Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Canal Street Cars

24x24 oil on cradled panel

Remember the painting that derailed me a couple of weeks ago? Well this is it. I worked on it some more. I sketched some ideas. I read Dan McCaw's book - esp. the chapter on light. And I decided it lacked a source and direction of light. So I decided it would be back lit and changed the scene accordingly. 

Is it my favorite work? No. I hope it sells and I never have to see it again! Seriously, it was a struggle, but I learned a lot and it was good to make me stop and problem solve a little. There are parts of it that work very well now and I am happy with that. And next time, I will plan better at the beginning! 

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

European Sculpture Court

24x18 oil on cradled panel

Ask DK Gallery about this painting

How about a little break from the big city to visit the cool and quiet interior of the Met? This view played into two of my favorites - the museum and an overhead view. This is a beautiful space at the Met. All that glass with natural light pouring in and a view to the greenery of Central park. I got there at the right time on this day!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Don't Walk

16x20 oil on cradled panel

Ask DK Gallery about this painting

First, thank you for all the virtual pats on the back and so forth. I don't stay down long. I set aside the two paintings that failed and turned the lights out in the studio for a day or two.

This scene above I showed a few images of while it was in progress. The location is the same intersection in the Village as the painting below but on the opposite corner. The scene with the cupcake title is so named because this intersection is the home of the Magnolia Bakery - made famous in the "Sex In The City" tv series - and many people walking along Bleecker are carrying cupcake boxes to go and eat in the little park on the 4th corner.

Today I shipped off the last of my paintings for this show. Not a moment too soon either. I feel very badly for being a little crazy and not getting the work out sooner. Opening night is FRIDAY! If you are in the Marietta, GA area, try to stop by! It looks like a great group of artists and work represented. I wish I could see it in person. Hmmm...maybe next month for the "Farm to Table" show.

Thursday, July 25, 2013


Immediately after hitting publish I felt bad. What a pity party I had there. 
I lead a blessed life and have so much to be grateful and humble for. For which to be humble. ? 

This creative process can make an angsty tween out of the best of us!

My apologies. Maybe the pancakes helped my outlook. :)

Cupcake Crossing

18x18 oil on cradled panel

Ask DK Gallery about this painting

This is on its way to DK Gallery in Marietta for their show "Oh, the Places You'll Go".

I'm really pleased with this piece. But I've crashed so hard on a couple of others that I am rather depressed lately. I tried a couple of things that failed so miserably that I can't recover. I think I have tried too long to make them work too which prolongs the grief. I've been through the stages... disbelief, anger, depression and now acceptance. One of the failures being the large one I posted the video start of. Man, what a bummer that is.
I think I went astray in a couple of ways.
I let the work become precious too early (the large cradled panel is expensive, I have a show coming up, I posted a video of work in progress). I didn't have a vision for the actual finished painting - just thought the photo was cool. And I end up once again "rendering" and not "expressing". So I became disappointed in myself.

I am struggling to grow and trust myself and express myself. I render things very well. I know the rules and the guidelines and so on. I know perspective and the figure. But I have to learn to use those tools as a foundation for creative expression. I like my work generally 3/4 of the way through. Its that last 1/4 that I begin to lose focus, become unsure of how to finish and then ultimately dislike what I do.

The large painting I shared the video of has been overworked to no avail. Today I've accepted that it is not good and will have to be "deleted". I will let it dry well, sand it and then cover it with my palette scrapings to give it a nice tonal finish. And turn my attention to other subjects. And try, try again!

Summer has just become a bit of a chore. The dogs have each been sickly and high maintenance. I've been trapped inside with a tween who is alternately a sweet little girl and a spoiled rotten teenager. Everyone has been out of town. Its hot. We're bored. And if I have to see "Teen Beach Movie" one more time I'm going to poke my eyes out.

Now if you will excuse me, my pancakes are burning.

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

30 Seconds of Painting

Playing with some new technology today (Timelapse app on iPhone) I decided to share a  video of a start. This is a large one - 24x24 - and what took me an hour has been reduced to 30 seconds. 
I like to work fast and get lots of information blocked in early in a painting and like to work all over the canvas. First, I make lines and points to note where things are to be, measuring and comparing objects and then begin to draw my "map" a little more clearly and then begin to mass in big shapes with color. When there are many darks, I begin with thin washes and leave a lot transparent, but in this case, I wanted the painting to have a higher key and went right into more opaque paint.

From here its all in the details. That will take another couple of hours or days. Some of this rough start may be left alone - it's background info. But there is still a lot to do in my focal areas. And I want I be sure I represent that hazy, humid glare of a hot day in New Orleans.

Friday, July 05, 2013

Trumpeter Sketch

I saw this man playing and singing in different areas on different days and with different fellow street musicians. He was really talented! I bet he is well-known in New Orleans but I do not know his name. 

Pencil sketch from the pages of my sketchbook.  

Thursday, July 04, 2013

Corner Bistro

16x20 oil on panel

I'm excited to announce that I am going to be showing work as a guest artist with DK Gallery in Marietta, Georgia for a couple of their upcoming shows. The first one opens in August and is a gallery show called "Oh, the Places You'll Go".

My works will feature some NYC and New Orleans work - and maybe a museum or birds-eye piece to see how they are received.

I'm glad to have the opportunity to show my artwork to a new audience and new collector base. I never like to talk about the sordid business side of art on this blog, but let's face it, its the elephant in the room. The economy remains sluggish and so do sales. Its challenging being a creative individual these days. Prints and posters are so widely available - and so much cheaper - that people find it easier to purchase a cool scene from Target while they are getting their new fall throw pillows and accent rugs than to search galleries and attend art fairs to see what original art there is. I think too that people are unsure about buying art - "maybe its not good!" Oh, its a whole lot of reasons. The main one being that housing is slow, people are still out of work and there is a lot less spending money to play with.

That being said, having my paintings seen in a new area and being a new face in a gallery might give me a boost. The gallery represents some really interesting contemporary artists too and I'm excited to be  explore a more modern approach to my work and framing options as well.

Wednesday, July 03, 2013

Aw, Shucks

Sometimes its just all about the paint! I was lost in just putting in stokes - color and value being my only focus. Then I step back and see those marks make a scene. I love it. V....Vaughan told me to stop at this point too. Good thing. I have made a few more marks but may just leave it in this state. 

16x16 oil on panel
A scene from French Market Restaurant in New Orleans

The panel this is painted on was coated with a pinkish grey oil paint scraped on over an old start using thr "mud" from clearing my palette. It makes a nice surface to work on - and allows me to leave some areas alone - that background color being a subtle neutral for the negative spaces.  
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