the post-it note came out.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

leafy pear #2 8x10

It's the season for pears off the tree in front of my classroom. I like being able to get them with leaves. I'll probably do some more before they go away.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

hammer #6 8x10

This hammer isn't antique or special in any way. It's just the regular old hammer I use when I'm building stuff.

Monday, August 31, 2009

peach #3 8x10

This is a little larger. I'm trying to have a bit more space in these.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

trio 10x8

I haven't done too many still life paintings lately. The garden at school is overflowing with tomatoes and other stuff so I thought I'd try something a little larger. My students kept asking me what these three objects had to do with each other. It made me think about what we all bring to a painting. I've done so many paintings of these individual objects that I'm not really looking at them the same way as my students. When they see a tomato they see something you eat. When they see linseed oil they see a painting medium and to them, a feather is a part of a chicken. They tend to focus on what the thing is for or where it's from. When I selected these items I just saw a solid red organic mass, a semi-translucent amber artifact and something taller than the other two objects. I'm not really focusing on an item's purpose while I'm painting it. Putting several items together automatically creates some kind of narrative but the narrative isn't in the painting. It's in the viewer. I like that kind of interaction.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

New Gallery Representation

My wife and I helped hang the KVIE art auction last weekend and on the way back we decided to stop by the Elliot Fouts Gallery. I know a few people who show there and I had been meaning to get by to check it out. Elliot happened to be there and we had a nice conversation with him. He is a very approachable guy. The next Monday I saw him again at the KVIE preview party. He had looked at my website and although he liked the paintings he thought they were a bit dark. He asked me to stop by the following weekend with a selection of pieces so he could see them in person. I stopped by today and he liked what I brought by. I left a bunch of them there and signed a contract. A couple of hours later I received an email from him saying that he had already sold two pieces! I must say, I couldn't be happier. I am delighted to be a part of such a fine gallery.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Lake Forest Cafe

I'll be showing a selection of landscape paintings at the Lake Forest Cafe in Folsom for the month of September. The Lake Forest makes great omelets and sandwiches and their coffee is great. If you're in the area I encourage you to stop by. Here are a couple of examples of how the paintings look framed. The El Cap painting is a larger version of my last post. The other one is a plein air piece that I did in Yosemite last weekend. It's Lower Cathedral Rock.

Friday, August 21, 2009

El Cap 6x6

I did this little painting using some old black and white photos as reference. I don't usually paint from photos but I'm feeling a bit more confident lately and this was a fun exercise. Some friends of mine are heading down to Yosemite to hike Half Dome this Sunday and they invited me to tag along. I won't be doing the hike but I will be doing as much painting as I can get in while they're on the trail. It's going to be a long day but I'm really looking forward to it.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

bluff view 10x10

I have really laid off the posting lately. I will be showing a selection of recent landscapes at the Lake Forest Cafe in Folsom next month and I have been busy getting things finished and framed. I would encourage you to check out the show. The Lake Forest makes great omelets and the coffee is fantastic.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Sloughhouse sunrise 9x12

I got up pretty early to do this one. It was worth it. The sky was a great color and it wasn't hot yet.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Castle Peak #4 12x9

I took a quick trip up to Serene Lakes this morning. There's a some great views up there. A flock of canadien Geese kept me company.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

eucalyptus 6x8

There are a bunch of big eucalyptus trees in the old power house park in Folsom.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

near Euchre Bar 8x10

When I was painting this I heard a large body crashing through the gully to my right. At first I didn't see anything but the noise persisted and as I looked again I saw a large bear come lumbering out into the gully bottom. It looked pretty big to me and I was glad that for once I was painting near my car. I figured I would have enough time to load my gear and make my escape should I hear it approaching up the hill. I ended up not hearing or seeing it again.