Friday, December 28, 2007

pondering and reflecting.......

Such a weird Christmas, cloudy and cold. I sat down at the easel at 1 pm.....a bit of a late start.

When I sit and ponder my art(I never "sit and ponder"...just sounds good) a recurring thought comes up in my mind. The idea of narrative in painting. This isn't a new genre but it certainly is a rare on in current art trends. Rockwell was probably the last great American narrative painter. And while I don't envision narrative in its pure form for my own work I am drawn to the idea as a piece of the story. As if you crack open a book and read four or five lines. It is a descriptive moment without context.

While reflecting (also a word that sounds good) on why I fell in love with art and wanted to be an artist in the first place I recall mythology and surrealism being the major catalysts. I think I need to revisit these two ideas. I am also really interested in anthropomorphism which is prevalent in mythology. I believe this is so prevalent and common to the human experience and throughout history not because we are derived from animals but because we have a common Creator........

Monday, December 24, 2007


I am almost finished with the Francfort family dog, Tucker. His coat has turned out to be quite a challenge taking more days to complete due to the layers I am applying. Just waiting now for some feedback from the owners........

The very supportive Joan Manning of Remember When Art Gallery bought the dachshund painting last night. She also pointed Guy Francfort in my direction for the portrait.

Friday, December 21, 2007


I keep up with a few other artist's blogs, particularly the painting a day blogs...I don't know if that was a good idea today since I started ou a little out of sorts.
I messed around another artists ebay link which can sometimes be encouraging, and at times depressing.

I wrote about the painting a day phenomenon previously......
This guy was selling 5" x 5" paintings of Hersheys kisses (you can find a dozen or so of these at any time on ebay) for $250 dollars......while I am glad for his success, I feel a bit down about it.....especially when I consider how hard I work at coming up with creative ideas.
He probably found some old stale Hersheys kiss under his couch and said to himelf "Hey, this will make a great painting I can throw down in an hour and get paid a ridiculous amount for copying!".......Sounds ungracious, I know....every time I even consider jumping on the painting a day bandwagon I become so bored with the idea quickly fades.....

I want to do something different....something unique. This has always been my desrie as an artist and I suppose at times it can be my I am just going on and on......

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Abstract day

I am about three fourths of the way through a portrait this week. Portraits are mainly technical work and I am really missing the creativity that goes into the painting I think produces the best work.
I used to do a lot of abstract landscapes and aerials and find myself missing the freedom and looseness of the genre, so I revisited that today. I always find myself trying to get tighter and tighter in these paintings and naturally moving toward something representational....which is fine, that is what my bent is.


Harley Hann has does a great job of explaining abstract art. It is a lengthy article but I think when we understand something (or someone) better we have an easier time connecting....

Friday, December 14, 2007

yesterday's painting...

I have had a hard time focusing today. Craig and I went to Ashley's senior show and spent some time in the National Portrait Gallery where we were two of about ten people in the building. We took a few interseting photos inside one of which I am using as a reference today. It has a lot of architectual elements to it which I normally aviod since I cannot draw a straight line, but it is such a cool photo from the window of the building .........we will see if I get frustrated enough to scrap it. SOLD

Me, Ashley and Craig

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Get down with your baaaaad self.....

After a trip to Atlanta, I find it hard to get back into the studio today. I have to start a portrait....soon. I did sell one painting last week. I do feel excited to get back to it, but we are going to Ashley Rigg's senior show in a few hours, so I don't have a block of time to get down to business. I have thursday and friday wide open, so no excuses.....I need to finish this one up.

The new Radiohead CD is amazing by the way......

Thursday, November 29, 2007

The painting a day movement

There is a recent art phenomenon called the painting a day movement. I believe it was started by Richmond artist Duane Keiser. Currently you can find hundreds of painting a day blogs and hundreds of ebay listings of small sized paintings by these artists. Most of the works portray photorealistic small everyday objects, mini still lifes of everything from old bottles to wrapped candies.

I have browsed many of these blog sites and would say that about half are really good, meaning either in technical achievement and creative expression. Neil Hollingsworth is one of the best. It is difficult to make a mundane object in such a small format powerful, yet he does it so well.

It seems that many of these artists jump on board because they want a disciplined way of making work. Most are not full time painters and struggle to find time to paint, so producing a post card size work daily makes creating doable. They have realized that size is not everything.

My issue with these works is that they are mostly void of any creative juice. I’ve said this before of photrealism. If I look at a painting and I am impressed with how much it looks like a photo I usually come away feeling a bit empty. I might even venture to call this sort of painting a craft instead of an art. Eventually for me they lose their staying power.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Today's painting

I am getting a bit faster..improving my brushwork. This took me about 2 1/2 hours on a 8 x 10 canvas. When I started painting cupcakes it took about 2 hours to complete a 6 x 6 canvas.
There are still a few things to do. Not sure if I want any more detail in the cookie, though...

Food painting: Krispy Kreme Doughnut Stack

I have become rather interested in food paintings lately. Though not a fan of photo realism I have found painting these to be an excellent, and sometimes frustrating exercise in seeing light. I always try to put a creative spin on them and do not directly copy the set up. Direct copying often causes my creative muscle to atrophy. I am feeling a little of that now as I focus on the ebay paintings more these days.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Born again painter

There has been a shift in me this year that has brought a new mindset and vision about painting. After my artistic crisis last december that cast me into utter dependence on God and in which I completely quit painting, I have had a virtual "born again" artistic experience. And let me pause to give credit where credit is due: the glory belongs to God.

I have learned to do the next right thing and not to take on the whole outcome. To stop overanalyzing and live in the brushstroke. Pretty amazing for me. Those of you who know my intensity get it and I am sure it is a welcome change for you, as well.

Now to balance small works with larger more challenging works. I still differentiate between the artistis value of the two. I average about two sales a week, so the pressure to produce at times overwhelms, yet even today I feel the kick of a new "serious" painting idea or two.
"Ryner Girls"

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Friday, September 28, 2007

Painting, painting, painting....

I have had such a hugely prolific week in painting. I finished four paintings two of which were such an exercise in seeing light correctly that I felt cross eyed by the time I finished them. The white goat painting that has been hanging over my head was also finally completed. Scroll down to June to see it as it has up until yesterday….pretty incomplete. Go to the main website to see how it wrapped up. I think it looks awesome.

So, I move on. I have put the Nachash painting on hold because I still have not worked out the details. A self portrait was also started and is now to the side as well as those ideas and images firm up in my mind.

Today I began another sheep painting which came together quickly in just a few hours. I really am quite drawn to these herd animals. Quite beautiful…..

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Nachash redux

I did a painting called "Nachash" a few years back that I have been thinking about recently. Actually it is an oil pastel. The idea keeps coming to my mind again and again as I sort of free think about creating art. The idea as a new incarnation has formed in my mind, so tomorrow I am off to buy a larger canvas than I have on hand in order to begin. Think Venice Carnival and candy apples………….your have an idea of some of the images that are coming into this painting.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

The curse of the apathetic painter

I think I am coming off of a painting high. The Ram painting was such an intense learning experience in a million ways and the painting came out so beautifully that it is hard to get into the swing of "next.". A few small fun things here and there that I have sold, but nothing has really kicked in yet.

I am not excited about anything today. Craig continues to search for a seemingly non existent job and the prospect of moving to an as yet unknown location is a buzz in the back of my head. Not a good day to take on any serious topic or endevour. Tomorrow will be different. That is my hope.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Painting of the week: Chinese Crested Dog

With the Goat painting at a pause, I decided to take on a small day or two painting….Chinese Crested Dog, generally recognized as quite an ugly dog….. SOLD

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Long time, no blog.

After a feverish finally to the ram painting, which my sister so humerously calls "President Ram", I have started a few small paintings and officially have fallen in love with oil paint. I have ranted for years about how much I hate the medium, so now I eat my words. There is no other medium that compares.

Still on a herd animal track, so I am working on a painting of a goat. Yes, a goat. It is the weirdest looking goat I have ever seen and I have seen some goats……

On another note, I saw a BBC documentary about Vincent Van Gogh in which Andy Serkis portrayed Vincent. He did a magnificent job, yet I kept thinking "What’s ‘taters’, PreciousWhat’s ‘taters’?!" He will forever BE Gollum.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Current mood: wiped out.
I have managed to keep the intrusion of the “critic” at a minimum as I begin this new painting. People often tell me that I am far too rational and reasonable, too timely and organized to be an artist. I grew up under that sort of person and the more free and right brained side of me is underdeveloped. That other parent with those qualities was absent. I believe his inablity to cope with that personality drove him to near madness and much sorrow.

Friday, February 23, 2007

The monkey painting is finished and we are off for a short trip to Virginia Beach to visit family. My brother-in-law will be deployed for eight months in a few weeks.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Gallery West Opening

Enjoy the photos from the Gallery West opening. There are also links there to view the show and the announcement.

I was told by a resident artist that my painting was the topic of much conversation at the gallery. That is a wonderful thing. She told me that they had decided the painting clearly portrayed a statement about the death of wildlife and the extinction on certain species due to our over zealous and destructive industry. I nodded and once she inquired I told her that it is an expression of a truth from the book of Matthew. She quickly changed the subject….

Talk about whatever useless crap you want ranging from various vulgarities to illicit behaviors but turn the topic to the bible and people flee in terror….

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

1Home from a quick and heavily relational laden trip to Atlanta and ready to turn and face the call. I have to varnish the painting for the Gallery West show and begin throwing out some lines toward completing the monkey painting (have I mentioned the monkey painting?) and what will be next. "Jeff" still hangs on the wall incomplete….

These waves, these ups and downs, these battles of the mind have worn me out but I do know it is for good. I thank God for the hint. Sometimes I get it.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

What now?

I have spent the month of December emptying my mind of anything related to my artwork. I have spent it cooking, shopping and doing not much else. It has been nice. I still have no answers, no direction and I am still on the fence of doubt. On one side is living my life out as a practicing artist and on the other some other vocation. At the moment dog walker supreme. I am good at that, too, all you folks who say art is my talent. I am good at many things. Who is to say one vocation is more important than another. At least with the dog thing I make happy dogs and provide a service to busy people. So there.

I came home from Christmas in Norfolk to an acceptance letter into the annual nation juried competition at Gallery West. Some people think that this is funny considering my turmoil over my calling. Ain’t funny.