I began by doing a tone drawing in Burnt Sienna oil paint
This 8x10 oil on panel is a shiny bit of joy. Last Christmas I bought our son a surfboard and it was too large to wrap, so when I saw a big bright bow in a store I snapped it up. When we were cleaning up after Christmas I just couldn't throw it out, so, like many things do, it came to live in my studio. In the following months I found that it cheered me whenever I focused on it, and one day when at a loss as to what to paint, it caught my eye.
I love this painting and may not give it up. It describes the complex shapes of the shiny ribon without becoming too careful. I have photos of my easel next to the set up with the bow under studio lights that I 'd share if I hadn't just returned from a holiday party… Instead, I will wish my beloved family and friends, who have been so receptive to my work, a big wide merry, happy and all the best. I love you and hope that the new year brings you the joy that you so richly deserve.
Perhaps in celebration of getting a little rain (oh thank you, thank you!) I painted this crowd of ferns, an 8x10 oil on panel. The dream of moist soil and cool shadows with spots of brilliant sun pulled at me. Usually the areas of a painting that are lightest have the most detail, but in this instance the sun hit the frond so sharply that all the detail was washed out. The brightest area simply radiated warmth.
Unlike my last post, this painting did NOT leap off my brush. I knew it would be a challenge because it is a sequence of flat shapes. I am usually drawn to rounded forms that I can bring to life with direct light, core shadow and reflected light. These patterned flat forms vexed me. Why did I choose to paint it? Well, as I mentioned, I blame it on the rain!
This 8x10 oil on panel just really wanted to painted. It jumped off my brush so eagerly that I felt like an innocent bystander! I stopped the action long enough to snap a few photos along the way.
After toning the panel with a little Burnt Sienna, I made a quick line drawing placing the elements.
Can you see how eager the values were to get put down? They already leapt into the upper left corner!
I then brushed in the rest of the darks and lifted the lights by rubbing the panel
with paper towels and Qtips dipped in solvent.
Next I moved to developing the color. I try to remain true to the tonal pattern I've established in my value study. I began by putting in the vivid colors that made this composition particularly interesting.
Then I moved to the more subtle colors in the greenery.
And I continued to make the decisions of warm and cool, light and dark
that give the painting form, depth and temperature.
After letting the painting dry for several days I came back to it and refined the details, pushed the darks where I wanted more depth, and brought up the high lights.
Hope you like it, I had a ball painting it!
This 8x10 on panel was done about a year ago after a trip to Mexico. The richness of color in the late afternoon sun, and the way these flowers reached above the bush to contrast with the colors of the building behind were too good - I had to paint them!
This 8x10 was inspired by our daughter's first set of finals after having left home for college… on the FAR side of the continent. I was unable to help her in any way, precisely like in her high school studies when we all lived under the same roof. I sent her good thoughts as I painted and reflected on the pursuit of knowledge is a constant force of good, for both individuals and societies. The reward worth the effort generation after generation.
This small 8x10 on canvas catches the spirit of my favorite musician at the Ruiz Brothers palapa on the beach at Platanitos, Nayarit. A cowboy to the core, he has a distant look and a serious approach as he serenades the table.
This is the first post on my new blog and I'm pleased you're here with me! I produce a new painting every week or two, and I now plan to share them here. For years I have photographed my work at the end of a day in the studio and sent the image to my kids - basically to prove that I've been working, and hopefully doing something they find worthwhile. Over time my mailing list expanded to the wider family and a list of supportive friends. I have finally put together this blog in order to formalize the process. Thank you for joining me, I hope you enjoy!