Monday, March 31, 2008

6x6 Daily Oil Painting of a Red Pepper


Well, Thursday was a strange day leading to a strange Friday. I showed up at the Gallery to paint and unloaded everything I own. I brought easels, stuff for still lifes, photos, brushes, my small paintings to show, everything except my paints! (Had to run back home to get those and burned over an hour on that.)

Then mid afternoon I got a call from the Gallery that has my stuff in Biloxi. Apparently I had been signed up to exhibit some of my New Orleans art at the opening of "A Streetcar Named Desire" at the Biloxi Little Theatre. Just a little misunderstanding, but I did't know I had been obligated for that. Oooops.

So I was a bit distracted to say the least. I was able to eke out the pepper painting and the start of the painting of "Ditch Paula".

I loaded up everything and headed home for a whirlwind preparation period for the "Streetcar Program". If you follow this blog you know I have painted several streetcars lately. Did I have one in my possession? No I did not.

I did, however, have an image of one of them and was able to head down to Biloxi on Friday morning with three 30x40 paintings of various New Orleans subject matter, 9 packs of 5 streetcar notecards ea. complete with envelopes packaged for sale, as well as 10 8x10 streetcar prints suitable for framing. Friday ended up being a very pleasant day even if I did have to drive 6+ hours. My mom drove over and met me part-way and we had a good visit on the trip down and back.

This week I plan to PAINT!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Colorful 24x30 Original Oil Painting of Wine Bottles

First I want to tell you that I am doing something fun and special today...I have been asked to take part in a new program sponsored by one of the local galleries. Every Thursday they have what they call Artists in Action. They have a featured artist come and actually set up and paint in the gallery. So today that is me. If any of my local friends want to stop by I will be at Jackson Street Gallery on the corner of Jackson St. and 51 in Ridgeland. (The same shopping center as Foo Fa Rah)

So I decided yesterday to get back to one of the big ones. I had had this one sketched onto the canvas for a while and it had been sitting there staring at me.
I am glad I painted it. I like the way the glass turned out so much that I am willing to overlook (though some may not) the very obvious compositional faux pas. If enough people ask I will explain what I mean, but for now I will let you ponder on it.
I think Dacia (my muse) summed it up best when she said she liked the colors of this one because they are different from the ones I have been doing. That's because this is the first one in a while that I have done that did not come from the photos of the women's weekend in Louisiana.
This photo was taken from my own stash on my deck one day. If you look you can tell that they were sitting on a round table with a pinkish red tablecloth. (Can you see how the roundness of the table shows through the 1st, 2nd and 4th bottles especially?)
Have a great day! I hope to.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Daily Oil Painting Kids on Beach

This painting is special in several ways. First, kids on a beach are one of my favorite subjects to see in other's artwork as well as to paint. Next, this is a big step for me. This is the first time I have taken the time to do a "study" before starting a larger painting. And the last thing is that these are not just strangers we're looking at here, this is my nephew Brian and his two current sons (they have another one on the way).
My sister-in-law, Brian's mother, has commissioned an 18x24 of this scene. The photo is black and white, so it is really cool to work with. The most special thing is that I think the guy out in water actually looks like Brian. ( to me anyway, let's hope the rest of the family agrees!)
I would like to go on record that this is yet another daily painting, and it is 6x8 (small, for me) with PEOPLE in it! I am really stepping out here!

Daily Painter Oil of Vase with Daisies


This is a big moment here, now folks. I ran errands all day yesterday and did some more dreaded tax related stuff. I did not get home till 4 PM and had a meeting to be at by 6:30. but guess what? I (or actually my daughter made me) went into my studio and actually did 90% of this daily painting of this cute green vase with daisies in it. I tweaked it this morning and did the photo. Now that I see it on the monitor I see a couple of more tweaks I want to do. I wonder if it has captured the irredescence that I wanted to portray. But all in all I am pretty happy that the day didn't just slide away before I got to paint. Thanks, Dacia.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Tropical Bird Daily Oil Painting

This is a little bird that I have painted before on a much larger format. This little guy is 6x12" and the smaller you get the harder it is for me. Karin Jurick can paint a mother and her ten kids on a 6x6 and tell their life story, but it's not as easy as she makes it look. I did this one on a canvas that I had primed black and I really do love the mood that the black background creates.
To all my art friends, Jerry's is having a big 5-day internet sale. I have in my shopping cart several things that I found out I must have after painting with Carol and Karin. Plus a new easel :)! Have a great weekend everyone! Happy Easter!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Tomato in bowl Daily Oil Painting

Okay, if you do this right you post the failures as well as the successes. So today's painting is somewhere in the middle of those two ends of the spectrum. I started this in Austin and then finished it yesterday. I don't know if it was because it was from the photo and I just coldn't get the feel of it or what, but it's just not the best I have ever produced. I do like some things about it, though. It is 6x8 oil.

I got word yesterday, for those of you who are following this sort of thing, that I did not get chosen for the Shrimp Festival poster. Can't win 'em all. But I told the lady it will make a great paint-over abstract, because I love the colors in it. She was appropriately dismayed that Salvadore would be no more, but I think she will be able to get over it.

I also got word from my friends in Baton Rouge that my Wine Festival art had been used in the Baton Rouge newspaper. Evidently I was identified as the artist, because my friends received phone calls from other friends alerting them to this news. I do so wish that we could attend this one, but we are leaving for Denver that day. Bummer.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Austin Painting a Day Workshop...

Wow! What a trip! I had just a wonderful time in Austin! The workshop was really a great experience ---two GREAT artists/teachers in one room. Plus all the energy and enthusiasm of the students. It's the kind of event that will give you renewed focus on your art career, that's for sure.

Austin was hosting the South By Southwest extravaganza while we were there and my friends and I took in some of the sights and sounds of that experience as well. Needless to say I am exhausted, but I highly recommend it.

I think I will do like Karin did and do a little play-by-play of the trip.

DAY 1---Drove 9 hours and then stopped in at our friend's house to change and head out to the get-together at Carol Marine's house. Got to see her and her family again and they are still as wonderful as ever. Met Karin for the first time and knew immediately she was my kind of woman. What you see is what you get. Also met other artists that I admire...Qiang Huang, Robin Cheers, Justin Clayton, Laurel Daniel to name a few. It was amazing to meet and talk to all these talented folks. WOW!
DAY2---Workshop started. Great class. Carol is an organized, concientious, generous teacher. I enjoyed this second chance to be inspired by her. Karin is a natural teacher as well. Very approachable, and she gives you the "news you can use". I did this little 5x7 orange the first afternoon.

That evening I went with my friends to a nice restaraunt recommended by our host/concierge Kekoa. He is the son of my great friend Cori and he and his wife Amy were gracious enough to let us stay with them. Kekoa gave us copious detailed advice about where to eat, shop and go to hear music and he nailed it every time! Cori flew in that night and she and my two friends Carol and Tracy that came with me from Mississippi sat up and talked that night till 1 AM.

DAY 3---Another very enjoyable day of class. It was great to try the black background that Karin uses. I know I will be doing this a lot. This 6x6 pear was done on a solid black background. The photo is not good at all, but the painting is very cute.

Below is a photo of me and my rowdy friends taken at the Continental Room. I managed to slip away and be home in bed by 1AM since I had class the next morning, but they and Kekoa, Amy and Kele (Cori's other son) happened to party on till about 4.

DAY 4---Ok, I'm not going to lie. By now I am dragging butt. It keeps running through my mind, "You are too old to go out all night and do something this intense all day". But life is short. So I absorbed everything I could soak up in class and managed to eke out this little cutie...

It is another 6x6 done on one of Karin's black masonite boards. I love how Carol does some of her paintings on patterned backgrounds so I just threw caution to the wind and attempted this polka dot fabric with the bottle sitting on it. Carol says I "noodled" a little too much, which is code for over-worked or got a little to "fussy" with it. And I have to say I agree. I am working toward a bolder more confident stroke. It will come one day. But the trick is to get in there and paint more. That is my plan.

So since I did not have class again the next day, we headed out to take our hosts to a nice dinner and then more music! We went to a place called Moonshine and had a wonderful dinner and then went on to the Saxon Pub and heard a relly terrific group called Spottiswoode and His Enemies. Cannot tell you how much we enjoyed all the great groups we got to hear. Somewhere along with way we caught our second wind and continued to make the most of our evening until 3:30 AM.

DAY 5-Okay, at this point sleeping late was definitely in order and I think I slept till 10:30. Other than making a quick trip to the Jerry's Art-A-Rama we did absolutely nothing productive that day. We headed out about 4PM to go to another cool restaurant (like I said, Kekoa nailed it every time) and then went to a place called Antone's to hear two more bands. It was St. Patrick's day plus our last night there, but we managed to call it a night early and headed home about 1-ish. (Like I said...I am telling myself that I am too old for this, but if you can still do it are you then, indeed, too old? I guess not, is what I say.)

Thanks you to anyone who has managed to make it all the way to the end of this epistle. And at this time I just want to GIVE everyone a big thanks who made this trip what a huge success it was: Carol Marine and Karin Jurick...these two talents are going places and I am just so lucky to have caught them on the upswing before they got to be prima-donnas. (just kidding about that last part.) Thanks to the wonderful Park family for being the best hosts you can possibly imagine. And thanks to my fabulous traveling companions...we were so pretty. I will never forget apple-bottom jeans(a song), or Titty Bingo(a group) or Tracy's "lucky dress".

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Shrimp Festival Entry...

This is my entry into the contest for the National Shrimp Festival that will be held in Oct. in Gulf Shores, AL. As you can see by the art, this is the 37th year for this event so it is well-established and sounds like great fun. I had an application to apply for an art booth for this festival already hanging on my fridge, and someone at the wine festival suggested I submit an entry for the poster art . So I decided why not? I am almost as dedicated to the consumption of shrimp as I am to that of wine. As luck would have it the entry deadline had been moved up to this coming Friday. At this festival, they use the art for widely sold T-shirts, collector's posters, huggers, pins....all sorts of cool stuff. So everyone say a prayer for me, I would really like to do this.

A bunch of fellow art bloggers from around the world did a neat thing today...they all focused on the often overlooked door. They posted photos, paintings, and other artistic salutes to the door. This is my addition to the party, although I was not necessarily invited. (hey, it's a free web) This is a painting of a door on a balcony in New Orleans. The original photo was taken three weeks before Katrina. On a return trip a year later I took another photo of the same balcony. This time it was a little worse for wear, with the louvers knocked out of the shutter on the right and no live plants, but it was still there.
I'm off to my Carol Marine/Karen Jurick workshop in Austin this weekend! Hopefully I'll have some workshop stuff to post when I get back next week.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Wine Festival...

Well, I am back from a successful weekend at the Southern Breeze Wine & Culinary Festival. We had a great time, sold some paintings, tried some new wines and met some great folks! You can't ask for better than that.

We arrived Saturday mid-morning to beautiful sunny skies and although windy, it was not nearly as cold as we had feared. On Friday in Jackson we were dodging snow advisories and sleet, so we did not know what we would face in Biloxi on Sat., but it was beautiful.

Set-up was a bit of a challenge for my talented helper, Dacia, and I. At these events, they have their own style of tent (pagoda-style) and so I was using their tent instead of mine. So without details, lets just say between that and the intense wind we were having to rethink everything we normally do.

The event we were displaying for was the Grand Tasting that takes place from 1-5 on Saturday. Let me tell you, it was wine-lovers heaven! There were hundreds of wines to try. I got so many great pictures that I am going to be painting wine bottles for years to come, whenever the mood strikes me.

The painting that I did for the festival was featured on the cover of the program. They also did T-shirts, but they did not have them there for sale unless you asked. The workers wore them to the brunch on Sunday though, and they looked great! They said that they hoped to have posters for the next event. It will be in Baton Rouge on the weekend of April 4-6. That is the weekend that we leave for Denver, so I won't be able to be at that one, but I have I bunches of friends there that I know would love this event!

This was the first time they held one of these at a site in MS, so the crowds were not as large as at some of the other venues. But I thought they had a great turn-out. I heard plans being made to have a bigger and better event next year, so I am glad that they did well enough to want to come back. South Mississippi needs all the fun it can get these days. And for those of you who do not keep up with these sorts of things, I want to tell you... Things are steadily improving on the coast. There are no words to describe how proud I am of all that has gone on here in Mississippi in the time since the moment the hurricane came onshore to this day.

I sold three paintings while I was there and made contacts that could result in the sale of a few more so I was a happy camper in that respect. Plus I had a weekend with my favorite girl, who is becoming quite the wine connoisseur at the ripe old age of 22 1/2.

Later this week I am off to Austin, Texas to take a workshop with two of my favorite artists...Carol Marine and Karen Jurick. I hope this week to get some of my more distasteful tasks out of the way...i.e. my taxes so when I come back next week I can hit the ground running with my painting! I have so much inside right now that needs to be on a canvas!

Monday, March 3, 2008

Abstracts have burst forth....

For a while now I have been wanting to do really abstract abstracts....just purely color with the idea of giving the viewer the opportunity to make of it what they will. Sort of like looking at a cloud filled sky and finding the dinosaur or horse or old get the idea. Ever since I was young I have gotten true pleasure from looking at colors and combinations of colors.

So today I got up in a pretty crabby mood and did some boring things---housework, mailing off for rebates, just yucky stuff. Then the weather started getting weird...really, really windy...the dogs got all antsy and I found out it was supposed to get really bad. My meeting for tonight was called off so I thought...I will paint! I went into my studio and the vibes were just weird...I just couldn't find anything I really wanted to paint. So I took this painting that I had been playing with for a long time. It started out as a painting of a swirled cactus. It was okay, but no one ever loved it. So for a while I had been taking the paint that was left over on my pallette each time I painted and applying it to this painting. Well, today I decided to finish it. It has so many layers and so much texture! And because it includes the paint from many of my other paintings, it has all sorts of colors that I just love. The title matches my mood this morning..."Too Busy Thinking" It is 30X30 (1 1/2" gallery wrap) and will sell for $700.

This next one is a paint-over of a painting that has been hanging around my studio for a while. I had taken interesting colors that I like and done geometric shapes and lines in different places all interconnecting in some way. It just never did all. It looked like a third-grader had done it and by the way, that is pretty much an insult to third graders! Well, today in my weird little mood I was in, I just mixed and applied color like I was on fire or something. I had a frame for it already and when I was done I put it in the frame and I just love it! My criteria for a painting that I really like(whether my own or someone else's) is that you not be able to get all the info you need by just looking at it once. I don't like paintings (and this is just me, so don't anyone get offended) that have green grass, blue sky, red barn, etc, etc. I like to look and say"oh, a red barn." And then have to look back and say "is that specks of pink on the side of that barn?". Well, let me just tell you there is no way to look at these paintings and see all you need to see in one glance. This one is 24x30 and is titled "Something to Talk About" It sells framed for $700.

So by then I had the fever! What could I paint on top of next? Well, I had another painting of a saxaphone player on the riverwalk in New Orleans. He had no lips, there was just never anything to love about this painting except that I did like the colors. Well, sax man has a new life as this awesome abstract! This is probably my favorite and that's hard to say cause I like them all. This one is 24X30 and sells framed for $700. I titled it "Adrift" because I wanted to. How's that for a reason? By the was they are all so much cooler in person, but that's just the way it is.

Okay, now I would like to open things up and hear some real honest critiques. I have never done but two abstracts before in my life. I truly feel like something weird happened today. I had been wanting to try this for so long and then "BOOM" these burst forth. If I am headed down a path of total crap here, someone needs to tell me. I can't tell you how much fun I had doing these. If I need to just do them for fun and hang them in my garage, let me know.